Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals Gives “Eagle” Award to Governor Brian Kemp

October 25, 2021

The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals gave its first-ever Eagle Award to Governor Brian Kemp for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Introducing Governor Kemp, WellStar Health System Executive Vice President and General Counsel Leo Reichert said, “When Governor Kemp was elected, I’m sure he didn’t think he’d be spending as much time on healthcare related issues as he has. We’ve all been through 18 months far different than anything we’ve ever seen, and as part of the Georgia hospital community, I want to thank Governor Kemp for the partnership we’ve had over the last 18 months, working together to help Georgians and our communities get through the pandemic. He set the tone from the very top, doing regular calls with our hospital leadership group and leadership at individual hospitals. At the end of every call, he’d say, ‘here’s my cell phone, call me if you need something’ and it’s actually his cell phone number and he answers it. We look forward to building on that partnership so that Georgia’s community hospitals can thrive so that we can better serve our communities and our patients.”


Georgia Alliance President and CEO Monty Veazey said, “we appreciate you, Governor Kemp, and thank you for the personal attention you’ve given to ensuring that Georgia’s not-for-profit community hospitals had the resources – from nursing and other skilled positions, to PPE and supplies, and assistance from the men and women of the Georgia National Guard – to faithfully serve our patients. During this period, you have been unfailingly accessible to us when we needed help serving our patients, and we truly appreciate your help with so many important issues,” said Monty Veazey, President and CEO of the Alliance.


“We at the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals want to present you this Eagle statue. I know your faith is important to you and a source of strength for you and your family. I’m reminded of Isaiah 40:31, where it is written, ‘But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.’ I cannot imagine the weariness you must have felt during this pandemic, but I know where you went to renew your strength, and I know that you helped us and the staff at our hospitals keep going when we too felt weary,” said Mr. Veazey.


Incoming Alliance Board Chair Joe Ierardi, CEO of Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup, Georgia, said, “As the leader of a hospital serving patients in rural South Georgia, the ability to speak personally to Governor Kemp when we faced problems and the assistance we received from him, his staff, and the state agencies under his Administration was instrumental in helping our community and our patients make it through the pandemic.


The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, based in Tifton, Georgia represents not-for-profit hospitals ranging in size from the largest multi-campus, statewide hospital systems, to the smallest independent rural hospitals, and seeks to ensure the availability of high quality patient care for all Georgians, regardless of their ability to pay.