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Hospital, downtown development on Rotary agenda
Reflecting parts of a street sign Vicki Davis showed Rotarians make it look lighted in a flash photograph. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
Skip Teaster, certified economic developer and professional community and economic developer for the University of Georgia, met with community leaders Tuesday during a lunchtime Hinesville Rotary Club meeting to discuss the future of Liberty Regional Medical Center.
Teaster will spend the next two years using his community development expertise to help Liberty County and its hospital set goals to ensure the county has the best hospital possible.
He said one of the most important factors in creating a successful hospital is gaining community support.
“The hospital is a critical facility to the region. I ask for your support,” he said about the goals he and local hospital authorities have come up with for the medical center. “We developed a plan to benefit the community. We want to build a plan that won’t sit on the shelf.”
Teaster told Rotarians the plan adopted a distinct set of goals that include improving customer relations, resolving all legal issues, solidifying a marketing and public relations plan, and developing and enhancing relationships with the community. He said following these goals will help the hospital work toward one larger objective.
“We’re finding ways to help people think positive about the hospital rather than negative,” a problem, he said, most hospitals struggle with due to the nature of their business.
Teaster followed his goals with a list of recommendations that includes focusing on leadership, increasing employee morale and human resources, and some future planning for upgrades in technology and software.
“We set a benchmark for every goal and a recommendation,” he said.
Teaster said that it’s important for the community to support the hospital because it’s the only one in the area. He reminded guests that there are four counties that rely on the hospital for care.
“You cannot afford to let that hospital close its doors,” he said.
Vicki Davis, director of Hinesville Downtown Development Authority, also spoke to Rotarians. Her topics were the Christmas in the Park event and the unveiling of new signs she and other authority representatives hope will enhance downtown.
“We’re currently working with OMI on the installation of them,” Davis said of the colorful signs that will direct Hinesville residents and visitors to landmarks such as City Hall and Main Street.
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