BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – Ground is officially broken on a new St. Joseph’s/Candler medical campus in Richmond Hill. Developers say this addition is crucial as Bryan County’s population is set to grow in the coming years. 

The new 1,500-square-foot building with primary care, urgent care and specialists is in the works in south Bryan County. This will be the first phase of the Heartwood development, which will house over 220,000 square feet of health care facilities once completed. 

Developers say they don’t want people to have to drive to Savannah for health care anymore. 

“St. Joseph’s/Candler embarked on a health care access about three years ago,” said Gregory Menke, the director of Property and Construction for St. Joseph’s/Candler. “And the purpose of that is to really bring health care to the communities where people work and live and give them access to good health care.

“Technology today allows us to have health care, so people don’t have to go to Savannah to our two hospitals.”

This comes as Bryan County expects to see big population growth in the next few years with construction on its Hyundai Megasite, which will employ over 8,000 workers, well underway. 

Developers say they will continue to expand as the population grows. 

“We believe very strongly in bringing health care to where people are. So, as the counties grow and as these developments continue to grow, you will see us expand our health care programs into those areas, so people do not have to leave their home to access good quality health care,” says Menke. 

Developers have also teamed up with Raydient Properties to create a new holistic care initiative with wellness classes and health screenings that will be right across the street from the hospital. 

“Maybe you’re prediabetic, you come in, you take some classes, you get that under control, but maybe it escalates, now we need to go in and get it taken care of,” said Sarah Hanson, a BeHealth navigator for St. Joseph’s/Candler. “So, having that ability to access it literally across the street, and for me to coach and counsel folks, to just be able to send them there is pivotal.”

The first phase of medical care at this site is set to open in February 2024.