Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Wins Best in Real Estate Award
Wellstar Kennestone Emergency Department recognized for top deal in Atlanta commercial real estate
Published on April 15, 2021
Last updated 04:53 PM April 15, 2021
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Mary Chatman, Executive Vice President of Acute Care Operations for Wellstar Health System, Elected Chair of the Georgia Hospital Association Board of Trustees
ATLANTA – Mary Chatman, PhD, RN, executive vice president (EVP) of Acute Care Operations for Wellstar Health System, was elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) earlier this month. Chatman, who has served on the GHA Board since February 2020, will lead the Board in developing strategies for GHA hospital members, advocating for the highest quality care for patients, and supporting adequate reimbursement for hospitals.
“Mary Chatman’s extensive leadership experience and skills make her well-equipped to lead our Board,” said GHA President and CEO Caylee Noggle. “She is a strong patient advocate, and her experience will serve our members well.”
Serving as a Wellstar EVP, Chatman oversees the operations of Wellstar’s 11 hospitals, post-acute services, and emergency departments. In 2020, she led the opening of Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center’s new emergency department, the largest in the Southeast.
Prior to serving in her current role, Chatman was the chief operating officer and chief nursing officer at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where she was responsible for managing the 654-bed hospital and its nursing operations. She also served as interim chief information officer for Memorial and completed the electronic health record conversion to EPIC.
In 2021, Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Chatman to the state’s Healthcare Workforce Commission, where she has helped address challenges in the hiring and retention of health care workers.
Chatman has been recognized locally and nationally as a prominent leader and strong patient advocate in health care. Atlanta Daily World recognized her among the 2018 Women of Excellence. Diversity MBA Magazine named her among the 2018 Top 100 Under 50 Executive & Emerging Leaders and 2020 Top 100 Women of Influence. Profiles in Diversity Journal named her a 2020 Women Worth Watching® in STEM award winner. Chatman was recognized by Atlanta Magazine among the 2021 Women Making A Mark honorees and by Becker’s as one of the 75 Black Healthcare Leaders to Know 2022. She was also named the 2020 West Cobb Citizen of the Year for serving on the frontlines for Cobb County, fighting COVID-19, and collaborating with local leaders.
Chatman is deeply involved in the community, serving as board member for United Community Bank and active in the fight to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. She is a member of the American Nurses Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She earned her Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
About GHA Founded in 1929, GHA serves nearly 150 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia’s citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit gha.org.
Holiday Blues: Why the Holidays Can Sometimes be More Stressful Than Joyful
The holidays can be challenging, especially for those struggling with mental health. Familial factors, unrealistic expectations, past trauma, and grief/loss can all play a role in why sometimes the holidays can be more stressful than joyful.
Physical and behavioral health outcomes are intertwined and provide a holistic view of our health. Physicians refer to assessing depression as “a vital sign” -- like checking blood pressure and heart rate. Considering the assessment of depression is essential for a person’s overall health status.
With nearly one in five Georgians struggling with mental illness yearly, treating mental health conditions and assessing suicide risk is a group effort between health professionals and state, local, and community partners. Wellstar’s director of adult & pediatric primary care behavioral health integration, Dr. Janna Williams-Pitts, helps us to understand why the holidays can be so stressful.
“When the stress response becomes activated due to something we are excited or concerned about, it can have a physiological and psychological impact. This occurs for those with and without a diagnosed mental health condition. The stress response, and more specifically chronic stress, can play a role in the onset of a depressive episode or the recurrence of heightened anxiety symptoms.”
Women are about twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. In speaking with Dr. Williams-Pitts, we wanted to understand how specific risk factors like age and gender can make facing these holiday stressors more challenging.
“Research suggests that there are gender differences in the stress response due to biological factors, specifically hormonal differences. Women appear to be more likely to experience depression due to chronic stress, whereas men may be more likely to develop substance use disorders due to chronic stress. The APA completed a survey to assess for Stress in America in 2022. The results of this survey indicate that inflation, concerns about violence, and the racial climate in America are a few of the factors that contribute to differing experiences with stress for participants. Age differences emerged as well. Forty-six percent of adults under 35 reported feeling so stressed that it impacted their functioning whereas 42% of adults aged 35-44, 16% 45-64, and 4% of adults 65+ reported the same.”
People respond to stress in a variety of ways. Often, individuals can hide their symptoms from those closest to them. But we learned there are signs to look for in loved ones who might be experiencing stress blues during the holidays. Social withdrawal, increased substance use, change in hygiene/self-care, shifts in sleep, and experiencing feeling anxious, overwhelmed, and poor concentration can all be signs that chronic stress is starting to have an impact.
It's common for people to notice increased fatigue and feeling down due to less exposure to sunlight during the winter months. So, it’s only natural to wonder if environmental changes during winter months play a role in the onset of depression.
“Some people experience debilitating depressive episodes during the fall and winter months with significant improvement in the spring and summer months. When depressive episodes occur in a seasonal pattern, this is consistent with the diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
Dr. Williams-Pitts added that it is “important to identify a range of meaningful, enjoyable activities to engage in during the winter months to help reduce the likelihood of worsening depressive symptoms.”
Rescheduling appointments with your behavioral health clinician before the holidays can be tempting. Still, keeping that appointment is helpful for those who experience stress during this season. It serves as an opportunity to review your stress management plan and identify meaningful coping mechanisms, which may help the holiday season go more smoothly.
If you are wondering where to turn if you need help during the holidays but don’t have a behavioral health clinician, scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider can be a great way to connect with a behavioral health clinician.
Wellstar Supports Developing Future Healthcare Professionals at Cobb Innovation Technology Academy
- Participate in the new Wellstar Healthcare Pathway Program
- Access cutting-edge equipment and technology
- Engage with Wellstar clinical team members and professionals before they graduate from high school
- Apply for two $2,500 college scholarships funded by Wellstar