Federal officials tour upgraded hospital in Lithonia

Advisors to President Joe Biden recently made a stop in Lithonia to tour an $11 million expansion at Emory Hillandale Hospital.

On April 24, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond was joined by Tom Perez, senior advisor to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House; Angela Ramirez, deputy chief of staff, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Congressman Hank Johnson; and Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble, among others at Emory Hillandale Hospital, where $11 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allowed for the expansion of the hospital’s emergency room, renovation of its intensive care unit, and replacement of its computed tomography (CT) scanner.

Thurmond and DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted in October 2022 to expand and renovate parts of Emory Hillandale Hospital following the closure of WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, which left much of eastern DeKalb County without a primary hospital provider, stated officials.

“This innovative partnership between DeKalb County government and Emory Hillandale Hospital is unique, almost one-of-a-kind,” said Thurmond. “When WellStar closed, it was a traumatic moment that precipitated a major health care delivery crisis through metro-Atlanta, and it encouraged us to form this partnership.”

Thurmond said that $4.5 million was appropriated to expand the emergency department; $4.7 million was used to renovate the hospital’s intensive care unit; $1.7 million was used to replace the CT scanner that had fallen into disrepair; and $1 million was used to start a hospital-based violence prevention program.

Now, said Cobble, is the time to spread the word and get more residents access to and involved with the investments and new programs offered through Hillandale Hospital.

“Our city’s community engagement team has partnered with the hospital’s community engagement team to make sure our community knows about these resources available to them,” said Cobble. “We need to take this new violence prevention program to our students at our schools. We’re going to make sure this isn’t the only place we hear this success story; we’re going to spread the news throughout Stonecrest and DeKalb County and let folks know about the good things going on here.”

After touring the facilities, Perez said the work done to upgrade Emory Hillandale Hospital was “remarkable.”

“It was eye-opening and inspiring because this community has made remarkable use of the millions we have discussed to make sure people can have access to healthcare,” Perez continued. “I can’t imagine being in the middle of the pandemic and having a hospital close down so quickly. You had to step up, and with those rescue plan dollars, you were able to step up in remarkable ways.”

Emory Hillandale Hospital is located at 2801 DeKalb Medical Parkway in Lithonia. For more information, visit

https://www.emoryhealthcare.org/locations/hospitals/emory-hillandale-hospital.

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