CEO: New name to unify Macon-based hospital system

The Medical Center of Central Georgia has a new name for the first time in more than 40 years.

The hospital and more than 30 affiliates have a new brand identity -- Navicent Health -- and a new logo that will unify each facility and services within the system for the first time. The parent company name, Central Georgia Health System, has been replaced with Navicent Health, and that name is now part of all its entities.

As of Wednesday, the Macon hospital’s new name is Medical Center, Navicent Health. The announcement of the rebranding campaign took place at the newly named Carlyle Place, Navicent Health on Zebulon Road.

“By unifying our services under one name, with the same level of health care, we’ll let our customers and patients know that we are one team, sharing one purpose,” said Ninfa Saunders, who became president and CEO of the former Central Georgia Health System and the hospital two years ago. “With our reputation for excellence established, our ultimate goal is to become a health care designation not only in a local way but in a regional and national way. In so doing, we bring all organizations together under one umbrella name with every entity still signifying excellence in their delivery system.”

The process to choose the name took about nine months and involved focus groups, Saunders said. The name symbolizes the health system’s commitment to helping patients as they navigate the path of care.

“One thing that came back was that the patient must be at the center of it,” she said. “We realized there was not one name out of the dictionary that could accurately represent that. ... So we decided to put ‘center’ in the middle of (Navicent Health).”

The new name is not connected to Navicent Inc., a global advisory firm based in Chicago, and the hospital does not have a relationship with that company, said Megan Allen, who works in media relations for the hospital.

Nothing will change for employees or in the management of facilities, Saunders said. Navicent now employs nearly 6,000 people, including 800 physicians.

Saunders said she didn’t have the total cost of the renaming effort available Wednesday, but she would have it later. She said there was a “fine balance” between the value of the rebranding and the cost involved.

“You will not see us on national TV,” she said. “But you will see us where it matters. ... We will get the brand out there at the most minimal cost.”

Starr Purdue, the first chairwoman of Navicent Health’s board, said the one identifying name would tie everything together.

“This is a wonderful day for health care,” Purdue said. “Our new brand will let our patients know that they will receive excellent health care at each (facility).”

Chief Nursing Officer Tracey Blaclock said that a hospital’s reputation “is only as good as the patient’s experience. ... All of our efforts to improve the patient experience will only be stronger after today when we become a more united front.”

With the new branding roll out, the health system will implement additional operational changes, including a system-wide quality care initiative. It also follows the launch of a multi-hospital alliance, Stratus Healthcare, last year.

The Medical Center is the second largest hospital in the state and is a tertiary regional teaching medical center, a designated Level I Trauma Center and a perinatal center.

The names of the health care system’s other facilities are now: Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health; Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health; Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health; Pine Point Hospice, Navicent Health; Wellness Services, Navicent Health and Medcen, Navicent Health, a $96 million development foundation.

The Medical Center was founded as The Macon Hospital in March 1895 and opened on Pine Street in a two-story, eight-room brick building, according to the hospital’s website. The former Central Georgia Health System was created in the mid-1990s.

The health system has evolved into a 830-bed, full-service, acute care hospital that now serves residents in central and south Georgia.