State partners with Piedmont Healthcare/UPS for COVID-19 surge capacity

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp meets with staff at Piedmont Healthcare’s Marcus Tower in Atlanta. Contributed photo
Atlanta, GA – Georgia has partnered with Piedmont Healthcare to provide additional hospital capacity to treat COVID-19 patients during the current surge in cases. Gov. Brian Kemp and Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare announced the partnership Tuesday.

“I’m very grateful to Kevin Brown and the entire Piedmont Healthcare team for their willingness to partner with the state of Georgia and provide this critical resource to patients and surrounding hospitals,” Kemp said in making the announcement. “These hospital beds will provide additional surge capacity for healthcare facilities in metro-Atlanta and ensure COVID-19 patients receive the essential care they need.”

The partnership includes the initial usage of 62 beds at the Marcus Tower of the Piedmont Atlanta campus with the capability to scale up based on demand. The Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital was initially set to open on Aug. 1, but went ahead and opened in April, four months early, in order to make more intensive care units available during the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, Piedmont Healthcare noted that additional capacity could be utilized if needed over the tower’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors. The tower was made possible through an initial donation of $75 million from Bernie and Billi Marcus via The Marcus Foundation. Local philanthropists Brett and Louise Samsky and their son, Connor, also made an $18 million donation to establish the tower’s Brett and Louise Samsky Lobby and the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center.

“Our mission as a nonprofit healthcare system is to serve patients in our communities and the new Marcus Tower will incorporate the latest technology and larger patient rooms to provide for enhanced care, among numerous other benefits,” Brown said. “Opening the tower early will help to meet the needs of our communities – and all Georgians – and provide the highest quality of care possible.”

The state will leverage existing medical staffing contracts to provide the necessary personnel to Piedmont Atlanta throughout the usage of the facility, which is expected to be fully operational within the next week.

Kemp toured the facility prior to announcing the partnership. He followed this up Wednesday with the announcement Wednesday that Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) is leveraging an existing state contract with Georgia-based UPS to deliver personal protective equipment to medical facilities across Georgia.

“This is another example of partnership between the State and a Georgia-based company that will have a direct impact on the battle against COVID-19,” Kemp said. “The team at UPS has the capability to deliver the PPE that our hospital workers need to fight COVID-19 efficiently, and we could not be more grateful for their partnership.”

“UPS is proud to support the State of Georgia, applying our expertise and utilizing our flexible network in order to deliver PPE and life-saving devices throughout the state and to those most in need,” said George Willis, UPS President of U.S. Operations, including UPS Airlines.

UPS delivered three mailing system terminals to the GEMA/HS RSS warehouse this week and is training state employees to operate the systems.

“The existing partnership that we have with UPS allows us to streamline the delivery operations for PPE by shipping directly to the customers,” said GEMA/HS director GEMA/HS Homer Bryson. “It just makes sense to leverage their existing logistical and distribution networks so we can get supplies where they’re needed faster and free up personnel to prepare Georgia for any other emergencies, especially since hurricane season began in June.”

President Donald Trump was scheduled to visit the UPS hub on Wednesday afternoon to discuss his transportation and infrastructure agenda.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp tours with staff at Piedmont Healthcare’s Marcus Tower in Atlanta. Contributed photo

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