Benefit for Caleb Watson :: Saturday, January 31 at South Macon Elementary School :: Click here for more details

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Features Health & Wellness

MedWest Health System has expanded its administrative leadership team, naming a chief medical officer to oversee medical staff activities for the three hospitals within the system.

Tyson Smith, M.D. most recently served as vice president for medical affairs at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va. At MedWest, he will oversee quality and performance improvement education and leadership development activities of the medical staff, which includes 230 physicians serving a five-county region.

“Dr. Smith’s knowledge and experience will be very beneficial for providing guidance in compliance and regulatory matters, and is a welcome addition to our leadership team,” said Mike Poore, president and CEO of MedWest Health System.



Angel Medical Center, along with the Town of Franklin, recently received funds from the state that have spurred job growth and broadened local access to health care.

The grants were matched with an equal amount of funds by the hospital for renovations, in order to be eligible to receive 50 percent toward job creation. The renovations and job creation would be a benefit to the tax base for the Town of Franklin.


Event seeks to raise money for cardiac rehab scholarships

Most people don’t think about cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation until a family member, a friend or they themselves need it. Most times, the individuals entering rehab may not fully understand why they are there. “I never thought this would happen to me.” “I’m not overweight” or “I stopped smoking years ago” or “I’m only 50 years old” is often heard. Not everyone who needs cardiac or pulmonary rehab fit the sedentary, smoking, 40 pounds overweight, 80-yearold mold.

At Angel Medical Center’s Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Tom Forkner, MA and Kit Helm, MD direct an evergrowing rehab program filled with “atypical”patients. Other staff include dietitians, a psycho-social counselor, nurses, exercise specialists, and a vocational counselor. The staff utilizes their skills to individualize the therapy needed by the patients after receiving their physician’s referral to participate in the program.


In an effort to improve access to care, customer service, and healthy patient outcomes, Macon County Public Health has implemented a new patient appointment system called “Open Access.” The Open Access system has replaced the old system of “established clinic days” in favor of a new system in which most services are available Monday through Friday. A primary goal of Open Access is to make it easier to schedule an appointment and reduce the wait time between when a patient calls and when they are seen. Open Access allows patients to be seen in the first available appointment slot, no matter what service they need.

According to Jimmy Villiard, Personal Health Section Administrator, “Since implementation of the Open Access system in mid-February, we’ve been able to catch up on a four week backlog of clinic patients waiting for appointments.”


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