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Photos Cameron Flaich

On October 17th 2019, Harbin Clinic celebrated the ribbon cutting for their new building in front of staff, community leaders and many more who are invested in the development of the Bartow community. Located right next door to the main clinic in Cartersville at 200 Gentilly Boulevard, the newest addition to the Harbin family will house mainly pediatrics and the women’s center. With the expansion comes many new and exciting opportunities for physicians and patients alike. The growth of Harbin Clinic in Bartow can only mean a growing and thriving community.

We had the opportunity to chat with a few of those attending the event including Dr. Maxwell Prempeh, Interventional Cardiologist and Assistant Medical Director for Bartow County. Dr. Prempeh is excited about the new development and what it could bring to Bartow. He says “Harbin has a big presence here in Bartow and it’s growing. I think that we are focusing on providing good quality care for multiple medical services here in Bartow, and what that means for our patients is that they don’t have to go anywhere else to get it. The one thing we are always looking at is what we don’t have and how could Harbin try to fulfill those needs.” It’s that kind of thinking that brought us the women’s center. Dr. Prempeh continues “We can get more providers and offer more services. We like to work with our local hospital as well, Cartersville Medical Center, but I think the biggest thing here is the growth aspect. We have always had the women’s center and they have always been offering quality care to the community, but opening up this building allows it to expand.” Expansion was most definitely a buzz word of the event. The ribbon cutting offered the community to come together and celebrate the progress that Harbin has made, Dr. Prempeh calls the event a “landmark event. We are always looking for new and exciting things, and I think it’s just going to be a nice event to show that Harbin is truly contributing to Bartow County.”

The ribbon cutting event was organized, partially by Harbin but also by the Cartersville- Bartow Chamber of Commerce. It became of the events in the Chamber’s “Business After Hours” series that they have been continuing over the last several years. CEO of the Chamber, Cindy Williams gave opening remarks and also took the time to give her point of view about the event. “Harbin Clinic is a fantastic partner in this community. Not just with the Chamber, but the Bartow County as a whole and even in the neighboring communities. So any time that we have the opportunity to celebrate the openings, expansions, the good things that our business partners are doing in Bartow County, we hope that it brings an awareness to their good will, their investment in Bartow County but also that people will recognize the wonderful services that they have available.” Celebrating business is what the Chamber of Commerce does best so it was no wonder that Williams’ open remarks brought praises to Harbin Clinic’s impact on the community.

After a warm welcome to the wind-blown guests outside of the new building, Williams brought attention to the quality of Harbin and the communities they serve. “Cartersville and Bartow County are just a fantastic place to do business, I can assure you of that. We see this community growing on such a broad level. Many different industries and many different types of business, sizes of business and many different people coming in. We are so proud of the diversity of industry and the diversity of people that are coming here and investing in our community. Harbin Clinic is truly leading the way when we talk about that. Now, you get to see the new facility. We can’t say thank you enough to the leadership of Bartow County for investing in such an incredible way. We talk a lot in economic development about the financial investment, the bricks and mortar investment, but to me, in my role what I enjoy as much, if not more, is the investment in the people and the investment in the broader community well being. I can assure you, because we have celebrated so many times just in my short tenure here, that Harbin Clinic is one that we consistently see investing in the well being of our entire community. So thank you on behalf of the Chamber and all those here to day on behalf of what you are doing.” After some small housekeeping, Williams introduced the CEO of Harbin Clinic, Kenna Stock. “[She] has been just wonderful leadership for this organization if you take any minute to look at Harbin Clinic and what they are accomplishing, not just in Bartow County, but the tremendous growth that they are experiencing throughout our region it is easy to see that it comes from great leadership.”

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Harbin is expanding like crazy, with offices all over North Georgia, they have truly become a household name. Stock began by thanking the community, physicians, and the team that backs them up for making Harbin possible, “I really wish I could take credit but really, the growth in Cartersville is because of all of you that live here in this community. But, most especially our leaders are our physicians. They are the owners of this company, they govern this company, they let us help them in the professional leadership of this company but without their investment, without their vision, and without their dedication to the patients that we serve, we wouldn’t be here today. But it isn’t just the physicians because they couldn’t do that without a great group of people standing by their side, surrounding them with a great team. So for those Harbins that are in our midst, our physicians hooray for you, but a great shout out to our team because without our team, I think our physicians would be the first to say that we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t see the patients that we see, the patients that we serve, so for those of you that will live in this beautiful new building, I know we are really excited about a new building. There is lots to celebrate. Thanks to Ben Simmons and his team at Harbin that made this bricks and mortar stand up the way it is and look so great inside and out. But what patients come because we have great people that are here to really bring alive what we say to our patients that we care completely.”

Stock also took a moment after the ribbon cutting to share her excitement about the perks of the new building and looking forward. “I think that number one that there is just a natural connection between women’s services and children. I think bringing those two together in such close proximity is just convenient for patients, it allows it to be just an easier experience. I think having better parking is also such an important part of it. But, I think as we think about impacting the community, of course we are thrilled that patients choose us in the best of times and in the worst of times but what we really want to do is impact the quality of life, whatever life is. So, as we grow with this community. People ask us all the time what our plan to grow is and really what we have been so fortunate and honored is that we have been able to grow with the communities that we serve and so we hope that we are always living up to our brand promise which is that we care completely and so we plan to do exactly that to grow in the community.”

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The remarks before the actual ribbon cutting closed with Dr. Tammy Williams who has been serving at Harbin since 2002. As a resident of the new building, she offered those in attendance a look into what kind of opportunities she is most excited about. “ We are very excited about the growth that we are experiencing in Bartow County. We absolutely consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to care for your families from birth until they make it over to our offices in pediatrics. We love to watch your children grow, to watch your families expand and we just think so highly of all of you. We don’t take it lightly when you come in to our office to be a part of our team to help take care of your families. We are excited about our new building. For those who have seen it, it’s been really nice for us to have a little more room to expand and to provide more services and to see more patients but it also will allow us to grow in the other building that we already have with our family practice and other specialties that we offer. We just want to thank you so much for coming out to celebrate with us. We have really enjoyed being able to move forward in the community and we enjoy being a part of this community. We know that there just could be a better place to live and work than Bartow County and Cartersville.”

The community truly showed up to show their support with those in attendance such as the current Mayor of Cartersville,  Matt Santini and his mayoral competition: Nicole Butler and Barbara Jackson. Chief Medical Officer of Harbin Clinic, Dr. Charles Edward McBride, and of course several physicians and staff of the clinic came out as well. Business owners and Chamber members made the event full of diverse members from every corner of the community. It really proves that the backbone of the growth of Bartow is the support that comes from its members. Harbin Clinic has proved to be one of the most prominent supporters of Bartow and it’s hard to imagine the community without the care and quality that they provide and the community with only benefit from the newest addition to Harbin Clinic.

Ashlee Bagnell is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where she received her BA in English. She spends her time writing (mostly) Bartow stories at Noble & Main. When she isn’t writing for the magazine, she can be found reading, drinking coffee, binge watching Netflix and HBO shows, drinking more coffee, and even sometimes acting with ACT I Inc., a community theatre based in Cartersville. She lives in Euharlee, Ga. with her family and her two senior adult dogs Milo and Charlie Brown.