Wellstar Health System, one of Georgia’s largest and most integrated healthcare systems, today announced Wellstar Kennestone Hospital was named the recipient of the prestigious Georgia Oglethorpe Award for 2020, Georgia’s highest level of recognition for organizational performance excellence. Presented by the Florida Sterling Council, the award recognizes organizations and businesses “that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.” This award announcement falls on the 70th anniversary of the hospital—a significant milestone in community care.
Award Recipients Are Role Models for Excellence
Due to its high standard for excellence, the Georgia Oglethorpe Award represents one of the most significant levels of recognition an organization can receive. Recipients of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award are examples for excellence for other organizations.
This award is presented after rigorous evaluation to recognize organizations that have achieved management and operations performance excellence. Only 89 organizations have earned awards since 1992 from the Florida Sterling Council—the organization that orchestrates the Georgia Oglethorpe Award. The awards are “presented annually to high performing, role-model organizations, both private and public, that demonstrate superior management approaches and role model results,” according to the Florida Sterling Council.
Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Makes an Impact
Founded in 1950, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital is a 633-bed hospital, anchoring the regional medical center located in Marietta, Georgia, and is part of the nationally recognized non-profit Wellstar Health System. The hospital serves hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and consistently demonstrates high performance levels across all metrics, including quality, safety, satisfaction, and operations.
Wellstar invests consistently in new innovations that help address vital healthcare needs, such as Georgia’s first CyberKnife®, TomoTherapy® and da Vinci® robotic surgical systems.
As one of only three Level II trauma centers in Metro Atlanta, and part of the state’s largest trauma network, Wellstar Kennestone operates the second busiest emergency department (ED) in Georgia and the eighth busiest ED in the U.S., caring for more than 138,000 patients per year. The new ED is slated to open late June 2020 and will be one of the top two largest and busiest EDs in the nation, serving up to 600 patients per day and 220,000 patients each year at full capacity, doubling the current trauma and emergency capacity. The 263,000-square-foot facility will include dedicated isolation and decontamination rooms that can be used for patients who present with infectious disease, behavioral health, or chemical contamination issues and multiple entrances for different levels of patient severity. Offering a dedicated pediatric ED and many industry-leading features and processes, the new ED dramatically enhances access for Georgians to vital healthcare needs and will be a model for best practices in emergency services, both for the region and nationally.
Celebrating 70 Years of Compassionate Care
Today, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital is honored to celebrate its 70th anniversary. The hospital was founded in 1950 to serve the needs of the rapidly growing Cobb County community, which had tripled in the ten years prior. The May 21, 1950 edition of the Marietta Daily Journal stated the facilities “are said to be among the best available in hospital circles in the Southeast”—a fact that stands true today. For the last 70 years, the hospital has been a pinnacle in the Marietta community and is a destination hospital for North Georgia and neighboring states.
“Every birthday that we celebrate not only signifies our maturity in age but also our advancement in serving our community,” said Mary Chatman, executive vice president of Wellstar Health System and president of Wellstar Kennestone Hospital and Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital. “We, the more than 5,000 employees of Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, are proud to be the healthcare choice for many patients, from the beginning of life, when we celebrate birth, to the end of life, when we demonstrate dignity.”
The hospital’s longest-tenured team member and unofficial historian, Joyce McMurrain, has worked at Kennestone for almost 55 years. Joyce began her career as a staff nurse in the maternity unit and has served in many roles. McMurrain is currently the nurse manager for professional practice and helps to guide rising senior nursing students. “One of my proudest accomplishments is helping Wellstar to re-shape and re-structure women's health services,” said McMurrain. “The hospital moved from a traditional maternity model to a modern family-centered approach that provides women greater access, support, decision-making in the delivery process, childbirth, and care.” She credits her longevity to her credo of believing that we are all connected and that service makes a significant difference in people's lives.
Chatman and McMurrain join Wellstar Kennestone Hospital team members in celebrating this significant milestone 70th anniversary, knowing that the hospital will continue to provide compassionate care for the communities it serves for years to come.