MACON, Ga. — Atrium Health, of Charlotte, N.C. and Navicent Health, of Macon, have partnered for several months now, and the health systems’ new brand identity was unveiled Friday morning.
A special ceremony was held outside the health system’s newly erected sign that reads: Atrium Health, Navicent Health, located at 777 Hemlock St. in Macon.
A similar ceremony is expected to be held at Navicent Health Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville soon, where the local hospital’s name will officially change to Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin.
The Milledgeville hospital also is owned by Atrium Health, Navicent Health.
“The Georgia health system’s new brand symbolizes the strategic partners’ shared mission to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing for all,” according to prepared statements by hospital officials.
The branding rollout of the hospital’s new names, meanwhile, comes two years after the health care partners engaged in their strategic relationship.
“As a result, Navicent Health has become a hub for Atrium Health for central and south Georgia, allowing Atrium Health to expand its world-class services and economic benefit to the region and beyond,” according to a press release from Megan Allen, public relations manager for Navicent Health. “From the beginning, the partners pledged to improve access to world-class care, (as well as) to bring the latest and most innovative care options to Georgians, and to focus on care for the whole community, including vulnerable and underserved populations.”
Since the partnership was officially begun, Atrium Health officials have invested capital and worked with Navicent Health clinical experts to enhance the depth and breadth of services provided to residents living in central and the southern portion of the Peach State.
During the ceremony held outside the hospital in Macon, Starr Purdue, chairwoman of the Navicent Health Board of Directors, made remarks via Facebook live stream.
“It doesn’t seem that it was that long ago that the Navicent board realized that we needed to join with a collaborative partner if we wanted to remain viable and relevant to the Georgians who depend on us for care,” Purdue said. “We found a tremendous partner in Atrium Health. And the benefits of that partnership continue today through shared resources and benefits to Navicent Health and the surrounding communities.”
Purdue said while working together the last two years to enhance medical care for communities, the communities served still tend to view them as two different facilities.
“So, today, we are thrilled to come together with a new brand that symbolizes our shared mission to improve health, elevate hope, and advanced healing for all,” Purdue said.
Dr. Tom Oliver, who has served as interim president and chief executive officer of Navicent Health since the retirement of Dr. Ninfa Saunders, also made remarks.
“Several years ago, our Navicent Health Board, led by Starr Purdue, embarked on a journey to find a health care partner to help us improve care and expand clinical services for the communities we serve in central and south Georgia,” Oliver said. “It was important to the Navicent Health Board to select a system partner with strong financials and a track record of superb clinical care in which to combine.”
But perhaps more importantly, hospital board officials wanted to find an organization that shared common values who were committed to high-quality care for everyone in communities, he pointed out.
“They find that partner in what was then Carolina’s Healthcare System, now Atrium Health,” Oliver said.
The veteran physician, who is well-known throughout central Georgia, said he had personally heard Gene Woods, president and chief executive officer of Atrium Health, both publicly and privately, on numerous occasions, and his message is unwavering.
Woods’ message consists of the following words: improved access, affordability, and equity of care for all, Oliver said.
“His passion for providing the best care for all is shared by my 70,000 teammates across three states in the Atrium Health System,” Oliver said. “Having been a part of Atrium Health for a little more than two years, I have been privileged to be a part of the integration process between Atrium Health and Navicent Health since January 2019.”
Oliver said from the very onset, he and many hospital officials knew what success looked like.
He said they set higher than industry expected goals regarding financial and operational synergies.
To active such goals, hospital officials formed a team of teams that worked together from tech Carolinas to Georgia, he explained.
They looked to find ways to save, efficiencies, and ways to promote clinical growth, services and quality.
During the first two years of the partnership, health care officials have exceeded those lofty expectations with more than $65 million of savings, efficiencies, and operations across the board, Oliver said.
“Last year, year two of integration, was to be the year of clinical integration, but our focus appropriately shifted to fighting the COVID pandemic,” Oliver said. “Despite the emphasis on the pandemic, we made remarkable progress, forming regional partnerships with pediatrics in Albany, accelerating telehealth and virtual care options in central Georgia, and hosting many retreats for the specialty physicians in the Carolinas and Georgia to work together to improve care and quality across the enterprise.”
Though those achievements were lofty ones, but ones accomplished, Oliver optimistically believes the best is yet to come.
“The recent additions of Lake Forest Baptist to the Atrium Health family brings an additional academic center with well-respected research facilities, and a top-ranked medical school to further enhance care and quality across the system,” Oliver said.
Oliver thanked Starr Purdue and Gene Woods for allowing him to serve his teammates, Atrium Health Navicent and the Macon community, as interim president and CEO for the last several months,
“I would like to give a special shoutout to the executive team, my 6,000 teammates across central Georgia, and the entire credentialed medical staff for your dedication and resilience this past year,” Oliver said. “The skill and caring of the entire team saved countless lives during this unprecedented pandemic. It has been my honor to work along each and every one of you.”
As Oliver transitions back into the role he previously had, he publicly welcomed Delvecchio Finley as the new president and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.
“I am excited about the future of health care in central Georgia under the enterprise and market leadership of Atrium Health, and Delvecchio Finley, respectfully,” Oliver said.
Finley, who begins his new role this week, also addressed a small crowd and a larger audience via Facebook.
The new president and CEO was hired following a nationwide search.
“I am truly thrilled to be joining this remarkable organization with such a storied past and an even brighter future,” Finley said. “Through rebranding, we’re bringing together the stellar legacy that Navicent Health has built over the past 125 years with their nationally renowned strategic partner, Atrium Health. Our new name reflects the opportunity we have to expand services and care for patients throughout the Southeast, together and for all.”
Finley later asked Purdue and Oliver to join him for the unveiling of the new sign.
Two similar ceremonies were held at the hospital’s rehabilitation center in Macon and at the hospital in neighboring Peach County on Friday.