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Officials cut ribbon on Kaiser Permanente expansion

The newly renovated Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center opened in March. State and local officials participated in a ribbon cutting for the $45 million construction project Friday. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)

The newly renovated Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center opened in March. State and local officials participated in a ribbon cutting for the $45 million construction project Friday. (Staff Photo: Johnny Jackson)

JONESBORO — The facility is nearly twice its previous size.

State and local officials gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday, congregating in front of the two-story brick behemoth of a building to celebrate the expansion of Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center in Jonesboro.

The newly renovated facility at 2400 Mt. Zion Parkway was a $45 million project that included a 64,000-square-foot addition and opened in March.

Spokeswoman Kerri Hartsfield-Johnson said a growing need in the Southern Crescent region spurred the center’s expansion to roughly 113,000 square feet.

She said the new wing helps the center accommodate more specialty care, operating partly as a 24/7 advanced care center. It also offers primary care, she said, noting the expansion is creating 40 new jobs in Clayton County.

State officials, including Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and members of the Clayton and Henry legislative delegations, spoke about the hallmark occasion.

The ceremony also included music selections by Mount Zion High’s jazz combo and Mount Zion Elementary’s chorus, which received a $500 donation on behalf of Kaiser Permanente.

Education and business leaders, too, joined local elected officials from both counties, who were invited to tour the renovated spaces.

Kerry Kohnen, president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, and Michael Doherty, executive medical director of The Southeast Permanente Medical Group Inc., welcomed guests to the ribbon cutting.

“At the Southwood CMC, our members now have access to an even wider array of health care services on a single campus, and they appreciate the added convenience,” said Kohnen.

Kaiser Permanente serves about a 200,000 clients throughout metro Atlanta and the Athens area with 1,400 employer groups, said Hartsfield-Johnson.

Henry and Clayton counties make up a significant hub for those clients, she said, adding clients in either county can go to Jonesboro or the Henry Towne Centre Medical Center, 1125 Town Center Village Drive in McDonough.