MACON, GA (Monday, July 7, 2014) – Putnam General Hospital (PGH) in Eatonton, along with Central Georgia Health System (CGHS) and The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) in Macon, today announced their intent to enter a strategic partnership that will allow the two hospitals to create and expand healthcare services for Putnam County and the surrounding region.

Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of CGHS and MCCG
Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of CGHS and MCCG

“The primary goal of our partnership is to create a medical neighborhood for those who live in Georgia’s lake country, allowing us to recruit physicians and expand services to cover the continuum of care. The management arrangement will allow The Medical Center of Central Georgia, with the strength and leadership of Putnam General’s CEO Alan Horton,  to bring resources directly to the community, develop new opportunities, and retain Putnam’s talented physicians while recruiting new talent as necessary. All of this is in an effort to keep healthcare local,” said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of CGHS and MCCG.

Dr. Eddie Richardson, Chief of Staff at PGH, agreed that expanded services will attract new physicians to the area.

“Our partnership with The Medical Center of Central Georgia will enable us to expand our service offerings, making Putnam more attractive to highly trained physicians and giving the community increased access to a plethora of specialists,” said Richardson.

Alan Horton, CEO of PGH
Alan Horton, CEO of PGH

According to Alan Horton, CEO of PGH, the Putnam County hospital has been seeking a larger health system to partner with for some time.

“We’ve been exploring our options, and The Medical Center of Central Georgia is a good fit. The Medical Center is well respected and well recognized by the citizens of Putnam County. Furthermore, we have similar goals and a similar approach to healthcare – placing the patient at the center of all that we do. Management relationships such as these are a path to sustainability for rural hospitals,” said Horton.

Horton said the arrangement will allow PGH to develop opportunities PGH otherwise would be unable to afford. Saunders agreed.

“Putnam General Hospital has been a pillar in the lake country community for almost 50 years. The hospital is foundational to the healthcare needs of the community. Strategic partnerships between community partners ensure the viability and longevity of healthcare providers, increasing a community hospital’s capabilities while keeping healthcare close to home,” said Starr Purdue, Chairperson of CGHS’s Board of Directors.

Due to recent changes in the healthcare industry, alliances among healthcare providers have become a positive and necessary national trend. In a statement released last August, Earl Rogers, President of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), addressed the many challenges hospitals face today.

“When you combine the uncompensated care burden with continued reductions in Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals, there are several hospitals in the state facing great difficulty staying financially viable,” said Rogers.

According to GHA, a Georgia Department of Community Health Hospital Financial Survey found that 55 percent of Georgia’s rural hospitals lost money in 2011,

“We realized a partnership was necessary. Without a larger partner, Putnam General would not be able to survive current trends in healthcare, including decreased reimbursement. The Medical Center is our long time neighbor, and a wonderful choice for this partnership,” said Jerry Gregory, Chairperson of PGH’s Board of Directors.

CGHS, MCCG and PGH are members of Stratus Healthcare, a strategic non-equity network of health systems, hospitals and physicians that was formed in July 2013. Horton and Saunders recognize that this partnership may not have been realized without their connection through Stratus.

“The purpose of Stratus Healthcare is to permit members to strengthen one another. The partnership with Putnam General Hospital is very much Stratus based. The developing relationship between The Medical Center of Central Georgia and Putnam General Hospital will allow the two healthcare entities to work together in a more formalized manner,” said Saunders.

About Putnam General Hospital
Putnam General Hospital LogoPutnam General Hospital (PGH) has proudly provided community based healthcare to Putnam County and the surrounding lake country since 1968. Putnam General Hospital is a Joint Commission Accredited 25-bed Critical Access Hospital and offers a comprehensive range of services: acute and skilled care; a full range of outpatient diagnostic, rehabilitation and physical therapy services; occupational health care; outpatient and general, minimally invasive surgery; radiology services; and a state-of-the-art 24-hour emergency room. PGH has been recognized for achieving consistently high levels of patient safety and quality patient outcomes by the Georgia Hospital Association and other rating agencies and was named a Coverdell Champion Hospital for Stroke Prevention and Care by the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stork Registry. For more information, please visit www.putnamgeneral.com.

About Central Georgia Health System
Central Georgia Health System logoCentral Georgia Health System (CGHS) was incorporated on November 17, 1994 as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG) and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive range of high-quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the central and south Georgia community. Currently, these other entities include Carlyle Place, Central Georgia Home Care Services, Central Georgia Rehabilitation Hospital, Health Services of Central Georgia, Medcen Community Health Foundation, Pine Pointe Hospice & Palliative Care and The Medical Center of Peach County.

About The Medical Center of Central Georgia
Medical Center of Central Georgia logoThe Medical Center of Central Georgia (MCCG), an entity of Central Georgia Health System (CGHS), is a tertiary regional teaching medical center, a designated Level I Trauma Center, a perinatal center, and is one of 42 twice-designated Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence nationwide. MCCG serves a primary and secondary service area of 30 counties and nearly 750,000 persons in central and south Georgia. It has over 4,600 employees and a medical staff of over 590 physicians. As the second largest hospital in Georgia, MCCG is licensed for 637 beds, including medical-surgical, obstetric, pediatric, psychiatric, and specialized individual intensive care units for neurology, pediatric, neonatal, surgical trauma, cardiac and cardiac surgery. The Emergency Center, with helipad capability and three urgent care centers, treats over 120,000 visitors per year. MCCG provides a broad range of community-based, outpatient diagnostic, primary care, extensive home health and hospice care, and comprehensive rehabilitation services. MCCG is the primary teaching hospital for Mercer University School of Medicine, providing residency and fellowship programs for over 100 residents and fellows, and is affiliated with multiple universities as a clinical education site. Visit www.MCCG.org for more information.