Growing to Meet Community Needs

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

spring photo showing the light-pole bannersAs the fall approaches, new services, expansion and specialists are helping Augusta Health bring unparalleled care to the community. This community and its needs have broadened significantly since the beginning of Augusta Medical Center 15 years ago, and the transition to Augusta Health this year reflects how much more this health system offers. With physician practices, outpatient centers, home care services, fitness and wellness services, and constant reinvestment in its programs, Augusta Health continues to build and enhance its full range of services. Careful planning and goal-oriented management have created the Augusta Health of today that consistently performs and improves specialized care.

"This progress is no accident, my colleagues on the Board and I have been deeply engaged in a strategic planning process over the last year that has brought on much of the change—change we believe is necessary if Augusta Health is to continue to serve this community well into the future and meet our families' health care needs," said Augusta Health CEO Mary Mannix.

The most recent facility expansion is the Augusta Health Wound Healing Clinic. The Clinic opened on August 3, 2009 on the 2nd floor of the Cancer Center, and offers a truly comprehensive treatment regime for chronic non-healing wounds. The broadened scope of services integrates first-rate specialized care with patient education and a more complete support system. A focus on the underlying disease process creates an inclusive team approach for patients, families and doctors that applies an array of resources to provide a full continuum of care for non-healing wounds. Dr. Timothy Spencer, Board Certified Vascular Surgeon is the Medical Director of the new Wound Healing Clinic, and Dianne Moody, Certified Wound and Ostomy Nurse is the Director.

An Augusta Health Internal Medicine practice opened this past month in Lexington, headed by Dr. Walter Kershal. In October, Augusta Health will expand its presence with its first western Albemarle County office through a second Internal Medicine practice in Crozet, headed by Dr. Shelly Snodgrass.

In addition to geographic expansion, Augusta Health continues to advance technologically across the board. A new Angiography Suite and Operating Room opened in May of this year. The combined operating suite will enable doctors to perform surgical procedures and take imaging data without moving the patient, an exciting fusion of surgical and radiological capabilities. Equipment updates continued through the summer, such as the addition of a third CT scanner in July. Upcoming modernizations include a new Sleep Lab scheduled to open this fall in a newly renovated and state of the art facility on the hospital campus.

Facility developments and improvements are complemented by Augusta Health's ability to recruit first-rate doctors and staff. With the arrival of several new specialists at Augusta Health, the advanced and accomplished medical team grows. This summer two new Gastroenterologists, Dr. Javier Pou and Dr. Vanessa Lee joined the practice of Dr. Stephen Howlett, who recently became an Augusta Health physician.

Augusta Health also invested in its resident cardiac abilities with the recruitment of two exceptional cardiologists. Dr. Morton Kalus, a Princeton graduate who received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University will join Augusta Health in September. Dr. John Yang, a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Missouri Columbia School of Medicine, will begin with Augusta Health in October. These talented additions to the Augusta Health staff will continue the tradition of excellence and stewardship in its comprehensive medical care.

The growth of the past several months at August Health reflect a commitment to progress that widens the reach of its services and communities served. Through innovation and top-notch recruiting, Augusta Health remains at the forefront of health systems in the South Atlantic.