Georgia County Government - July/August 2012 - (Page 10)

Piedmont Henry Hospital Adds Important Healthcare Component to One Henry By Noble Sprayberry HENRY COUNTY continued from page 9 make it easier for us all to rally around the common goal of becoming more competitive and attractive to business.” A Chamber of Commerce Provides the Bridge The Henry County Chamber of Commerce serves as master of ceremonies for the annual One Henry retreat. “The chamber has been a catalyst and helped nurture collaboration in this community,” Pippin said. “There are multiple ways this has occurred, but the one that is most unique in our county started in 2005 with a joint dinner. We invited all of the elected leaders to come together to hear a speaker, but more importantly, to build camaraderie. Three years later, that evolved into a full, two-day retreat.” Continuing these retreats allow these leaders, whose day-today business might not normally require interaction, to gather. “We bring together the elected and appointed leaders of four cities, the county, the school board, the hospital authority, the development authority, the water authority and the chamber’s leadership,” Pippin said. During each retreat, about 60 people travel to some other Georgia community to observe local initiatives and to learn from that community’s leaders. Also, the group hones in on a predetermined topic during a series of workshops, such as the first session’s attention to economic development. Pippin said she did not expect the results of the initial retreat at Callaway Gardens, where Henry County leaders heard speakers from communities with proven economic success stories, such as the luring of Korean automaker Kia to Troup County. “Afterwards, our participants said Henry County has a comprehensive land plan and a comprehensive transportation plan,” Pippin said, “But, we needed a comprehensive economic development plan.” Over the next several months, a task force created a written plan, an outcome that surprised even Pippin. “You organize something, and you know that it’s a good event in-and-of-itself, but you’re not sure of the results,” she said. “You pull all of the leaders together. You’re developing their relationships, and you hope they will never again make major decisions in a void because each agency impacts all the other agencies.” Subsequent retreats touched on equally weighty topics, such as transportation and education. The scope of the issues is challenging to anyone planning such an event, Pippin said. “As we approach each of these retreats, I shudder because the topics are so big,” she said. “How do you get your hands around it? But, these mega-decisions government must make are not rocket science. You can ratchet it down to something everyone can understand, that everyone has a stake in and that everyone can help find solutions.” This year’s meeting, scheduled for August at the Winshape Retreat Center on the Berry College Campus near Rome in Floyd County, will focus on quality of life. A review of comments from past retreats, as well as citizen remarks made during land planning meetings, provide a framework, Pippin said. She anticipates the same kind of vision and commitment engendered by past retreats, already responsible for wowing her contemporaries with other chambers. “They often say, ‘I don’t The surgical suite is just one of the many assets of the Piedmont Henry Hospital. Photo courtesy Henry County Government. H enry County this year solidified its healthcare foundation, which is essential to supporting existing residents’ quality of life and is a key resource for economic development. The county’s 215-bed hospital, Henry County Medical Center in Stockbridge, is now affiliated with the not-for-profit Piedmont Healthcare system. A name change in January created Piedmont Henry Hospital, which concluded a process designed to strengthen the medical facility by affiliating with an outside healthcare provider. The move dovetails a recent study to target industries that could grow the county’s economic base, said Bob White, executive director of the Henry County Development Authority. He said that particularly when facing tight budgets, “the more you can focus your marketing and recruiting efforts, the more effective you will be.” PIEDMONT HENRY HOSPITAL continued on page 11 10 GEORGIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - July/August 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Henry County: Building Bridges to Benefit One Henry
Piedmont Henry Hospital Adds Important Healthcare Component to One Henry
Five Georgia Events that Changed History
Performance Contracting: A Creative Solution
Energy Savings Performance Contracts: Risks and Rewards for Local Governments
Georgia Legacy: Making the Economic Case for Land Conservation
Extension News: The Impact of Weatherization Programs in Georgia
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - July/August 2012