A million-dollar gift from Aflac Chairman Dan Amos and his wife, Kathelen, will allow Piedmont Columbus Regional to put 36 new beds in the old Doctors Hospital building, according to a news release Monday morning.
The space will be used for COVID-19 patients. It is expected to renovated and ready in about two weeks, a Piedmont Columbus Regional spokesperson tells News 3.
The project will cost $2 million. The Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation is seeking to match the donation, which will fund expedited renovation for patients on the fifth floor at former Doctor’s Hospital Building.
Being in the insurance business, I have kind of been involved in seeing what’s going on in Japan and what’s going on,” Dan Amos said Monday morning. “We have not seen the worst. It is coming. And it will be here in the next three weeks. And I totally expect — and am hoping that it will not happen — that these rooms will be totally filled with sick patients that are part of this community.”
There is a great need to isolate COVID-19 patients to provide specialized care and avoid possible cross-contamination with patients being treated for non-COVID-19 ailments, Piedmont Columbus Regional CEO Scott Hill said. “This $1 million donation from Dan and Kathelen Amos enables us to address this need, which will very likely save lives, As the COVID-19 virus continues to impact areas across the nation, we are extremely grateful to community leaders like the Amos family, who have always been there for the Columbus community.”
Dan Amos said his hope was the beds never get used, but years of experience tell him otherwise.
“Think of this as a hurricane,” Dan Amos said. “You know how the weather is beautiful and you are saying there’s no way that hurricane’s coming? You just don’t believe it. Well, sure enough, a couple of days later when they tell you it will be here. It’s there. What the professionals are telling us … is it’s coming.”
Mayor Skip Henderson praised Amos and his wife for the gift.
“Despite this time of unprecedented need for social distancing, this too is a time of unprecedented need for the community to come together and help one another in any number of ways,” said Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson. “By providing this gift that will enable healthcare professionals to treat more COVID-19 patients in a safer and healthier environment, the Amos family’s personal commitment to our community cannot be overstated.”
If you wish to donate to help the Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation match the $1 million gift, you can click here.