Morgan Medical Center Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
December 18, 2023
Morgan County’s award-winning community hospital acknowledges achievements, milestones
Morgan Medical Center is celebrating its fifth anniversary in its current location. The milestone serves as a reminder for area residents that an award-winning, state-of-the-art facility resides in their own backyard.
Originally opening in 1960 as Morgan Memorial Hospital, current CEO Ralph A. Castillo, CPA, led the charge to open a new, updated campus for the betterment of the community. The result is Morgan Medical Center, a 25-bed, critical access hospital with a fully-staffed 24-hour emergency room, comprehensive outpatient and inpatient services, acute care, swing bed programs, and more.
“I asked the staff to take a leap of faith and follow me on a journey that would be challenging and redefine hospital care in Morgan County,” Castillo says. “I could not be more proud of what we accomplished for each other and for the area.”
In honor of its fifth anniversary, Morgan Medical Center staff members are recognizing five highlights from the past five years:
Community Support via Fundraising
Thanks to robust financial support from Morgan County citizens through a trio of primary fundraising efforts, Morgan Medical Center continues to solidify itself as the healthcare cornerstone of the community. The largest fundraising initiative is the Rural Hospital Tax Credit program, also known as Georgia HEART. Businesses and individuals can designate their state income tax dollars to Morgan Medical Center in exchange for a 100% state tax credit. To date, Morgan Medical Center has received more than $7 million for the hospital through the program, enabling the expansion of services, most recently general surgery and orthopedics. Additionally, the annual Festival of Friends event, featuring cocktail and dinner parties, and a silent auction, raises approximately $40,000 each year. The Love Light Tree, which takes place each December, allows citizens the opportunity to purchase ornaments in honor or memory of loved ones. It raises more than $20,000 annually to help fund the hospital’s current needs.
“Our fundraising efforts foster community support by giving people an opportunity to be involved, give back, and become a part of something bigger than themselves,” says Megan Morris, Director of Development and Community Relations. “Of course, the funds that are raised allow us to make improvements in the healthcare services we are able to offer, but the camaraderie and positive energy towards the hospital that comes out of our efforts is just as important.”
Morgan Medical Center has grown its surgical services department during the past five years by investing in state-of-the-art equipment and a highly trained staff of providers, including multiple locally-based specialists. The department handles a variety of general surgical procedures, diagnostic services, and outpatient treatments. This includes orthopedics, gynecology, podiatry, plastics, gastroenterology, and interventional pain management.
“Our goal for this hospital is to allow people to not have to travel for the utmost healthcare,” says Elizabeth Holmes, BSN, RN, Surgical Services Manager. “We want them to be able to stay in Madison for a procedure, whether it’s a colonoscopy or a total joint replacement. They will receive quality healthcare right down the road from their home.”
Evolution of Hospital Care
In its first five years, Morgan Medical Center has transformed from a hospital that primarily specialized in inpatient rehab (TCU) and emergency services into a hospital system that offers a wide array of services and specialties. From diagnostic services for cardiac conditions to a therapy department with its own state-of-the-art facility, Morgan Medical Center’s running theme is localizing the breadth of quality healthcare. As the hospital continues to offer new specialties, it attracts specialists from larger surrounding communities who want to be a part of the team and have access to its amazing resources.
“This hospital has the interest of our community at hand and is constantly looking for ways to meet the medical needs of our neighbors,” says Dr. Dan Zant, Chief of Staff. “It is good to be a part of such an amazing organization that cares about its people.”
Thanks to hearty finances and strategic planning, Morgan Medical Center is able to make technological advancements a priority. For example, by upgrading its medical imaging capabilities with a 64-slice CT scanner, it allows the hospital to offer cardiac calcium scoring, a swift, convenient, and noninvasive method for assessing plaque accumulation in heart vessels. In 2023, Morgan Medical Center invested in the Mako SmartRobotics™ system for joint replacements. This cutting-edge technology uses CT-scanned joint images to plan and execute precise and personalized joint replacement procedures, contributing to expedited recovery times and minimizing postoperative discomfort. Morgan Medical Center is one of two hospitals in the region using this tech and the only hospital utilizing the most current software package. These and other investments reflect the hospital’s commitment to advanced and patient-centered care.
“Our technology offerings not only promote accessibility, but also ensure swifter and safer healthcare delivery to the community,” says Adam Bedgood, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer.
In the early days of the pandemic, Morgan Medical Center rallied its staff to provide compassionate care to the community while standing strong on the frontline. From July 2020 to June 2021, COVID-19 patients accounted for 1,162 inpatient days at the hospital. That number increased to 1,370 from July 2021 to June 2022. In 2021, Morgan Medical Center coordinated and created a drive-up COVID-19 vaccination site in downtown Madison, which administered nearly 1,000 shots to the public. Additionally, the hospital held three convalescent plasma drives as part of its 2021 COVID-19 initiative.
“It is the honor of my life to lead such a dynamic team of professionals,” Ralph A. Castillo, CPA, Chief Executive Officer explains. “The essence of love, hope, and courage are what we bring at Morgan Medical Center, and we will always be here when you need us the most.”
To learn more about Morgan Medical Center, visit MorganMedical.org.