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Hospitals partner to better services
Southeast Georgia Health System is entering into a partnership with Bacon County Hospital and Health System.

The two announced the partnership Friday in Alma at the Bacon County Hospital, about 80 miles northwest of Brunswick.

Hospital administrators at both said the agreement focuses on initiatives that will strengthen and build upon an existing relationship between the two that will, among other things, improve the level of health care in the Bacon County communities.

Southeast Georgia Health System and Bacon County Hospital and Health System will collaborate to provide enhanced access to high-quality care and telemedicine and boost physician recruitment efforts. It also will maximize opportunities for physician and staff education, as well as for legal services.

The partnership will also prove beneficial in the purchase of equipment.

Gary R. Colberg is president and chief executive officer of Southeast Georgia Health System, which includes hospitals in Brunswick and St. Marys. Cindy Turner is the CEO of Bacon County Hospital and Health System.

"Our partnership with Bacon County Hospital and Health System recognizes the commitment we share to deliver the best health care available," Colberg said.

Recent changes in the health care industry brought about by the Affordable Health Care Act have resulted in health care organizations examining how they do business and the development of strategic initiatives to ensure longevity and viability, health system officials say.

"Although health care reform presents many challenges to health care providers across the nation, it also creates new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships," Colberg said. "Sharing our knowledge, skills and experiences to develop best practices in health care will benefit our team members as well as our communities."

Bacon County Hospital and Health System, a not-for-profit health care system, is a 25-bed general, acute care hospital. It provides adult and pediatric medical care, surgery and obstetrics. The system also includes Twin Oaks Convalescent Center, an 88-bed long-term care facility.

Turner said the health system welcomes the partnership.

"Together we can expand access to health care services in Bacon County and further our mission to enhance the health and well-being of the communities we serve," she said.

The two systems will retain control of their own assets and personnel.

"Both organizations will remain independent, with their own governing boards, administration, employees and services," said Roger Boatright, chairman of the Bacon County Health System Board.

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