Walton fighting Eastside on center
Hospitals spar over Loganville facility

SNELLVILLE - A neighboring hospital is opposing Emory Eastside's bid to build an imaging center in Loganville, Eastside officials said this week.

Emory Eastside filed an application with the Georgia Department of Community Health for a Certificate Of Need (CON) seeking approval to build an imaging center in Loganville in May 2007. In turn, Walton Regional Medical Center has filed an opposition to Eastside's CON with GDCH.

Despite the opposition, the GDCH approved the Snellville-based hospital's CON last month. After the CON was approved, Walton Medical Center, based in Monroe, filed an appeal, which means Emory Eastside can not proceed with the planning and construction until the appeals process is completed. This process is expected to take between eight and 12 months, officials say.

"Emory Eastside is disappointed in Walton Medical Center's decision to appeal the CON, which will delay the delivery of needed healthcare services to Loganville," said Dustin Greene, Chief Operating Officer and manager of this project. "The Department of Community Health approved the CON after a detailed review of the data and despite Walton Medical Center's previous opposition, and we were anxious to break ground and get this imaging center open."

Greene added that Walton recently filed an extension for its replacement hospital CON, which allows them to delay construction until December 2010.

"Looking at the growth in both Gwinnett and Walton County, we believe there is an immediate need for the services we plan to provide.

"Emory Eastside is committed to meet the needs of these growing communities and is concerned about these delays."

Walton officials could not be reached for comment.