GHA Member Hospital Happenings

Redmond Urgent Care Now Open in Rome

Redmond Urgent Care, in affiliation with Redmond Regional Medical Center, celebrated the ribbon cutting and community open house at their second location in Rome, 1810 Turner McCall Boulevard.  Redmond Urgent Care in East Rome is now officially open to see patients from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The first Redmond Urgent Care at 601 Shorter Avenue opened in January.

“We are thrilled to expand urgent care services to our neighbors in East Rome,” said John Quinlivan, Chief Executive Officer at Redmond Regional Medical Center.  “Our second Redmond Urgent Care location on Turner McCall Boulevard will continue Redmond’s tradition of providing the high-quality, compassionate care our community has come to know and trust.”

Redmond Regional Medical Center joint-ventured with SmartCare Medical Group to develop a frontline retail medical center in the heart of the community providing convenient, high-quality care for non-life-threatening injuries.

“With the expansion of Redmond Urgent Care to East Rome, we expand convenient access to high-quality, patient-focused care where citizens live and work,” said Samir Bhatia, CEO of SmartCare Medical Group.  “This expansion also allows the patients of Redmond Regional to immediately access the network of care when they need urgent medical care.”

Equipped with x-ray, laboratory services, and more, Redmond Urgent Care is available for medical needs that do not require a visit to the emergency department or in instances when a patient is unable to see their primary care physician. Licensed providers are also available to perform minor procedures like suturing.

Redmond Urgent care offers online check-in through the website  Here you can view current wait times and even check in online for a specific time to arrive.

With Redmond Urgent Care’s affiliation to Redmond Regional Medical Center, patients seen at Redmond Urgent Care can be easily connected with physicians within the hospital’s network of care should they need to be referred on to see a specialist for a chronic or more acute medical issues beyond the scope of urgent care.

Redmond Urgent Care has met all of the Urgent Care Association of America’s established standards and criteria for quality of patient care, safety, and scope of services.  Redmond Urgent Care has received the Accredited Urgent Care Designation, the highest level of distinction for urgent care centers by the Urgent Care Association of America.

For more information on Redmond Urgent Care, including when to visit an urgent care center, please visit

Emory Johns Creek Hospital First in Georgia to Receive ACR Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence Recognition

Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH) recently received designation from the American College of Radiology as a Diagnostic Imaging Center of Excellence™ (DICOE).EJCH is the only DICOE-recognized adult facility in the state of Georgia and the first Emory facility.

“This elite designation demonstrates our hospital and radiology department’s dedication to quality, safety and engagement,” says Howard Fleishon, MD, director of Community Radiology Specialists and EJCH’s chief of radiology services.

The distinction shows EJCH provides the highest levels of imaging care and exceeds standard accreditation requirements to identify best-quality imaging practices.

“We’re very proud of the hard work demonstrated by our radiology staff to receive this incredible designation,” says Hannah Henry, EJCH’s vice president of operations.

“Our team had to undergo a comprehensive assessment of the entire medical imaging practice, to include structure and outcomes, professional staff, technology, policies and procedures, image quality, safety, and patient results,” says Henry.

EJCH performs more than 75,000 radiology exams and procedures each year. Patients receive care from board-certified radiologists and technologists with advanced training in several imaging specialties.

“Our ultimate goal is to maintain a culture of continuous improvement where our patients receive Emory’s leading edge quality standards in our patient centered care environment,” says Fleishon.

For more information about EJCH visit or call 678-474-7000.

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Expands its Immunotherapy Treatment for Patients with Certain Cancers

ATLANTA— Northside Hospital Cancer Institute (NHCI) Immunotherapy Program now offers access to another chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapy for treatment of adult acute lymphoid leukemia and certain types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Kymriah® CAR T-cell therapy is made from a patient’s own white blood cells, the prescription cancer treatment is used in patients up to 25 years old who have acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that is either relapsing (went into remission, then came back) or is refractory (did not go into remission after receiving other leukemia treatments). It is also used in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma that has relapsed or is refractory after having at least two other kinds of treatment. 

“We’re targeting CAR T-cell therapy now to patients who have failed multiple rounds of conventional therapy,” said Scott Solomon, medical director of Northside’s Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Matched Unrelated Donor Program and Stem Cell Processing Laboratory. “These patients historically have had very poor outcomes, very low chances of even brief remissions and certainly no chances of a cure prior to CAR T-cell therapy. And now many of them are alive months or years after therapy.” 

Immunotherapy works by taking immune cells, genetically modifying them to be better tumor-fighting immune cells, multiplying them to great numbers (tens of thousands), and then infusing them into the patient where they can find and attack cancer. 

In 2018, NHCI became one of a select group of centers in the country to offer Yescarta™ CAR T-cell therapy for adult patients with certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

In addition to the two CAR T-cell therapies, NHCI participates in innovative clinical trials for CAR T-cell therapy in patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Immunotherapy trials are available for patients with AML and other hematologic malignancies utilizing technologies such as checkpoint inhibitors, bispecific T-cell engaging antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates.

NHCI has been doing immunotherapy for decades in the form of allogeneic stem cell transplantation, in which a donor’s bone marrow or blood is engineered and transplanted into a patient to cure aggressive blood cancers. Northside Hospital is nationally recognized for leukemia treatment and stem cell transplantation. For 10 consecutive years, the BMT Program at Northside has exceeded expected one-year survival outcomes for allogeneic transplants and is one of only two centers in the country (the only center in the Southeast) to do that. 

Such transplants represented the first definitive proof of the human immune system’s capacity to cure cancer. Now, through studying CAR T-cells, cancer researchers are developing new ways to strengthen and empower a patient’s own immune system. 

For more information about the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Immunotherapy Program, visit

Piedmont Atlanta Tower Reaches Topping Out Milestone

After breaking ground in January 2017, the Piedmont Atlanta Tower, Piedmont Healthcare’s expansion project, reached its topping out milestone – meaning that framing of the 16-story structure is complete. To mark the occasion for the project, which remains on-budget and on-schedule to open in late summer 2020, Piedmont held celebratory events on Wednesday for the design and construction team, employees and for approximately 80 major donors who have made donations of $100,000 or more to support the capital expansion project.

The tower will house Piedmont Heart Institute, which has one of two heart transplant programs in Georgia and is a top destination for cardiovascular care. The tower will include the new Marcus Heart and Vascular Center, made possible through a $75 million donation from The Marcus Foundation, and the tower also will feature the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center. Brett, Louise and Connor Samsky recently pledged $11 million to establish the Samsky Center.

Piedmont Healthcare CEO Kevin Brown, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital CEO Patrick Battey, M.D., and Jim Gorrie, CEO of Brasfield & Gorrie, the project’s general contractor, all gave speeches during the event.

“It is a testament to the talent of the team working on this project that after 27 months the project remains on budget and ahead of schedule, despite the challenging weather that we have endured,” Brown said. “When the project is complete, it will help us to continue to provide world-class cardiovascular care and cutting-edge treatments for untold thousands of patients from throughout the Southeast for years to come.”

“This milestone is the result of the hard work of our project team, client and trade partners, aided by a strong focus on innovation, collaboration, safety and self-perform,” said Brasfield & Gorrie CEO Jim Gorrie. “We are honored to continue our longstanding relationship with Piedmont Healthcare and deliver this transformative facility."

Piedmont Heart ranks in the top 5 percent in the country among cardiovascular organizations and is the only program in Atlanta consistently recognized with the Cardiac Care Excellence Award from Healthgrades – a mark of quality it has earned for nine years. Piedmont is an international leader in cardiovascular research, enabling patient access to innovative therapies not available elsewhere.

According to data released in 2018 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), Piedmont Atlanta ranks in the top 10 institutions in the country in Case Mix Index (CMI), which measures which hospitals have the sickest patients. Piedmont Atlanta was the highest-ranked community hospital in the United States by this measure.

“As the Case-Mix Index indicates, our hospital serves some of the sickest patients as a group in the country and, as a result, we have to continue to plan the ways to serve them,” Dr. Battey said. “As the tower project has progressed, we have been tying it into existing structures at Piedmont Atlanta, some of which were built more than 60 years ago, and upgrading certain components along the way. As each day grows closer to the opening of the tower, we continue to grow excited about the ways in which we will be able to better serve our patients.”

Phase II of the tower up-fit will begin in 2022 and one patient floor will be completed per year, except for 2026 when the final two floors will be built out. Phase I of the project will cost $450 million. When the project is complete in 2026, it will come at a cost of $603 million. The Piedmont Foundation has raised $110 million towards the $150 million fundraising goal it set for the tower.

The project is a culmination of dozens of partner companies led by CBRE as program manager, HKS, Inc. as architect, Brasfield & Gorrie as construction contractor, and Morris, Manning, and Martin as outside legal counsel. In addition, more than 1,000 people – patients, staff, neighbors and expansion leadership – provided input on the vision of the project through workshops and advisory meetings.

Children's Hospitals Week Began March 18

To shine a light on the importance of children’s hospitals and how donations help kids get the best care when they need it, The Children’s Hospital at Piedmont Columbus Regional is pleased to participate in the third annual national #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, scheduled for March 18-24. The Children’s Hospital at Piedmont Columbus Regional is one of 170 member Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals across North America participating in the weeklong initiative.

“The Piedmont Columbus Children’s Hospital has been made possible in large part because of the generosity of our CMN sponsors and donors. Over the past five years, gifts to support our local CMN hospital have been used to renovate and expand our care for children and train our pediatric care team so they can provide the best care for our community’s children,” said Aline Lasseter, Executive Director-Piedmont Columbus Regional Foundation. “Miracles are happening every day at Piedmont Columbus Children’s Hospital. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we’ll make sure that care continues for generations to come. We are truly blessed to have such a special place here and I hope everyone will help celebrate Children’s Hospital Week throughout the Chattahoochee Valley.”

The following activities encourage support for children’s hospitals:

  • Children’s Hospitals Week will kick-off with the 2019 CMN Champion Medal Ceremony honoring Brody Hester, born in 2018 weighing 1 lb. and 4 oz. and spent 98 days in the Miracle NICU. The ceremony will be held on Monday, March 18, at 3 p.m. in the Miracle Neonatal Intensive Care Unit conference room at the Piedmont Columbus Midtown Campus.  
  • Tune in to the #ChildrensHospitalsWeek Live-athon Wednesday, March 20, at 8 p.m. This exciting, live event will feature appearances by various celebrities and 10 kids who represent the 10 million kids treated annually at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Catch the action at
  • Start a Facebook fundraiser. Help raise critical funds for Piedmont Columbus Regional. Visit to get started.
  • Wear a bandage to show your support!  By wearing a bandage of your choice, taking a photo, and sharing it with the #ChildrensHospitalsWeek hashtag #for children’s hospitals you can demonstrate how much you care about our local children’s hospital and the amazing miracles the caregivers provide every day!
  • On March 20, Dairy Queen® locations across the nation will celebrate the first day of spring with their fourth annual Free Cone Day. Customers who visit a participating Dairy Queen location will receive a free small vanilla soft-serve cone just for coming in. Free Cone Day serves as an opportunity to raise critical funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and their local children’s hospital. Donations will be accepted throughout the day.

“With the third annual #ChildrensHospitalsWeek in 2019, we’re taking the opportunity to honor not only our Champions and partners, but also the hundreds of children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada who impact the lives of millions of children annually,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. “We’re reminded daily of the fact that contributions of all sizes add up to provide critical funding for pediatric medical equipment, services, research and charitable care, and that community donations are vital for local kids in need.”

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals treat 62 kids every minute. To make a donation to your local children’s hospital, click here.

Specialized Wound Care at Piedmont Newton Can Save Limbs

At Piedmont Newton Hospital, a dedicated team of providers with specialized training in wound care works with patients to address the chronic, non-healing wounds often caused by complications from diabetes. The multi-disciplinary team will examine your wound, determine why it is not healing, and create a treatment plan designed specifically for you. Every treatment plan includes the goal of preventing amputation.

The proceeds from the Piedmont Newton Hospital Auxiliary’s Concert and Hangar Party on Friday, April 26, will be used to purchase a Transcutaneous Oximetry (TCOM) for the Piedmont Newton Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center, a technology with the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of the estimated 10,000 Newton County residents who suffer from diabetes and who, as a result, are at risk of developing potentially dangerous foot ulcers. By having the equipment in the clinic, patients will no longer need to travel outside of the county to have this test performed. With continued support from our community, Piedmont Newton’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center’s Limb Salvage Program will be able to advance the care provided close to home.

Complications lead to amputations

Many individuals do not think of lower limb amputation as a complication from diabetes, however, research performed by the World Health Organization shows that those with diabetes are 10 times more likely to have a lower limb amputated than those who do not have diabetes.

Not only is diabetes the 10th-leading cause of death in the state of Georgia, but studies shows that 25 percent of people with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot ulcer in their lifetime. We also know that 85 percent of patients who undergo amputation started with a diabetic foot ulcer.

All diabetic patients are susceptible to non-healing diabetic foot ulcers because many develop nerve damage, known as neuropathy, in their feet, which lessens the ability to feel pain and discomfort from blisters, sores, calluses, or cuts on the feet. Poor circulation, again caused by the disease, slows the body’s delivery of red blood cells to a wound, slowing healing or preventing healing.

Diabetic foot ulcers and wounds can quickly develop into serious infections of the tissue and bone, called osteomyelitis. These deep infections can lead to amputation of the toes, foot, or even the lower leg, but if left untreated, the infection, called sepsis, can spread to the bloodstream  and become fatal.

However, a major amputation, which is considered an amputation below the knee or higher, also poses a great risk to a patient’s life expectancy. The estimated five-year survival rate of a major amputation for someone without diabetes is around 50 percent. Only 30 percent of those with diabetes who receive a major amputation are alive in five years.

Specialized care close to home

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 10,000 residents in Newton County have diabetes. Therefore, it is likely you know someone with the disease; someone who is at risk of developing a diabetic foot ulcer. Piedmont Newton’s Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center physicians and staff develop customized treatment plans that require multiple visits to monitor the healing progress, so it is important that patients can receive this care close to home.

One of the first things wound care physicians want to know about a diabetic ulcer is how much oxygen is reaching the wound. Using a TCOM, providers place oxygen sensors close to the area of the wound and receive an instant measurement of how much oxygen is being delivered to nearby tissue. The information is used to predict how well a wound may heal and assists the physician in determining the next steps for treatment.

To learn how you can support the Piedmont Newton Hospital Diabetic Limb Salvage program, visit

Interfaith Panel to Educate Community, Staff on End-of-Life Care in Johns Creek

Three Atlanta-area faith leaders will discuss their beliefs, rituals and traditions regarding end-of-life care at an event on Wednesday, Apr. 10 at Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH).

Attendees will learn about faith traditions founded on the Indian sub-continent, including: Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

“Emory is committed to a robust interfaith dialogue about spiritual health that encompasses a diversity of faiths and customs,” says Timothy Park, EdD, EJCH Director of Spiritual Health.

EJCH previously hosted an interfaith panel in October 2018 that taught about traditions in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

“Compassionate (palliative) end-of-life care is a sensitive, but critical topic that affects all of humanity,” says Park. “This multicultural event is a great opportunity for community members and staff to deepen their understanding of others’ beliefs and to equip them to best care for their fellow neighbors during an end-of-life experience.”

Geshe Ngawang Phende, Drepung Loseling Monastery; Manhar Valand, certified Hindu Chaplain; and Gulbarg “Gogi” Singh Basi, president of the Sikh Study Circle and founder of the Global Sikh Council , will serve as guest speakers.

The interfaith event will be held at EJCH in the Education Center on the hospital’s lower level from 2 – 3 p.m. on April 10.  It’s free and open to the community.

For more information about spiritual health at EJCH, call 678-474-7191 or go to  


AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary's Fill All Positions in Internal Medicine Residency Program

For the fifth year in its five-year history, the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program at St. Mary's Health Care System has filled all openings for its new class of medical residents.

The AU/UGA Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) was the first new graduate medical education program in Northeast Georgia in recent years and received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education in October 2016.

The new residents will begin practicing at St. Mary's on July 1 under the supervision of advanced resident physicians and physician faculty from the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University and area community-based teaching faculty.

'This is another exciting year in the history of our program,' said Montez Carter, St Mary's President and CEO. 'Our first four classes have been filled with truly fine physicians. We are confident this next class will continue the tradition of compassion and excellence. St. Mary's is proud to be an integral part of the Internal Medicine Residency Program and its success in bringing more medical doctors to Georgia and to the Athens region.'

“We are honored to have received so many truly exceptional applicants to our program,” said Achilia Morrow, MD, MPH, Program Director for the IMRP. “The supportive medical community, dedicated volunteer faculty, staff, and St. Mary’s Health Care System truly make this an excellent program to learn and train physicians in Northeast Georgia.”

The IMRP Class of 2022 and the schools at which they completed their medical education are:

  • Kajal Joshi, MD, medical degree from American University of Antigua College of Medicine
  • Akhila Madala, MD, medical degree from Narayana Medical College
  • Umair Majoka, MD, medical degree from American University of Antigua College of Medicine
  • Maureen Onweni, MD, medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine
  • Marjory Pesek, MD, medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine
  • Nathaniel Rodriguez, MD, medical degree from American University of Antigua College of Medicine
  • Juan Salazar Castillo, MD, medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine
  • Robert Seminara, MD, medical degree from American University of Integrative Sciences School of Medicine
  • Amtul Shafi, MD, medical degree from Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Kevin Shapiro, MD, medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine

In addition, the program matched with Joshua Moore, DO, a preliminary year resident who will practice for a year with the IMRP before continuing his training in anesthesiology. Dr. Moore earned his medical degree from the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“We are proud to have these 11 physicians join our residency program. They truly impressed us with their maturity, compassion, scholarly achievements, and dedication to improving the community,” said Dr. Morrow.

The IMRP is a joint effort by the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s, the program's Major Participating Site. The program's goal is to address the physician shortage in Georgia. Residents are graduates of medical school who will be completing the last stage of their medical education: a three-year, hands-on program that ends in certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

The IMRP received 2,370 applications for this year's 10 categorical residents and one preliminary year resident. A committee made up of Internal Medicine Residency Program faculty, several local physicians, and leaders from St. Mary’s and the Medical Partnership, interviewed selected applicants. Candidates typically interview with multiple programs. Afterwards, the candidates and the programs rank their preferences, then the National Residency Matching Program determines placements. Residents learn which program they have been matched with on Match Day, held on the third Friday of March every year.

“I could not be more excited to welcome this incoming class of residents” said AU/UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean Michelle Nuss, M.D. 'They each bring a new perspective and talent to our program. I know they will bring great things to our community here in Athens and to the whole state of Georgia.'

In addition to the care they provide at St. Mary's Hospital, the residents work hand-in-hand with physician faculty at Community Internal Medicine of Athens in the Resource Medical Center at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave, Athens. This full-fledged outpatient practice provides primary wellness care, sick care and chronic disease management for adults, and accepts most major forms of insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and self-pay, with financial assistance available to those who qualify.

Third-year Residents also complete clinical rotations in Greensboro, Ga., providing inpatient care at St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital and outpatient care at TenderCare Clinic.

“Being the site of the first medical residency program in Northeast Georgia continues to be a tremendous honor for St. Mary’s,” said Bruce Middendorf, M.D., St. Mary’s Chief Medical Officer. “Residents bring new energy and enthusiasm into our clinical areas. At the same time, working with these new physicians is exciting for our medical staff. We are looking forward to welcoming our fifth class of residents and to working with them to further raise the bar for clinical excellence at St. Mary’s and across Northeast Georgia. This is a great day for our community.” 

Ribbon Cutting March 26 for Cancer Center in Jesup

A ribbon cutting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 at 10 a.m. for the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at Wayne Memorial Hospital. The cancer center is located at 228 Memorial Drive in Jesup.

The public is invited to attend. The ribbon cutting will kick off with remarks by cancer center officials, followed by drawings for door prizes, refreshments and a tour. The facility will open to treat patients the first week of April and may be reached at (912) 810-2273 (CARE). 

Chatuge Regional Rated Five-Star Facility

Chatuge Regional Hospital is proud to announce the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have rated it a five-star facility on their Hospital Compare website. In addition to being one of only five hospitals in the state of Georgia to receive a five-star quality rating, Chatuge Regional Hospital is the only Critical Access Hospital in Georgia to receive five stars. Of the over 4,500 Medicare-certified hospitals in the United States, fewer than 7% earned a five-star rating.

According to CMS's website the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating provides information on how well hospitals provide recommended care to their patients. The overall hospital rating is calculated by taking the weighted average of group scores in seven measures: mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging. This information can help consumers make informed decisions about health care.

We are extremely proud of our physicians, nurses, and entire staff who have made achievement of these goals possible. This five-star rating from CMS is a testament to Chatuge Regional Hospital's continuing efforts to provide high-quality and patient safety-oriented care.