Tag Archives: Georgia Regents Medical Center

Many outpatient surgeries will move to Evans

Georgia Regents Medical Center invests in outpatient surgery center with University Health Care System

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia Regents Medical Center has purchased a 30-percent ownership in the Surgery Center of Columbia County. This 21,000-square-foot outpatient day surgery facility in Evans opened in 2007 as a joint venture between University Health Resources, Inc., the for-profit corporation of University Health Care System, and more than a dozen board-certified physicians and podiatrists.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Georgia Regents Medical Center in an effort to help them increase their outpatient surgery capacity and better serve their patients in need of surgery,” explained James Davis, President/CEO of University Health Care System. “It makes sense for both parties to maximize the use of existing facilities.”

LogosUH.GRMCRecent advancements in technology, particularly in minimally invasive surgery, have increased the demand for outpatient surgical care, because it can benefit patients through shorter operations, fewer complications and quicker recoveries, according to industry reports.

Located on University’s longstanding Evans Campus on North Belair Road, the Joint Commission-accredited Surgery Center of Columbia County offers a broad array of outpatient procedures performed by highly skilled and compassionate physicians and staff in four spacious surgical suites using state-of-the-art technology. Some of the surgical services offered at the center include general, colorectal, ENT, and GI surgeries.

“We’re excited about this new collaboration with University Hospital,” said Dr. Charles G. Howell, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Georgia Regents Medical Center and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College of Georgia. “We have highly qualified surgeons performing some very complex and lengthy operations in our hospital operating rooms, and that doesn’t always mix well with ambulatory surgical care. Moving more outpatient surgeries to Columbia County will help us alleviate some of the space concerns we’re experiencing so that we can meet the needs of our patients and families more quickly and efficiently at both locations. Additionally, this partnership is another great opportunity for us to work with University Hospital to make Augusta a medical destination.”

About University
University Health Care System is anchored by the 581-bed, not-for-profit University Hospital, founded in 1818. The main campus has expanded to include the Heart & Vascular Institute, an Outpatient Center and office buildings that house more than 600 private practice and employed physicians, and various treatment centers. University has the largest primary care and prompt care network in the region and also includes University Hospital McDuffie in Thomson, Ga., as well as numerous medical campuses in two states, Brandon Wilde Continuing Care Retirement Community and two extended care facilities. University is the only hospital in the region to have earned Magnet designation for nursing excellence, and has been named the National Research Corporation Consumer Choice Award winner for overall quality and image every year since 1999.

About GRMC
Georgia Regents Medical Center is a not-for-profit providing clinical operations as a cooperative organization for Georgia Regents University. The 478-bed Medical Center includes a Critical Care Center, housing the region’s only Level I trauma center ; the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care; and more than 80 outpatient clinics that provide primary and specialty care throughout the state. Georgia Regents physicians are consistently ranked among the nation’s best in both America’s Top Doctors® and Best Doctors in America.® Additionally, Children’s Hospital of Georgia was recently ranked as the nation’s highest performing children’s hospital in quality and safety by the University HealthSystem Consortium.

Hospital retains top stroke care status

AUGUSTA, Ga. – A stroke strikes about every 40 seconds. But new research demonstrates that people with brain bleeds are more likely to survive if they’re treated at a Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Georgia Regents Medical Center – the first hospital in the Peach State to achieve Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center designation from the Joint Commission – was recently reaccredited and remains the only such center outside Atlanta in Georgia.

“We are very excited to achieve recertification – once again, confirming the high level of care we are able to provide to the most complex and most severe stroke patients,” said Dr. Jeffrey Switzer, Director of Telestroke, Teleneurology, and the Comprehensive Stroke Center.

“Research recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Heart Association Journal shows that Comprehensive Stroke Centers improve outcomes in both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, making them a lifeline for patients in jeopardy,” said Switzer, an Associate Professor of Neurology at Georgia Regents University’s Medical College of Georgia, who also studies acute stroke treatment and related issues.

Comprehensive Stroke Center certification was developed in collaboration with the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. There are roughly 80 centers in the U.S. equipped with the resources, including neurological critical care and 24-hour availability of neurosurgeons, to deal with the most severe strokes.

“Maintaining this designation demonstrates the ongoing commitment of GRHealth to high quality and superior outcomes for patients under our care,” said Dr. Kevin C. Dellsperger, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Georgia Regents Health System. “Through a close partnership with our local Emergency Medical Services, the staff and physicians in our Emergency Department, Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Radiology, we are uniquely poised to provide timely and superior care to the citizens of this area with acute stroke.”

Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious long-term disability in the U.S. and especially Georgia, which is located inside the stroke belt.

For more information on The Joint Commission and American Heart Association’s Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Center and a complete list of CSC hospitals in the U.S., visit jointcommission.org or heart.org/myhospital.

Telestroke Care

Georgia Regents Medical Center extends quality stroke care to rural patients across the region through REACH Health, Inc., a telemedicine program pioneered in 2003 at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia. This hub-and-spoke network allows stroke specialists at Georgia Regents Medical Center (the hub) to diagnose and treat stroke patients remotely at more than a dozen rural and a few larger community hospitals (the spokes) in Georgia and to transport those in need of surgery or more specialized neurointensive critical care to GRMC.

Current spoke hospitals are Barrow Regional Medical Center, Burke Medical Center, Emanuel Medical Center, Fairview Park Hospital, Jefferson County Hospital, John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital, Optim Medical Center-Jenkins, St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, Tift Regional Medical Center, University Hospital and University Hospital-McDuffie, Washington County Regional Medical Center, West Georgia Hospital, Wills Memorial Hospital, and Aiken Regional Medical Center in South Carolina.

GRHealth also has a partnership with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Network in Savannah to provide stroke consultations for St. Joseph Hospital, Candler Hospital, Appling Healthcare System, Candler County Hospital, Coffee Regional Medical Center, Effingham Health System, Evans Memorial Hospital, Optim Medical Center-Tattnall, and Wayne Memorial Hospital

Annual Disclosure of Outside Interest and Activities Questionnaire

Medical Center employees have received an email requesting completion of an Annual Disclosure of Outside Interest and Activities Questionnaire. This request is in accordance with the GR Medical Center Conflict of Interest Policy which requires that all employees disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management has employed a web-based program called COI-SMART (https://gru.coi-smart.com) to collect, store, and manage the disclosures.

When initially signing onto the system, employees may receive the following message:

The Service Provider being authenticated has requested account federation with this site.Service Provider domain: https://gru.coi-smart.com/shibbolethDo you give consent for this federation?

Give consent for this federation. Upon logging into the system, read each question and submit your answer. If you need further explanation of any question you may save your questionnaire, call Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management, or refer to the policy for reference and then proceed with the questionnaire.

The deadline for submission of this questionnaire will be extended to accommodate the recent addition of GR Medical Center staff. The deadline is September 30, 2015.


Office of Compliance and Enterprise Risk Management



5 apps and gadgets to help you get in shape this summer

It’s summertime, and instead of losing weight, you find yourself gaining. What now?

The myth goes that you put on some pounds during the winter and slim down when the temperature goes up. That’s not technically true.

“During the cold months, our body generates heat to keep us warm by burning extra calories,” said Crystal Neal, Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation at Georgia Regents Medical Center. “This process, called thermogenesis, doesn’t happen during the summer because our bodies are already warm.”

So if your activity level and calorie intake are the same in the winter and the summer, you actually burn fewer calories in the warmer months.

To compensate, you need to move your body more during the hot season in order to lose weight. Neal recommends the following apps and gadgets to help you get in shape this summer:

  • FitBit Flex: Use this device 24/7 to track your activity including steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep. This activity tracker also allows you to set daily goals and lets you know when you’ve met them. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a screen that displays your stats. So you have to import the data to your computer or your Android or iOS mobile device.
  • Runtastic GPS Watch and Heart Rate Monitor: Measure your training stats such as pace, speed, distance, duration, calories, and heart rate by using this GPS watch whenever you run. Then, import all the data to your Runtastic account via your computer, and track your running history and progress.
  • Endomondo: Take this personal trainer everywhere in your pocket. Endomondo is a free sports tracker app that helps you make a fitness plan and set goals. While exercising, you will receive real-time audio feedback on your performance. That way, you’ll know if you need to increase your pace or if you are going too fast. Endomondo also lets you share your activities with others to inspire and get inspired to exercise. The app is available on Android, Windows, Blackberry, and iOS devices.
  • Nike + Training Club: Join this training club for free and gain access to more than 100 workout designed by Nike Master Trainers. Choose your fitness goal and level to begin your training. With this app, you can also get tips from professional athletes. Nike + Training Club is available for download on Android and iOS devices.
  • MyFitnessPal: Use this app if you are serious about losing weight because you can’t slim down if you don’t improve your eating habits.  MyFitnessPal is an online food diary that helps you track every calorie you eat with just a few clicks. It allows you to add your own recipes and create your own food database. You can also create your own diet goals and join discussion forums to receive and share weight loss tips. MyFitnessPal is available for download on Android, Windows, and iOS devices.

Medical Center, Health System boards to meet July 1

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Boards of Directors of MCG Health Inc., doing business as Georgia Regents Medical Center, and MCG Health System Inc., doing business as Georgia Regents Health System, will meet Wednesday July 1, in room BI-2077. The Medical Center Board will meet at 10 a.m. and the Health System Board will meet at 3 p.m.

Other board committees scheduled for June 25 have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

For more information, call Kelly Busbee at 706-721-3929.


Four tips for safe Summer driving

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Drugs, drinking, distraction, and drowsiness are leading factors in motor vehicle crashes.

These risky behaviors result in thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year, according to the American Trauma Society, which recognizes May as National Trauma Awareness Month.

Learn more at am trauma.org.
Learn more at amtrauma.org.

“Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of trauma,” said Dr. Colville Ferdinand, Trauma Chief at Georgia Regents Medical Center, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center. “From the CDC we know that every two minutes someone is injured in a drunk driving crash. But it’s not just drinking and drugs. More than one in six fatal car crashes involves distracted driving, and it’s disproportionately affecting our young people.”

Too often, drivers underestimate the risk. With Memorial Day on May 25 kicking off the summer travel season, Ferdinand recommends sharing these tips with drivers, especially teens, in your family:

1)  The roads are crowded this time of year, so pay extra attention.

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is the deadliest time of the year for teen drivers and their passengers. The 2015 Memorial Day forecast is expected to mark the highest travel volume for the holiday in 10 years, since 2005, according to AAA.

2)  Get some sleep before hitting the road.

In one study, 41 percent of drivers admitted they’ve fallen asleep behind the wheel. The cost? More than 100,000 crashes a year are the direct result of driver fatigue, according to an estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Men ages 18 to 34 are the biggest offenders.

Sleeping less than six hours a night can double your risk of being involved in a crash. Those who sleep less than five hours a night increase their risk four or five times, according to the American Trauma Society.

3)  Stay the night or call a cab.

Today, there are more alternatives than ever. Call a cab or ride-sharing company. Stay the night. Plan your options before a night of drinking and take along a designated driver. Drugs other than alcohol, including marijuana and cocaine, are involved in more than one in five fatal crashes.

4)  Put down the phone.

Sending a text – or even glancing at an incoming message – takes a driver’s eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds, which is the equivalent of driving 55 mph down the length of a football field blindfolded.

“Distracted driving happens anytime you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving,” Ferdinand said. “We see firsthand the injuries that result from those decisions. Interestingly, a full 80 percent of motorists say distracted driving is a serious threat to their safety, yet many of us still do it.”

More information

The American Trauma Society, in collaboration with the Society of Trauma Nurses, has more information about trauma prevention at www.amtrauma.org.


Woman finds kidney donor on Reddit

Pictured above are Kayla Davis (right) and her kidney donor Jennifer Moss in Davis’ room at Georgia Regents Medical Center shortly after the successful transplant surgery. (Photo courtesy of Time.com)

Time.com: April 30, 2015

Jennifer Moss and Kayla Davis ended up discovering they had much more in common than a blood type and have bonded over a mutual love of pizza and corgis.

TIME.Cover.Apr27-May4Jennifer Moss is not your typical Reddit user. Every week, the 33-year-old utility company analyst from Marietta, Ga., reads posts on the social news site Reddit to see if she can help people who say they are in need.

On May 28, 2014, Kayla Davis of Columbia, S.C., posted a message on the site about her need for a kidney transplant. Five hours after the plea was posted, Moss posted a note of her own, saying she would call a living donor coordinator the next day and start the necessary tests to see if she was a match. They were. And Moss decided to donate her kidney.

They met for the first time in March before the transplant surgery at Georgia Regents Medical Center in Augusta.

Read: How a woman found her kidney donor on Reddit

Special delivery: Quads born at GRMC

When Julianne Kirkland told her husband Matt they were expecting not one, not two, but “three babies, possibly four,” he zoned out while staring at the microwave.

About 15 minutes later, when the shock began to dissipate, Matt told Julianne, “Well, OK. God is really blessing us, so he must think we can handle this.” Then he began to think about how to make room for the babies with two sons Campbell, 5, and Jack, 3, already at their Watkinsville, Ga., home.

QuadAshton Blake.
Ashton Blake is one of the three boys in the set of quadruplets delivered to Matt and Julianne Kirkland at Georgia Regents Medical Center on Saturday, March 21.

Dr. Paul Browne, Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the Labor & Delivery team at Georgia Regents Medical Center delivered the quadruplets – three boys and a girl – via C-section on Saturday night, March 21. The last time quads were delivered at the hospital was about 18 years ago, as they are very rare.

Julianne Kirkland enjoys some skin-to-skin contact with one of her quads, Walker Hayes, in the NICU at Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

The Kirklands named the boys Ashton Blake, Walker Hayes, and Meyers Wayne, and the baby girl, whom Matt is already calling the family’s little princess, is named Bradlee Ann. The babies were born at 31 weeks, but all are in good health and being cared for in the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Meyers Wayne Kirkland, one of the quads, is being bathed in ultraviolet light as his 31-week body continues to develop.

“Everyone at the hospital has been amazing. We can’t say enough about Dr. Browne and the staff here,” said Julianne on Tuesday as she sat with Matt in the NICU waiting room and talked to a local news reporter. “We feel truly blessed with four healthy babies.”

Matt and Julianne Kirkland have been in the media spotlight since word spread about their quadruplets’ birth on Saturday. Julianne has been blogging about her experience throughout her pregnancy on a special Facebook page called Oh My Quad – Kirkland’s Journey.

The Kirklands hope to take the babies home within the next 7 to 9 weeks where they say they have already been assured of help from their family, church, and community.


Medical Center earns second Energy Star designation

Georgia Regents Medical Center has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Energy Star designation for a second time. Georgia Regents Medical Center is the only hospital in Georgia that holds this designation for 2015 and one of only four medical centers in the country with the certification.

To qualify, the Medical Center met strict energy performance standards set by EPA and earned a score of 75 or higher, indicating it performs better than at least 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Energy Star certified buildings save energy, save money and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings, according to the EPA.

Facilities included in the Energy Star designation are the adult hospital, the Critical Care Center, Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the Medical Office Building.

GRMC first received Energy Star certification in 2012.

“We applaud the significant effort of Chris Miller and our Facilities Division for ensuring that our clinical facilities are good stewards of energy use and of our planet. This absolutely is in keeping with our continuous efforts to be efficient by every definition and to improve wellbeing,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

Most recently, in 2013, GRMC partnered with Johnson Controls on an Energy Performance Contract. The scope of the contract was to implement energy-saving projects. A few of the key project components were:

• Chilled water optimization using specific technology and software which allows GRMC to save energy when it provides air conditioning to the hospital.
• LED lighting retrofit for the Medical Office Building parking deck. The use of LED lights not only cut GRMC’s energy use in half, the lighting itself provides a seven-year increased service life, therefore saving money on replacement lighting.
• Water conservation with low flow flush valves and shower heads. GRMC decreased its overall water consumption by 10.93 percent in 2014.

The next major energy reducing project for GRMC will be retrofitting the remaining three parking decks with LED lighting.

Heart Walk has new meaning for GRU employee

After several instances of “just not feeling right,” Georgia Regents University Landscaping & Grounds Manager Scott Davis finally convinced himself in January to see a doctor.

It was a good thing he did. Davis was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, also known as a fast heart rate, and doctors said he should consider himself lucky his condition hadn’t resulted in a major cardiac attack.

Ventricular tachycardia, or VT, does not allow enough time for the heart to fill before it contracts so blood does not get pumped throughout the body, according to the American Heart Association. VT can be life-threatening and requires rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Davis’ episodes occurred most often while he exercised. His heart would race faster than normal, and he felt like he would faint.

“It was like my body was saying, ‘You’re going to fall over,’” Davis said. “But, I kind of knew it wasn’t a panic attack.”

In December, he knew something wasn’t quite right but, he said, like many men, he pushed it off as long as he could.

Last month, he made an appointment with his regular doctor, Drew Vanalstine. After performing routine check-up and running normal blood tests, Dr. Vanalstine suggested that Davis seek a cardiovascular consult from one of his medical school colleagues, Dr. Vishal Arora. After a quick, suspicious EKG, Dr. Arora fitted Davis with a Holter monitor, a battery-powered device that measured and recorded his heart activity for a 24-hour period. Davis also kept a diary of his daily activities.

On his birthday, Thursday, Feb. 12, Davis received a rather shocking present. He was told he needed to return to GRMC because data collected from the Holter monitor was abnormal. Davis and his family had plans to travel out of town that weekend, so he assured the nurse he would be in first thing on Monday.

“She said, ‘No, you need to come now,’” Davis said.

Drs. Adam Berman and Robert Sorrentino later implanted a defibrillator in Davis’ chest that can deliver a shock to return his heart to a normal rhythm if it is beating too fast. Davis is also taking antiarrhythmic medicine and has not felt out of sorts since.

“This usually gives people a test of reality,” Sorrentino said,” that we’re not immortal.”

Davis’ VT diagnosis is particularly ironic. Weeks before he’d made the doctor’s appointment in February, he was named captain of GRU’s Division of Facilities Services Heart Walk fundraising team. Now, instead of simply encouraging the Division to raise money, he’s raising awareness of heart health.

The main thing, he said, is to know your body so you recognize when things are out of whack.

“My hope is they’ll learn from me,” he said.

Davis has nothing but good things to say about his experience at Georgia Regents Medical Center. He’s taken care of GRU for years, and now GRU has taken care of him.

“It feels good to support where you work,” Davis said.