Valdosta Daily Times

August 28, 2013

Donors step up for SGMC

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — So far, donors have contributed $3.8 million to the construction of the Dasher Memorial Heart Center and Patient Tower at South Georgia Medical Center.

The new tower has been open for public tours for the last several days. Staff and patients will begin moving into the building this week, with three floors dedicated to the cardiac unit, one floor for surgical intensive care and one floor for neurosurgical and orthopedic care.

"Through the Foundation, donors have shown an outstanding confidence and commitment to this project," said SGMC CEO Randy Sauls. "Their gifts are testimonies to the pride the community has in this facility."

Mr. and Mrs. Joe V. Dasher, Jr. have contributed more than $2 million since 2000 for the center, in honor of his parents, Joe Virgil Dasher Sr. and Lee Ila C. Dasher. In recent weeks, the top four floors were also named, according to SGMC Foundation Director Elizabeth Vickers, with donations of $250,000 per floor.

The Cardiac Progressive Unit on the second floor is named for the Marshall Ashley Paulk Family; the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit on the third floor is named for the D.K. Hollis, Jr. Family; the Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit on the fourth floor is named for the Louie Flythe Family; and the top floor, the Neurosurgical and Orthopedic Unit, is named for Dr. Edward and Rhonda Mark.

Dr. Mark said he has been in the local community for 18 years and his wife, Rhonda, has been a nurse at SGMC for nearly 30 years.

"When I came on a tour of the building, I saw an opportunity for us to show our appreciation and give back. I asked Rhonda what she thought about us sponsoring the floor, and she agreed," he said. "We are so proud to be able to do this, and hope that other physicians will do the same with the sponsorship opportunities still available."

At a special donor

recognition event held Saturday night at the new tower, Foundation Board of Trustees President James Lee Herndon said his late father, Arthur, always told him that the real estate market “will always go up and down, so I named an elevator in his memory.”

Vickers said the employees of SGMC contributed $470,000 over three years through the giving club, Heart!, which stands for Hospital Employees Achieving Resources

Together. The interior North Garden will be named in their honor.  The South Garden will be named for the SGMC Volunteer Auxiliary.

Vickers said the Foundation’s Capital Campaign, “Stories of Healing,” raised $3.2 million of the $4.1 million goal to help offset the cost of the overall project.

A list of the many corporate and individual donors can be found on the Foundation website.