2013-04-03 – South Georgia Medical Center Makes Berrien County Hospital Purchase Official
Berrien County Hospital officially became part of the South Georgia Health System and unveiled its new name, the South Georgia Medical Center Berrien Campus, on April 1st at a 2:00 pm ribbon cutting and re-dedication service. The 63-bed community hospital (12-beds of which make up the Dogwood Senior Health Center) and the walk-in clinic that has been named SGMC Berrien Family Medicine were acquired from former owners Chuck Jabeley and Fred Lester. These gentlemen retain full ownership of the Berrien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
According to SGMC’s CEO Randy Sauls, ever since the Hospital Authority of Valdosta & Lowndes County, GA’s intention to purchase the hospital was made public, hospital employees, the medical community and citizens alike have all demonstrated a high level of support and a gracious welcome. Sauls says the medical staff has also been very supportive of the acquisition. Dr. Richard Wheeler will serve as Chief of Staff with Dr. Joe Morgan serving as vice-chief.
“We are very excited about our affiliation with Berrien County and the cities of Nashville, Enigma and Ray City and we anticipate a very successful future,” Sauls says. “Plans are to continue the same services you have come to expect from your community hospital while offering the citizens of Berrien County all the programs and services of the Medical Center.”
Neil Ginty, administrator at Louis Smith Memorial Hospital in Lakeland, GA will serve as the campus administrator for the SGMC Berrien Campus in addition to his duties at Louis Smith. Plans are underway to make improvements to the facility and grounds, including better parking, paved emergency room access and changes to exterior signage. Over time, additional programs and services will be added enhancing the SGMC Berrien Campuses’ offerings and value to the patients of the community.
Because the hospital and nursing home are connected, there will be some shared and purchased services between the hospital and nursing home including the cafeteria and dining services.