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“Only the beginning”: St. Joseph’s/Candler opens new campus in Richmond Hill
The Heartwood location is set to open on Feb. 26 for urgent care.
paul hinchey
Paul Hinchey, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Candler, speaking at Friday's opening ceremony of the SJ/C Heartwood campus in Richmond Hill. (Photo/Andrea Gutierrez)

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 sq. ft. facility, set to open on Feb. 26, 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 & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler. 

“This is only the beginning,” said Hinchey. “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 wellbeing 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.” 

A closer look   

St. Joseph’s/Candler purchased 27 acres from Raydient Places + Properties, just across the street from The Outfitters at Heartwood. J.E. Dunn was the construction partner on the project, according to Greg Menke, the Director of Construction and Property at St. Joseph’s Candler.

“It’s part of our access strategy, putting medical facilities where people live, work, and play,” Menke added. 

Representatives from St. Joseph’s/Candler say that the hospital anticipates constructing up to 5 buildings at the Heartwood campus over the next 10-20 years, in accordance with the needs of the growing Heartwood/Richmond Hill community. 

The hospital is planning on being able to provide up to 225,000 sq. ft. of medical office space with 960 parking spaces.    

The St. Joseph’s Candler-Heartwood Campus includes both urgent and primary care, with specialist providers in areas such as cardiology, neurology, podiatry, and OB/GYN set to arrive in the coming months. 

In addition, the Heartwood Campus will feature St. Joseph’s/Candler’s interactive Bē Health & Well-Being program, which aims to support healthy lifestyles for local residents through wellness classes such as yoga and other activities. 

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