Wellstar Kennestone Hospital will celebrate its new emergency care department during a virtual ribbon-cutting Thursday afternoon.

The $126 million, 263,000-square-foot addition to Wellstar Kennestone will be among the nation’s largest emergency departments when it opens for business July 23.

The ceremony can be viewed live at facebook.com/wellstarhealthsystem at 2 p.m.

Attendees include Wellstar Kennestone President Mary Chatman, Gov. Brian Kemp and Wellstar Health System president and CEO Candice Saunders.

Kemp will take the opportunity to sign a bevy of health care-related bills into law, including ones that limit surprise medical billing and expand Medicaid coverage to postpartum care.

Wellstar officials say the emergency department’s technological advancements will include four CT scan machines that will be used solely for emergency patients. The ER will also have its own MRI, ultrasound and X-ray departments, instead of having to share equipment with the rest of the hospital.

It will also feature a dedicated area on the second floor for treating patients with behavioral health needs and completely separate areas for children and adult patients. Pediatric rooms will be large enough to accommodate families accompanying young patients.

The department will also have the ability to expand medical services into the parking lot to treat mass casualties with equipment to decontaminate people exposed to hazardous chemicals.

The new emergency department is also set to feature improved access for ambulances and people delivering patients in cars with two access points for ambulances and three for personal vehicles, relying on major, high-traffic city roads, rather than local neighborhood streets.

Chatman said it will be able to serve 220,000 patients per year.

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