By Dene Channell
The St Mary’s Good Samaritan Capital Campaign has raised approximately $6.7 million from over 700 donors and with two months to go we are 84% of the way to our goal of $8 million. When St. Mary’s decided to build a state-of-the-art hospital in Greene County, the estimated cost was $50 million. St. Mary’s committed $42 million towards the project and asked the Greene County community for $8 million in philanthropic support to help fully equip and furnish the state-of-the-art critical access hospital.
When successful in raising an additional $1.3 million dollars through the Capital Campaign, St. Mary’s will be able to offer a number of services rarely found outside metropolitan areas, including nuclear medicine capabilities, an operating room for minor procedures, and a third operating room for major surgeries. These are three important enhancements that will complete the equipping of our new hospital, provide an expanded range of health care services, and help us attract top quality medical professionals to our area.
I have visited a number of friends in the new hospital who were from Greensboro, Greshamville, Siloam, and White Plains. People from all areas of Greene County and the lake region are using the new hospital, evidenced by the fact that the emergency room is averaging over 1,000 visits per month, about a 30% increase in activity. Given the large increase in activity, the hospital has taken the necessary steps to ensure service levels are met or exceeded on a consistent basis. Suffice it to say, our community has quickly embraced our new hospital and it is exciting to see the high level of activity taking place.
We are very fortunate to have a state-of-the-art hospital in Greene County that will serve the medical needs of people for decades to come. We are also very fortunate to have a hospital that has fulfilled its promise to hire as many local residents as possible. I saw a number of long-time residents working at the hospital during my admittance to the emergency room in January. I believe that the building of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital is one of the most significant projects to occur in the history of Greene County. I sincerely hope and trust that everyone understands the significant benefit St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital brings to all residents of Greene County.
Imagine dropping a rock into a pond. There’s an initial splash and then there are the ripples that follow. If St. Mary’s Good Samaritan is the rock, the ripples it produces are worth nearly $30 million annually to Greene County and surrounding communities. A study was conducted by the State which created a snapshot of the hospital’s value, measuring everything from the goods and services Good Samaritan buys from vendors, to salaries and spending habits of staff and physicians, including money spent on employees’ food, transportation and housing. This economic impact to our community is huge.
The Capital Campaign ends March 31, and nearly 700 businesses and individuals have made donations or pledges to date. However, we still need your help in reaching our goal of $8 million. There are a number of naming opportunities left, and any donation or pledge will be greatly appreciated and makes a difference. Furthermore, any pledge can be made to be paid over a five year period, with payments made yearly.
Investing in St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital is an investment in the future of Greene County, and may, very likely, be an investment in the well-being of you, your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Greene County is now blessed with one of the finest hospitals in rural Georgia, and, with your help, we can ensure the success of an asset that will bring enormous dividends to our community today and in the future.