ARMC's Oconee Health Campus aims to enhance patient experience

As healthcare-delivery systems are in a state of constant change, Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center is keeping pace with the development of a new facility in nearby Oconee County that touts a different — and better — way to provide many health-related services.


Located at the corner of Jennings Mill and Virgil Langford roads, the Oconee Health Campus will offer a different way of providing the same services to patients.

“Athens Regional has seen where health care is moving, and we’ve seen the need for a more retail-like healthcare experience for our patients, something that brings healthcare closer to home for our patients,” said Delena Brockmann, executive director of the Oconee Health Campus. “So to meet that need of our patients, we want to deliver a better experience, and do that through a more efficient visit and easier access to our outpatient services by introducing our Oconee Health Campus.”

The 98,000-square-foot outpatient and ambulatory facility is currently being constructed, with the first facility — known as Building 100 – set to open in Spring 2017, and the second facility — called Building 200 — set to open next summer. When both buildings are up and running, it is expected the Oconee Health Campus will employ between 75 and 100 people in all facets of healthcare.

Brockmann says that Building 100 will include a retail pharmacy, an urgent care facility, an outpatient lab and outpatient imaging center, physician practices (which will include family practice, pediatrics and internal medicine) and a café/restaurant.

Building 200 will be highlighted by an outpatient rehabilitation center, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation facilities, a breast health center and a comprehensive women’s health center.

“It’s going to be so awesome and it’s going to be different,” Brockmann said. “We understand very clearly the patient experience is very important, so we want to deliver an experience that people aren’t used to around here.”

Besides providing important healthcare services to Athens, Oconee County and surrounding areas, the development of the Oconee Health Campus is expected to make things at Piedmont Athens Regional a little less crowded, as patients won’t have to go to the hospital on Prince Avenue for certain services if they would prefer to go to Oconee County.

“We hear from some of our patients that it’s hard to navigate this (Athens Regional) campus,” Brockmann said. “With the Oconee Health Campus, we open up space for our higher acuity patients at the hospital. Our outpatients can be in an outpatient facility. Sometimes there’s no need for them to be in the hospital, but that’s where we’ve had our services. This will free up space and services at the hospital.”

And the Oconee Health Campus represents an excellent path for expansion.

“This gives us an opportunity to grow,” Brockmann said. “For example, our Breast Health Center needs to grow, so this is an opportunity. We have a need to expand this service to offer the best mammography to our patients and this is an opportunity to meet the needs of the patient.”

The construction of the Oconee Health Campus has been particularly meaningful to Brockmann, who was raised in Oconee County.

“As an Oconee County native, it’s been really exciting to watch this get built from the ground up,” she said. “This gives me an opportunity to lead a portion of our healthcare in the community where I grew up.

“As a second-generation Oconee Countian with a son who’s third-generation Oconee County, it’s been a meaningful project to work on, knowing some of the healthcare needs of people in that county and in surrounding counties will met by us. It’s been very rewarding and I’m super-excited to be able to serve in the county where I grew up.”

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