As the Effingham Health System expanded and moved into a new facility, hospital officials have been finding new uses for the old spaces.
Last Monday, the hospital cut the ribbon on a new office for Effingham Orthopaedic Services and Dr. Mark Mudano, completing the transformation of the old emergency room.
“It’s a space he’s going to like a whole lot better, and his staff will as well,” said Effingham Health System CEO Norma Jean Morgan.
Dr. Mudano alluded to the Advent season, the time leading up to Christmas, in dedicating his new office.
“Advent is all about waiting and waiting and waiting. Well, good things come to those who wait,” he said. “We’ve been waiting for this day, for this new office. It couldn’t be any better.”
Earlier this year, the hospital turned part of the old ER into a rehabilitation unit. It took a couple of months to turn a section of the old hospital space into offices and exam rooms. Morgan also praised the work and foresight of the hospital authority.
“It is because of their leadership and their wisdom as to when we build and when we do not build that this has been a project that has put us in a place where we can earn more and we can do more,” she said.
Dr. Mudano joined the hospital in March 2012, not long after the modernization project finished and the expansion opened to the public. He was in Milledgeville and Morgan told him about Effingham County. He asked where that was.
“’I said, we’re just south of Screven County and just north of Chatham County. He said, ‘my wife’s family is from Screven County,’” Morgan recalled.
A history buff, Morgan inquired about Mudano’s in-laws. His mother-in-law was Dr. Carol Pryor, one of the first women in the state to be a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist.
“I immediately knew who that was,” Morgan said, “because my grandmother always talked about Dr. Carol Pryor from Screven County. So we had an immediate connection. I felt like he was one of us before he ever got here.”
While eager to put his new office to use, Dr. Mudano said the practice of medicine is “not about buildings, it’s about people.”
“Reputation is gained in inches and lost in yards,” he said. “That’s very true. The reputation of the orthopedic service here, we just made a huge step. This is a big inch, an important inch.”