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'Only the beginning'
St. Joseph’s/Candler opens new campus in Richmond Hill
Heartwood campus 1
St. Joseph's/Candler President Paul Hinchey speaks at the inauguration of the group's new campus at Heartwood.
Heartwood SJC campus 2
Shown is the master plan for the St. Joseph's/Candler campus at Heartwood.
Heartwood campus 3

At a ceremony spared by Friday’s afternoon rain, St. Joseph’s Candler officially inaugurated the first phase of a new campus in Richmond Hill, as part of the hospital’s plans to expand healthcare access in a growing Bryan County.

The 15,000 square feet facility is located in Heartwood at Richmond Hill, a vibrant mixed-use community on Belfast Keller Road. The next phase of construction is set to arrive in “four years,” according to Paul Hinchey, the president and CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler.

“This is only the beginning,” Hinchey said. “This represents the first step of expanding healthcare access to Richmond Hill and Bryan County. The campus will grow as the needs of the community grow and we are excited to be a part of the Heartwood community.”

Local officials from Bryan County, including Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter and Commission Chairman Carter Infinger, were on hand to give celebratory remarks.  

“This facility represents a significant investment in the health and well-being of our citizens,” said Mayor Carpenter, who also praised St. Joseph’s/Candler’s wider involvement with the Richmond Hill area, such as through aiding Richmond Hill High School’s medical science program.  

“This collaborative spirit is vital to the health of any community, and at this St. Joseph’s (Candler) excels.”

Chairman Infinger echoed Mayor Carpenter’s comments, saying that the facility offers a “peace of mind” for Bryan County residents.

“For those who move here, they can get their health care here, they can see their doctor here,” Infinger said.

“It helps prepare our county for growth,” said Infinger, as healthcare is set to play an increasing role in Bryan County’s burgeoning economic development – for both local healthcare workers and new transplants moving to the area. 

“Unless you have healthcare, Georgia’s not going to be competitive, Bryan County’s not going to be competitive,” Paul Hinchey said.

Father Joe Smith, former chaplain at St. Joseph’s/Candler and formerly of St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Richmond Hill, arrived to bless the facility near its outdoor garden and reflective pool.

His presence was appreciated by Hinchey, who touched on St. Joseph’s/Candler’s “holistic” approach to healthcare.

“There’s the technical component, the diagnostic component, and the emotional and spiritual component (of healthcare),” Hinchey said.

“All of those are integrated here.” 

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