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Last Updated March 11, 2008



SRH Souvenir Brick Donations

Click Here to Make a Donation and Receive a Piece of History in Return
For a generous donation you can get your own piece of history. Imprinted and Engraved bricks from our hospital that was hit by the March 1st tornado will be on sale to the general public. 




Local Businessman Supports SRH Souvenir Brick Drive as Final Pieces of Hospital is Torn Down

Posted 03/06/2008
Local Life & Health Insurance Agent Russ Childers recently showed his support of the SRH Souvenir Brick Drive by donating funds for a $50 brick.  Mr. Childers' office is located right across the street from the old facility, which has been reduced to piles of rubble from the demolition.


 
Here, Mr. Childers poses with his brick with the remains of the hospital in the background.  The demolition is scheduled to be finished in the next few weeks, with groundbreaking for the new permanent facility scheduled for later this year.  Sumter Regional's interim facility, Sumter Regional East, is scheduled to open on April 1st and will bring back the majority of services that were lost after the March 1st tornado of last year.
 
If you would like more information about the souvenir bricks, please call (229) 928-4000 and ask for someone in the Marketing & PR Department.  You can also go to our website at www.sumterregional.org.


Construction Continues in Americus

Posted 03/06/2008

Click Here to Read More...


Former NFL Star Shows His Support of Brick Drive

Posted 03/06/2008
Former NFL player and Americus native Victor Green recently pledged his support of to Sumter Regional Hospital's Souvenir Brick Drive.
 
Green played college football at the University of Akron. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 1993. By 1994, Green was the Jets starting strong safety. He played for the Jets through the 2001 season. Green played the 2002 season with the New England Patriots and the 2003 season with the New Orleans Saints. On April 4, 2006 he again signed with the Jets so that he could retire on the team he started his career with. In 2003, Green was honored by being named a member of the Jets Four-Decade Team.  He currently operates a number of businesses and resides in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta.
 
SRH started the drive to give people a chance to own their piece of its 50-year-old facility, which was destroyed by the March 1st tornado last year and is currently being demolished in order to make way for a new facility.  All of the net proceeds will go towards the building of the new facility, which is scheduled for groundbreaking in October of this year and an opening date of 2010.


 
Here, SRH VP of External Operations/Marketing Comfort Green presents a souvenir brick to Green.
 
Anyone interested in making a donation for a brick can call (229) 928-4000 and ask for someone in the Marketing & PR Department or go online at www.sumterregional.org.


Submit your "I'm Going to Sumter" stories!

With Sumter Regional Hospital East opening in April, we are officially back and ready to deliver high quality health care services to our patients, family and friends. We all have different reasons for using Sumter Regional Hospital for our personal health care needs as well as our patientswhats yours?
 
To promote community involvement and support for the interim and future hospital, we are engaged in a Im going to Sumter! campaign that submits why each of us will be using and supporting SRH East in the next years. We are interested in sharing our encouragement, reasons and stories with everyone. You may see over the next few weeks advertising, publications, media and online strategies inline with this initiative, and we ask you to please take part and share your story as well. Just fill out the five questions as indicated below and email to imgoingtosumter@hotmail.com. Thank you so much for your support and participation. Your opinions and commitment can help encourage our community to support us when we need it most!
 
WOULD YOU AGREE TO PARTICIPATING IN ANY ADVERTISING?

FULL NAME:

OCCUPATION (TITLE, BUSINESS NAME):

HOMETOWN:

WHY IM GOING TO SUMTER: (4-5 sentences about why you, your family and/or your patients will be using the SRH East facilities)


Sumter Regional Hospital Foundation Announces Record Single Donation of $1 Million


The Sumter Regional Hospital Foundation, the fundraising arm of Sumter Regional Hospital, announced the receipt of a donation for $1 Million from a source that has requested anonymity.
 
The gift is the largest single donation to SRHF since an EF-3 tornado destroyed Sumter Regional Hospital on March 1, 2007. The donation is being used to help pay for construction and expenses associated with Sumter Regional Hospital East, a 76-bed acute care facility that will serve the community until 2010, when a new, state-of-the-art permanent hospital is expected to open.

The donor of the $1 million gift to the hospitals foundation asked not to be identified and to be referred to only as a Friend of Sumter Regional Hospital that supports the recovery of health care services to southwest Georgia. The donor, a Georgia-based foundation, encouraged other philanthropic individuals, corporations and foundations to also support the recovery effort financially by matching or surpassing its gift.

I am humbled by the overwhelming generosity of this foundations investment in restoring health care services to our community, said David H. Seagraves, President and CEO of Sumter Regional Hospital. Working with representatives of the foundation was a deeply moving and uplifting experience for me one that I will remember for a lifetime.

Sumter Regional Hospital Foundation received $3,036,743 in unrestricted gifts since the tornado, including the gift from the anonymous Georgia donor. The foundation has also received another $525,571 in donations and grants that are tied to specific, pre-selected services and programs. In addition to the cash grants and donations, Siemens Medical Solutions, Inc., announced in January that it would donate a new MRI, valued at approximately $800,000, to the hospital when a new permanent facility opens in 2010.

All funds raised since the tornado have gone toward the construction of Sumter Regional Hospital East; the demolition of the damaged hospital: the design and engineering of the new facility, and other medical programs and healthcare initiatives for the community.


SUMTER REGIONAL HOSPITAL EAST GIVEN CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY

Posted 02/22/2008
Fire marshal grants permission for hospital to move in equipment, furniture.

Sumter Regional Hospital East (SRH East) reached an important milestone yesterday when it was issued a temporary Certificate of Occupancy from the State Fire Marshal.
 
The certificate will allow hospital officials to begin moving essential equipment and furniture into the 76-bed, 70,000 square foot acute care facility. Once the move-in is complete, the State Fire Marshals office will return to make another inspection for a permanent Certificate of Occupancy prior to the hospitals opening.
 
SRH East will be a remarkable achievement in medical construction -- an effort that has never been attempted or accomplished before. said David H. Seagraves, president and CEO of Sumter Regional Hospital. We are thrilled to be in the final stages of creating a top-notch, modern facility that will serve our patients for the next three years.
 
All of SRH Easts patient rooms will be private. The hospitals services include, but are not limited to, medical/surgical services, outpatient and inpatient surgery, labor & delivery, a 24-hour emergency room, critical care, mammography, CT/MRI, and diagnostic lab services.
 
SRH East is scheduled to open to the public on April 1.


Plains Resident First Person to Make a Donation for Sumter Regional Hospital Souvenir Bricks

Posted 02/21/2008
Plains resident Timothy Jackson was the first person to make a donation for the Sumter Regional Hospital Souvenir Brick Drive.  SRH started the drive to give people a chance to own their piece of its 50-year-old facility, which was destroyed by the March 1st tornado last year and is currently being demolished in order to make way for a new facility.  All of the net proceeds will go towards the building of the new facility, which is scheduled for groundbreaking in October of this year and an opening date of 2010.


 
Here, SRH VP of External Operations/Marketing Comfort Green presents the souvenir brick to Mr. Jackson.
 
Anyone interested in making a donation for a brick can call (229) 928-4000 and ask for someone in the Marketing & PR Department or go online at www.sumterregional.org.


Aramark Donates $3,500 to Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 02/22/2008
Aramark became the latest organization to help in the recovery efforts of Sumter Regional Hospital as it donated $3000 to the hospital's Foundation. 
 
The donation, which was made by the managers of Aramark, will help the hospital with expenses that have been incurred since the March 1st tornado. 

ARAMARK continues to be a global leader in professional services, providing award-winning food, hospitality, facility management services and high-quality uniform and work apparel.  

In FORTUNE magazine's list of "America's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK has consistently ranked since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and industry analysts. ARAMARK was also ranked first in its industry in the 2007 FORTUNE 500 survey. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 240,000 employees serving clients in 18 countries.


 
Here (l-r): Stephen Machen, Sumter Regional Hospital Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer; Bruce Verneu, District Manager Southeast Region of ARAMARK Healthcare; Kevin Lewis, SRH Director of Environmental Services and SRH President & CEO David Seagraves pose for the donation.
 
If you would like more information on how you can donate to the hospital's Foundation, please call (229) 389-9123.  For all the latest hospital updates, please go to www.sumterregional.org.


Junior Service League Donates to Future Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 02/22/2008
The Junior Service League of Americus has invested towards the future of Sumter Regional Hospital as it to the hospital's Foundation. This donation is the largest that the league  has ever given to a single project in its history. The Junior Service League is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
 
The donation will be used in the permanent building of Sumter Regional Hospital. Katy Hagerson, JSL President 2007 states "We all realize the importance of our hospital to this community, and we are honored to be able to contribute to recovery efforts."



Here (l-r): Mandy Reeves Young, Jr. Service League Officer/SRH Director of Physician Relations ; Katy Hagerson, Jr. Service League 2007 President; David Seagraves, SRH President & CEO and Nyla Franklin Director SRH Foundation pose for the donation.
 
If you would like more information on how you can donate to the hospital's Foundation, please call (229) 591-2613.  For all the latest hospital updates, please go to www.sumterregional.org. 


SRH Oncology Clinic Goes Back to Original Phone Numbers

The Sumter Regional Hospital Oncology & Hematology Clinic can now be reached using their original phone numbers that were in place before the March 1st tornado.

Patients, visitors and other interested parties can call (229) 931-1381 or 931-1382 to reach someone at the clinic, which is still located at its location on the campus of Magnolia Manor.

For all the latest updates regarding Sumter Regional Hospital, please visit our website at www.sumterregional.org.



SRH to host Community Blood Drive

Posted 2/11/08
Sumter Regional Hospital will host a Community Blood Drive this Friday, February 15th from 8 am to 6 pm.  The drive will take place at First Baptist Church, which is located at 221 South Lee Street in Americus.  

The drive will be held in memory of the late Josh Willis, who was killed in a car accident last week.

There will be t-shirts for all donors. Please call the local Red Cross at 229-924-2026 and make an appointment. Please give the greatest gift you can give: the gift of life.
 


SRH to offer First Aid, CPR Class in February

Posted 2/1/08
Sumter Regional Hospital will offer the American Heart Association's Heartsaver First Aid class on Saturday, February 16th at First Baptist Church.  The class will be held from 9:00 AM until 3:30 PM and is open to the general public.

The course will include training in basic first-aid procedures and instruction in CPR, AED use, relief of choking in adults and children, and infant CPR and relief of choking.  Participants who complete the course will receive a completion card.

The cost of the class is $30, and pre-registration is required.  The deadline to sign up for the class is Thursday, February 14th.  For more information or to register, please contact Karen Smith, SRH Community Educator, at 924-6935 ext. 2032.


Sumter Regional Hospital to Receive Free MRI

Posted 01/26/2008
Sumter Regional Hospital didn't win an MRI. But it's getting one anyway.

Siemens Medical Solutions took note of the Americus hospital's plight during its Win An MRI contest last year and decided to donate an MRI system to the hospital, which was destroyed by a tornado in March.

"To witness through that (contest) video, the devastating effects of the tornado ... it's a very emotional experience to see that and recognize what the community has gone through," said Kristen Saponaro, corporate affairs manager for Siemens.

Hospital officials found out about the gift Friday morning.

"It's something that we've always wanted," said Comfort Green, vice president of external operations and marketing for Sumter Regional. "With the problems that we've had here with the tornado, it's definitely going to save us some money."

The MRI, which stands for magnetic resonance imaging, is a Magnetom Essenza valued at $800,000, according to Siemens.
The hospital lost its previous MRI system in the tornado. The hospital currently operates out of an urgent care center, but expects to open an interim facility shortly. A replacement hospital will open in 2010. The MRI system will be delivered to the hospital at that time.

Lockport Memorial Hospital in Lockport, N.Y., was the winner of Siemens' Win An MRI contest, which ended Dec. 31.


A MAGNETIC GIFT: SUMTER REGIONAL HOSPITAL 

RECEIVES NEW MRI AS CHARITABLE DONATION FROM SIEMENS 
Posted 01/25/2008 
New System to Become Part of Massive Rebuilding Effort for Tornado-Torn Health Care Facility

In recognition of Sumter Regional Hospital s struggle to rebuild following a devastating 2007 tornado, Siemens has announced that, as part of its charitable efforts, it will be providing the Americus , Ga. facility with a new MAGNETOM ESSENZA, worth approximately $800,000.  
Siemens took notice of Sumter s story in the companys 2007 Win an MRI Contest and will donate a MAGNETOM ESSENZA MRI to Sumter , to be delivered once the hospital gets back on its feet and has the facility to support it. The devastating effect of last springs tornado on Sumter and the community it serves struck a chord with Siemens. In solidarity with those at Sumter , Siemens is looking forward to the day when the re-built facility is able to support healthcare equipment such as the Siemens MAGNETOM ESSENZA.
 
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank Siemens for generously contributing a MAGNETOM ESSENZA to our rebuilding efforts, said David Seagraves, president and CEO of Sumter Regional Hospital.  Piece by piece, we are rebuilding and, soon, we will have the ability to address the health care needs of our community even better than before.

 As a small, rural hospital, the terrible disaster that Sumter has endured has had a profound effect on the community that relies on it for both urgent and routine health care, said Jeffrey Bundy, vice president, Magnetic Resonance, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.  Siemens stands in solidarity with Sumter and hopes that the donation of the MAGNETOM ESSENZA will play an important role in helping the facility start anew and offer the best care possible.

The MAGNETOM ESSENZA
The MAGNETOM ESSENZA, which was introduced to the market in October 2007 and developed specifically for the small hospital market, is expected to help physicians deliver improved imaging services in neurology, orthopedics, body imaging, angiography, cardiology, breast imaging, oncology and pediatric imaging.

The lowest-cost new system available today, the MAGNETOM ESSENZA boasts 1.5-Tesla magnet strength. It generates high-resolution images that will help clinicians make a more precise diagnosis and could eliminate the need for expensive and time-consuming follow-up exams.
 
About Siemens Healthcare
Siemens Healthcare is one of the worlds largest suppliers to the healthcare industry. The company is a renowned medical solutions provider with core competence and innovative strength in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as in knowledge engineering, including information technology and system integration. With its laboratory diagnostics acquisitions, Siemens Healthcare will be the first fully integrated diagnostics company, bringing together imaging and lab diagnostics, therapy, and healthcare information technology solutions, supplemented by consulting and support services. Siemens Healthcare delivers solutions across the entire continuum of care -- from prevention and early detection, to diagnosis, therapy and care. The company employs more than 49,000 people worldwide and operates in 130 countries. In the fiscal year 2007 (Sept. 30), Siemens Healthcare reported sales of 9.85, orders of 10.27 billion, and group profit of 1.32 billion. Further information can be found by visiting www.siemens.com/healthcare


OBGyns of Georgia Donate $20,000 for Womens Healthcare Unit at Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 01/23/2008
The Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society representing OBGyn physicians in Georgia recently donated $20,000 to their colleagues in Americus to help rebuild the womens healthcare unit at Sumter Regional Hospital.
 
After hearing about the damage from the tornado that hit the Sumter Regional Hospital in 2007, OBGyns in Georgia wanted to find a way to assist their colleagues in Americus.  An auction for the OBGyn community was organized for Fall 2007.  Physicians and other organizations donated items for the auction which was held at the annual state OBGyn meeting.  Donations included time at physicians personal vacation homes, jewelry, art and many other items.  As part of the auction, past presidents of the Society collectively purchased a quilt, handmade by family of a past president.  The quilt and all the proceeds from the quilt are part of the donation amount.  Dr. Schley Gatewood Jr. as well as his father, Dr. Schley Gatewood Sr., now deceased, are both respected past presidents of the state OBGyn Society.

 
 
PHOTO: On hand for the check and quilt presentation were the following: (L-R) Dr. Henry Teaford, SRH VP of  Medical Affairs; Local physician Gatewood Dudley, MD; Nicole Pavlides, Nurse Midwife for Dr. Schley Gatewood, Jr.; Dr. Anne Patterson-Barnett, a high risk OB from Atlanta who chaired the auction; Dr. Schley Gatewood Jr., Pat Cota, Executive Director of Georgia OBGyn Society; SRH President & CEO David Seagraves; SRH Director of Nursing Susie Fussell and Local OBGYN Wallace Mays, MD.
 
ABOUT THE OBGyn Society
The OBGyn Society is the professional organization representing OBGyn physicians in Georgia with over 900 members.  It is dedicated to improving the state of womens healthcare in Georgia through education of members and advocacy for womens healthcare.  The auction effort was chaired by Dr. Anne Patterson-Barnett, a high risk OB physician from Atlanta, GA.  She will present the donation to representatives of the Americus Healthcare Community.
 


Demolition Progress as of 01/17/2008

Posted 01/18/2007

Click Here to View Demolition Photos....


Demolition Day Video

You can view highlights from Wednesday's Demolition Day ceremony by clicking on the following link:
http://www.youtube.com




Demolition of 1953 Building Has Begun

Posted 01/09/2008
These are photos of the demolition of the 1953 building of the old Sumter Regional Hospital.  The demolition of the entire facility is expected to take 2 to 4 months, with groundbreaking of the permanent facility to take place later this year. 




SRH STAFF WINS STATEWIDE HOSPITAL HERO AWARD

Posted 12/26/2007
Sumter Regional Hospital (SRH) was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Associations (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon recently in Atlanta. The SRH staff, who were one of only 10 recipients statewide to receive the award, were recognized for their brave efforts in serving the Americus community after a March 1 tornado destroyed the hospital building.
 
Traditionally, Georgia Hospital Heroes awards are presented to individuals; however, for the first time, an exception was made for SRH. Rather than recognizing the heroic qualities of one person, their award acknowledged the courage of the entire staff as they worked together to make sure the community could still count on their services even though the hospital was completely ruined.  SRH President/CEO David Seagraves provided the keynote address for the awards ceremony, which was attended by more than 130 people from throughout the state.
 
Knowing the community was in desperate need of a health care provider, only six days after the storm, the hospital opened a makeshift urgent care facility consisting of a large, blue tent in a parking lot across the street from the storm-ravaged hospital. Less than two months later, SRH opened a 24-hour urgent care/outpatient services facility for the community offering a wide array of specialty services that allowed residents to stay in the community avoiding a 45-minute drive to a nearby hospital.
 
Today, as the hospital is only days away from opening an interim facility that will serve as the hospital for the next three years while a permanent facility is being constructed, the hospital staff has demonstrated to the nation that a hospital is not merely bricks and mortar, but a group of caring, compassionate people who place the needs of others above their own.
 
Every single staff member at Sumter Regional Hospital embodies the remarkable qualities of a Hospital Hero award winner, said Joseph Parker, president of GHA. Despite not having a building out of which to work, the staff came together and improvised ways to provide necessary services to the Americus community. They truly deserve the recognition and accolades of this award.
  
GHAs Hospital Heroes Awards are presented every year to 10 individuals who display outstanding service to the healthcare field; in addition, one individual is presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, signifying at least 30 years of service.
 
About GHA
Established in 1929, GHA is the states largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its 174 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgias citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.


 
PHOTO: Pictured here are Sumter Regional Hospital employees who represented the entire staff for the Hospital Heroes award luncheon held in Atlanta.  Front row (l-r): Dennis Berryhill, Tripp Stephens, Betty Farrow, Rory Castognia, Mattie Jordan, Wendy Driver, Tammy Wellons, Comfort Green and Pat Gooden.
 
Back row (l-r): SRH President & CEO David Seagraves, Denise Burgess, Dana Dye, Marcus Johnson, Kara Wildes and Stefani Atkins.


SUMTER REGIONAL HOSPITAL BEGINS DEMOLITION PHASE WITH CELEBRATION

Posted 12/20/2007
Sumter Regional Hospital (SRH) today entered its rebuilding phase during a ceremony held in the parking lot of the facility that was destroyed by an F-3 tornado on March 1, 2007.
 
Hospital officials invited the public to the an hour-long ceremony, First Strike Demolition Celebration, which offered attendees and invited guests a retrospective of Sumter Regional Hospitals past, as well as a look ahead to the future of the facility. Hundreds of people showed up for the event, many of whom had a personal memory of the facility that had stood for more than 50 years before the storm nine months ago.
 
Vice President of Nursing, Susie Fussell, spoke about the hospitals growth and development alongside the community of Americus. This is a bittersweet moment for so many people, including employees who have worked the majority of their adult lives in this building, she said. We are here to bid an old friend farewell as we look toward the future, and many of you here have your own memories that you will cherish forever.
 
SRHs President and CEO David H. Seagraves followed Fussell, and spoke about the plans for the hospitals future. We will continue to move forward with our plans to open an interim facility early next year, and we also break ground for our a permanent facility that is scheduled to open in 2010.
 
Following Seagraves speech, Steve Machen, SRHs senior vice president and COO, selected a First Strike raffle ticket, sold to Americus native Dianne Hall, who climbed into a bulldozer and pulled the first bricks of demolition from the structure.
 
A Second Strike was given to State Sen. George Hooks (D-14) following a $25,000 donation from Alcon Associates, a general contracting firm based in Albany, Ga. Alcon made the donation to the Sumter Regional Hospital Foundation in memory of Sen. Hooks late wife, Gail, who sat on the hospitals board for many years.
 
My late wife loved Sumter Regional Hospital, and I want to thank Alcon Associates for this generous donation, Sen. Hooks said. This is a bittersweet moment, but the community is ready to move on as we enter a new phase of healthcare in the Middle Flint region.
 
The Americus-Sumter County High School Singers provided the musical backdrop, and members of the SRH Auxiliary provided baked goods for the crowd.
 
Representatives from the offices of Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Congressman Sanford Bishop, all attended the hour long event. At the end of the ceremony, attendees released balloons as the chorus sang Auld Lang Syne.
 
It is great to see so many people come out for this event, said Americus native Nadine Pope, who has used the facility for more than 40 years. A lot of people have so many memories at this facility, and it is sad to see it be torn down. On the other hand, this demolition will allow the community to heal and move forward as we anxiously await the interim facility and permanent building in 2010.
 
The new Sumter Regional Hospital will be designed by the architectural firm of Gresham, Smith & Partners and will be built on the site of the old hospital. Construction is expected to begin in the second half of 2008 with the goal of opening in mid-2010. In the meantime, an interim facility, Sumter Regional Hospital East, will serve patients throughout the 10-county southwest Georgia region.
 
Sumter Regional Hospital East is expected to open in mid-February, 2008.


Old hospital's end marks road to recovery for Americus

By GAYLE WHITE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 12/19/07 
Americus Early in January 1953, Martha Wade was one of the first patients in the new Sumter Regional Hospital. She and her newborn son, Kellette, traveled in separate ambulances to the pristine new medical center from the old building where she had given birth.
Fifty-four years and two hospital additions later, Robyn Ragsdale was among the last patients there on March 1 as she was being treated for complications while waiting for her son, Walker, to be born.
She fled the hospital in the middle of the night with other women and children on a school bus headed for Albany. They were evacuated after a tornado wiped out walls, broke doors and windows, sent equipment flying down halls and filled floors with debris and water.
Martha and Kellette Wade were present Wednesday for a ceremony marking the beginning of demolition on what was left of the hospital to make way for a new facility targeted for completion in 2010.
"I'm sad," she said, as big, yellow claws tore through bricks. "It was so nice when we moved into it."
Ragsdale skipped the festivities to have Walker's Christmas photograph made but drove by to make pictures for his baby book. He was born March 17 in Albany. The sight of the hospital where she had planned to have him brought back memories of the harrowing last night.
"But," she said, "I think in the long run this will be good for our community."
That's the message Sumter Regional chief executive David Seagraves tried to give the crowd of several hundred employees, patients and interested Sumter County residents gathered to say farewell to the hospital that served its town of 17,000 and the surrounding area.
"Most of us here today have lived long enough to know that the worst tragedies often contain seeds of hope, opportunity and renewal," Seagraves said. "We will emerge from this trial with a new, state-of-the-art community hospital that we otherwise might not have been able to build for decades to come, if ever."
The hospital cleared $98 million in an insurance settlement toward the $125 million cost of a new building and equipment, Seagraves said. With additional state and federal money, he anticipated a "funding gap" of $12 million to $15 million.
Since the tornado, more than $1 million in gifts have come in. And the community is showing its support in another way by voting in large numbers online for Sumter County Regional to be the recipient of a free MRI machine in a contest among more than 100 hospitals nationwide. Siemens Medical Solutions will donate the machine to the hospital with the most votes.
A cheer went up when Seagraves told the crowd that Sumter Regional is about 83,000 votes ahead of its closest competitor.
Wednesday's ceremony felt like a combination festival and funeral. The Americus-Sumter County High School Singers, wearing black pants and red sweaters, did a jazzy version of "Silent Night." Children released balloons. And a drawing was held to strike the first blow on the building.
Dianne Hall, a Habitat for Humanity employee who bought 10 $5 tickets, won after owners of the first two tickets weren't present.
Hall, who said she was just trying to support the hospital's neonatal unit with her $50 dollars, climbed into the cab of the wrecking machine and aimed its arm at the steel frame of an awning.
"My legs were shaking," she said later. "Every time I hit it, the whole cab jumped."
There were moments of solemnity, too, as people contemplated the building where so many local lives began and ended.
Hospital Vice President Susie Fussell brought tears to more than a few eyes as she spoke about the hospital as a "grand old lady."
"We grieve for her as if she were a family member or friend," Fussell said.
While the ceremony was under way, workers were busy on what will be an interim hospital a few hundred yards away. Sumter Regional officials hope to take in the first patients there as early as mid-February.
The temporary hospital can't open soon enough for the doctors and nurses scattered around Americus who must drive to Montezuma, Cordele or Albany to perform serious procedures.
Nurses, physicians and therapists see more than 100 patients a day for laboratory work, therapy and urgent care in a modular unit in a parking lot. Those with serious problems have to be sent elsewhere.
"The hardest thing is not being able to keep our patients," said Stefani Atkins, the nurse who functioned as house supervisor. "We like to take care of our people and keep them in our community."
"We don't have a blood bank or any in-patient facilities," said Dr. Henry Teaford, a general and thoracic surgeon. "It's been very disruptive to everyone's practice. Something you take for granted suddenly is not here."
Teaford has been performing surgery in the hospitals in surrounding towns, then going back to check on patients. The trips can be taxing.
Dr. Wallace Mays gave up delivering babies in September because of the long trips to Albany and overnight hospital duty. He had considered confining his practice to gynecology but continued with obstetrics to help out after the tornado.
"After six months, I had to let the younger ones have it," said the 67-year-old Mays.
He still drives to Albany to care for gynecological patients who have to be hospitalized, but no longer has to take a turn as obstetrician in residence.
Mays and Teaford are practicing medicine in trailers across the road from the hospital where their offices had been. Both also spent time in office space loaned to them by another physician before the modular units arrived.
"We were on top of each other," said Mays' office manager, Carol Jackson. "We had four offices in one little room. You could hear through the walls. There was no privacy."
The hospital had been part of Jackson's life since she went there with a nurse's aide class when she was 16. She later worked at the facility full time as a nurse. Both her children and all four of her grandchildren were born there.
For her and many other patients, doctors, staff and family members, Wednesday was bittersweet.
"I'm ready for them to tear it down, but it will be sad," Jackson said. "It's time. It's time to take it down and start anew."


Play a Part in Sumter Regional History

Posted 12/13/2007
Tornado-ravaged Sumter Regional Hospital will be demolished next week and one lucky south Georgian will help bring down the walls. 

The Americus hospital is now selling First Strike raffle tickets. For $5, you could win the opportunity to throw the first big punch to the building that was destroyed by a deadly tornado on March 1st. 

One person will be able to tear down a wall with a big demolition claw. 

You can purchase those raffle tickets at the Hospice of Americus and Sumter County, Sumter Bank and Trust, Wachovia, First State Bank, PeopleSouth Community Bank, Clinic Drug Store and Citizen's Bank of Americus. 

Demolition will begin next Wednesday at noon. There will be a farewell ceremony. 


Important Update concerning Sumter Regional Hospital's Patient Family Services (PFS) department

 
Update on the relocation of SRHs Patient Financial Services department:
Patients wishing to make payments in person may do so at the Old Firehall building, next to Citizens Bank:

ADDRESS: 109 N. Lee Street, Americus, GA 31709
PHONE NUMBERS: 931-1283, 931-1113, 931-1111
HOURS: 8AM to 5PM

Patients wishing to discuss their hospital bills in detail may contact the Financial Counselors, who are now located on the 2nd floor of the Wachovia Bank Building:

ADDRESS: 217 W. Forsyth Street, Americus, GA 31709
PHONE NUMBERS: 931-1259, 931-1289, 931-1291, 931-1292
HOURS: 9AM to 5PM


Local Gospel Artist Donates Proceeds from Live Concert to Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 12/11/2007
Local gospel recording artist Alesia Snipes Sanders recently donated $500 to Sumter Regional Hospital to help in the hospital's recovery from the March 1st tornado.  Sanders recently had a live recording gospel concert at the Rylander Theater and allocated $1 of each ticket sold to the hospital.


 
Here (l-r) Mrs. Sanders presents the check to Comfort Green, Sumter Regional Hospital Vice President of External Operations & Marketing.  Also pictured is Alesia's mother Evangelist B. Snipes.


Satilla Regional Medical Center Donates More than $20,000 to Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 12/11/2007
The employees of Satilla Regional Medical Center, which is located in Waycross, decided to give Sumter Regional Hospital an early Christmas gift as they recently donated more than $20,000 towards the rebuilding of  the tornado-damaged hospital.
 
Joy Peterson, Vice Chairman of Satillas Health Foundation, helped rally her fellow coworkers to aid their neighbors in need.  Satilla employees donated hours of their personal vacation time to their Foundation, which in turned converted them to actual funds.  When the final count came in, more than $20,796 was raised by the employees and was recently presented to SRH by Peterson and other Satilla representatives.


 
PHOTO: SRH President & CEO David Seagraves (far right) accepts a check from Gail Seifert, Director of Satillas Health Foundation.  Also pictured is (l-r) Clay Thomas, Satilla Director of Planning & Business Development and the aforementioned Peterson.  For more information about how you can donate to Sumter Regional Hospital, please call (229) 389-9123 or go to www.sumterregional.org.


Bird in Hand Event Raises More Than $65,000 for Local Hospice

Posted 12/07/2007
The 8th Annual Bird in Hand Field Trial was a resounding success this past weekend, as the event raised more than $65,000 for the Hospice of Americus and Sumter County.
 
The event featured 115 sponsors as well as 28 dog handlers and more than 42 dogs and 7 puppies.  More than 22 Georgia cities were represented as well as six other states in the event where English Pointers, Setters, German Short Hairs and Brittanies chased quail to raise money for the local Hospice. 
 
Top dog winner went to Ed Pope of Americus with his hunting dog Luke.  In the puppy division, Alton Powell of Buena Vista placed first with his puppy Shadow Snake.  Ben Hunter of Alabama and his dogs placed second in both the Top Dog and Puppy competition, and Jim Gatewood of Americus placed 3rd in the Top dog competition.
 
We want to thank event organizers Bruce Johnson and his family for their continued support, as well as Sumter Regional Hospital and all of our sponsors this year, said Anne Speer, Executive Director of the Hospice of Americus & Sumter County.  It was a tremendous success and we look forward to a bigger and better event in 2008.
 
Speer said that the monies collected will go towards building an inpatient hospice house behind their current office on 126 E. Furlow Street .   The building will include 16 patient rooms.
 
The Hospice of Americus & Sumter County is the only locally owned hospice in this area, and we look forward to continuing meeting the needs of the people in our community, said Speer.
 
For more information on how you can support the Hospice of Americus & Sumter County, please call (229) 928-4000.
 
Photo (l-r): Alton Powell of Buena Vista placed first in the Puppy Stakes division in this year's Bird in Hand field trials, while Ben Hunter of Alabama placed second in the Top Dog division and Puppy Stakes division.  Americus native Jim Gatewood placed third in the Top dog division.  Not pictured is Ed Pope, who won the Top Dog award with his dog Luke.


Demolition Date Set for Sumter Regional Hospital

Posted 12/07/2007
The demolition of the damaged building will begin with a ceremony on Wednesday, December 19th at Noon at the site of the old Physician Office Building. More details will be given soon about the specifics of this historic day.  Please mark it on your calendars and plan to attend if possible.

For more info, please contact the Marketing & PR Department at (229) 928-4000.


Local Gospel Artist Pledges Her Support for SRH

Posted 12/07/2007
Local gospel artist Alesia Sanders Snipes will have a LIVE CD RECORDING CONCERT tomorrow (Saturday, December 8th) at the Rylander Theater.  The concert will begin at 5:30 pm, and tickets are currently on sale at the Rylander Box Office.  

General admission tickets are $10 before the concert and $12.50 at the door.  Ms. Snipes will donate $1 from each tickets towards the rebuilding of Sumter Regional Hospital, so please spread the word and support her in this endeavor.


Santa Makes a Stop at Sumter Regional Hospital's

Lighting of the Love Lights Tree
Posted 12/05/2007
Santa Claus made an early stop this year as he attended Sumter Regional Hospital's annual Lighting of the Love Lights Tree.  Here, he poses with 6-yr old Dominique Swain and 5-yr old Saige Whaley. 


 
Both children were part of the SRH Kids group that performed a play based on the hospital winning the Siemens MRI contest.  A video version will soon be available on the hospital's website (www.sumterregional.org) as well as YouTube.
 
Sumter Regional Hospital asks that you continue to vote daily at www.winanmri.com until December 31st in order to help SRH give a gift of a new MRI system to the community.


Sumter Regional Hospital Receives ACR Accreditation

Posted 12/05/2007 
Sumter Regional Hospital has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in Mammography as the result of a recent survey by the American College of Radiology (ACR).
 
The ACR, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, awards accreditation to facilities for the achievement of high practice standards after a peer-review evaluation of the practice.  Evaluations are conducted by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.  They assess the qualifications of the personnel and the adequacy of facility equipment.  The surveyors report their findings to the ACRs Committee on Accreditation, which subsequently provides the practice with a comprehensive report.
 
The ACR is a national organization serving more than 32,000 diagnostic-interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, and nuclear medicine and medical physicists with programs focusing on the practice of medical imaging and radiation oncology and the delivery of comprehensive health care services.




State of the Hospital: Let the Demolition Begin

Posted 12/02/2007

By David Seagraves
This week, Im pleased to be able to share some significant progress on an issue that youve been patiently waiting to hear about the demolition of the old hospital building.
We wanted to begin demolition weeks ago, but we had a delay in getting the demolition and abatement bids finalized because of a need to obtain a more detailed environmental assessment regarding the extent of asbestos in the older portions of the building along with exactly where it is located. Asbestos was a very common building material in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but is not used in the same manner today.

That study has been completed and the final bids for asbestos abatement and demolition were received on Wednesday. We will sign a contract with one of the firms within the next couple of days and expect the contractor to begin abatement in the 1953 building within a few days of contract execution. Almost simultaneously, we expect demolition will begin on the 1999 building.

We know that the start of demolition will be an exciting time for our community, since the hospital is one of the final reminders of the terrible March 1 storm. This will be a big job and it will take a number of months for the contractor to complete asbestos abatement, demolition and removal of the construction debris, and while you cant be around to watch the whole thing, we know that some of you would like to be on hand to see the process start. In the next few days, well try to lay out a timeline for when the process will begin and where you can get the best view of the demolition activities.

We realize that many of you were born here or had loved ones born here, and many of you have, at one time or another, been assisted back to good health here. Because of those memories, we understand that you may like the chance to say goodbye to the building. We are working through the details of establishing a remembrance wall near the hospital where you can leave flowers or other mementos. It will likely be a section of the chain link fence around the perimeter of the site where you can place flowers or poems or photos of loved ones who were served at the facility, but would be an opportunity for you to usher out the old and say goodbye as we make room for the new.

A number of folks have expressed an interest in getting bricks, mainly for sentimental reasons, so were working on the details of that right now. Well likely sell them as a fundraiser and the money will go to the SRH Foundation. Well design an order form so that anyone who is interested can tell us how many and maybe even whether they want bricks from the 1953 or 1975 or 1999 building. We should be in a position to begin accepting those orders in the next several weeks.

In short, we are making progress on getting rid of the old building and are clearing the way for a bright future for the new Sumter Regional Hospital. We know that you will be excited to see movement in the next few weeks.
One other item to report is something that many of you have probably already heard, and that is related to the opening of the SRH East facility. Weve identified several things that we felt we needed to upgrade or change in the original design that we believe will make the facility much more accommodating for our physicians, our staff, our patients and visitors and allow us to provide the high quality of service to which we are committed. Weve adopted those changes and that has caused the construction to take a little more time. We now expect construction to be completed in mid-January. That will allow us to move equipment and furnishings in over the last part of January and the early part of February, and for our staff and physicians to become familiar with the layout of the new hospital facility. With this timetable, we expect to see our first patients admitted in mid-February.

Given the choice of a pretty good facility with a December opening or a very good facility with a February opening ... That was an easy decision.

While we would love to have SRH East open sooner than that, if we can improve safety, efficiency and comfort, we are certainly willing to delay the completion and opening of the facility a little longer. We hope that you concur.
Knowing that many of you are anxious to see the building, we are planning an open house for our medical staff and a separate open house for the community with special tours of the hospital facility in early February to let folks get acquainted with the facility and all that it has to offer. We think that once folks see the facility, theyll agree that the short delay was worth the wait.

We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we have labored to restore top-quality inpatient health care to you, and we are pleased and excited to report that the end is in sight. Thanks for your continued encouragement and prayers and for trusting us to serve you! 


Sumter Regional Chooses Architect

Posted 11/29/2007
An architect has been chosen to build the new Sumter Regional Hospital.  

Gresham Smith and Partners of Nashville will design the new acute care medical facility that will replace Sumter Regional Hospital. 

Crews are in the final stages of removing asbestos from the hospital destroyed in the March first tornado. Demolition could begin as early as next week. 

Construction continues on Sumter Regional Hospital East. That interim hospital should be completed by the end of February. 

The groundbreaking on a new hospital is anticipated in late 2008. 


Aerial Photos of SRH East November 20, 2007

Posted 11/29/2007
The attached photos of Sumter Regional Hospital were taken by South Georgia Technical College's Jerry Stovall on November 20th. 
 
As of 3:07 pm, we had 148,253 votes, which means we are only 1,747 votes from 150,000.  Please continue to vote daily and encourage others to do so as well.
 
Thanks for your continued support!

Click Here to View Photos....


Sumter Regional Selects Firm to Rebuild Hospital

Posted 11/28/2007
Gresham, Smith and Partners wins bid to design a new facility for Sumter Regional Hospital. 

GS&P, a Nashville-based architecture firm, has been chosen to draw up plans that will replace the old hospital destroyed by a tornado last March 1. 

The new Sumter Regional Hospital will be built on the site of the old hospital. Construction is expected to begin in late 2008. 

Officials hope the building will be complete and ready for patients by mid-2010.  In the meantime, the community will be informed through town hall meetings on the progress of the design and rebuilding process. 

Expect a ground breaking by the fourth quarter of 2008.


Americus Mayor Shows His Support of SRH Campaign for MRI System

Posted 11/28/2007
Americus mayor Barry Blount has voted daily for Sumter Regional Hospital in the Siemens MRI contest, and he recently went even further by displaying one of the hospital's yard signs that asks passerbys to please "Help SRH give a gift a community" by voting.  The signs are being placed at businesses and homes all over town as a reminder for everyone to vote daily for SRH, which is currently in first place at.  To vote for SRH, go to www.winanmri.com and choose SRH from the pull down menu.  You will then be prompted to vote and type in a security code afterword that will be on the screen.  While SRH has the lead now at more than 145,300 votes and counting, the voting doesn't end until December 31st and daily voting is the key to victory.




SUMTER REGIONAL HOSPITAL SELECTS ARCHITECTURAL FIRM FOR NEW FACILITY

Posted 11/27/2007
Gresham, Smith and Partners wins bid for design of new facility that will replace hospital destroyed by EF-3 tornado.

Sumter Regional Hospital (SRH) announced today the selection of Gresham, Smith and Partners (GS&P), a Nashville-based architecture, engineering and interior design firm, to design a new acute care medical facility to replace the old hospital destroyed by a tornado last March 1.
 
The new Sumter Regional Hospital will be built on the site of the old hospital.  Construction is expected to begin in late 2008 with the goal of opening in mid-2010.
 
This is a very important milestone in the recovery and rebuilding of Sumter Regional Hospital, said David H. Seagraves, the hospitals president and chief executive officer.  As tragic and difficult as the loss of our hospital has been, we have a unique opportunity to build a brand new, s