Shepherd Center Plans $12.8 Million Expansion for Lab, Pharmacy and MRI Departments
Soon the “Pardon our Dust” signs may be back up at Shepherd Center as the hospital embarks on a $12.8 million project that will add 13,000 square feet for an expanded and updated lab, pharmacy and MRI suite.
“We’ve increased the size of the hospital over the years, but we’ve never had the space to expand the lab and the pharmacy – despite the fact we’ve grown from 100 to 152 beds since 2007,” said Gary Ulicny, Ph.D., Shepherd Center’s president and CEO.
Shepherd Center filed a Certificate of Need (CON) with the Georgia Department of Community Health on March 31. When approved, two floors will be built over the driveway near the hospital’s loading dock, connecting the Shepherd and Marcus buildings.
The second floor, consisting of about 6,500 square feet of new space, will house an updated MRI suite, as well as a higher-resolution MRI machine. “We are purchasing a 3.0 Tesla machine, which is state-of-the-art,” Dr. Ulicny said. “It will really help with the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis patients.”
The pharmacy and lab will share the third floor, doubling their current size and making them more centrally located. There will be more work and storage space, which, in the case of the lab, will minimize having to send tests out to other facilities.
“Our patients may not notice this renovation when it gets under way, but it will benefit the staff tremendously,” Dr. Ulicny said. “It will help everyone in the lab, pharmacy and MRI department do their jobs more efficiently and improve their work environment. Ultimately, it will benefit our patients, as well.”
The Shepherd Center Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to solicit gifts from individual donors and foundations. The project will be funded entirely through donated funds.
Once construction begins, it’s estimated to take about 10 months to complete. Because the addition involves creating new space, the project will be less intrusive and disruptive than some of the hospital’s other expansion projects.
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Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.