Southeast Georgia Health System, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Sign Affiliation Agreement to Expand Pediatric Subspecialty Services in South Georgia

6,000-Square-Foot Wolfson Children’s Specialty Center Will Be Located in Medical Plaza on Southeast Georgia Health System Campus.

Southeast Georgia Health System, headquartered in Brunswick, Georgia, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, announced today that they have signed a multiyear affiliation agreement to expand pediatric subspecialty medical services in South Georgia. The new children’s specialty center, which will be called Wolfson Children’s at Southeast Georgia Health System, will be located on the 3rd floor of the Medical Plaza at 3025 Shrine Road in Brunswick. Soon to be under construction, the center, operated by Wolfson Children’s Hospital in partnership with pediatric subspecialty physicians from Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, and the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, is expected to open in May 2013

“Our affiliation with Wolfson Children’s Hospital, one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals, recognizes our commitment to bringing the best health care to our community,” says Gary R. Colberg, FACHE, president and CEO of Southeast Georgia Health System. “Their specialty expertise, partnered with the knowledge and talents of our team of pediatricians and nurses, is significant in reaching that goal. This affiliation will provide access to a broad array of pediatric services not previously available to residents along the entire southeast Georgia coast and surrounding areas.”

Pediatric cardiology and multiple pediatric subspecialties are expected to be represented in the new center. In addition, Wolfson Children’s Rehabilitation will offer pediatric physical, occupational and speech-language therapies, along with specially equipped gyms for children with neurological and orthopaedic conditions. The center will offer pediatric cardiology echocardiograms and EKGs.

Pediatric subspecialists on the medical staff of Wolfson Children’s Hospital will work closely with physicians in a number of specialties at Southeast Georgia Health System to ensure children in Georgia have easy access to a comprehensive network of care. Children requiring hospitalization for certain conditions will be admitted to the Health System’s Brunswick or Camden campus hospital. Patients requiring complex pediatric subspecialty care, including heart catheterization or surgery, brain and spine surgery, and other procedures will be transferred via the Kids Kare Mobile Intensive Care Unit or the Life Flight air ambulance service to Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Patients will then return to Southeast Georgia Health System or to the care of their primary care physician or provider.

“This idea has been a long time in the works to finally come to fruition” says Eric Stout, M.D., chief, Department of Pediatrics, Southeast Georgia Health System-Brunswick Campus. “I was first approached by Hector James, M.D., former chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and now current director of development at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, and Outreach Manager Kelley Shaw, about a possible partnering between our two organizations, roughly two years ago. I brought this idea to the attention of Gary Colberg, and he thought it was perfect.”

Stout adds, “Now, when a child needs specialty medical care, parents will seek the best care, near or far. This partnership will deliver world-class pediatric care along with the personal touch of a home-town community hospital right here close to home. It’s a win-win for families already living in southeast Georgia and will appeal to young families who are considering relocation to the area.”

“Wolfson Children’s Hospital has long enjoyed a successful collaboration with Southeast Georgia Health System to provide the South Georgia region’s children with outstanding pediatric care,” says Michael D. Aubin, FACHE, Wolfson Children’s Hospital President. “We are excited to expand our work together with the construction and opening of this new Children’s Specialty Center on the Health System’s Brunswick campus, as well as bringing our child advocacy and injury prevention programs to the area through THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Continuing medical and nursing education will be provided by Wolfson Children’s to healthcare professionals with Southeast Georgia Health System to ensure that we share diagnostic and treatment protocols for the best possible outcomes for children in the area.”

“It is our priority to serve pediatric patients and families across southeast Georgia, and we are honored to partner with Wolfson Children’s Hospital,” says Terry Reynolds, M.D., chief of staff for Southeast Georgia Health System-Brunswick Campus. “Our pediatricians share the same mission and values of delivering exemplary family-centered care, and will continue this approach as we address the unique pediatric health care needs of our communities within southeast Georgia.”

About Southeast Georgia Health System

Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit, tobacco-free health system with multiple locations and services. The Health System has served the residents and visitors of the beautiful Golden Isles of Coastal Georgia and surrounding areas of Southeast Georgia since 1888. Headquartered in the historic port city of Brunswick, the Health System serves the health care needs of residents from eight counties - Brantley, Camden, Charlton, Glynn, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, and Wayne. For more information call 912-466-7000 or visit sghs.com.

About Wolfson Children’s Hospital

Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, serves as our region’s pediatric referral center and only hospital just for kids. The 180-bed, patient- and family-centered hospital features an environment filled with bright colors, warm smiles and the latest children’s medical technology. At Wolfson Children’s Hospital, nationally recognized pediatric specialists representing nearly every medical and surgical specialty work with pediatricians to provide care for children of all ages with congenital heart conditions, cancer, neurological disorders, orthopaedic conditions, behavioral health disorders, and more. The hospital is staffed by pediatric nurses and other healthcare professionals specially trained to work with children. Wolfson Children’s pediatric partners include Nemours Children’s Clinic, the University of Florida Jacksonville, and Mayo Clinic Florida. For additional information, please visit wolfsonchildrens.org.