Valdosta Daily Times

February 20, 2014

CEO addresses rumors

SGMC not for sale

Adam Floyd
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — See our 'What We Think' for more on this issue

South Georgia Medical Center CEO Randy Sauls took time in the Wednesday meeting of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Hospital Authority to dispel the rumors about SGMC’s future.

“I want to assure the community that SGMC is a hospital authority-run hospital with no intention to sell,” he said. “Rumors have been swirling for months about an acquisition and they are completely false.”

Sauls attributed some of the talk to an ad that Mayo Health Systems recently ran in newspapers across South Georgia.

“I called and talked directly to the Mayo administrator in Jacksonville (Fla.) and she laughed. The ad they ran was to incorporate a health plan for their employees and had nothing to do with buying SGMC.”

The rumors have also reportedly had a detrimental effect on employee morale at the hospital, and addressing them in an open meeting was Sauls’ way of ensuring that the message was made public to assure the staff that their jobs are not in jeopardy.

Sauls also addressed the issue of the contract expiration for the physicians group from Tallahassee, Fla., that currently provides the cardiac surgery for SGMC.

“Their contract expires on March 31 of this year, and it will terminate at that time. They have done an excellent job for us for many years,” he said.

SGMC is close to signing a contract with a group of cardio-thoracic surgeons who will take over those responsibilities, and whose physicians will actually move to Valdosta as well.

“There will be no interruption of service,” Sauls said.

Interim Chief Financial Officer Ray Snead presented a report to the Authority on SGMC’s credit-rating review.

“We had a conference call with Standard and Poor last week that went very well,” he said, adding that SGMC has answered all of their questions and expects the credit rating to remain unchanged.

Snead said the finance department is continuing to correct problems in the revenue cycle, but “already this year, we are well ahead of last year.”

A number of Hospital Heroes were also recognized for receiving the Josh Nahum Special Award for Achievement in the Infection Prevention and Control category from Partnership for Health and Accountability. Dr. Kim Megow said the hospital won the award due to its efforts in preventing hospital-based infections, specifically the prevention of ventilator-acquired pneumonia.

“We had zero incidents in the last year,” she said.