Phoebe Putney breaks ground on new building

Physicians hope the new digestive diseases building attracts new gastroenterologists

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has been open about their desires to expand and on Tuesday they made one more step forward in that direction.

Tuesday, the hospital broke ground on its new Digestive Diseases Center in Albany in Meredyth Place. Officials say the $30 million project will help offset a shortage of gastroenterologists in the area given what they call a growing prevalence in Southwest Georgia of digestive diseases such as cancer of the stomach and colon.

"We are trying to bring more younger physicians into Albany so we can keep providing the best gastro services to the surrounding Albany communities," says Dr. Vithal Kusuma, Gastroenterologist at Albany Gastroenterology.

Phoebe Putney officials say the new Digestive Diseases Center will also bring close to 400 construction-related jobs to the area.

The hospital expects the building to be complete within 14 months.