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One Year Later: How Columbus Regional Health Entering into the Piedmont System Has Enhanced Healthcare in Muscogee County

Columbus, Ga. (March 4, 2019) — This month, Piedmont Columbus Regional celebrates one year of being a part of the Piedmont Healthcare family. The past year includes service to the Chattahoochee Valley and many notable accomplishments. Before joining Piedmont on March 1, 2018, Piedmont Columbus Regional operated as Columbus Regional Health.

“We are proud of what we have accomplished together in such a short amount of time,” said Scott Hill, Chief executive officer for Piedmont Columbus Regional. “Our partnership decision was intentional and we are grateful to our community for its ongoing support. The patient first culture of our organizations are highly aligned and we look forward to continuing to collaborate as we work to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to the Chattahoochee River Valley and its surrounding communities for many years to come. There is no doubt that Piedmont Healthcare was the right partner for Columbus.”

To mark this occasion, here are some of Piedmont Columbus Regional’s accomplishments over the past year.

  • In April 2018, Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Northside Campus opened a new state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot emergency department to meet the growing needs for high-quality and convenient emergency care in North Columbus and Harris County. The new emergency department features 10 patient rooms, which include behavioral health rooms plus flexible space to optimize patient flow, which helps to reduce wait times.
  • In July 2018, Piedmont Columbus opened the newly renovated and expanded Miracle Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).The new unit, which cost $7.2 million to renovate, includes 46 NICU beds and a family-friendly layout for privacy. The new, state-of-the-art layout is also beneficial for staff as it increases patient access and provides better visibility to the patient. As a Level III NICU, Piedmont Columbus Regional’s Midtown Campus offers advanced neonatal care and services for infants born before 32 weeks’ gestation, as well as for babies born with critical illnesses.
  • In November 2018, officials gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the expansion and renovation project at the John B. Amos Cancer Center. The 48,000 square foot expansion houses the new chemotherapy infusion center, medical and surgical oncology clinics, pharmacy, the Courage Café and administrative offices. Philanthropy will fund the renovation of the existing center, which originally opened in 1999. The renovation will culminate with the relocation of the Breast Care Center into the main level of the original building, renovation of the Radiation Oncology Suite and the multi-specialty clinic and investing in technology to ensure the John B. Amos Cancer Center remains on the cutting edge of the most advanced cancer treatments available.
  • Also in November 2018, S&P Global Ratings, a major corporate ratings agency, issued an upgrade to Piedmont Columbus to an A+ with a stable outlook. The prior rating had been BBB-. The upgrade reflects an application submitted after the March 1, 2018 affiliation agreement between Columbus Regional Health and Piedmont Healthcare, whereby Piedmont became the sole and controlling member of Columbus Regional Health.
  • In January 2019, Piedmont Columbus increased the starting wage for employees to $11 per hour, an amount that exceeds the federal minimum wage by more than 50 percent. More than 80 current team members benefitted from the increase.
  • In February 2019, Piedmont Columbus announced operations and medical leadership changes: Bill Tustin and Laura Drew have both been promoted to the position of Chief Operating Officer at the Midtown and Northside Campuses, respectively; and Chris Edwards, M.D., was named Chief Medical Officer for Piedmont Columbus.
  • Beginning in April 2019, Piedmont Columbus will convert to the medical records system, Epic, which is used in all Piedmont facilities including physician practices. Patients will have one Piedmont medical chart, which means that no matter where they are seen at Piedmont – as well as at more than 250 healthcare organizations nationwide – the medical care team has real-time access to the patient’s medical information such as test results, charts, reports and other important information without waiting for it to be forwarded to them. This represents an investment of more than $30 million by Piedmont Healthcare.
  • Columbus Regional Medical Group also grew significantly in 2018—adding new physicians and specialties like Endocrinology and ENT and expanding into Phenix City. Piedmont Physicians now has more than 85 providers with more than 30 offices conveniently located across the Chattahoochee Valley.
  • Over the past year, Piedmont Columbus has received numerous accreditations and recognitions including full Hospital Accreditation by The Joint Commission,  Sleep Center Accreditation by The Joint Commission, Gold Status Membership by the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Honor Roll for Antibiotic Stewardship, Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement, Target Stroke Honor Roll Elite and Heart-Check Mark for Advanced Certification for Primary Stroke Centers by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, achieved an A on its Leapfrog Hospital Safety Scorecard (Northside Campus) and the Health Research and Educational Trust Hospital Improvement Innovation Network designation of a Milestone 8 Hospital (Northside Campus).

For more information on Piedmont Columbus, visit piedmont.org/columbus.

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