It began as the City-County hospital in 1937 with a mere 65 beds. But over the next few decades, the need to expand became apparent. In 1974, ground was broken on a new hospital, the West Georgia Medical Center or West Georgia Health. Jerry Fulks has been President and CEO for the past twelve years. His vision for the hospital is not so much about size, but its capability, giving patients fewer reasons to drive elsewhere for quality care.
"Probably less than 15 percent of what patients have to have done need to go out of town to get it so we're inching our way up towards a full service hospital that will meet the future needs of the patients."
In 2010, the hospital took on a more modern look—the south tower opened, housing a new emergency department, ICU and Labor and delivery. It also serves as the home for the Heart Clinic. Dr. Robert Copeland came onboard in 1967. It was a time when they really had very little to offer heart patients. It would take months to get a diagnosis.
"Cardiology was another world, in our hospital here identified with cardiology was a single channel EKG machine and a chest X-ray. That was it."
But a Johns Hopkins study 6 years ago breathed new life into the Heart Clinic.
"That introduced the ability to perform percutaneous cardiac intervention, that is the insertion of stints in patients to restore blood flow after a heart attack," says Fulks.
Fulks says oncology is the next area to grow. They're raising 10 million dollars to expand the Enoch Callaway Cancer center. The hospital has offered oncology services since 1938.
Fulks says the hospital can thank the Callaway foundation for all of its expansion.