CHI Memorial moves forward with plans for new Ringgold, Georgia, hospital

Artist rendering contributed by CHI Memorial / CHI Memorial's new expansion hospital will be positioned along Battlefield Parkway between Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe.

CHI Memorial has taken the next step toward making its new hospital in North Georgia a reality.

On Wednesday, leaders with CHI Memorial Hospital told the Georgia Department of Community Health they intend to file their certificate of need - a legal document that is required in order to construct a new health care facility - in December to build a replacement hospital along Battlefield Parkway in Ringgold.

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From there a groundbreaking is scheduled to take place for the new hospital, to be known as CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia, in early summer 2022, with a targeted completion date of mid-2024.

The new hospital will replace the health system's nearly 70-year-old facility on Gross Crescent Circle in Fort Oglethorpe at the site of what was once Hutcheson Medical Center. Hutcheson went bankrupt in 2015 and was taken over by Memorial in 2017 after facing problems with patient volumes and mismanagement.

According to a news release from CHI Memorial spokesperson Karen Long, the extension project includes an estimated investment of more than $130 million "to better serve its health care ministry in North Georgia."

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The new hospital will feature state-of-the-art in-patient beds including an intensive care unit, a full-service emergency department, as well as operating rooms and procedural suites, and it will connect to the current CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Center and the CHI Memorial Parkway medical office building.

Andrew McGill, senior vice president of strategy, business development and government relations for CHI Memorial, told the Times Free Press in April he believed the new hospital could have as few as 60 or as many as 140 beds along with the corresponding amount of operating rooms, emergency department bays and new technology. He also said construction is expected to take anywhere from 20 to 22 months once it begins.

Contact Kelcey Caulder at kcaulder@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.