Piedmont Henry Hospital celebrates 5th anniversary

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

It has been five years since Henry Medical Center officially became Piedmont Henry Hospital.

After a lengthy negotiation period that saw both Piedmont and Emory, perhaps the two largest healthcare organizations in the state, vying for control of the hospital, the Piedmont transition took place Jan. 1, 2012.

Henry County was a much different place when Henry General Hospital opened in July of 1979. By the end of the 2000’s Henry Medical Center was struggling to serve a fast-growing population at a time when economic conditions made stand-alone community hospitals a rare sight. More common were companies like Piedmont with multiple facilities across metro Atlanta and elsewhere. Reports circulated in 2010 that Henry Medical Center, subsidized in part by one mill of county property tax, was losing millions of dollars each year.

Today Piedmont Henry is financially sound and has more than 1,400 employees along with 650 physicians and 160 volunteers. On average, the 215-bed facility serves close to 90,000 patients in the emergency department in addition to approximately 13,000 inpatient and 60,000 outpatient visitors each year. Physicians at the hospital perform more than 9,400 surgeries yearly.

The hospital now is a certified Stroke and Chest Pain Center, a certified member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Net-work and home to the only breast health center in Henry County to offer a continuum of care for newly-diagnosed patients.

In 2015, the women’s services department, which delivers more than 2,100 babies each year, became the fifth hospital in Georgia to achieve designation as a Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA for promoting safe infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. As a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Piedmont Henry’s NICU offers the most advanced neonatal care and services for infants born before 32-weeks’ gestation, as well as babies born with critical illnesses, including a full range of respiratory support and advanced imaging.

Recognizing the need for expanded emergency care access, Piedmont Henry’s emergency department, the busiest in the Piedmont Healthcare system, was renovated last year to improve patient flow and lower patient wait times. Improvements made to the newly expanded department include doubling the number of triage rooms; enlarging nursing stations; upgrading the entrances for better access; adding more parking spaces; and expanding the minor emergency area and waiting areas.

Over the past five years, Piedmont Henry has been a recipient of multiple awards and designations including Top Hospital by the Leapfrog Group in 2015 for its commitment to providing the safest, highest quality health care, the American Heart Association /American Stroke Association's Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award (2015-2016) and Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s Most Wired (2015-2016).

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished together over the last five years since becoming a Piedmont facility,” said Deborah Armstrong, CEO of Piedmont Henry Hospital. “We are so grateful to our community for their ongoing support and look forward to continuing to collaborate as we work to provide high-quality, patient-centered care to Henry County and surrounding communities for many years to come.”

For more information about Piedmont Henry, visit piedmont.org/henry.