Media release by Rebecca Land Segrest: Opening in 1988, the Surgery Center of Rome is celebrating a 30 year anniversary this week. The Surgery Center was one of approximately 1,000 ambulatory surgery centers in the United States at that time. It was the first in Northwest Georgia and was opened by a private physicians group. Shortly after opening, the facility was acquired by Redmond Park Hospital, now Redmond Regional Medical Center. When the Surgery Center opened, there were three operating rooms and the facility hosted approximately a dozen physicians.
Diane Jones, a recently retired Registered Nurse, was one of the RN’s who assisted in opening the Surgery Center. She was a recovery room nurse at Redmond Park and agreed to come on a temporary basis to help set up the recovery room at the Surgery Center. Now a patient of the Surgery Center, she recalls, “Jan Rutledge and Bea Mathis talked me into coming over here.”
Jones worked here for 10 years. “It was an efficiently run place and an exciting time to be here.” While she prefers to be a caregiver rather than a patient, she is “impressed with everything” from the care she received to the beauty and condition of the facility. Looking back, “Every day, I enjoyed being here,” she says smiling.
In 2001, the building underwent renovation and a fourth surgical suite was added, along with additional space for storage. In 2004, the Surgery Center of Rome became part of HCA Tri-Star’s Ambulatory Surgery Division. While the building has changed ownership, the strong commitment to patient care remains.
Now a team of 45 physicians, including surgeons, anesthesiologists,and pathologists practice at the Surgery Center of Rome with a team of 43 nurses, scrub techs, administrative, and other support staff. Patients come to the Surgery Center for straightforward outpatient surgery, such as tonsillectomies, cataract extractions and other minor surgeries. All of the procedures are elective and the patients have limited medical problems, leading to highly successful outcomes.
An estimated 125,000 procedures has been performed at the Surgery Center over its 30 years of business. Anesthesiologist Dr. PJ McElhone, Medical Director of the Surgery Center, says, “My favorite thing(s) about working here is the patient population, where I feel I can make a difference and I work with people I regard as family.”
This sentiment is shared by the nurses who work there as well. Genise Sturdivant, RN says, “At the Surgery Center of Rome, we’re not just a group of people who happen to work together, we’re much more than that. We’re a family.” The Surgery Center of Rome is inviting the extended family to an anniversary party this Wednesday, including past physicians, staff who retired from the center, and current employees.