Community Health Network officials and others involved with the construction project scoop shovel of dirt during a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion to Community Surgery Center South on Sept. 12. The expansion will add more operation and patient rooms, as well as renovate the processing/cleansing area.


The demand keeps growing and growing.

More people have come to Community Hospital South seeking surgical care every year. In 2022, nearly 12,000 patients had surgery at the hospital, and this year, they’re more than 380 ahead of that pace.

Something had to be done, said Britt Cross, executive medical director of surgical services at Community Surgery Center South.

“We’re maxed out,” she said. “We just don’t have any more space. It’s a good problem to have, but still a problem.”

Hospital leaders have taken the necessary steps to meet the increasing need. On Sept. 12, they broke ground on an expansion to its surgery center, marking the start of a campaign to help better meet the needs of local patients.

The construction project adds more operating rooms, more patient rooms and a remodeled processing and cleaning room, in addition to redoing the front desk area.

Officials anticipate the demand for surgical services to only keep growing, said Dr. Chadwick Strain, medical director at Community Surgery Center South.

“Over the next 12 to 15 months, I look forward to watching the construction of two new operating rooms, with the capacity to manage more complex cases and the size to handle ever-changing technology,” he said.

At Community Surgery Center South, patients can get a wide range of care, including general surgery, breast, colon/rectal, gynecology, neurosurgery, oral/maxillofacial, orthopedics/sports medicine and gastroenterology, among others. Hospital leadership has been monitoring the potential for expansion for years as more patients came to the hospital.

When Community Health announced in 2022 its partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, considered one of the most respected cancer care centers in the world, patient load only increased.

“We’re operating at max capacity. In order to better serve the patients on the southside, we needed to expand our services,” Cross said. “With our recent partnership with MD Anderson, we’ve really seen an influx of oncology patients, and we’re committed to getting them seen sooner rather than later. It’s really out of necessity to ensure we could provide essential services at this location.”

The expansion project adds two new fully integrated operating rooms to the surgery center, giving the hospital nine total. Seven new patients rooms will be added to the 36 existing ones.

Work on the sterile processing department will allow hospital staff to more efficiently sterilize equipment.

Construction is expected to last 12 to 15 months

“By the end, the outside may look much different, but it will be the same great care inside this new construction footprint,” Strain said.