The newly merged Northside Hospital and Gwinnett Health System healthcare organizations will begin operations as one unit on Aug. 28.

Northside, which has its flagship hospital in Sandy Springs’ “Pill Hill” Medical Center, will see its brand and administration extended. Most of the changes will be on the Gwinnett side, including renaming its hospitals in Duluth and Lawrenceville with the Northside brand.

The flagship Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs. (Special)

“Patients of the Gwinnett Health System will notice virtually no changes in their regimen of treatment and care,” said Northside Hospital in a press release. “Patient and family care is the central priority of the two systems, which are led by strong medical professionals with great passion for healthcare service.”

The main immediate change for Gwinnett patients is the billing coming from Northside. The merger is being “conducted gradually,” according to the press release.

Debbie Mitcham, Northside’s longtime chief financial officer, will serve as president and CEO of the Gwinnett campuses.

Northside already operates hospitals in Canton and Cumming, and both systems had a variety of other offices and services. The mega-merger results in Northside having a total of 1,636 inpatient beds, more than 250 outpatient locations, nearly 21,000 employees and 3,500 physicians on staff, according to the press release.

Originally proposed in 2015, the merger was long-delayed, especially under review by the Federal Trade Commission. Approval finally came in February.

For more information about the merger, see

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.