Christine Tibbetts 2016-12-08 02:52:21
Found right at home For the young family or the retiree, considering health care options becomes a driving factor in where one calls home. From corner to corner, Barrow extends to all its communities fully accredited large healthcare facilities as well as superior specialists to meet every need. There is no longer a need to travel great distances to receive quality care; it can be found right at home. NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER BARROW First things first matters when it comes to health and wellness in Barrow County, and the driving philosophy of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow (NGMC Barrow) proves that point. Primary care is our focus,” says Chief Executive Officer Chad Hatfield, and that involves “quality, safety and service.” With new physicians joining the medical staff daily at NGMC Barrow, access to care is keeping up with community growth and family needs with approximately 140 physicians on staff. Hatfield also emphasizes attention to detail along with that access. Medical center teams meet daily, he notes, to assess the patients in-house and to analyze what the challenges will be during the next 24 hours. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations—known in medical circles for their fine-tooth comb approach to analyzing hospital practices and outcomes—has declared Barrow Regional Medical Center (now NGMC Barrow) to be one of only 117 hospitals in the nation to achieve key quality standards for five years in a row. Realizing that there are over 16,000 healthcare organizations under this umbrella, Barrow’s ranking is impressive. Barrow gets a big thumbs up also from the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA), “year after year noting the highest level of quality and improvements,” Hatfield says. In 2015, that meant being one of only 12 hospitals in the state placed on the GHA Chairman’s Honor Roll. Same-day service with walk-in clinics helps meet local needs, Hatfield notes, and so does education. Diabetes, obesity and smoking-related issues are key topics addressed in classes and in on-site participation in schools, especially high school sports programs. “We take delivering safety and quality personally,” Hatfield says. “Our patients are our neighbors, we grocery shop with them and go to school and church with them.” A West Virginia native with undergraduate and graduate degrees in healthcare administration and a career track record in hospitals both large and small, Hatfield speaks readily of the roots he’s placing in Barrow County, appreciating a community to call home for a long time. Relationships like these undergird health and wellness in Barrow County. NORTHEAST GEORGIA MEDICAL CENTER BRASELTON It’s a hub of activity at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton. This 100-bed hospital is described as “net-new” meaning not renovated or relocated but brand new in this place as of April 2015. With some permanent wetlands and meadows, the 119 acres is the setting for the medical center. Think about that view from your window as you heal. Under the meadows are 156 wells, the source of geothermal heating and cooling. Definitely some folks at NGMC Brasel-ton are healing in beds, but others are starting and finishing 5K and longer races. More than a mile of 10-foot wide paved walking trails wind through the campus, some shaded, and more are planned. LifePaths they’re called, fitting the phil-osophy of the medical center. The hospital has an Education Center made up of three indoor classroom s. The events calendar is crowded with activities spanning all ages and wellness organizers within and beyond the staff of the Northeast Georgia Health System. Golf carts fit easily on the wide paths so residents ride to and from medical appointments, some coming from nearby Chateau Elan Estates or senior resident communities. “This was designed as a place to be well, get well and want to be,” says Beth Downs, public relations director. “We’re actually an education center within a hospital.” Learning goes way beyond diabetes, calorie counts, or blood pressure monitoring. Cooking classes with the chef are as likely to involve grilling tips as joint pain solutions, Downs says. “Wellness in the Kitchen” is a feature every second Tuesday, but wellness in the cafe happens daily. At Cafe 1400, they purchase produce from the fields and the local farmer’s markets for every meal, every day. On Wednesday, there are farm fresh items for sale. Deli meats are roasted in house to control salt levels, and yogurt is made on site. Class times alternate to meet lots of scheduling needs so Downs recommends following the web site calendar to find yoga and Tai Chi, sleep-better tips and series designed to help families feel well. REGIONAL FIRSTCARE BARROW Urgent care via Athens Regional Health System, where Dr. Navin Patel has watched over the growth of walk-in clinics for 20 years, says relationships matter more than a rush-in and rush-out philosophy. A wide variety of health services bridge the space between primary care office visits and emergency room anxiety. Patients can expect care in cardiology, midwifery, primary care plus educational and clinical guidance. Regional FirstCare is open seven days a week plus extended hours (7:30 p.m. weekdays, 6 p.m. on weekends) which shape the FirstCare opportunities; history influences them, too. Convenience is also a key factor in choosing Regional FirstCare. “Saving people a long drive, providing home-town access to cardiology specialists and offering the kind of health and wellness education that assists in practical ways instead of preaching is the Regional FirstCare and Health Systems commitment,” says Mike Pilcher, director of Systems Relations for Athens Regional Medical Center. “When we suggest menus and cooking styles to address childhood obesity, for instance, we’re likely to go along to the grocery store to point out good choices.” SENIOR CARE At some point, relationships change, refresh and renew as assisted living enters the dynamic of family life. That is based on conclusions drawn by Patti Moody after 19 years in the business as owner and administrator of Mulberry Grove Senior Living in Statham. “Families see a return to relationships when primary caregiver is no longer their role,” Moody says. “A son or daughter can regain that role with mom or dad when others assist with basic needs.” Moody says that individuals themselves are choosing to arrange their own assisted living these days. “No longer is the equation about children insisting a parent make the move. Seniors themselves are coming to us, ready to make a move if it meant becoming more independent.” Mulberry Grove arranges cooking classes, especially featuring residents with favorite recipes to be shared with others. Gardeners have access to raised beds for planting, or picking fresh tomatoes or flowers if that’s the preference. The Oaks-Athens is a luxurious, active senior lifestyle com m unity located just outside of the county line. T heir assisted living and rehabilitation center - facility is part of the Pruitt Health system. Expanding across 43 acres, this site features healthy living with resort style accommodations, personalized service and a continuum of care. It is comforting to know that loved ones are being cared for at this award-winning facility. Providing in dependent living or assisted living care in order to ensure that the senior years are full is what Magnolia Estates is all about. Through exercise classes, worship services, music therapy and even beauty shop day, the residents remain active and engaged. Winder is one of its five locations in Northeast Georgia that thrive on this concept. In Winder, they offer The Villas and Magnolia Estates. They provide units and suites, “blending a home-like atmosphere with the ultimate in personal service. We provide the security and peace of mind with a family owned and operated business. We truly believe this is the best place for your loved ones,” states Magnolia Estates. No matter your stage of life or the specific type of healthcare you require, you do not have to travel far; it can be found at home in Barrow County.
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