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Hospital Authority agrees to name change once modernization is done
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Hospital Authority Chairman Rick Rafter speaks at the groundbreaking of the hospital modernization and expansion project. - photo by Photo provided

After much discussion, the Effingham Hospital Board of Trustees has voted to change the name of its organization to Effingham Health System upon completion of the modernization project.

The Effingham Hospital and Care Center broke ground for its $30 million expansion and modernization project on Jan. 2. During the course of discussion on a possible name change, board members and leadership of the hospital evaluated a variety of possibilities.

Across the United States, medicine has evolved considerably. Today, people are more health care consumers than patients and a major emphasis for health care organizations is education, prevention and wellness programs. Thus, removing the word hospital from the name helps to demonstrate the organization’s focus on the future of health care in the Springfield area, according to hospital officials.

“This name modification will help our patients and the community better understand that we are much more than just hospital beds,” said CEO Norma Jean Morgan. “This modernization project allows us to provide more specialty services, advanced technology as well as additional community-based health and wellness programs while still providing outstanding inpatient and outpatient healthcare.”

Construction of the new 58,000-square-foot addition to the hospital began Jan. 3. Once completed, the project will create a total medical campus, designed to improve patient privacy, provide needed space to accommodate additional physicians and advancing technology, create room for additional and future community-based health programs, all while expanding essential health care services. It will also provide the space needed to bring many of the business operations back into the main campus and out of the external offices they now occupy. The new hospital space is expected to open during 2012.

The modernization project is said to be on schedule and delays as a result of rain have been made up by working on the weekends.

“We are so grateful for all the support and encouragement our community members have provided as we move forward not only with this modernization project but also the name change,” said Rick Rafter, chairman of the board of trustees. “These changes only further our mission of providing quality health care close to home.”

The Georgia Hospital Association also has sent notification that the Effingham Hospital has met requirements and is a GHA Board Certified Organization. The first requirement to receive this notification is that all board members have individually received certification under the GHA Trustee Certification Program.