A Clean Bill of Health

Memorial Health has been a beacon of the community since 1955. Now, they’re investing in the health of the region for the long-haul.

We all hope we never have to go to the hospital for an emergency, but when an unexpected illness strikes or a freak accident happens, knowing high-quality care is close by can be a comfort and a relief during a difficult time. Memorial Health University Medical Center provides that level of care in Savannah, southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina.

The hospital is home to the region’s only Level 1 trauma center for the most serious illnesses and injuries. “Memorial provides essential Trauma, NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and Children’s services to a very broad region of more than 35 counties,” said Shayne George, CEO of Memorial Health. “To continue to meet the needs of our growing community, we must invest and we have been actively doing that. Since February 2018, we have announced more than $300 million of investments in patient care.”

The 612-bed hospital opened in 1955 and has since evolved into a place doctors refer patients for cardiovascular care, cancer treatment, children’s illnesses, complicated pregnancies and neonatal intensive care. “Within the next 12 months, the community will feel the impact of some of our largest individual investments as we open two new floors in our Heart and Vascular Institute and our new Children’s Hospital. The reach of these investments will touch virtually every service we offer through new technology solutions, new facilities and new services that improve the lives of families in our community,” George said.

In 2018 Memorial became part of HCA Healthcare. HCA is the largest private provider of care in the United States and the United Kingdom. During the transition, HCA continued the commitment to care in the region, particularly children’s services and the Children’s Hospital project.

As of late 2020, Memorial will have the only dedicated, stand-alone pediatric hospital in the region with the opening of the 68-bed Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital. To design the hospital, the leadership team created focus groups of families, past patients and team members to get a broad perspective of what the new space should include. “If it’s a trauma, that family was not expecting to come to the hospital that day,” said Heather Newsome, executive director of the Children’s Hospital. “We created a family support space and added things like desks, laundry facilities and places to just be that give some comforts of home.”

The hospital treats newborns through 18-year-olds, so they wanted to design a space that appealed to all ages. “It’s about elevating the patient and family experience,” Newsome said. “I think we get caught in thinking that children are small adults, and that’s not a reality. In the free-standing space, kids know it’s a kids’ space, and that brings a whole different comfort level to the child.”

Memorial is also a teaching hospital, training some of the brightest minds in life-changing medicine. In addition to the main hospital, children’s hospital, and medical education program, Memorial Health offers primary and specialty care facilities and a 24-hour nurse call center for questions and health concerns.

As Memorial continues its investment in the region and long-standing tradition of excellent care, it will remain a hospital where patients can rest assured they’re receiving the best possible medical treatment when they need it most.

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