Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 11 for its Center for Advanced Pediatrics slated to open in 2018.

The site for the 260,000  8-story state-of-the art facility is at I-85 and North Druid Hills in Brookhaven and will be able to be seen from the interstate when completed.

Artist rendering of the the Center for Advanced Pediatrics. (CHOA)

“We are so excited to have Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta here and see this as an anchor for the south of the city,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “The fact Children’s selected our city for this center and for other projects in the pipeline is a source of great pride for us.”

Councilmember Joe Gebbia, who represents the area where CHOA is located, said he was excited about positive economic impact CHOA is having and will have on the city.

“The relationship the city has with CHOA is exceptional,” he said. “It’s for the kids.”

CHOA CEO Donna Hyland said the idea for an Center for Advanced Pediatrics, which will house clinics and specialists under one roof, came about after speaking with parents of children who were patients.

She told the story of Nora Chappell, 3, who was born with severe heart defects and sees several specialists, including cardiology, neurology, sleep, pulmonology, urology and orthopedics. The Center for Advanced Pediatrics will provide Nora, and her parents Sara, who participated in one of the focus groups for the new facility, and Jerry a “one-stop-shop” to visit many of her doctors in one setting.

And although an appointment may last 30-45 minutes, Nora’s parents were forced to include two-hour travel time to take care of her special needs while traveling.

“We have to do something to help these families … and that’s really what this building is all about,” Hyland said. “We want to help relieve the stress on families and provide more coordinated care.”

At the Jan. 11 groundbreaking for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Center for Advanced Pediactrics were, from left, Brookhaven City Councilmember John Park; Dr. Patrick Frias, COO of CHOA; Brookhaven Councilmember Linley Jones; Paul Bowers, chair of CHOA Foundation; CHOA Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Goldman; Brookhaven Councilmeber Joe Gebbia; Nora Chappell and her father, Jerry; CHOA CEO Donna Hyland; Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst; DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond; DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johson; and Brookhaven Councilmember Bates Mattison. Click to enlarge. (Photo Dyana Bagby)

CHOA said this if the first building of its kind in Georgia and is expected to attract more than 100,000 patient visits in its first year. There will be 457 physicians and employees working at the facility where research will also be pursued on each of the eight floors.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.