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Hospital having success recruiting
'Small town' feel appears to be big draw
Dr. Robert Johnson
Dr. Robert Johnson - photo by Photo provided.

Liberty Regional Medical Center has recently recruited several new physicians. It seems most of these doctors have come to Hinesville because they like the “small town feel” and want to provide more accessible health care in various specialties.
Scott Kroell, Liberty Regional Medical Center CEO, said an exceptional quality of life is a big draw in recruiting
physicians to smaller health-care markets.
“What physicians look for now is not what they looked for 10 years ago,” Kroell said, saying a high salary is no longer the single deciding factor in a doctor’s decision to be recruited by a hospital. “They look for lifestyle. Here they have a mild climate and proximity to Savannah and the coast.”
Kroell said a lot of doctors are trained in big city hospitals and are comfortable remaining in those types of markets. Therefore, Liberty Regional looks for those physicians who prefer a slower pace.

“We try to find a physician that … doesn’t necessarily want to live in a big city,” he said.
Kroell said some hospitals, such as Liberty Regional Medical Center, also help physicians who don’t want to shoulder the full burden of managing a practice. More and more physicians want to “be employed,” he said.
“We can run their practice for them,” Kroell said. These physicians can receive incentives and a salary, he added.
Kroell said some of Liberty Regional’s physicians have established practices located in Jesup, Brunswick and Savannah. They sign on with Liberty Regional Medical Center so they can expand their patient base, he said.
The hospital’s most recently recruited physicians include cardiologist Dr. Bryan Ristow, ENT specialist Dr. Robert Johnson, pediatrician Dr. Tometricia Brown and sports medicine orthopedist Dr. Stephen Tankersley.
“I was looking for a place where I could work in both an inpatient and outpatient setting,” said Dr. Brown. “And I like the idea of treating patients from a more diverse population.”
She added she likes Hinesville’s small town feel and friendly community.
Brown received her MD from Meharry Medical School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., and completed her residency in pediatrics at Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla. She is currently in practice with Dr. Phillip Ajayi of Phillip’s Pediatrics.
Dr. Johnson, a retired Army officer, has an established practice in Pooler. Many of his patients live in the Hinesville area, Johnson said.
“We wanted to have a larger presence in Hinesville,” he said.
Johnson said he was impressed with the “quality and range of care” at Liberty Regional Medical Center as well as the hospital’s support services.
 “We’re looking forward to having a long-term relationship with the community and with the hospital,” he said.
Johnson specializes in the treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders in adults and children. His practice offers endoscopic sinus surgery, rhinoplasty, otoplasty and “minimal invasive” thyroid and parathyroid surgery.
Liberty Regional is located in Lewis Ashmore Medical Park at 462 E.G. Miles Parkway in the center of Hinesville. A large medical office complex is also located in the medical park. The 25-bed hospital has been serving Liberty County since 1961.
 In addition to the hospital, Liberty Regional Medical Center also oversees Coastal Manor, a 108-bed long-term skilled nursing facility in Ludowici.

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