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PRATTVILLE — A 22-bed geriatric behavioral health unit to be built at Prattville Baptist Hospital is a $6.5 million investment and will create 30 jobs.

The construction will change the face of the hospital, which fronts South Memorial Drive, one of the city’s main streets.

The facility will provide psychological and behavioral care for older patients and will go into a new wing at the hospital. The inpatient program will treat mood, anxiety, psychotic, neurodegenerative growth and thought disorders.

 “Our pursuit of innovation and excellence is embedded in every advancement we make to give the people of Prattville and surrounding areas the very best health and wellness experience,” said Eric Morgan, CEO of Prattville Baptist.

The wing will be built in front of the hospital, next to the ambulance entrance for the emergency room. Construction will go forward in three phases; the new wing, a redesigned parking lot and a redesigned main entrance to the hospital.

The new entrance will be covered and will allow better handicapped access.

“When we were meeting with the architects, I thought we didn’t have enough room in front of the hospital to build the wing,” Morgan said. “But they are experts at finding and using space. The new entrance will make it much easier for our patients and visitors.”

PBH currently employs about 400 people, making it the second largest private employer in the county, behind International Paper.

Groundbreaking ceremonies were Friday morning.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at mroney@gannett.com.

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