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Area hospitals recognized for service

CONYERS - Rockdale Medical Center and Newton Medical Center were recognized recently by state professional organizations for their quality of service. Specifically, RMC was recognized for its patient care, while NMC was recognized for the work of its hospital volunteers.

Martha Taylor, Newton Medical Center's director of volunteer services, received the Wyn Award for special recognition in health care volunteerism and the Best Practice Program award by the Georgia Society of Directors of Volunteer Services during its annual conference at St. Simon's Island.

The Wyn Award is given to individuals who display outstanding dedication to the society's efforts and to health care volunteerism, according to Marianne Askew, the society's awards chairwoman. The Georgia Society of Directors of Volunteer Services is an arm of the Georgia Hospital Association and encourages collaboration among society members.

Taylor became the first person to win the award twice. Taylor has been the director of volunteer services at Newton Medical Center for 25 years.

The Best Practice Award was given to NMC in recognition of the most outstanding volunteer program in the areas of community outreach, in-house programs or fundraising. Taylor submitted The Hope Boutique project for this award category and won first place among several other entries.

The Hope Boutique is a part of The Women's Diagnostic Center at NMC, which provides free wigs, turbans and prostheses to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The project was started by NMC volunteer and breast cancer survivor Kay Goff.

At Rockdale Medical Center, hospital officials announced last week the facility was recognized as one of the top four performers in Georgia for patient safety and quality patient care by the Georgia Medical Care Foundation, the Medicare quality improvement organization, or QIO, for the state.

The other hospitals recognized were WellStar Cobb Hospital in Austell, Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville and John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville.

The recognition was the second year in a row for RMC for making great strides in the quality processes and outcomes in providing care for the treatment of heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia, said Stuart Downs, vice president of nursing and chief nursing officer.

"The diligence put forth in this effort clearly indicates that our organization is truly concerned with improving the quality of care for all of our patients and it is just one more indication of how we strive to treat every patient like a member of our family," Downs said.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.