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Piedmont Hospital to open new tower months ahead of schedule to accommodate COVID-19 patients

The hospital was originally set to open in August, but will open on April 13 with 132 beds coming online.

ATLANTA —

The massive hospital tower that hovers over Peachtree Road in Buckhead will soon open -- months ahead of schedule -- to accommodate COVID-19 patients

Piedmont Healthcare said they have received the Certificate of Occupancy for the Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and it will open on April 13. 

They received the certificate in late March and are actively working to procure the equipment and furnishing required to open the first nursing unit in the tower, they said in a news release. 

If necessary, three ICU and acute nursing units, spread over the tower’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors, will be made available, adding a total of 132 additional beds, with 64 designated as ICU beds. These units will house both COVID-19 positive patients and non-COVID-19 patients.

“By opening this part of the tower early, we are increasing capacity at a critical time when our community needs it the most,” said Patrick Battey, M.D., CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Getting these beds ready for patients who may need them during the COVID-19 outbreak was the right thing to do, and I am proud of the staff at Piedmont and our partners on the project who made it happen.”

Originally, the tower, which was made possible through an initial donation of $75 million from Bernie and Billi Marcus via The Marcus Foundation, was set to open Aug. 1.

Rooms to Go Founder, President and CEO Jeff Seaman has made a $1 million gift to the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation’s COVID-19 Infrastructure Fund, which will support early activation of the Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have generous donors like Jeff Seaman at this critical time,” said Piedmont Healthcare Chief Philanthropy Officer Sid Kirschner. “We are working very hard to take care of our patients in the new reality of a world left vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gifts like Jeff’s to our COVID-19 Infrastructure Fund will literally save lives.”

They said that in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are in an "aggressive planning mode."

"Piedmont is examining statistical projections from four to 12 weeks out, depending on the progression of COVID-19, and considering contingency plans for various scenarios," they said. 

They say early activation of the tower is a "vital element of this plan."

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Piedmont Healthcare Foundation’s COVID-19 Infrastructure Fund