City of residence: Reynolds
Occupation: CEO, The Medical Center of Peach County
QUESTION: After moving into your new facility and serving patients for almost two months, whats the most obvious result youve seen?
ANSWER: I think its the overwhelming gratitude people have for this place. Its no secret we went through hard times to get here, but now to have this caliber of a facility and quality of services is really appreciated by us all. Ive not had one person come through that wasnt so grateful its here. Thats when I knew wed made it.
QUESTION: Whats been the biggest comment?
ANSWER: Time and time again Ive heard people say this is the most beautiful facility theyve ever seen. They didnt expect it to be this nice. Ive heard that over and over.
QUESTION: Any complaints?
ANSWER: Complaints? When you move there are always growing pains, and weve had a few. I think the biggest has been hiccups related to IT things which is really invisible to patients and the public.
QUESTION: The new facility is 15,000 square feet bigger than the old, do you still feel you have plenty of elbow room?
ANSWER: I think we still feel pretty good about the space and design. The planning process started and stopped so many times in the 11 years weve been working toward accomplishing this, so we had time to get a lot of things right. The flow of patients and staff is very efficient. Of course, therell be growth and a need for new space and services in the future.
QUESTION: Whats the greatest single advantage of the move?
ANSWER: I think the location near I-75 and more central to Fort Valley, Byron and the rest of Middle Georgia has enabled us to attract a diversity of physician specialists. That was one of our big challenges in the old location. Now were in the corridor between Macon and Warner Robins, and thats helpful to physicians. We have 10-plus new physicians going through our process right now -- its nice having their interest to come on board.
QUESTION: Has the new location attracted more patients?
ANSWER: Were glad to be seeing old faces and new. We needed to increase volume as a facility, and we feel weve done that nicely and have seen an increase even in the last two weeks. Our patient care unit had an average census of 10 to 13 patients in the old location, and the census now is 18 to 22 in our 25 beds
QUESTION: Youve covered location and facility, doctors, patients -- how about technology?
ANSWER: Were proud of the upgraded technology we offer, especially for a small hospital. We have a high level of equipment and technology and can do things we couldnt before. Our 64-slice CT scanner is an example. It allows us to do things, particularly cardiac procedures, we couldnt do before. All the advances are to serve patients. I think the new technology, the quality of our staff and the comfort of the new facility all work hand in hand to our patients benefit and to create an environment of trust. Its a total package.
QUESTION: How do you feel walking into work each day as opposed to three months ago in the old facility?
ANSWER: Incredibly thankful. Thankful that its such a beautiful place for our community and thankful we were able to partner with Central Georgia Health System to make it a reality. People need to know how many folks it took to get this done. Board members, staff leaders and staff, all the folks at (Central) Georgia Health System -- everybody that believed in it and refused to quit trying to get this built. Sometimes I still cant believe its real.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at email@example.com.