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SGMC Breaks Ground on Berrien Hospital Expansion

Posted on: May 3rd, 2023

South Georgia Medical Center kicked off the expansion of its Berrien County, Ga hospital with a groundbreaking ceremony on May 2, 2023.  

SGMC leadership welcomed Nashville business and community leaders, state and local legislators, physicians, and staff to recognize the significant role that the SGMC Berrien Hospital and campus play in access to quality healthcare for the region.  

The $15 million project includes a new two-story emergency room addition that will expand the current campus footprint by 26,000 square feet. It will replace the original four-room emergency department with a new, modern nine-room emergency department. Construction is expected to be completed in Fall 2024. 

The state-of-the-art facility will feature larger trauma and specialty care patient rooms and enhanced clinical and support space. The emergency department will be equipped with the latest monitoring systems and furnishings. Additionally, the expansion includes a new lobby and entrance to other hospital services.   

SGMC President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean commended community leadership, employees, and physicians for their unwavering commitment and dedication to care for those in need.   

“We are extremely excited about expanding access to care and other healthcare services in rural Georgia. When completed, our SGMC Berrien team of healthcare professionals will be equipped with the latest technology in a modern well-designed space to care for our emergency room patients, families, and guests,” said Dean. 

Vice President and Chief Development Officer Hilary Gibbs recognized the state legislature for their leadership in launching the Georgia HEART Hospital Tax Credit in 2017 which enables GA taxpayers (both individuals and businesses) to receive an income tax credit for 100 percent of the amount they contribute to a qualified rural hospital such as SGMC’s Berrien and Lanier Hospitals. 

“This project would not be possible without the Georgia HEART program and our generous donors,” said Gibbs.  

Gibbs thanked the donors who have already made leadership commitments to this project. “The outpouring of support and the time and effort this community has put into making this project a reality is overwhelming,” she said. “I would like to especially thank SGMC’s Berrien Campus Advisory Board members who are true advocates for rural healthcare.” 

Community family medicine physician Dr. William Nash shared that it is critical for rural communities to have access to quality emergency services. “In an emergency situation, minutes and even seconds matter. There have been countless lives saved by the Berrien Campus ER because of the quick access to care,” said Nash. “Investing in this facility will impact the health of our community for decades to come.” 

The latest economic impact calculations for the fiscal year 2021 showed that SGMC Berrien Hospital had an annual economic impact of $22 million, generating $11.5 million in household earnings and supporting 275 jobs.  

In addition to emergency services, SGMC’s Berrien Campus provides medical care for inpatient and outpatient services, imaging including 3-D mammography, a 12-bed geriatric psychiatric unit, and a substance abuse center.   

SGMC is a regional health system comprised of four hospital campuses in Lowndes, Berrien, and Lanier counties. Its network includes 11 primary care offices and 27 specialty care clinics and facilities. To learn more, visit