Forsyth County is no stranger to numerous accolades and recognitions. Forsyth County has been consistently ranked as one of the 10 fastest growing communities in the nation since 1995, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Recently, Forbes Magazine named Forsyth County as one of the “Best Places in America to Get Ahead” and the 13th wealthiest county in the nation. Northside Hospital-Forsyth, the county’s healthcare facility, has seen continued growth and shows no signs of stopping. “Our growth reflects the needs of the communities we serve; as they grow so do we. We strive to exceed the expectations of those we serve,” explained Lynn Jackson, hospital administrator. Jackson has held the position of administrator of the 1.2 million-square foot hospital since 2001. Over the past decade, Forsyth County has been consistently ranked among the fastest growing counties in the country, and substantial population growth is projected to continue.
Over the past decade, Forsyth County has been consistently ranked among the fastest growing counties in the country, and substantial population growth is projected to continue.
According to the State of Georgia’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) resident population projections, Forsyth County is projected to be the fourth fastest growing county in Georgia, with 17 percent growth in total population projected between 2016 and 2021. Forsyth County is projected to add 37,585 new residents between 2016 and 2021. Only four other counties in Georgia are projected to add more new residents.
“It seems that there’s always some sort of construction going on at the hospital,” Jackson stated with a smile. “And that’s just a sign of progress; and the fact that we are always at the forefront of providing those we serve with the best healthcare services available.”
Since 2002, Northside Hospital-Forsyth has seen tremendous growth in the services and have expanded their presence in the community to keep up with the growing health care needs of the community and to provide greater patient access to quality medical care.
And that growth isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
“We have a great team of doctors, nurses and healthcare providers, staff and volunteers, who are committed to the health and wellness of our community,” Jackson stated. “We are guided by our core values of excellence, compassion, community, service, teamwork, and progress and innovation.”
“We are committed to balancing clinical excellence with safe, high-quality, compassionate care for our patients,” Jackson added.
2016 Renovations and Bed Expansion
Northside Hospital-Forsyth opened a new Surgical Care Center in May 2016, offering two dedicated, women-only gynecology (GYN) and breast care operating rooms for patient privacy and comfort.
In October 2016, the hospital completed the addition of three new floors, including two patient floors to accommodate surgical and oncology patient needs. The project brings the hospital’s inpatient bed count to 247 (previously 231) and the total number of beds, including observation, to 325. The hospital now stands at eight floors, making it the tallest building in the county.
The 77,975-square-foot, $30 million expansion, added a seventh floor to care for patients undergoing cancer treatment and an eighth floor that serves post-surgical needs. Rooms feature adjustable tables, walk-in showers, family-friendly seating, safe boxes and even a hand rail bar along the wall to prevent slips.
“We’ve treated many cancer patients over the years, and have learned from them as well as our healthcare team, that we need a few extra things to make the patient’s stay a bit more comfortable, while providing their caretakers and families with more than just a comfortable place to sit,” remarked Niti Patel, manager of the Oncology Unit.
The sixth-floor serves as the hospital’s heating and air-conditioning and is not accessible to patients.
“We are truly excited to be able to care for our patients in this new patient care floor,” remarked Fran Miller, manager of the 8th Floor Surgical Unit. “Our leadership team, caretakers and staff continuously work together to look for ways to make it easier and as comfortable as possible for our patients. Our goal is to deliver the necessary care to get our patient’s back home.”
Recognized as Georgia’s leader in same-day joint replacements, orthopedic surgeons at Northside Hospital-Forsyth recently performed the state’s first robotic total knee replacement.
Led by Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Kenneth Kress of Arthritis and Total Joint Specialists, a team of experts at Northside Hospital-Forsyth recently performed Georgia’s first computer-navigated robotic total knee replacement. This state-of-the-art technology offers a new surgical technique for patients who require total knee replacement due to chronic knee pain because of osteoarthritis.
“This is a great example of how technological advances, coupled with a surgeon’s expertise, afforded the completion of a total knee replacement surgery using a robotic arm. The use of this robotic arm allows for precise and accurate of implant placement,” explained Dr. Kress. “With more accuracy and alignment via the robot, there is a potential for longer lasting implants and less recovery time.”
“The joint replacement program offers patients a team of world class surgeons, orthopedic certified nurses, specially trained rehabilitation therapists, and customized education programs to ensure the fastest and best possible recovery for our orthopedic patients,” Jackson added.
2017 Bed Expansion
In response to the State’s indication that additional medical/surgical beds are needed to help Northside Hospital-Forsyth meet patient demand expected in 2021, the hospital filed a Certificate of Need (CON) application with the state to convert 37 existing 23-hour observation beds in December. The addition brings the hospital’s total inpatient bed count to 284.
“I have seen the hospital grow – structurally and in services offered – since I started in 2012,” remarked Amy Fischer, Manager of Surgical Services. “We have seen a 55% increase in the number of surgeries since 2002. Our staff is always ready and very proud to be a part of such a progressive organization. We take pride in our work.”
The CON also proposes to expand and renovate the cafeteria and dining room to better accommodate the visitors, staff, physicians and patients currently using them each day.
5th Medical Office Building
Site preparation is already underway for the campus’ fifth medical office building (MOB). The 133,000-square-foot building is expected to open in spring 2018.
Expansion of Clinical Services
“New advances in facilities and technology enable us to lead medical innovation and focus on the best possible patient care,” Jackson added.
Over the last couple of years, the hospital has introduced Gamma Knife® Perfexion™ technology, the latest treatment for malignant and benign brain tumors and functional and vascular disorders.
“We have introduced some of the latest minimally invasive computer-assisted robotic surgery techniques and technology including the newest daVinci Robotic Surgery System and the Medrobotics Flex® Robotic System for transoral procedures (performed via mouth),” Jackson added.
“We were the first hospital in Metro Atlanta to earn Advanced Certification in Heart Failure from The Joint Commission,” Jackson stated. “We also haveachieved Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers and multiple awards from the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® and Get With The Guidelines® programs.”
Additional specialty certifications have been received for our pneumonia care, hip/knee replacement services, and bariatric surgery services. These recognitions highlight Northside Hospital-Forsyth’s commitment to balancing clinical excellence with high-quality, compassionate care.
“What matters most to our team is our patients – taking care of their healthcare needs with utmost respect, advanced knowledge and expertise, and a comprehensive look at what the patient needs to be healthier,” added Jackson.
“Patient care,” Jackson remarked, “encompasses a bigger team than most folks expect. It is truly a collaboration that sometimes goes beyond the date a patient is discharged. We are honored to provide our services and care to all of our patients.”
Picture: Northside Hospital Forsyth Leadership Team