As part of the Georgia HEART Hospital Program, Ameris Bank gave $1.65 million in financial support to 16 rural hospitals located within the bank’s footprint in Georgia. Ameris Bank more than doubled its commitment to rural Georgia hospitals this year, increasing its contribution from $800,000 in 2018.
Rural hospitals in the state of Georgia have been facing a financial crisis for years as a result of demographic, economic and industry challenges. The Georgia HEART Hospital Program partners with the Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit bill (State Bill 258) to increase the funding to these rural and critical access hospitals. This assistance furthers their ability to provide quality health care for the thousands of Georgians who call these communities home.
Funds provided by Ameris Bank will be used by local hospitals in ways that best fit their specific needs to better provide quality healthcare to their patients.
“As a community bank grounded in service and character, we consider it a great honor to be able to make these contributions to support families across rural Georgia,” said Ameris Bank CEO Dennis J. Zember Jr. “We are neighbors in these communities, and we are committed to doing our part to help bring them financial peace of mind and advance access to quality healthcare.”
The 16 rural Georgia hospitals receiving donations from Ameris Bank include: Brooks County Hospital (Quitman), Coffee Regional Medical Center (Douglas), Colquitt Regional Medical Center (Moultrie), Crisp Regional Hospital (Cordele), Donalsonville Hospital, Effingham Hospital — Springfield, Grady General Hospital (Cairo), Irwin County Hospital (Ocilla), Jasper Memorial Hospital (Monticello), John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital (Thomasville), Liberty Regional Medical Center (Hinesville), Meadows Regional Medical Center (Vidalia), South Georgia Medical Center - Berrien Campus (Nashville), South Georgia Medical Center - Lakeland Campus, Tift Regional Medical Center (Tifton) and WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital (Jackson).
Locally, the funds that LRMC received from Ameris Bank will be used to build a new Medical Oncology Infusion Center at the hospital, so cancer patients will not have to travel far to receive their treatments, LRMC Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Volunteer Services Rene Harwell said. The hospital is partnering with George Negrea, MD and Low County Cancer Care to provide these much needed services to the community.
The center will feature eight patient infusion bays with visitor seating; one isolation room for privacy; two exam rooms; one conference room and resource center for education; a spacious waiting area; and easy access and convenient parking. Construction is slated to begin on the center in 2019.
The Georgia Rural Hospital Tax Credit enables Georgia businesses and taxpayers to redirect their Georgia income tax liability to help support these qualified hospitals. Participation in the Georgia HEART program is limited to Georgia rural hospitals that meet qualification criteria established by law.
The funds that LRMC receives from the GRHTC program will go to funding the Medical Oncology Infusion Center, Harwell said.