Ribbon cut at Phoebe Sumter

Phoebe executives, staff and community leaders prepare to cut the ribbon on the new facility. / Allen Carter

It's been a big weekend for Phoebe. A day after getting clearance to purchase Palmyra Medical Center, they held a ribbon cutting for their new hospital in Sumter County.

More than four years after a tornado swept through Americus killing two people and destroying the hospital, the new one is open for business.

"By in large our community has rebuilt and the hospital was the last piece of that rebuilding puzzle that we had to accomplish and today we are celebrating that completion," said Americus Mayor Barry Blount.

The finishing touches have been put on the new Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. The state of the art hospital will officially be open for business next Friday.

"It's a 76 bed hospital, all private rooms," said hospital CEO Keith Petersen. "We're also environmentally friendly. Rainwater becomes recycled for watering the grass and the trees et cetera in the area."

When you take a look at the reception area's here at the hospital, you're not going to see a whole lot of paper files. That's because the hospital's aim is to go completely digital with patient records, and they are one of the first hospitals in the country to do it.

"Obviously we have the highest technology that is possible, but we also have a total focus on customer service. We expect that our patients will have a very satisfying experience when they come here," said Petersen.

Many of the workers who will fill this hospital have been around since before the tornado.

"It's been a slow process thinking that we're going to get here. But I've told a lot of people that we should have wrote a book about all of this but we just didn't have time to do it. It took us three and a half years but we are finally here," said Denise Burgess.

And that's what made Saturday all the more special.

"It's like climbing a hill and you get to put your flag down and victory, right? That's how it feels inside today anyway," said Susan Bruns.