Wellstar MCG Health celebrates progress on Wellstar Columbia County Hospital with ceremonial groundbreaking

People in hard hats with shovels in front of large mound of dirt
Written by Lisa Kaylor

With a mound of red dirt piled behind them and wearing a hard hat, Brian P. Kemp, Governor of Georgia lifted a purple-bowed shovel full of gray dirt Monday morning, ceremonially breaking ground on the Wellstar Columbia County Medical Center.

Joining him in this symbolic event were Georgia First Lady Marty Kemp, Candice L. Saunders, CEO of Wellstar Health System, University of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue; and Ralph Turner, president of Wellstar MCG Health, Brooks A. Keel, President of Augusta University, Doug Duncan, Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, and other esteemed dignitaries, to commemorate construction of the new hospital and medical office building.

They were among the first to sign a purple beam with a Wellstar logo commemorating the momentous event.

The eight-foot-long ceremonial beam will next travel to the Wellstar MCG Health campus so team members who provided input on the facility’s design can also sign it.

“Today’s groundbreaking is a great symbol of the incredible partnership between the state, local and private sector leaders and what is being done every day to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare to Georgians throughout the state,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “Through this partnership, Columbia County and the surrounding rural area will be able to experience innovative care and the state will benefit from the generations of new minds that will be molded to provide care in the years to come.”

When the Wellstar Columbia County Medical Center and the adjacent medical office building open in 2026, the full-service acute care hospital will feature 100 inpatient beds; an emergency department planned to be a Level II trauma center; a surgical platform that will include operating rooms, cath labs, interventional radiology and endoscopy; and a 90,000-square-foot medical office building that will include primary care, women’s health and other specialties.

Wellstar Columbia County Medical Center will bring the world-class care already provided at Wellstar MCG Health to the residents of Columbia County and the surrounding areas. The new hospital’s close proximity to I-20 will make accessing that care more convenient and create more jobs for the community.

“I can’t stress enough how important this partnership is to the people of Columbia County as well as the state of Georgia,” said Chancellor Sonny Perdue. “This facility will expand access to quality healthcare, create more opportunities for students, and prove to be a huge turning point in medical provision in Georgia.”

Wellstar is a nonprofit community health system whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of every person it serves. The 11-hospital health system has a deep and long-standing dedication to serving diverse communities, those in need and underserved Georgians.

“At Wellstar MCG Health, our mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of every person we serve,” Turner said. “We look forward to continuing to work with our community partners in ensuring the patients and the community we serve have the best care possible.”

Wellstar has committed to invest more than $800 million in capital expansion across Richmond and Columbia counties. Wellstar Columbia County Medical Center will complement and expand the world-class resources that are already provided at Wellstar MCG Health.