Community members enjoyed the opportunity to meet a few of Liberty County’s newest doctors Sept. 20 at the chamber of commerce’s Progress Through People Luncheon. The event, sponsored by Liberty Regional Medical Center, was held at CenturyLink.
“LRMC will host these chamber luncheons one to two times per year, depending on how many new doctors they get in,” Liberty Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO Leah Poole said. “These events serve to give chamber members and the community a chance to come out and meet the new doctors and ask questions.”
Three physicians were introduced to the group: Dr. Rebecca Coefield, general surgeon at Southeast Georgia Surgery; Dr. Jeff Brunelli, who is with Liberty Orthopedics & Sports Medicine; and Dr. Henry Taylor, a podiatrist at All Ways Feet.
Coefield is no stranger to Georgia. She completed her residency at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah and her fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta. She decided to settle in Liberty County because it’s where her fiancé is from.
“I am very excited to be at Liberty. I think that there is a lot of new and exciting stuff going on at Liberty that hasn’t been done before,” Coefield said.
Because of changes in medical-insurance coverage, she will be performing laparoscopic surgeries that previously were not available in Liberty County, including gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures.
Brunelli also is not new to Georgia. He completed his internship and residency at Atlanta Medical Center. He also received training during his fellowship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and has experience with arthroscopic surgery.
Brunelli said he enjoyed his residency in Georgia, and when he heard Liberty County had a need for an orthopedic doctor, he decided to answer the call.
“I enjoy the people and that’s a good part of it,” he said.
Taylor is not new to Liberty County; he has been on staff at LRMC for about five years and purchased his practice about three years ago. He has been invited to previous luncheons, but never was able to attend.
Taylor sees patients with foot and ankle ailments, especially children and people with diabetes or sports injuries. He is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and performs a variety of foot and ankle surgeries.
LRMC Director of Rehabilitation Reid Larson spoke briefly at the luncheon, notifying attendees that the hospital’s rehab center has relocated to a facility on Main Street. The new building is three times the size of the old one, which allows for new equipment and more space for physical therapy.
Larson, who has 22 years of experience, said he is excited about the new facility and the ability to treat more Liberty residents. He added that his staff also is enthusiastic about the changes.
The luncheon guests of honor touted the availability of quality medical facilities and care in Liberty County.
“Instead of driving the 45-minute drive to Savannah, please send folks to Liberty first. Give us the opportunity to access and treat,” Coefield said.
Brunelli added, “I’m excited about getting the opportunity to fix injuries here that may normally be referred elsewhere.”
Larson echoed his sentiment.
“The physicians here are very well-skilled,” he said. “You get the personal attachment that is sometimes missed when you go to the big city. Personalized attention — that’s the level we have here in Hinesville.”
Chamber member Jimmy Shanken, a real-estate agent with Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Realtors in Hinesville, said he finds Progress Through People luncheons usually feature good speakers and are very informative.
“Being a busy person, these luncheons have real value — well worth the hour of my time each month,” he said.
The monthly luncheons feature different themes and always are community- and/or business-orientated. They are open to all chamber members and the public. Fees vary. The next luncheon, set for Oct. 18, will feature Bruce Green, Georgia’s director of tourism and product development. For more information, go to www.libertycounty.org.