Southeast Georgia Health System Welcomes Kirkman as New Camden Advisory Committee Member

Joyce C. Kirkman, R.N., BSN, member, Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Advisory CommitteeMay 20, 2019 – Southeast Georgia Health System is pleased to welcome Joyce C. Kirkman, R.N., MSN as its newest Camden Advisory Committee member. Kirkman succeeds Mark Kevan, who served on the Advisory Committee since May 2004.

With her experience as a critical care nurse and nursing director at several large medical centers, Kirkman brings a unique perspective to her role with the Advisory Committee. “It’s wonderful that the Camden Advisory committee recognizes the importance of nurses’ feedback and experiences at the committee level,” says Kirkman. “As a former nursing director, I’m familiar with budgeting, hospital regulations and Joint Commission standards. My background as a bedside nurse informs my perspective on patient care. My combined experience of patient care and administration will allow me to help implement the Health System’s mission to provide safe, quality, accessible and cost-effective care to meet the health needs of the people and communities it serves.”

Kirkman received a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In her 40-year career, she has managed hospital-wide education and research services, worked as an ICU and trauma nurse, and served as director of an Emergency Department.

After searching the East Coast for a suitable place to retire, Kirkman and her husband, Andy, found St. Marys in 2003 and moved there full time in 2014. “We wanted to stay on the East Coast to be near family in Florida and North Carolina. We liked the Cumberland Island seashore and the uniqueness of downtown St. Marys. We both grew up in small towns in North Carolina, so St. Marys was a good fit. It’s a hidden gem that balances historical significance and new growth.”

When she’s not spending time with her two grown children and four grandchildren, Kirkman enjoys biking, boating and traveling with her husband.

After retiring from Baptist Medical Center in downtown Jacksonville where she worked as an ICU nurse, Kirkman wanted to use her skills in the Camden community. “One of the concerns I have is that people don’t realize what the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus has to offer. I’m not certain if the community realizes all of the hospital resources that are available.” She cites a new service for patients presenting at the Camden Campus Emergency Care Center with stroke symptoms. Thanks to a unique partnership, those patients can now be evaluated via telemedicine by a neurologist at Baptist Medical Center. Patients can be treated at the Health System’s Camden Campus or, if necessary, expedited to Baptist’s certified stroke facility.

Kirkman also hopes to raise awareness of positive patient experiences by encouraging the public to review their experience online. “Consumers are quite knowledgeable nowadays, so it’s important for the hospital to have many online reviews. My neighbors tell me they always read Healthgrades’ online reviews when looking for doctors or medical services.” She would also like to address nursing retention rates, an issue of concern for many hospitals, including the Camden Campus. “My first priorities, however, will be learning more about the Health System and its goals. Camden is in a very good position to grow within our community. I’m looking forward to contributing to that growth.”

“We deeply appreciate Mr. Kevan’s dedicated service to the Advisory Committee and his ongoing support of the Health System,” says Michael D. Scherneck, president and chief executive officer, Southeast Georgia Health System. “And we are very pleased to welcome Ms. Kirkman to our Advisory Committee. Her enthusiasm and expertise will be invaluable as we continue improving the patient experience and expanding services for our Camden Campus patients.”

The Advisory Committee currently consists of nine members. Members volunteer their time to assist the Glynn-Brunswick Memorial Hospital Authority in overseeing the Health System’s Camden Campus. In addition to Kirkman, Advisory Committee members are: James "Jim" B. Lomis, chair; Gary D. Willis, vice chair; Jeffery “Jeff” B. Barker; Thomas A. Headlee; Clainetta Jefferson; Juliette “Judy” Smith-Burris; and, Thomas C. Whitesell Jr., M.D., Camden Campus Chief of Staff.