The challenges we faced at AMC were multi-faceted and included the age of AMC’s buildings, patients using less than half of the bed capacity and lack of public support while caring for communities most in need of whole-person wellness offerings such as primary and preventive care. Compounding these issues were the intense financial pressures facing hospital systems across the country. Like many of our peers, we felt the pain of the end of government pandemic aid and the skyrocketing costs of supplies and labor. The needed investment to address these challenges was simply too great for Wellstar alone.
As we look ahead, Wellstar will continue to build lasting partnerships that will provide people with increased access to the care they need. As the largest provider of uncompensated care in Georgia, we are proud to serve 1 in 6 Georgians in diverse communities across the region. We will continue to be there for those who need us for primary and specialized care and through our critical role in the statewide collaborative trauma network.
Through our recently announced partnership with Southside Medical Center, Wellstar will invest $5 million in Southside’s East Point clinic to expand their size and capacity and provide greater access to much-needed primary and preventive care, among other services. This is the latest example of our long-standing commitment to partner with others to provide ongoing care to the AMC community.
Our vision for the future requires collaboration with mission-aligned partners and with our friends and neighbors in our communities. That includes partners within and beyond the healthcare industry who can bring unique ideas and perspectives to support the health of the whole person, address the social determinants of health and expand access to world-class care when, where and how people need it.
Together, we can transform healthcare to support the people we serve throughout their health and wellness journeys — not just when they are sick or injured. We can build the bold future of care Georgians need and deserve.
Candice L. Saunders, FACHE, is president and CEO of Wellstar Health System, one of the largest health systems in Georgia. A former critical care nurse, she leads nearly 25,000 team members and physicians. O. Scott Swayze, M.D., is chair of the board of trustees for Wellstar Health System. He is an orthopaedic surgeon, practicing at Pinnacle Orthopaedics.