More than $1 Million Raised for Future Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit

Published: Friday, July 18, 2014

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has enjoyed nine consecutive years as Georgia’s #1 heart hospital and will soon bolster that reputation with expanded plans for the only dedicated inpatient heart failure treatment unit in the state.

Jim Moore, chairman of The Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees, proudly announced that more than $1 million dollars has been raised for the future Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit at NGMC – a signature gift named in memory of the long-time Foundation Board chairman.  This specialized unit provides additional beds for cardiac patients and a teaching center that will include a demonstration kitchen to educate patients living with heart failure.

The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit is being made possible through gifts from Woody’s family, close friends and colleagues.  Signature gifts for the unit were made by Jim Walters,The Medical Center Auxiliary, and an anonymous third donor.

“Cardiac care always held such a special place for Woody,” said Moore.  “The outpouring of support from those who knew him echoes that same sentiment and is truly a testament to his enduring leadership.”

During Woody’s chairmanship, The Medical Center Foundation raised more than $8 million in support of cardiac services at NGMC, including securing the gifts that provided for The Ronnie Green Heart Center, the W.D. Stribling Heart Clinic and the Sam Jones Cath Observation Unit.

Philanthropists Lorry and Sherrie Schrage and Sherrie’s mother, Mrs. Muriel Nathan, made a lead signature gift to construct the most critical component of the project.  The 1,600 square-foot teaching center that includes a demonstration kitchen will serve many purposes, including education about healthy lifestyle choices; family advisement and education; and healthy dietary option demonstrations.

“Patient compliance is often the most difficult aspect of what we do,” says Tom Edwards, director of Heart & Vascular Services at NGMC.  “When a patient leaves our care, it is so difficult to ensure proper measures are in place to prevent a recurrence of the same problems.  The teaching center and demonstration kitchen provided through the Schrages’, and Mrs. Nathan’s generosity gives us a valuable tool to educate our patients about how to stay healthy for the long term.”

The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit will create a lasting legacy for a man who cared passionately about the health of our community and ensures that his work will continue for generations to come.  The unit is scheduled to open in 2015.

To learn more about The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit or The Medical Center Foundation, please call 770-219-8099.