On the morning of May 6, just before the sun peeks over the North Georgia foothills, Northside Hospital Cherokee will embark on the move of a lifetime — transitioning our patients, staff and services from the current hospital, located on Hospital Road, to the new hospital down the street, off I-575 at Northside Cherokee Blvd.

“Since January, each department has been training and running drills for this move, familiarizing themselves with the new space and understanding the logistics that make their care process patient-centered and efficient,” said Billy Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital Cherokee. “That’s why every detail, no matter how small, has been planned for.”

With an undertaking so grand in scale, our leadership has prepared a comprehensive “Patient Move Manual,” to give staff a clear view of logistical operations before, during and after the patient move to ensure a safe and efficient transition. Throughout the move, an “Incident Command Center,” comprised of hospital leadership and logistical specialists, will manage the patient move, support the opening of the replacement hospital and handle questions that arise from staff.

“The safety of our patients during this transition is our number one priority,” said Katie Pearson, director of operations. “To accomplish a safe move, we have a detailed logistics and communication protocol between care teams and their patients.”

We will move hospital departments in stages, allowing staff, patients and equipment to transfer to the new hospital while maintaining direct patient care operations as needed at the current facility.

Staff will begin moving patients at 5 a.m. on Saturday, May 6 with the closure of the Emergency Department (ED) at the existing hospital. We have contracted with Metro Ambulance Service to provide transportation on May 6 from the existing hospital to the replacement hospital and will only be using advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS) and critical care ambulances for the patient move. The Women’s Center will employ heightened security protocols to ensure the safety and security of infants and mothers during the move.

As the critical move date approaches, Northside Hospital Cherokee leadership and staff are reflecting on the countless hours of planning that have made this transition possible and the future of the hospital.

“Without all the hard work and collaboration among our staff and partners, this move would simply not be possible,” said Billy Hayes. “We expect the same spirit of determination and energy to carry through to the new hospital, where we will provide Cherokee and surrounding communities with the exceptional patient care they deserve.”