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Loganville Residents Join Clearview Regional in Opposing 10-Bed ER

A group of Loganville residents plan to join officials from Clearview Regional Medical Center Monday in opposing Eastside Medical Center's Certificate of Need for a 10-bed ER facility in Loganville.

When JT Barnhart, CEO of Clearview Regional Medical Center, heads downtown Monday to oppose the Certificate of Need being sought by Eastside Medical to open a 10-bed emergency facility in Loganville, he will have some help. According to Loanville resident Gail Buell, there also is grassroots opposition growing in the community against the proposed 24/7 emergency facility on Highway 81.

"There are nearly 600 homes plus schools and churches virtually within walking distance of the property. Sadly, many of those affected are not even aware that they are soon to have such a busy or noisy place right in their own back yards," Buell said, adding they will have a representive in downtown Atlanta to add their voices to that of Barnhart. Buell said they have collected signatures in support of their opposition to the CON.

"This facility will have three ambulance bays, 10 beds and two holding cells. They will accept any patient arriving in an ambulance regardless of their problem. If, however, it is something like a heart attack or stroke or other illness so serious that the patient needs to be admitted to a hospital, that patient will be put back into an ambulance and then taken to a hospital, thus incurring two ambulance fees and two ER fees," Buell said. "We already have two hospital emergency rooms close by, one in Monroe, which is nine miles away, and one in Snellville, which is 12 miles away. Another factor is the negative, possibly criminal, connotation of the term 'holding cells.' We must think about that, plus, the fact that almost anyone arriving in an ambulance will also have an entourage of their family and friends, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Buell said their concerns include noise, the potential negative elements and the traffic.

"Highway 81 S is a very busy two-lane highway that is often very difficult to navigate due to the number of vehicles. It often takes quite a long time to even pull out onto that street and there are no traffic lights at all along that section," Buell said. "If this is something that Loganville MUST have, put it out on Highway 78."

The city of Loganville has already offered a resolution in support of the facility. Officials told Barnhart at the last city council meeting that they had to put the citizens of Loganville first. Barnhart detailed the expense already undertaken by Clearview Regional Medical Center and the potential impact the Eastside Emergency Facility would have on the Walton County hospital.

In the summer, the associate chief operating officer of Eastside Medical Center, Drew Tyrer, advised Loganville officials that the company had applied for the CON for the proposed ER, which would be the first of its kind in Georgia. Tryer said the 10-bed unit would be staffed 24/7, would have a trauma room, a decontamination room and ambulance bays for EMS rescue and transfer to another facility, if necessary. There would be access to CT scanners and X-ray and it would be an extension of the Eastside Imaging Center already located on Highway 81. He said, if approved, the facility would bring 38 new health care jobs to the city.

When he advised the Loganville City Council of his intention to oppose Eastside's CON, Barnhart pointed out in its new hospital opened in Monroe this year, Clearview had added 60 news positions, half of which were nurses, and about 20 new doctors.

Kim Roberto November 19, 2012 at 11:06 AM
After working in the medical field (stroke rehab) in a large hospital in NJ which had the busiest ER on the East Coast (yes, the East Coast) I've seen and heard the same pros and cons with the other competing medical facilities in the surrounding areas up there (when an addition was planned) as this issue seems to be becoming here. Getting to Clearview or Eastside in an emergency can take some time depending on traffic. Just because they are 9 and 12 miles away does not make that a simple commute. I fully support this 10 bed emergency facility and don't expect the horrors to arrive with it. Putting it on 78 or 81 doesn't matter, it's the accessibility that we need here in Loganville. If you or a loved one has a stroke, heart attack, or any other major life threatening issue, you will be glad this facility is in your town. Just my 2 cents.
ED CARR November 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM
I support the facility.
Bonnie November 19, 2012 at 01:47 PM
I support the facility as well. My sense is this is a competition issue with Clearview and we could use another choice in Walton County.
Jennifer November 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I support it. When you or a loved one is in a life or death crisis do you want to hear, "It's just another 9 or 12 miles?" That is NOT "close by" as you stated. There are NOT two hospital fees incurred as this article states. When someone needs to be admitted it's a direct admit from the ER to the main hospital. I doubt this will bring crime to our area, but I'm glad they're prepared and will have the holding cell area. Let's remember this area is utilized for people that are out of control. (Drunk, overdose, etc.) Sometimes people with head injuries become extremely combative. I don't believe it's use is strictly criminal. If I lived in this neighborhood, I would have a problem with the loud sirens all hours of the night. Maybe if they used lights only when approaching this would help not to disturb anyone.
Michelle Couch November 19, 2012 at 07:24 PM
The Highway 81 corridor in Loganville has long been evolving into a healthcare business district. It's not surprising that Eastside M/C would seek to expand here. Clearly, the opposition by Clearview is profit/competition driven - and in my opinion, not conducive to the philosophy of helping others in need of urgent-care. As far as the residential concerns - I've always advocated that if you don't want to be in the center of "town" - do your homework and research, study comprehensive land plans, and make a decision accordingly. Otherwise, move out to the extreme-rural areas if you don't want to deal with the progression and growth. Highway 81 intersects a major commercial corridor - could you truly anticipate that the growth would not trickle down the corridor's of Highway 81..
Jeff November 19, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Build it, and they will come. I doubt the local residents will be awakened several times a night with the screeching ambulances, more like once or twice a week.
Doris Crutchfield November 20, 2012 at 02:34 PM
You must not live in Tara! Why should we have to deal with this when Hwy. 78 makes so much more sense. It is a 5 lane road. It does not belong in a residential area!
Doris Crutchfield November 20, 2012 at 02:40 PM
It is the fact that it is a TWO LANE road! Do you not understand that? It does not belong here. Eastside spent a lot of money to start this but not once did they approach the people in the area to see how any of us felt. Only a few weeks ago did anyone representing them call us and want to have a meeting. Why such a big secrete? My question to you is 'How would you feel if it was being built with-in 30 feet of your house?
Doris Crutchfield November 20, 2012 at 05:30 PM
We moved out here 17 years ago and it is not in the heart of town. It simply makes no sense to put something like that on a two lane road. Please go to the lot where they are building it and see how many people are going to be directly affected. Hwy. 78 is the logical place for this. It is all commercial and with it located on 78 they can take people to either Eastside or Cleaview much faster then trying to get down Hwy. 81. Please consider someone else for a change!
Michelle Couch November 20, 2012 at 09:27 PM
I live in a house on the busiest corner of the city in which I reside. There is commercialization on every side of me despite the fact that all four roads of the intersection are two-lanes. If such a facility was being built within 30-feet of my abode, supported by the city council, and all legal zoning requirements met - I would have no choice but to accept the reality of it. While it is always good community relations for a developer/entity to reach out to the residents in which is strives to serve, it is not a requirement. What circumstances have caused you to feel that this development plan has been concealed in secrecy? I would assume when considering the noise element affiliated with the ambulances and sirens, that the city's noise ordinance would apply and be adhered to by Eastside. When my son was transported to Eastside/Snellville after 10pm/11pm, the ambulance did not sound the siren. except when proceeding through intersections. Come to think of it, is that not the only time that ambulances utilize their sirens? I really don't mean to seem so crass as to your feelings, but I am a brutal realist. In the long-run, will this facility truly be a detriment to your quality of life?
Chris November 21, 2012 at 01:32 AM
MOVE!
Violet November 28, 2012 at 08:50 PM
The facility is needed in the area but not this specific location. The traffic on HWY 81 is going to a nightmare. If Eastside were going to pay for a roadway expansion it might go a long way to ease the anxieties of those of us living in Tara. I was an administrator for 10 years in comparable sized ER and neighborhood in NYC and it got quite hectic for residents. If I had known about this I would not have purchased in Tara this past Spring!

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