Residents in Dahlonega, Dawsonville and surrounding communities have a new hospital for emergency and inpatient care – and can now have surgery close to home, too. The new Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Lumpkin hospital treated its first patients early this morning.

The first patient arrived in the emergency department at 7:18 this morning. Heather Hughes, of Dahlonega, was treated by emergency medicine physician Kristin Halligan, MD, for an ear complaint. Hughes was released around 7:40 a.m.

“I’m so proud to start this new chapter for Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS),” said Kevin Matson, vice president of regional hospitals for NGHS. “Everything has gone smoothly today, all because so many people have been planning for this for years. Now, I’m looking forward to our first surgery scheduled for Thursday.”

NGHS moved NGMC Lumpkin from the old Chestatee Regional Hospital building on Mountain Drive to its new home along Georgia 400, just south of Highway 60, which is easier to access. The single-story, 66,000-square-foot building is located at 495 GA-400 in Dahlonega. Services include 24/7 emergency care, advanced surgery, inpatient care and on-site imaging, lab and pharmacy support.

Surgeons with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group will provide orthopedic surgery at NGMC Lumpkin starting this week. In the following months, the types of surgery offered will expand to include gynecologic and general surgery as well.

It’s estimated that more than 1,500 people attended a grand opening celebration at the new hospital on Saturday, April 13. The emergency department, inpatient rooms, operating rooms, procedural suite, Jackson EMC Community Room, Marie Webb Faulkner Memorial Chapel, café and dining area were open for tours.

“The response to the grand opening was overwhelmingly positive and far exceeded the number of people we expected, which we know led to some challenges with parking and concessions,” Matson said. “We take that as a sign of how much our services are needed in this community, and we look forward to caring for anyone who comes through our doors.”

After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, NGMC Lumpkin was built on 53 acres, which includes plenty of space for future expansion to grow along with the surrounding population

“We couldn’t be more excited to have this hospital complete,” said Carol Burrell, president and CEO of NGHS. “We have dreamed of a brand-new hospital here to serve this beautiful community for so long, and I hope people will agree it was worth the wait.”

The NGMC Lumpkin campus backs up to the Chestatee River, and that tie to nature has been incorporated inside the hospital, thanks to the work of three local artists: Lily Payne, an open impressionism landscape artist based in Dahlonega; Deb Nadelhoffer, a landscape artist from Dawsonville; and Anna Elrod, a potter from Dahlonega. Their art was selected to be featured near the hospital’s main entrance, bringing the spirit of the surrounding landscape indoors.

“Of all the great things I’ve been blessed to participate in through serving in an elected office, I may be most proud of the group that came together to save health care in Lumpkin County – including Northeast Georgia Health System,” said Sen. Steve Gooch, who spoke during the grand opening celebration. “I’m looking forward to seeing this campus continue to grow and be a beacon of hope and healing.”

To learn more or find a surgeon operating at NGMC Lumpkin, visit


SGMC Health Becomes Clinical Campus for Mercer University School of Medicine 3:14 pm

SGMC Health is the newest clinical campus for Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM). Beginning this Summer, SGMC Health will welcome its first class of third- and fourth-year medical students.

According to Mercer, the goal of developing a clinical site in Valdosta is to allow medical students to experience the high-quality care offered by a tertiary medical center that serves rural communities. MUSM only admits Georgia residents and favors students from rural areas. Opening a clinical site in Valdosta expands the School’s reach to a critical medically underserved region.

Clerkship Directors are responsible for guiding clinical curriculum and rotations at SGMC Health include Meghan Gallagher, DO (Internal Medicine); Brian Griner, MD (Pediatrics); Anthony Johnson, MD (Family Medicine); Paresh Thanki, MD (Psychiatry); Ene Grace Morgan, MD (OBGYN); and James Davis, MD (Surgery).

SGMC Health President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald E. Dean shared, “SGMC Health is very proud of our partnership with Mercer University School of Medicine and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner in the development of the MUSM Valdosta clinical campus.”

SGMC Health and MUSM’s partnership began in 2020 with the establishment of an ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency program. Since its first class the program has been fully matched and now hosts 24 interns.

“What began as a strategic affiliation to develop residency training programs at SGMC Health has given way to an even greater opportunity to expand the pipeline of well-trained physicians for South Georgia. The dedication of our medical staff, employees and volunteers to support this endeavor is commendable and will shape the physician work force for our health system for years to come.”

The MUSM Valdosta campus will be located in a dedicated Medical Education Unit within the main campus at 2501 N Patterson Street. Beginning in July 2024, the site will offer all required clerkships and electives of Year 3, as well as the sub-internship, elective, and required elective rotations for Year 4 of the MD program. SGMC has a 15-county service area, much of which is rural so this affiliation offers an opportunity to advance the mission of MUSM by adding more rural clinical experiences to the clerkship and post-clerkship phases.

“Mercer University School of Medicine is honored to partner with SGMC Health,” stated Dr. Jean Sumner, dean of School of Medicine. “The opportunity to partner with SGMC gives our students a chance to experience a comprehensive rural hospital environment with excellent physicians, other highly trained professionals and the latest equipment and technology. Also, the spirit of commitment to the region and the patients who use SGMC’s services is impressive. Our students are all from Georgia and many are from south Georgia. Our expectation is with this experience they will choose to stay in the region to practice.”

MUSM graduate Joseph Hayes, MD, and current Designated Institutional Official at SGMC, will lead the Valdosta campus as associate dean. Dr. Hayes shared, “We are proud to take this next step in supporting and propelling medical education in South Georgia. SGMC Health has assembled an esteemed team of faculty who truly considers it an honor to serve in this capacity, inspiring and leading our next generation of doctors.”

Amari Evans is a rising third-year medical student from Valdosta and will be transferring from the MUSM Columbus campus to complete her medical education at the new clinical site within SGMC Health.

“My first job in healthcare was at SGMC Health as a medical scribe in the emergency department, so this is a full-circle moment for me. I am very excited to be able to complete my clinical years in Valdosta and to serve the community that has raised me,” said Evans. “Having a clinical campus in Valdosta contributes to Mercer students’ journey of becoming a successful Georgia physician by giving us an opportunity to serve a wide demographic of patients. I believe that the culture of Valdosta and the mission of MUSM will be a beautiful blend and will attract students to practice in the area.”

SGMC Health is currently constructing a medical simulation center to allow medical practice activities, including standardized patient encounters, to be provided on-site in Valdosta. This simulation center will also offer interdisciplinary training sessions in partnership with health professions programs at nearby Valdosta State University. Clinical partners provide all facilities including clinical skills exam rooms and simulation lab space. SGMC has allocated $250,000 for virtual reality and high-fidelity models for ultrasound and procedural training, which are comparable to those available on the other MUSM campuses.

For more information visit

SGMC Health Earns Vascular Testing Accreditation by IAC 1:32 pm
SGMC Health proudly announces its attainment of a three-year accreditation from the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC) in Vascular Testing, encompassing Peripheral Arterial Testing and Extracranial Cerebrovascular Testing. 
Within the health system, vascular testing procedures enable the early detection of life-threatening heart disorders, strokes, and various other diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death in the United States, with one American dying every 34 seconds. In addition, nearly 800,000 strokes occur annually in the U.S. These statistics underline the significance of timely diagnosis and intervention.  

 Vascular Surgeon David Hardy, MD, RPVI, FACS, emphasizes, “Our steadfast dedication to delivering top-tier patient care in vascular testing is consistently evident. Here at SGMC Health, we provide comprehensive treatments and surgeries tailored to the needs of our community in South Georgia.”

 The IAC accreditation serves as a beacon of assurance for patients, symbolizing the unwavering commitment to maintaining exemplary standards of care and continuously striving for advancement.

 Accreditation by the IAC indicates that SGMC Health has undergone an intensive application and review process and is in compliance with the published standards. The accreditation was earned through a detailed self-evaluation and a thorough review from a panel of medical experts. The process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the health system to be assessed, including case studies and corresponding final reports.

For further insights into SGMC Health’s accredited vascular testing program, visit 

AU/UGA Medical Partnership, St. Mary’s fill all positions in Internal Medicine Residency Program 8:59 pm

The Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Residency Program (IMRP) at St. Mary’s has announced another successful Match Day. The program filled all residency positions to welcome its ninth class of internal medicine residents in Athens.

“We are honored once again to have received so many truly exceptional applicants to our program,” said Dr. Lela Ward, program director for the IMRP. “The supportive medical community, dedicated volunteer faculty, exceptional staff, and commitment of St. Mary’s Health Care System to quality care truly make this an excellent program to learn and to train physicians in Northeast Georgia.”

The IMRP, which received full accreditation from the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education in October 2016, is a joint effort by the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and St. Mary’s. Residents are medical school graduates who are entering the final stage of their medical education: a three-year, hands-on program with progressive levels of responsibility that ends in certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

“While we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of COVID hospitalizations and deaths, the Class of 2026 will be facing new and unprecedented challenges in the healthcare world,” said Dr. Eric Schuck, St. Mary’s chief medical officer. “Continued post-pandemic-related health challenges, along with the need to continue to provide ever-higher levels of quality and satisfaction for patients with more and more chronic illnesses, will be a significant challenge for these new physicians. I have no doubt that this outstanding class of physicians is up to the task.”

The IMRP Class of 2027 and the schools at which they completed their medical education are:

In addition, the program matched a preliminary year intern, Frank Merlino, MD. He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia.

The new residents will begin practicing at St. Mary’s Health Care System on July 1.

“This is another exciting year in the history of the Internal Medicine Residency Program,” said Stonish Pierce, president and CEO, Trinity Health of Georgia, which includes St. Mary’s. “We are confident this next class will continue the tradition of compassion and excellence demonstrated by their predecessors. St. Mary’s is proud to be an integral part of the IMRP and its success in bringing more medical doctors to Georgia and to the Athens region.”

“I am so excited to have this group of residents join us. Their experiences, diversity, and talent will continue to strengthen the Internal Medicine Program,” said Medical Partnership campus dean, Dr. Shelley Nuss. “I look forward to seeing what these young physicians will do in our community over the next three years.”

#   #   #

It’s a Match: SGMC Health Celebrates Full Class of Internal Medicine Resident Physicians 2:02 pm

SGMC Health proudly announces the third class of 8 resident physicians joining the health system this summer. With this addition, SGMC Health now boasts a full program of 24 resident physicians dedicated to practicing internal medicine in the heart of South Georgia. 


Now in its third year, the Graduate Medical Education (GME) program, in partnership with Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM), has been extremely successful and continues to launch additional opportunities for medical training.  


SGMC Health received more than 1,300 applications vying for a spot in this year’s residency class. GME Leadership evaluated each applicant and completed more than 100 interviews. The process culminated with Match Day on March 15, a pivotal moment for fourth-year medical students across the nation, where the applicants learn where they will train. The health system proudly matched with 8 exceptional candidates who will now call SGMC Health home for three years. 


“We are thrilled to welcome these talented individuals to our community,” said Greg Beale, MD, Program Director. “Their dedication to advancing their medical knowledge and serving the people of South Georgia is truly commendable. We are confident that they will thrive in our program, contributing to the high standard of care we provide to our patients.” 


Residents are doctors who have completed medical school, have earned a degree such as an M.D. or D.O., and practice under the direct supervision of an “attending,” or senior physician. Physicians complete residencies so that they can specialize and become board-certified or board-eligible in a particular field. 


The collaboration with MUSM further enhances the educational experience offered by SGMC Health, providing residents with access to exceptional faculty and resources. This partnership underscores SGMC Health’s commitment to fostering the next generation of physicians, who play a pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare in the region. 


Outside of the hospital, the residency program operates a continuity clinic at SGMC Internal Medicine on Park Avenue in Valdosta under the direction of Medical Director Joseph Hayes, MD. This allows residents the opportunity to learn how to manage both common and complicated outpatient conditions and to follow patients over time.  


Research indicates that residents often establish long-term ties to their training sites, making significant contributions to local communities. SGMC Health is proud to serve as a cornerstone for these budding medical professionals, nurturing their skills and instilling a deep sense of commitment to the patients they serve. 


As SGMC Health continues to expand, it remains dedicated to providing comprehensive training opportunities and fostering a culture of excellence in medical education.  


SGMC Health’s 2024-2025 Class of Internal Medicine Residents includes: 

·                     Nikolay Gogin, MD 

·                     Michael Heron, MD 

·                     Moriamo Jeboda, MD 

·                     Patrick Joseph, MD 

·                     Sandhya Lakkireddy, MD  

·                     Ornob Rahman, MD 

·                     Rabail Saeed Shaikh, MD 

·                     Asma Yasin, MD 


For more information, visit



Patients across several states in the southeast now have an innovative, non-invasive treatment option for liver cancer tumors. In a groundbreaking leap forward, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has become the only hospital in Georgia and one of the few in the United States to offer a new, progressive form of cancer treatment known as histotripsy.

“Histotripsy represents the latest advancement in cancer care, using soundwaves – not surgery – to eliminate cancerous tissue,” said Nelson Royall, MD, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, “The focused ultrasound waves precisely break down targeted tissues, and eliminate tumors, through sonic beam therapy.”

NGMC’s physicians perform histotripsy by using The Edison System, a sophisticated platform that delivers pulsed sound energy into the body, without any incisions or needles, and can destroy tumors at the sub-cellular level. Histotripsy has been FDA-approved for the treatment of liver cancerous tissue since October 2023.

“One of the key advantages of histotripsy is its ability to achieve precise tissue destruction without the need for incisions or invasive procedures,” said Terence Jackson, MD, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group. “Histotripsy allows patients to have a quicker and easier recovery. I look forward to performing histotripsy on patients, along with Dr. Royall, later this year.”

Any patient with liver tumors is a potential candidate for histotripsy. This includes tumors that have formed within the liver or those that have spread to the liver from other organs. NGMC is the first and only health system in Georgia, and most of the southeast, to offer histotripsy. Before now, the next nearest treatment locations for patients with liver cancer were Cleveland Clinic, University of Michigan, and AdventHealth in Orlando.

For more information about histotripsy at NGMC, visit


Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer raises $275,000 for St. Mary’s Breast Health Services 6:50 pm

Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer (BBBC), their benefactors, and their partners at St. Mary’s Health Care System came together in celebration recently at St. Mary’s Breast Health Center, located in Resource Medical Park at 1500 Oglethorpe Ave., Athens.

They celebrated two big milestones: the unveiling of the center’s newly named waiting area in honor of BBBC and BBBC’s largest gift to date: a check in the amount of $275,000 to St. Mary’s breast health services. Afterwards, the guests were invited to a “sneak peek” tour of the beautifully remodeled facility. A public ribbon-cutting will be held March 22 to kick-off the entire host of services available to women in our community and surrounding counties, including a new mammography suite.

“We continue to receive deep blessings and transformational support from Jay and Teresa Abbott and their incredibly generous team at Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer,” said Aaron James, St. Mary’s Foundation director. “This donation brings their cumulative giving to St. Mary’s Breast Health Services Fund to $1,534,000. The honor and trust BBBC has bestowed upon St. Mary’s inspires us to think big and boldly about how we can continue to spread our work to those throughout the community who are afflicted with this devastating disease.”

“This kind of community support is a tremendous asset to our center and the patients we serve,” said Dr. Kathleen Jeffery, medical director of St. Mary’s Breast Health Center and the region’s first female surgeon dedicated exclusively to breast health. “We are passionate about this cause, and together, we are saving and improving lives throughout our entire region.”

“Teresa and I are humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of love we continue to receive,” said Jay Abbott. “We send our deepest thanks to all those who lift us up in prayer and who support Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer in so many ways, especially our good friends Dwight and Leslie. We can’t tell you how much it means to us that you care. Let’s get out there and beat cancer for good.”

BBBC began in October 2003 when Teresa Abbott was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of Stage 3 breast cancer. Over the next 18 months, Teresa endured surgeries and countless numbers of chemotherapy and radiation sessions. It was grueling, but at the end of her treatment journey, Teresa was pronounced cancer-free.

Inspired and grateful, the Abbott family chose to share Teresa’s story and thank all their friends and family who supported them during those long months. They wanted to do something to help others battle the disease, especially those who had fewer resources. At the time, the Abbott’s youngest son, Chris, was playing football at the University of Georgia. With the help of then- head football coach Mark Richt and the UGA football team, the first annual Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer Charity Golf Tournament was organized, and BBBC was born.

In 2009, the Abbotts chose St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation as their partners and beneficiaries in the fight against breast cancer. Over the years, with BBBC’s financial support, St. Mary’s has provided hundreds of no-cost mammograms to uninsured women. In addition, BBBC’s support has helped St. Mary’s acquire state-of-the-art imaging equipment – including 3-D mammography systems – at the main hospital in Athens, its rural hospital in Lavonia, and its outpatient imaging center in Oconee County.

To learn more about BBBC, visit Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer. To learn more about St. Mary’s breast health services, visit St. Mary’s Breast Health Center – Dr. Kathleen Jeffery – Athens, GA (



Georgia Heart Institute is expanding access to unparalleled heart health care for people living in communities along GA 400. Georgia Heart, the comprehensive heart and vascular service line of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS), recently welcomed Ashley Gibbs, AGACNP, and David Willard, PA-C, to its growing outpatient care team. These experienced clinicians are accepting new patients as Georgia Heart prepares to relocate clinics in Dawsonville and Dahlonega to allow for enhanced service offerings and an improved patient experience.

In Dawsonville, Georgia Heart is set to move into NGHS’ new Dawsonville Medical Plaza 2 building at 22 Prestige Lane. A grand-opening community celebration is set for Saturday, March 23, from 9-11 a.m. In Dahlonega, Georgia Heart plans to move into a new location in spring 2024.

Gibbs is board-certified as both Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). She earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree in the Dual Advanced Practice Nursing Program at the University of South Alabama. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associates Degree in Nursing from Middle Georgia State College. She has practiced extensively in both acute care and chronic care settings. She most recently served as a hospitalist nurse practitioner at Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Willard earned his Master of Medical Science degree from Mercer University in Atlanta and his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia State University. His clinical experience includes family medicine, acute respiratory medicine and COVID care, and urgent care. He previously served at Emory Duluth Family Practice, where he was a multiple Provider Excellence Award winner and was named Oustanding APP Family Practice Provider.

Willard currently sees patients in GHI clinics in Cumming (900 Sanders Road, Suite A) and Dawsonville (108 Prominence Court #210). Gibbs currently sees patients in Dawsonville and Dahlonega (70 Mountain Drive, Suite C). Those interested in scheduling an appointment at these locations may call 770-886-5184.



Georgia Heart Institute is the most forward-thinking heart and vascular program in the state and includes one of the largest cardiology practices in the region, including more than 80 practitioners seeing patients at more than a dozen locations. With a multi-disciplinary team of experts treating nearly every type of heart and vascular disease and participating in leading national research, we’re providing advanced care that ensures lasting heart health for generations. Request an appointment and learn more at

The experts of Georgia Heart Institute also form the core of the cardiac care team at Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s five hospitals in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder, Dahlonega and Demorest. It’s all part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit which serves more than 1 million people across the region. Learn more at


A Habersham County firefighter/paramedic is back on the job after getting a new heart valve in a robotic surgery that was the first of its kind ever done in Georgia. Brian Mills underwent a totally endoscopic aortic valve replacement (TEAVR) at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Gainesville, and he was able to go home just 48 hours later.

“I asked them, ‘What do I got to do to get out of here this weekend,’” said Mills, 51. “And that’s what we did.”

Aortic valve replacement surgery typically involves opening the patient’s chest, which leads to recovery that can take months, or somewhat less invasive techniques. But Mills’ doctor – T. Sloane Guy, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery and Georgia Heart Institute – chose to use the DaVinci surgical robot. Dr. Guy conducted the whole procedure through a series of tiny incisions in the patient’s right armpit.

“Aortic valve replacement has been done with sternotomy but also through minimally invasive procedures with thoracotomy,” Dr. Guy said. “Those are great operations, but my life’s obsession has been to make incisions smaller and smaller and help patients recover as quickly as possible.”

Mills’ journey to a new aortic valve began when he got a fever that wouldn’t go down. He went to an urgent care center, where tests showed he had an extremely low white blood cell count. He then went to the emergency room at NGMC Gainesville for more tests. Preston Ball, MD, an emergency medicine physician at NGMC, drew cultures to check for infections. The day after Mills left the ER, Dr. Ball called to tell him to come back immediately. Mills had endocarditis, a serious infection of the heart tissue.      

“Brian had lived for years with a leaky aortic valve, and it hadn’t caused him any problems,” said Dr. Ball. “Now, however, the leakage had gotten much worse, either due to the infection or having just progressed over time.”

Mills would need a new aortic valve. Dr. Guy wanted to operate immediately, but Mills says he talked the surgeon out of it.

“I was ready to go home,” Mills said.

The doctors agreed to send Mills home to take IV antibiotics for six weeks. With the infection gone, he would be ready for his new valve. He had a choice between a mechanical valve or a tissue valve.

“With mechanical, they told me it’s one and done,” Mills said. “You are good for the rest of your life.”

Getting a mechanical valve, however, meant taking blood thinner medication.

“With my job as a paramedic firefighter, there’s no way,” said Mills, who served for 17 years as a Hall County firefighter/paramedic before joining the Habersham department a couple years ago. “I would have to worry about nicking or bumping my head and having to bleed. So, we chose the tissue valve and went that route.”

Dr. Guy, who performed the first robotic heart surgery at NGMC Gainesville in February 2023, decided Mills would be a good candidate for robotic surgery – and the rest is now history.

“We did our annual physical training test at work a couple of weeks ago, and it was really crazy how quickly I recover after exertion now,” Mills said. “It’s pretty amazing. Even the person doing the vital signs before and after said, ‘Wow, you recovered quicker than anybody!’ I said, ‘Well, there’s some new hardware in there. It probably does work a little better.’”

NGPG Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery is an integral part of Georgia Heart Institute, Northeast Georgia Health System’s (NGHS) comprehensive heart and vascular program.

To schedule an appointment with NGPG Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, call 770-219-7099. To schedule an appointment with one of Georgia Heart Institute’s cardiologists, visit or call 770-534-2020.



Georgia Heart Institute is the most forward-thinking heart and vascular program in the state and includes one of the largest cardiology practices in the region, including more than 80 practitioners seeing patients at more than a dozen locations. With a multi-disciplinary team of experts treating nearly every type of heart and vascular disease and participating in leading national research, we’re providing advanced care that ensures lasting heart health for generations. Request an appointment and learn more at

The experts of Georgia Heart Institute also form the core of the cardiac care team at Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s five hospitals in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder, Dahlonega and Demorest. It’s all part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit which serves more than 1 million people across the region. Learn more at


Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) brings together over 650 talented physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives and other clinical staff at more than 95 locations across North Georgia. As the state’s sixth-largest physician group, we always have a practice nearby to offer you expert care in more than 40 specialties. See the full list of specialties and locations – and meet our providers – at

NGPG is affiliated with Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS), a non-profit which serves more than 1 million people in 19 counties across the region. As part of NGHS, patients of NGPG have a direct connection to Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s five hospitals in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder, Dahlonega and Demorest. Learn more at


Patients of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) can expect improved, safer patient outcomes as well as reduced costs thanks to leading training practices that recently received national recognition.

NGHS’ simulation center was recently accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, an international organization that promotes the advancement of simulation-based education for healthcare professionals, for providing a safe environment that mimics the actual clinical environment for healthcare professionals to practice their skills.

“This achievement isn’t just a milestone for NGHS, but also a shining example of how dedication, innovation and collaborative leadership can lead to exceptional outcomes in healthcare education and practice,” said Jim Rinehart, director of clinical skills and simulation for Northeast Georgia Medical Center and Graduate Medical Education.

To achieve accreditation, NGHS’ Center for Simulation and Innovation underwent a comprehensive review of its facilities, curriculum, faculty qualifications and adherence to best practices. The accreditation enhances NGHS’ reputation as a trusted institution for healthcare education and attracts top talent, including educators and learners. Additionally, it fosters collaboration with other accredited simulation centers, enabling NGHS to share knowledge and contribute to the advancement of simulation-based education on a regional and national level.

Becker’s Hospital Review, a national trade publication, also recently named NGHS as one of 34 hospitals and health systems across the nation – and the only one in Georgia – with a great simulation and education program. Becker’s cited NGHS’ simulation center for partnering with high schools, colleges, EMS and law enforcement agencies to train more than 6,700 physicians, nurses, medical assistants, physical therapists, first responders, residents, fellows and college and high school students.

            NGHS appeared on the list alongside other hospitals and health systems like Stanford Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mount Sinai Health System and NYU Langone Health.

Learn more by visiting



Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is a non-profit on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. Our team cares for more than 1 million people across the region through five hospitals and a variety of outpatient locations. Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has campuses in Gainesville, Braselton, Winder, Dahlonega and Demorest – with a total of more than 850 beds and more than 1,300 medical staff members representing more than 60 specialties. Learn more at

← Older posts