Liberty Regional Medical Center physicians Garrett White, Charles Ferris and others touted the improvements being made at the hospital during a Progress Through People Luncheon on Thursday.
White is a nephrologist, or kidney-disease specialist, with SouthCoast Medical Group and partner of Nizar Eskandar, M.D.
Ferris is an LRMC medical-staff member and radiologist with Radiology Associates of Savannah. Garrett is new to the hospital team, while Ferris has been with LRMC since 2006.
Both doctors encouraged chamber members to spread the word about the recent hospital expansion, inviting residents to take “mini-tours” of the renovated facility so they could see the improvements that have been made.
The hospital held a grand opening for its expanded emergency room Sept. 11. Renovations of the medical facility’s laboratory and imaging center are scheduled for completion in December, according to hospital officials.
The $4.5 million emergency-department expansion was part of the hospital’s $8.6 million remodeling project. The new and improved emergency room was enlarged to 14,000 square feet, three times the floor space of the old ER and double the emergency room’s former bed capacity. The expansion added three state-of-the-art trauma rooms, and a fast-track area.
Ferris said an upgraded MRI unit will be placed inside the hospital once renovations to the imaging department are complete. LRMC currently has a mobile MRI system.
“Space is important, equipment is important, but more important are the people who work at the hospital,” he said.
The hospital also has tele-radiology available so Ferris can have immediate after-hours contact with LRMC staff when necessary.
“Everything is digital now,” he said. “(Reports) are accessible to other physicians as well, not just me.”
Ferris said he can analyze records and dictate notes even when he’s not on the LRMC campus.
Ferris spent 15 years in radiology at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he said he received “a broad level of experience” treating patients of all ages, from those suffering trauma to those fighting cancer. He attended the Medical College of Georgia, Armstrong Atlantic State University and Savannah High School.
White told chamber members one in nine people will be affected by kidney disease at some point in their lives. He stressed early detection and intervention are important and urged his audience to be screened for high blood pressure and diabetes, conditions that can lead to kidney disease.
“We will be happy to help you and your families in any way we can,” White said. “Hopefully, we won’t see you too often.”
White, his wife and their four children recently relocated to Hinesville from Connecticut. He said he was a military brat and moved often while his father served in the U.S. Air Force.
“They’re (LRMC) doing a super job of getting good doctors here,” said James Rogers, The Coastal Bank president and Liberty County Hospital Authority board member. “There’s no need to go to Savannah. We have quality physicians here.”