Category Archives: Health Care

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Gold ribbons go up for Childhood Cancer

Cancer patients and their families helped put up gold ribbons on trees outside the Children’s Hospital of Georgia on Thursday in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, which is commemorated in September.

CHOG offers the area’s only Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic, and it is staffed with cancer specialists that diagnose and treat children with hemophilia, leukemia, lymphomas, sickle cell disease, various tumors, rare pediatric blood and clotting disorders, bone cancers, and more.

Nearly 13,000 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer each year in the United States. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month helps put a spotlight on the cancers that affect children, survivorship issues, and – most importantly – fundraising efforts for research and family support. Click here to donate to the pediatric cancer clinic at CHOG.

GRU - Board of Regents Signing

GRHealth and Cerner partnering to transform health care in Georgia

Georgia Regents Medical Center signed a 14-year agreement today with  Cerner Corp. to help create a more efficient and cost-effective health care delivery model by strategically leveraging technological innovation.

“As the state’s only public academic health center, we must contend with continued federal mandates to improve the quality of care while also lowering costs. These challenges have encouraged us to search for creative and innovative solutions that maximize efficiencies and control costs,” said Ricardo Azziz, CEO of Georgia Regents Health System. “This exciting agreement with Cerner will allow us to keep pace with change, manage costs, and accelerate our position as a leading health care provider.”
The new alignment, called the Jaguar Collaborative, encompasses the health system and some information technology services for the university and provides increased information technology performance, electronic health record usability, and improved client services. Cerner will provide remote hosting of the organization’s electronic medical record and add enhanced monitoring and system capabilities to provide increased security for the health system’s electronic health data.
“The Jaguar Collaborative will enable our organizations to advance and innovate right where care is being delivered every day,” said Joanne Burns, Cerner Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “Using technology as a strategic lever, together we look forward to positively impacting health and wellness in Georgia.”
As part of the agreement, GRHealth’s information technology staff will become Cerner associates starting Sept. 29. The transition will connect these team members to additional training, resources, and professional development opportunities.
“We have a progressive vision for information technology,” said Charlie Enicks, Chief Information Officer at GRHealth. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with a company as preeminent as Cerner to spearhead an era of health care innovation in our community, state, and nation.”



UHC case study touts Breast Health Center, PFCC

The Breast Health Center at Georgia Regents Medical Center was the focus of a best practice case study published this week by the  University HealthSystem Consortium.

Breast Health Waiting w-mural Breast Health Pt Room w-muralMotivated by the success of Patient- and Family-Centered care in pediatrics, particularly the design and construction of the children’s hospital, the radiology department decided to incorporate PFCC principles to improve mammography services.

A number of changes were recommended, and what started as a coat of paint became a total change in culture.

Read the case study here.

Last year, Health Imaging magazine recognized the medical center with one of five Patient-Centric Imaging Awards for the Breast Health Center improvements.

The UHC is an alliance of the nation’s leading nonprofit academic medical centers, which are focused on delivering world-class patient care. Formed in 1984 and based in Chicago, Illinois, the UHC fosters collaboration with and among its 120 academic medical center and 300 affiliated hospital members through its renowned solutions in the areas of performance improvement, comparative data and analytics, supply chain management, strategic research, and public policy. UHC helps its members achieve excellence in quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness. For more information, visit

Computer image

Email systems are consolidating soon

Since the former Augusta State University and the former Georgia Health Sciences University consolidated in January 2013, we have continued to operate two separate email systems as we determined the most cost-effective and least disruptive method for consolidating these mission-critical systems.

We have identified a solution and have been engaged in planning the email consolidation effort for several months. We will be migrating everyone off the Exchange system (currently used primarily by Health Sciences Campus employees and students) and onto the Office 365 system that is already used by many employees and students on the Summerville Campus. This will occur in phases over the next several months. Please watch for more details coming soon!

How is Office 365 different from Exchange?
The two systems are similar. If you currently use the Outlook client to access your mail, nothing will change about how you use email – you will continue to use Outlook to access your Office 365 mailbox. If you use the web client, you will simply need to go to a different web address to access your email once you have been moved to the new system.

Will there be a difference in mailbox quotas?
Mailbox size limit —
Exchange: 5-25 gigabytes
Office 365: 50 gigabytes

Attachment size limit —
Exchange: 75 megabytes
Office 365: 25 megabytes

Why are we doing this?
Maintaining a single email system is more cost effective than having two systems running in parallel. In addition, having everyone in a single system allows for mailbox and calendar sharing among workgroups, which is not possible when members of a workgroup are in separate systems.

What do I need to do right now?
No immediate action is required on your part. We will notify you when a specific date and time is identified for your department.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, we will begin establishing email accounts for all newly hired employees and newly accepted students in the Office 365 system. No new email accounts will be added to the old Exchange system after Tuesday, Aug. 26. Please contact the IT Service Desk at 706-721-4000 if you have any questions.

GRMC adds inclement weather attendance policy

After the bad storms of the past winter and some misunderstandings about the attendance policy, a new provision has been added to clear up any future questions at Georgia Regents Medical Center.

“Due to the fact that we deliver patient care services on a 24-hour basis, we are expected to be here for the patients even in times of bad weather,” GRMC Director of Employee Relations Ashley Nix said. “Under the new policy, those who miss work during extreme weather may receive an occurrence.”

But exceptions can be made for those who are late to work due to inclement weather, according to Nix. Also, following the previous attendance policy, extreme circumstances, such as an employee’s direct involvement in an accident on the way to work, may be excused at the supervisor’s discretion.

“Those who work extra shifts during inclement weather may also be eligible for the working off occurrences incentive, as well,” she said.

Another slight change to the attendance policy is a change to the “partial absence” policy. Under the change, a worker must work at least half the shift to gain “partial absence” status.

To see the full policy, visit

For more information about the policy or questions, you can contact Medical Center Employee Relations at 706-721-7272 or 706-721-7693.

Azziz bucket

WATCH: Azziz accepts Ice Bucket Challenge

Dr. Ricardo Azziz, President of Georgia Regents University and CEO of Georgia Regents Health System, participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge today on the university’s Summerville Campus. The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, donating to ALS, and then nominating others to do the same, in an effort to raise ALS awareness and donations.

To donate to the GRMC ALS clinic, visit, send checks, payable to ALS Clinic (Fund 1078), 1120 15th Street, BP-4390, Augusta, GA 30912, or call 706-721-2681.



Polimenakos named new heart surgeon at Children’s Hospital

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dr. Anastasios C. Polimenakos, a congenital heart surgeon with expertise in neonatal and adult congenital heart surgery, has been named Director of Congenital and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He also was appointed Associate Professor of Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

Polimenakos imagePolimenakos comes to CHOG from The Heart Center for Children at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, Pa., where he held an equivalent position. He also served at A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Del.; Rush University Medical College’s Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease in Chicago; The Heart Institute for Children at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill.; and the University of Michigan School of Medicine and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“Dr. Polimenakos brings a wealth of skill and knowledge in heart surgery to our Children’s Hospital, having worked at some of the finest children’s health care facilities in the nation. We are pleased to welcome him and excited about the expert care he brings to our young patients,” said Dr. Charles G. Howell, Co-Medical Director and Surgeon-in-Chief at CHOG.

Polimenakos received his medical degree from the University of Athens School of Medicine in Greece and completed general surgery residencies at New York Medical College at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in New York City and Case Western Reserve University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a thoracic surgery fellowship at St. Louis University School of Medicine and a clinical fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

His professional affiliations include the American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Surgeons, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network, and he is an associate surgical editor of Pediatric Cardiology. Polimenakos is an Honorary Ambassador for UNICEF, which presented him the 2009 Award for worldwide commitment to Medicine and Health Protection of Children in need. He was also involved in cardiac surgery mission work in Jerusalem through the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund and is part of the Mauritian Trust Fund for Specialized Care, a volunteer effort to provide comprehensive management to patients with congenital heart defects in Mauritius and Madagascar.

Polimenakos has been published extensively and has made numerous expert presentations in a variety of areas related to his specialty. He is working on several initiatives related to heart failure in animal research models and evaluates and treats all types of congenital heart defects in both children and adults.

Medical Center ALS Challenge photos included in Boston Globe

Today, the Boston Globe published its top images of people getting doused with buckets of ice water to raise ALS awareness. Included in its national ALS Ice Bucket Challenge photo gallery, along with images of former President George W. Bush and a number of professional athletes, are Dr. Michael Rivner and Loreen Ingram-Moore, both with the Georgia Regents Medical Center ALS clinic.

Rivner, Ingram-Moore, and other ALS physicians and clinic staff completed the challenge Tuesday behind the Medical Office Building on Harper Street.

View photo gallery here.




Warm Springs facility

Roosevelt Warm Springs earns Joint Commission seal for stroke, wound care

WARM SPRINGS, Ga. – Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation & Specialty Hospitals has earned the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating compliance with national standards for health care quality and safety in patient care. The Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital earned gold for stroke care, and the Roosevelt Long Term Acute Care Hospital earned gold for wound care.

“Achieving the Gold Seal is a major step in our organization toward maintaining excellence and continually improving the care we provide,” said David Mork, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at Roosevelt Warm Springs. “Our patients and families can feel confident – not only in our stroke and wound care – but in all our services as we strive to achieve the highest standards and best outcomes based on recognized, evidence-based methods.”

The Joint Commission’s Disease-Specific Care Certification Program was launched in 2002 to evaluate clinical programs across the continuum of care. Certification requirements address three core areas: (1) compliance with consensus-based national standards; (2) effective use of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines to manage and optimize care; and (3) an organized approach to performance measurement and improvement activities.

For more than eight decades, Roosevelt Warm Springs has provided a comprehensive, individualized style to medical rehabilitation for patients, enabling them to return to the most independent lifestyle possible in their homes and communities. Georgia Regents Medical Center assumed management of the rehabilitation and acute-care services at Roosevelt Warm Springs in June 2013 in conjunction with the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.

Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission evaluates and accredits more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including more than 10,600 hospitals and home care organizations, and more than 6,600 other health care organizations that provide long-term care, behavioral health care, laboratory, and ambulatory care services. The Joint Commission also certifies more than 2,400 disease-specific care programs and 400 health care staffing services. An independent, not-for-profit organization, the Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. Learn more about the Joint Commission at