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Phoebe Makes Progress on Phoebe Focus Projects


Albany, Ga. – Five months after unveiling Phoebe Focus, Phoebe President & CEO Scott Steiner updated hospital board members on the quality and safety initiative Wednesday. Phoebe Focus is the health system’s strategy, philosophy, plan and approach to guide Phoebe into the future, and it includes $250 million in capital investments in key areas over five years. 

“We’re seeing tremendous energy around Phoebe Focus, and we know that energy and excitement will continue to grow throughout 2020. We have already made tangible progress on some very important goals, and we look forward to releasing details on additional projects in the near future,” Steiner said. 

Soon, work will be complete on a new helipad adjacent to the main emergency center. That project is an important step in the hospital’s journey to earn state designation as a Level II trauma center. Emergency transport helicopters should begin using the new helipad late this month. A new Trauma & Emergency Services leadership team is now in place to oversee the process. That team includes Leon Dent, MD, Medical Director of Trauma Services; Darlene Vaughan, BSN, Assistant Vice President of Emergency Services; Brandi Fitzgerald, BSN, Trauma Manager; and Donna Miller-Pollock, Trauma Registrar. 

In September, the team began a 12-month data collection project, which is a required part of the trauma center designation process, and they hope to submit a designation application to the state by the end of the year. “We already treat trauma patients every day at Phoebe, but this designation will make Phoebe an integral part of the state of Georgia trauma system and allow us to treat more patients from a wider region. It will expand our capabilities, improve our processes and enhance our service, and there is no doubt it will save lives,” Dr. Dent said. 

A group of Phoebe leaders is making site visits to some of the finest emergency centers in the country as they work on a design for a new main emergency and trauma center in Albany.  Members of the public who wish to serve on focus groups to assist with that process are asked to sign up at www.phoebefocus.com

Public input will also be crucial as Phoebe moves forward with plans for a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Phoebe’s NICU team has already been involved in initial design meetings, though no timeline for the project has been released yet. 

Another Phoebe Focus key investment is renovations to all operating suites. That work is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks as one operating room in Phoebe’s main hospital will be converted to a state-of-the-art hybrid suite, an advanced procedural space that combines a traditional operating room with an image-guided interventional suite, allowing OR teams to perform highly complex advanced surgical procedures. 

Work is currently progressing on a 22,000 square foot simulation lab on Phoebe’s main campus. The cutting-edge training center is scheduled to open in early May and will serve employees throughout the health system, as well as students in the region. “This center will be one of the finest sim labs in the state. It will provide realistic training for our staff that will improve the quality and service we provide, and we look forward to showing it off to the community,” said Tracy Suber, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Nursing Education. 

Another major building project, the construction of the Light House, will also get underway soon. The Light House is a place of comfort and respite where patients undergoing treatment at the Phoebe Cancer Center can rest or even spend the night between treatments. The previous location was destroyed by a storm. The new, larger and more modern Light House will be built across the street from the Cancer Center in the 500 block of W. 2nd Ave. 

Also as part of Phoebe Focus, leaders continue to evaluate properties owned by Phoebe. A number of those properties are now available for purchase. “We are taking a close look at all of our real estate to determine what we truly need now and what we may need for future growth,” Steiner said. “We identified properties that we don’t expect to utilize to serve the healthcare needs of the people of southwest Georgia, and we believe it just makes sense to give others the opportunity to develop those properties in ways that will benefit our communities.” 

Another major pillar of Phoebe Focus is the health system’s journey to become a High Reliability Organization (HRO). A steering committee is now in place to oversee that project. “HROs are obsessed with failure and with implementing processes to eliminate errors,” said Steiner. “Our goal is zero patient harm, and our commitment to become an HRO will lead us to that goal.” The HRO process includes training for every Phoebe employee. Those training sessions will be conducted later this year.

Posted: 2.7.2020