Valdosta Daily Times


August 17, 2013

SGMC to open new patient tower next week

VALDOSTA — South Georgia Medical Center will officially open the new patient tower, which includes the Dasher Heart Center, next weekend with a public reception Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m.

If you’ve been following the news lately, SGMC recently made changes to their paid time off and benefits packages, which touched off a firestorm of criticism from employees and their families. While it is tempting to second guess the administration, as the information could have been delivered differently and other potential cost savings might have been implemented but not announced, that decision in no way impacts the necessity of expanding and updating the hospital.

Sorry, soapbox time. Many ranters complained, saying that employees’ needs come before anyone else’s.

Having been a patient at SGMC for a week very recently, I can attest first-hand to a number of things, including the need for more space and newer facilities. Being in the hospital is not an enjoyable experience no matter where you are, but how can modern medicine be practiced in a 50-year-old facility?

The new patient tower has private rooms, a godsend for anyone who has ever shared a room with another patient, as well as computers in the rooms so that the nurses don’t have to keep pushing those mammoth COWs, or computers on wheels, from room to room (imagine pushing your desk and computer terminal around your office all day).

The new facility will be state of the art with accomodations for the latest technology that could very well save your life someday, not to mention a healthier, cleaner and more environmentally friendly atmosphere.

Sorry, folks, but while staff is important, people seeking care in newer, nicer facilities have been leaving this area for years. You build infrastructure for the future, and then you work to utilize it to its maximum capability.

Sacrificing patient care by not modernizing and updating, by not building new facilities, will mean fewer jobs in the future. It’s far better to take a small hit now than a total loss later on.

SGMC built the new facility to serve our community, not to hurt it, and we should all be thankful that when we need medical attention, the hospital is here for us. Celebrate the new addition next week, tour it and see for yourself the difference, and let’s all be thankful for the growth and opportunities we have here in Valdosta.

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