North Georgia community opens ER after its hospital closes

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By: Associated Press
May 18, 2019

ELLIJAY, Ga. (AP) -- A north Georgia community has come up with a unique approach to emergency medicine.

WABE Radio reports that Gilmer County residents were concerned about three years ago when the local hospital prepared to close.

The station reports that not having a hospital can jeopardize the health of residents and can also scare off business owners who consider locating there.

The CEO of Piedmont Mountainside Hospital about 20 miles away saw an opportunity in the local facility's closing.

By opening a free-standing emergency room in Gilmer County, they could take pressure off Piedmont Mountainside's ER and hold on to their 30-35% market share in Gilmer County.

The emergency room opened about a year after the old hospital closed. WABE reports that it's among the first of its kind in the region.