Recent Press Releases:
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Allie Lane, Putnam General Hospital Employee Wins Patient Safety Logo Contest
January 24, 2018
ATLANTA – Allie Lane, billing and collections specialist for Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton, was this year’s winner of an annual logo contest sponsored by the Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA), an affiliate of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA). Lane’s design and theme, “Patient Safety Starts with YOU!” was selected for its promotion of the idea that patients are the most important members of their health care teams.
PHA recently announced Lane as the winner at the annual Patient Safety Summit, which honors patient safety work done by hospitals over the past year. The logo contest was established in 2003 as a way to promote Patient Safety Awareness Week in Georgia hospitals. Lane’s design was selected from more than 70 entries and is featured on a lapel pin that PHA encourages hospital personnel to wear. The idea is that patients will see the pin and ask hospital staff what it means, helping patients become more aware of their role in improving patient care. Patient education in this area includes encouraging them to ask questions to be sure they understand everything about their care.
“Hospitals work to fully involve patients in their own care as members of the health care team,” said GHA Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety Kathy McGowan. “Allie’s logo design, which represents the partnership between caregivers and patients, excellently presents this message.”
The Partnership for Health and Accountability (PHA), an affiliate of GHA, was established in January 2000 to improve patient care and patient safety in hospitals and other health care facilities and create healthy communities.
November 9, 2017
ATLANTA – D. Montez Carter, FACHE, president of St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, was installed as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) on Nov. 8. He succeeds current chair Steven L. Gautney, president of Crisp Regional Hospital in Cordele. Carter leads the Board in developing strategies for GHA hospital members, advocating for the highest quality care for patients, and supporting adequate reimbursement for hospitals.
Carter has served as president of St. Mary’s Hospital since March 2017. He is responsible for all aspects of the hospital’s quality, operational and financial performance as well as ongoing foundation efforts. Prior to serving in this position, he was president of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital. During his tenure there, Carter was integral to the process of building a modern replacement hospital. He also managed a number of significant accomplishments, including the purchase of the region’s first 64-slice CT scanner, a vital tool in heart and stroke diagnostic imaging; the growth of services and medical staff; and enhanced stroke care through a partnership with Georgia Regents University in Augusta.
Carter came to St. Mary’s from Greenwood Leflore Hospital in Greenwood, Miss., where he served first as director of pharmacy services and then as associate director of performance improvement and patient support services.
“Montez Carter brings a fresh perspective to representing our hospitals and helping them manage the ever-changing health care landscape,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “He is poised to effectively lead our Board and we look forward to his guidance.”
Carter is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and his doctoral degree in pharmacy from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
About St. Mary's Hospital
St. Mary’s Hospital is faith-based, not-for-profit health care ministry whose mission is to be a compassionate and transforming healing presence in the communities we serve. As part of St. Mary's Health Care System and Trinity Health, the hospital places special focus on neurosciences, cardiac care, orthopedics, general medicine, general surgery, women’s and children’s health, and care for older adults. St. Mary’s is a certified chest pain center, a gold-plus hospital for stroke care, and was named Georgia's Large Hospital of the Year in 2006, 2010 and 2015. For more information, visit St. Mary’s website at www.stmarysathens.org.
October 25, 2017
AUGUSTA – Nancy Argo has been the Volunteer Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital for more than 14 years, traveling between all of the system’s hospitals to ensure auxiliaries are running smoothly. Argo is known by her peers for leading by example and being the ultimate team player. Her dedication not only to St. Mary’s, but to the Georgia Hospital Association Council on Auxiliaries/Volunteers has earned her 2017 Volunteer Services Director of the Year.
"Nancy is highly deserving of this honor," said Jeff English, St. Mary's Vice President Human Resources and Support Services and President of St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital. "She gives countless hours to support our auxiliaries and their functions at all three of our hospitals. In everything she does, Nancy is a great ambassador for St. Mary's in the communities we serve."
Argo was presented with the honor during the council’s 58th Annual Conference held Oct. 16-18 at the Augusta Marriott Convention Center. Her nomination was chosen after a panel of three out-of-state judges considered the following criteria:
- In what ways does the nominee encourage communications and teamwork within the auxiliary and hospital?
- In what ways does the nominee make the auxiliary aware of hospital goals and keep them abreast of the changes?
- In what ways does the nominee make themselves accessible to the auxiliary?
- In what ways does the nominee support the auxiliary and its goals and encourage the auxiliary governing board to administer the organization?
- In what ways does the nominee prove to be a leader and motivator and have shown adaptability to change?
“Nancy’s ability to lead by example has created within our auxiliary a sense of trust, integrity in what we do, and a friendship that is both warm and welcome,” said St. Mary’s Health Care System Auxiliary President Betty Davenport, who nominated Argo for the award. “She responds quickly to all queries from volunteers, offers sound advice when asked, and is supportive of all our endeavors.’
One of Argo’s recent contributions involved the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary Veterans’ Commemorative Garden, newly erected on campus. The Auxiliary conducted a major fundraising project to acquire a monument, install benches and landscaping, and hold a dedication service.
“Nancy Argo is, above all else, a team player," added Davenport. "She is ever-supportive, proficient at knowing when to take the lead but also, importantly, knows intuitively when to step back and allow the auxiliary board to come to their own conclusions concerning auxiliary business. In sum, the relationship between Volunteer Coordinator Nancy Argo and the auxiliary is one of respect, friendship, and the mutual desire to make St. Mary’s Hospital a place of warmth, caring, and service to the community of Athens, Ga.”
About the Council on Auxiliaries/Volunteers of the Georgia Hospital Association
The Council on Auxiliaries/Volunteers of the Georgia Hospital Association (COA/V) was founded in 1958 and currently consists of 70 hospital auxiliaries throughout the state of Georgia. During the 2016-2017 year, nearly 6,000 Auxilians volunteered nearly 1.1 million hours and contributed nearly $3.1 million to Georgia hospitals, plus another $466,000 to their communities. The Council offers the training needed to ensure each auxiliary offers practical help to its health care facility in performing essential services, from community relations, to programs that assist patients and families, to raising funds to improve patient care. The Council also helps establish new Auxiliaries and assists in the dissemination of information to help Auxiliaries function more efficiently.
April 17, 2017
While Georgia hospitals are known for being the guardians of community health for the state’s more than 10 million residents, hospitals also play a huge role in bolstering Georgia’s economic health by pumping nearly $47.8 billion into the state’s economy in 2015 according to a recently released report by the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA). The report also revealed that hospitals supplied more than 143,000 full-time jobs and indirectly created nearly 344,000 jobs in Georgia.
“Georgia hospitals are making a positive difference in people’s lives, both at the bedside and in their communities economically,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “In communities throughout the state, hospitals are among the largest employers and are a key component of the infrastructure necessary to attract business to those areas.”
Despite their importance to the state economy, many Georgia hospitals continue to face a wide array of financial challenges that have resulted in reduced services and employee cutbacks. Since the beginning of 2013, six Georgia hospitals have closed, and others — especially those in rural areas — are struggling to keep their doors open. According to the most recent Georgia Department of Community Health Hospital Financial Survey, 42 percent of all hospitals in Georgia had negative total margins in 2015, while 68 percent of rural hospitals in the state lost money in the same year. A huge strain on hospital finances continues to be the explosive growth of uncompensated care. According to the GHA study, in 2015, Georgia hospitals absorbed more than $1.74 billion in costs for care that was delivered but not paid for.
“Throughout Georgia, hospitals are the only source of medical care for most uninsured residents,” Rogers explained. “Add to that a growing number of residents who actually have insurance but cannot pay their high insurance deductibles, and hospitals end up absorbing even more losses. These dynamics are not sustainable long term.”
According to a recent study by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, in 2015, Georgia had the second highest percentage of uninsured residents in the country at 14 percent. Only Texas, with 16 percent, had a higher uninsured rate. To make matters worse, Medicaid pays Georgia hospitals, on average, only about 87 percent of actual costs, meaning hospitals lose 13 cents on every dollar spent treating a Medicaid recipient.
“The financial pressure that Georgia hospitals face is greater than ever,” said Rogers. “Hospitals have a commitment to be there for the their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but for many, just remaining financially viable is a challenge. When hospitals suffer financially, access to care and services for all Georgians is at risk.”
The report also shows that the presence of a hospital is a major source for jobs in any given community, both directly and indirectly. In 2015, Georgia hospitals employed 141,350 people. But when an employment multiplier is applied, it indicates that hospitals supported nearly 344,000 full-time jobs in the state. The employment multiplier considers the “ripple effect” of direct hospital expenditures on the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals and several different retail establishments that depend on the hospital and its employees for business.
“These are well-paying jobs close to home that not only sustain Georgia families, but also the local and state tax bases that provide vital community services,” Rogers explained. “These are the kind of jobs that are truly indispensable to our communities and state.”
The hospital economic impact report also measures hospitals’ direct economic contributions to Georgia’s working families. Using a household earnings multiplier, the study determined that hospitals generate over $15.2 billion in household earnings in the state. The household earnings multiplier measures the increased economic contributions from individuals employed directly or indirectly by hospitals through daily living expenditures.