CHI Memorial on Wednesday, Nov. 17, notified the state that it plans to file a Certificate of Need (CON) in December for a new hospital in Ringgold.

A CON is required in order to build a new health-care facility. The CON process is to secure the appropriate state regulatory approvals to advance the project and begin construction, CHI said.

CHI’s current hospital building in Fort Oglethorpe, called CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia and located at 100 Gross Crescent Circle, is nearly 70 years old, with some portions of the hospital dating back to 1904.

The new hospital, which will also be called CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia but located on Battlefield Parkway in Ringgold, will replace the Fort Oglethorpe facility.

CHI Memorial said the new hospital will feature state-of-the-art inpatient beds, including an intensive care unit (ICU), a full-service emergency department, and operating rooms and procedural suites. It will connect to the current CHI Memorial Rees Skillern Cancer Center and CHI Memorial Parkway medical office building, creating a single campus and establishing a central location for inpatient and outpatient services.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, CHI Memorial filed a formal Letter of Intent (LOI) outlining details of the project, including a projected total investment of more than $130 million “to better serve its healthcare ministry in North Georgia,” CHI said in a news release on Thursday, Nov. 18.

CHI officially announced in June its plans to build a new facility.

A bond issue from Catoosa County will support funding for the new hospital. Groundbreaking for the new CHI Memorial Hospital Georgia is scheduled to take place early summer of 2022, with a targeted completion date of mid-2024.

“The new CHI Memorial Hospital on Battlefield Parkway will accomplish a major goal of our community,” Steven Henry, Catoosa County Board of Commissioners chairman, said when the CHI officially announced it. “Providing contemporary and comfortable inpatient rooms, ICU, emergency room and operating rooms in the middle of Catoosa County will greatly benefit the residents of Catoosa County, as well as all of North Georgia.

“With this new state-of-the-art facility,” he said, “Catoosa County residents will be able to stay in the county for health-related services. It will also provide employment opportunities for our residents. Battlefield Parkway has become the health-care location of choice, and we could not be more proud.

“It would be good for the hospital, good for the community and surrounding communities and good for economic development, which would benefit everyone,” he said.

Henry pointed out that the Battlefield Parkway location would be more central and allow for better parking, which would draw people from a larger area.

Don Stilwell is editor for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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