Jim Brexler, president and CEO of Erlanger Health System; Debbie Reeves, Erlanger administrator at Hutcheson; Kim White, Erlanger Board of Trustees; and Corky Jewell, chairman of Hutcheson’s Board of Directors, unveil the new brand, Erlanger at Hutcheson, for the Fort Oglethorpe hospital. Click to enlarge.
Officials with the Erlanger Health System and Hutcheson Medical Center unveiled the new co-brand for the Fort Oglethorpe hospital Friday, and discussed latest developments since the management agreement with Erlanger was signed on May 26. Among the key initiatives were plans for a trauma center designation, along with strengthened cardiology and orthopedic coverage at Hutcheson’s ER.
“The new name, Erlanger at Hutcheson, represents Erlanger and Hutcheson’s commitment to one another from day one,” said Corky Jewell, chairman of the Board of Hutcheson Medical Center. “This co-brand represents the foundation of what both institutions bring to the table to provide leading edge quality and service to our patients and their families right here in North Georgia.”
The new logo features Erlanger’s blue and gold colors, along with the highly recognizable cross and flower icon well known throughout the region. “Both institutions put considerable thought into the brand identification and name for Hutcheson,” said Kim White of the Erlanger Health System Board of Trustees. “From the perspective of the Erlanger board, if we weren’t 100 percent comfortable with the new direction and leadership of Hutcheson, we would not have made this major commitment. The announcement of this new name and look sends a strong message that we are all completely unified as we move forward.”
Once the management contract was awarded to Erlanger five months ago, leaders of both institutions agreed that a key priority was for Hutcheson’s ER to attain Trauma Center Designation. Last week the request for this designation was unanimously approved by all 32 members of the 16-county EMS council. Hutcheson is now awaiting the required trauma inspection and hopes to obtain the new designation in early 2012.
“This was a very positive development and a significant part of our rebuilding strategy in early planning stages,” said Jim Brexler, president and CEO of the Erlanger Health System. “It is one of many important steps in time that will bring Erlanger at Hutcheson to the forefront providing essential quality care to North Georgia residents.”
Officials also announced the appointment of a new trauma coordinator for the Hutcheson emergency department, Heidi Egbert, RN. “A major focus for us is to hire the best people for all new positions as we rebuild, and this is precisely what we are doing,” said Debbie Reeves, Erlanger administrator at Hutcheson.
“The growth and sustainability of this facility is a complete team effort. Our employees have endured some challenging times, but their dedication to our hospital has been tremendous. This was evidenced by our recent joint commission survey, with outstanding results and which led to continued accreditation for Hutcheson.”
In terms of rebuilding a physician base at the North Georgia facility, officials noted that the Hutcheson and Erlanger team has made significant progress in recent weeks toward providing new, expanded orthopedic coverage for the hospital. Plans for expanded cardiology and general surgery services are also underway.
“We will continue to add the services we need to provide the very best healthcare in the area,” Mr. Jewell added. “We will also be adding the most qualified physicians, staff and management to make sure our levels of care are second to none.”