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Health system looks to keep growing
The year 2012 has been big for the Southeast Georgia Health System.

Construction, new technology and new partnerships accent a banner year for the facilities in Glynn and Camden counties, and according to President and CEO Gary Colberg, there's no slowing down in sight.

In the past year, Southeast Georgia Health System has made great strides in expanding services and growing as a community generator.

"We desire to provide quality and cost-effective health care, and we do that," Colberg said. "We're here for you and your family."

The addition of physicians and the expansion of services like the CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery System in 2011 and Center for Education Development in 2012 are ways the health system stays ahead of the curve and ready to serve a diverse and growing population.

"We want to be a leader in health care," Colberg said. "We do our best to address the needs of the community."

The health system opened the Center for Education Development, where medical students, nurses, first responders, emergency personnel and military personnel get hands-on experience in training using a state of the art simulation laboratory.

"This is a big plus for us," Colberg said. "It's really great for the community to be able to have training available for students and others."

Brunswick and Camden County hospitals saw the addition of medical plazas of doctors offices for physicians that bring them closer to the hospital.

"This is great because it helps us be able to locate the doctors on our campus," Colberg said.

The opening of an Orthopaedic and Spine Center, a move that Colberg said was full of anticipation for the community, was based on intuition. Camden County's new Cancer Center allows for more patients to be treated more conveniently, he added.

Numerous accreditations and rewards speak highly of the service and care the hospital provides and more will come.

Colberg said the health system's decision to go tobacco free was a big point of pride for the employees.

"It's one thing to just have the signs up, but for us to actually do it, I think it's great and it's important," Colberg said.

Keeping a healthy team morale helps keep the system itself healthy.

The Southeast Georgia Health System is Glynn County's largest employer, with 2,278 employees, and is considered an annual $510 million business.

The addition of nearly 100 employees since 2011 to the system includes 18 physicians. This, combined with the expansion of services and state-of-the-art technology, makes the hospital a force to be reckoned with.

The growth of Southeast Georgia Health System has pulled others into its orbit. A strong health care system brings physicians from out of town, health care related businesses and even the construction of a new senior living community.

In the South Coastal Georgia region, the health care industry was the only sector to grow from 2007 to 2010, a reflection of the strength of the local industry.

As for 2013, Colberg says the health system's newest partnership will bring a lot of excitement.

On Oct. 31, the health system announced a partnership with Wolfson Children's Hospital of Jacksonville, which will result in the entire third floor of the newly finished Medical Plaza featuring a children's clinic and rehabilitation facility.

It will be called Wolfson Children's at Southeast Georgia Health System and will bring together Nemours Children's Clinic and the University of Florida's College of Medicine.

"Clearly, this partnership with Wolfson is really great," Colberg said.

Wolfson will bring to the facility its 32 sub-specialties, such as cardiology care, hematology, neurology, asthma and pulmonary care, as well as infectious diseases.

The partnership will hire physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as clinical coordinators and children's health advocates.

Last year, 300 patients were transferred or sent to Wolfson's from southeast Georgia.

For parents, the ability to utilize a children's health facility just across the street from the hospital will enhance the health system's reach.

"It's like they said the day we announced," Colberg said. "That first smile on the kids face who didn't have to drive so far for pediatric care will be great."

Colberg says the hospital will continue toward excellence in 2013 by pursuing rewards and recognition. Colberg also hopes to see some more growth in the health system's services.

"We're going to continue being better, and sometimes that growth doesn't necessarily mean expansion," Colberg said. "We're looking at neruoscience and bringing in physicians and working with them."

Continuing to provide a growing sports medicine program to the area will help maintain the health system's presence and service to the schools of Glynn County.

Colberg says the health system will continue to do in 2013 what it does best. "We're going to do our best to keep people out of the hospital," he said.

* Thursday: College of Coastal Georgia

Year in review

Some key events of 2012 at Southeast Georgia Health System:

January

* Orthopaedic & Spine Center opens

* Cancer Care Center, Camden, opens

* Dr. Joseph Lanzone, board-certified urologist, performs the Camden County hospital's first urology laser procedure

* Arthritis exercise program is launched at the Brunswick hospital

February

* Chapel at Camden County hospital named for William Walls for 18 years of service to the Camden hospital advisory board

March

* Southeast Georgia Health System becomes tobacco-free

* Infusion Center opens

* Joint Commission accreditation for Brunswick

May

* New Medical Plaza, Brunswick

June

* Health Information Center at the Camden County hospital named for W.H. "Bill" Gross to honor his 18 years of service to the advisory board

* Autism virtual center launches

August

* Center for Educational Development opens

October

* System becomes part of the American Joint Replacement Registry

* New Medical Plaza, Camden County

November

* daVinci Surgical System is introduced

* Among nine Georgia hospitals chosen for the Baby-Friendly 5-Star Incentive Project to promote breastfeeding

December

* Joint Commission accreditation for Camden

* Southeast Georgia Physician Associates expands services in obstetrics and gynecology, neurology and urology



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