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...In with the new

POSTED: December 29, 2011 5:32 p.m.
Photo by Calli Arnold/

Women from the community get a look at the CT scan in the Effingham Hospital’s remodeled area. Hospital officials hosted a tour for women of Effingham County to discuss the services in women’s health care available at the hospital.

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The Effingham Hospital modernization project is moving right along, as some of the women in the community learned Thursday afternoon.

After a luncheon and a introduction of some of the newest doctors at the hospital, Dr. Jim Garber, surgical oncologist and Dr. Janine Dodd, director of radiology, women in the business community and school system were led on a sneak preview tour of the new facilities, expected to open the last weekend in January.

“We’re going to be a first-class, excellent community hospital,” said CEO Norma Jean Morgan. “…We’re looking for the very best to come work with us.”

Hard hats and all, the women saw how the facility is coming together, with finished floors, paint drying and state of the art equipment — including a mammogram machine, a CT scanner and a bone density machine — being assembled.

Light turned up upon opening the doors as chief operating officer Tammy Mims, modernization project manager Michael Murphy and other department heads showed visitors the operating rooms, recovery, day surgery, nurse stations and a specialized women’s center.
Mims said they are expecting to officially open the facility with a ceremony Jan. 28.

During lunch, Garber, Dodd and CEO Norma Jean Morgan discussed services available at the hospital for women, including digital mammography, breast MRIs and ultrasounds.

“They are very futuristic,” Mims said of Dodd and her partners. “They are very compassionate; they have great customer service; they’re very conscious of their work.”

“We’re doing a lot of state of the art things that you used to could only get at a big medical center,” said Dodd, who said that they also work in Statesboro. “So now you don’t have to travel downtown or to Jacksonville.”

“What I’d like to see develop here over the next year or two years is to develop this into a fully comprehensive breast center,” said Garber. “…It’s something we can do in a hospital of this size, and it’s something that’s shown to have better patient outcomes, less anxiety for women and quicker diagnosis.

“If I would ask you to do one thing today, that’s to think through your life, think through those you’ve known who had breast cancer. All of you probably know one or two people. Call those people up and ask them if they’ve had their mammogram.”

Margret Edwards also reminded the women that the hospital won a Susan G. Komen grant to offer mammograms to women who have no insurance or are underinsured. Mims reminded guests that the next Girls Night Out will be Jan. 24 and will discuss colon health.

Morgan said that they are hoping to begin offering cancer treatment at the hospital, particularly chemotherapy.

“We are working to bring those services, particularly the chemo,” she said. “We’ve had the most requests for that and we are working on that.”

The event was meant to highlight women’s services available at the hospital to teachers; however, many were unable to come.

For more information about women’s health, mammograms or other women’s services at Effingham Hospital, visit www.effinghamhealth.org.

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