Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center Celebrates Anniversary

A year ago, hundreds gathered in the sweltering sun on the campus of the new Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center to officially open the state-of-the-art hospital.

On Sunday, a special open house was held in celebration of the hospital’s one year anniversary.

It’s been a year of working out the kinks and bugs, according to Ty Cobb Healthcare CEO Greg Hearn, but Hearn said more and more people are realizing the benefits of the new medical facility in Lavonia.

 “As you might imagine, there were some challenges right after we opened,” Hearn said. “Some systems that still had to be tweaked, but none of them related ot patient care. It was more in the administrative area.”

Since then, Hearn said the volume of patients has steadily increased.

“Last year, we averaged around 14 inpatients of the 54-beds we have,” Hearn said. “But in January, we started seeing people realizing the capabilities we have and that they don’t have to travel as far. So we’ve been seeing outpatient and inpatient steadily increasing this whole year.”

Hearn said they now about 27 inpatients at any given time and have had as many as 45 inpatients at a time.

Additionally, Hearn said they average about 30 births a month in the new maternity ward.

New this first year, according to Hearn were two pieces of medical equipment.

The first is a new type of endoscope for diagnosing cancers earlier, which was brought on board by the Gastroenterology Department.

“They are the specialists who have a practice in Gainesville at Northeast Georgia Medical Center so they are really on the cutting edge of new technology,” Hearn said.

Another is the interactive stroke equipment, which Hearn said allows patients having a stroke to be treated closer to home.

“We’ve had a lot of success with our stroke program,” he said. “A lot of people still think that if you’re having a stroke you need to get to a big facility, but that’s really not true anymore. They’ve discovered through research that time is really the issue.”

Hearn said Ty Cobb Regional has partnered with St. Joseph Hospital in Atlanta through TeleMedicine so they have neurologists available 24×7 if a stroke patient comes in.

“We can do all the tests to determine if a stroke is in progress. If so, we can connect them to equipment so that they can diagnosed and treated by the neurologist in Atlanta,” Hearn said.

The doctor in Atlanta can then prescribe the correct clot-busting medication and the patient can be treated at Ty Cobb rather than having to be transferred somewhere else.

Hearn said more and more specialists are inquiring about setting up a practice at Ty Cobb Regional and plans are already in the works to build a second medical office building on the Ty Cobb campus.