GEMA and Phoebe Expand Care for COVID-19 Patients at Phoebe North

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

Wednesday, contractors began installing modular units for expansion of critical care services on the Phoebe North campus.  The facility, being constructed by the State through the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and Homeland Security, is designed to create new critical care space to care for southwest Georgians who become critically ill from COVID-19.  “The modular facility is one phase of a project to increase our capacity at Phoebe North to meet the demand for care created by this unprecedented public health emergency.  Under the leadership of the Governor and his emergency response team, the state has quickly marshaled resources and manpower to support our region as we do all we can to serve the healthcare needs of our region,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System Chief Executive Officer.

The first phase of the Phoebe North project, scheduled to open April 22, will be a 12-bed intensive care unit and a 15-bed general medical unit – all for COVID-19 patients.  Future phases, expected to come on line as needed in the coming weeks, include additional critical care and general medical beds in Phoebe North, as well as the 24-bed modular unit currently being built behind the hospital.  “Phoebe is relocating current services in order to ensure the full capacity of the north campus is available if needed as this crisis unfolds,” said Steiner.

The state is providing staff and equipment to operate the additional facilities.  Through a contract with Jackson Health, the state has already begun providing clinicians to assist with the coronavirus response.  “We already have approximately 60 contract employees from Jackson Health who have gone through an accelerated onboarding and orientation process.  They are now on the frontlines helping us care for COVID patients.  We expect 90 additional contract employees from Jackson Health to arrive Monday.  Those staffing resources will allow us to begin opening COVID-19 units at Phoebe North on schedule,” Steiner said.