"Health Care with a Heart"
Morgan Memorial Hospital celebrates National Hospital Week
by Ann Cantrell
photos by Angelina Bellebuono
Last Monday, Morgan Memorial Hospital kicked off National Hospital Week with a barbecue and will continue with different activities through the week.
Despite being a local community hospital, Morgan Memorial Hospital has a lot to offer citizens of Morgan County, said Megan Morris, public relations representative for the hospital.
The hospital offers accessibility in particular, and both Morris and H.D. Cannington, CEO, agree that access quick access is very important in medical care.
“The biggest advantage is that it is more accessible—access to care is very important,” said Cannington.
Instead of traveling to Atlanta or Athens for medical care, Morgan Memorial Hospital has departments to offer care to local individuals.
Surgery: Handles minor inpatient surgeries including general, and orthopedic surgery and opthamology. Also handles outpatient surgeries including surgery on cataracts, bunions, laser eye surgery and colonoscopies.
Staff includes surgeons from both Athens and Monroe and $8,000 was recently used to purchase new scopes. The head of surgery, Ruth Nash, has 20 years of experience in surgery in hospitals in Fort Lauderdale, New York and Valdosta.
“Our goal is to serve the community—to keep people from traveling,” said Nash.
Radiology: Performs basic radiology scans, cat scans, ultrasounds, mammograms, bone density scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Kaye Utley, head of the department, worked at hospitals in both DeKalb and Gwinnett county before coming to Morgan Memorial Hospital in 1992. She said that in Gwinnett, she would have about 20 people waiting on her for a mammogram and she was rarely able to talk with them or address their concerns. At Morgan Memorial Hospital, she is able to talk with her patients. Mammograms are sent to Rockdale twice a week for results.
“If we had an emergency, we would drive them up there,” said Utley.
Laboratory: Offers basic laboratory procedures, from hematology to coagulations. The laboratory will soon receive a new hematological analyzer. With hematology testing, Tony Sells, head lab technician, said they are able to look for things like high white blood cell count, for example, which may indicate infection. Right now, the lab handles in-patient tests, some out-patients that come in and specimens from most local doctors. These results are autofaxed to the doctor’s offices. If the lab cannot handle the test, then the specimen is sent to a reference lab which can handle other tests.
Therapy: The therapy department offers three areas of therapy—occupational, physical and speech. The therapy department has 10 full-time employees, and nine out of 10 are licensed therapists. Pam Crawford, head of therapy, said they handle about 30 patients a day, with three sessions a day. She said that means the employees are handling about 90 visits a day.
For other procedures, there is also a Rotating Suite where doctors, physicians and specialists come in for days at a time to offer services not covered at Morgan Memorial Hospital. A pediatrist and a orthopedic surgeon both offer medical help through the rotating suite.