Face of Health Care
Meet Maggie Gill – Five years ago, the Board of Directors of Memorial Health was looking for the right person to be president and chief executive officer. They needed a visionary leader who would bring stability to an organization that had seen three CEOs during the previous four years. Someone with executive experience in both hospital operations and finance. Fortunately, the right candidate was already in the building, and the board voted unanimously to make Maggie Gill president
Since then, Maggie has been the Face of Memorial Health. Memorial has enjoyed success under her leadership, but tough challenges remain. This is largely due to the changing landscape of the healthcare industry with more regulation and lower reimbursements. And, while the Affordable Care Act has afforded new ways to purchase insurance, there is still not enough access to healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Georgians who remain uninsured. “For a healthcare system to advance in this dynamic healthcare environment, it must have a vision for care delivery,” says Maggie. “For Memorial, that means a focus on health, wellness and prevention.”
This commitment to improve the health of our community is called “population health.” The goals are to keep patients healthy, educate them on how to be responsible for their own health, reduce the cost of care, and make healthcare delivery more efficient.
At Memorial, there is a group of nurses and clinicians who work as “care coordinators.” These care coordinators help patients with chronic health issues that put them at high risk for being hospitalized. Care coordinators educate patients and help them manage their conditions. This program made national headlines in 2014 when it was featured on NPR. Care coordination also helps surgical patients prepare for and recover from surgery.
Another program designed to improve patient health is the “patient-centered medical home.” Research shows that medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs. All Memorial Health University Physicians primary care practices have earned the patient-centered medical home designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. In a medical home, each patient’s healthcare needs are managed by care teams that coordinate treatment, resulting in improved patient care and reduced costs.
To help patients maintain wellness during and after treatment, the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute offers a variety of integrative therapies. These include acupuncture, art, music, pet therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and support groups for both survivors and caregivers. These programs are free of charge to patients and are designed to support mind and body.
Memorial is keenly aware that healthy lifestyles should start at an early age. “We launched our children’s wellness program to educate kids in our community about healthy habits,” says Maggie. The Gulfstream Children’s Wellness Program and Center provides education and resources to help kids make healthy choices. The program partners with physicians, educators, and school cafeteria managers to teach children about nutrition, exercise, and weight management. Memorial also serves as the lead agency for Safe Kids Savannah, providing education and outreach on a variety of injury-related topics including bike safety, pedestrian safety, poison safety, water safety, and child passenger safety.
A health system that tries to keep people healthy. That’s innovative, forward-thinking and patient-focused. And, that’s why we think Maggie Gill is the Face of Healthcare.
– Maggie Gill, President & CEO, Memorial Health
4700 Waters Avenue Savannah, GA memorialhealth.com 912.350.8000