News Release - Marcus Johnson & Casey Dixon
Phoebe Public Relations
AMERICUS, Ga. – Six years after a devastating tornado changed the lives of the people in Americus and surrounding counties, the last remnants of the region’s temporary community hospital have been demolished.
An F-3 tornado, packing winds close to 140 mph tore through South Georgia on March 1, 2007. Two people died. Storm damage ran into the millions. One of the structural casualties was the community hospital, then known as Sumter Regional Hospital. The hospital received irreparable damage and had to be demolished.
Cogim units, previously used only for military housing, were assembled into a 70,000 sq. ft., 70-bed interim medical complex that served as the hospital until a permanent facility could be built. In October 2008, Phoebe Putney Health System responded to a request from the Americus and Sumter County Hospital Authority to be a partner in rebuilding the Sumter hospital, which was renamed Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. The new facility opened to patients in December 2011.
“It is a bittersweet moment because the temporary facility served us well, but we are very happy with our brand new permanent facility,” said Keith Petersen, CEO of Phoebe Sumter. “The partnership we shared with FEMA and GEMA went a long way in ensuring that our community had the healthcare support it needed as we awaited the completion of our new facility. Our new location and the great facilities have made access to physicians and services much better for the residents of Sumter County. Community support has been tremendous.”
Demolition of the temporary hospital is expected to be finished in the next few weeks. Plans for the site of the temporary hospital, which is owned by the Americus Sumter County Hospital Authority, have not been finalized.