Since opening 25 years ago, Augusta Health has experienced a name change (originally Augusta Medical Center), additions to services and technologies, and changing faces of staff and patients. But the goal has remained the same: to bring two communities together to provide better healthcare.
As Mary Mannix, FACHE, president and CEO of Augusta Health, explains, “This 25th anniversary is really all about the people of Augusta Health.”
To understand how healthcare has changed in the cities of Staunton and Waynesboro and Augusta County, here is a look back at Augusta Health’s history.
In the years prior to the formation of Augusta Health, there were two separate community hospitals operating in Augusta County: King’s Daughter’s Hospital in Staunton and Waynesboro Community Hospital in Waynesboro. The facilities of these two hospitals were outdated, and funds to upgrade infrastructure and equipment were scarce.
While the hospitals were unique from each other, serving different patient populations, when combined, they helped to complement each other. So in September 1994, Augusta Medical Center opened its doors, bringing together King’s Daughter’s and Waynesboro Community. In June 2009, the Augusta Medical Center changed its name to Augusta Health, reflecting a wider variety of service options for patients.
One of a dwindling number of independent community hospitals still operating in the United States, Augusta Health is much more than a local hospital. In fact, Augusta Health has seen significant growth in both services and technologies available to doctors and patients.
Augusta Health’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders illustrates this evolution. Partnering with Duke Medicine for Medical Oncology, Augusta Health has made it significantly easier for patients in the area to get the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art cancer treatments available today. Not only does the center serve those patients with cancer, but its services have expanded to include hematology to treat blood disorders, as well.
Cardiology services have also been greatly expanded in the past 25 years. “We’ve really expanded our clinical capability in cardiology,” Mannix says, “like being able to take care of patients who are having an acute heart attack.” In 2013, Augusta Health opened its Heart and Vascular Center, providing services such as:
- Cardiology Diagnostics
- Cardiac Rehab
- Interventional Cardiology
- Venous Disease Management
Advancements in women’s health have been an important part of Augusta Health’s growth as well, with the opening of the Women’s Imaging Center. Physicians now have the ability to get more precise scans and readings when checking for breast cancer. Three-D and digital mammograms, breast ultrasounds and breast biopsies are available for women in Augusta County in need of care.
Augusta Health recently reopened its Shenandoah House for use of hospice patients in their end-of-life stages. First operational in 2008, Augusta Health renovated this property in 2018. Nestled in a tranquil, wooded area on the Augusta Health campus, this residence has four private bedrooms and is able to accommodate family, friend and pet visitors for loved ones who are no longer able to live at home on their own. Donations to help those needing to stay here are always welcomed and appreciated.
Augusta Health truly has become a place that everyone in the community can count on for top-notch medical care and service. “My vision for [Augusta Health] is when folks in the community say ‘I’m not well’ or ‘I have a problem,’ this is the first place they want to come, because they know they’re going to get good care,” says Charles “Mick” Andersen, MD, AMG Board, Governance Committee and Properties and Facilities Committee member.
Congratulations to the doctors, nurses, staff and retirees of Augusta Health for helping make this hospital one of the Top 50 Best Hospitals in America by Healthgrades, five years running. Here’s to another 25 years!
To see a video commemorating Augusta Health’s 25 years of service to the community, visit augustahealth.com/25-years.
Come join us! Augusta Health will have a community celebration at the back of the Fitness Center to honor its 25th anniversary on Sept. 22, from 12–5 p.m. A walk/run race will be held at 1 p.m. Don’t miss it!