The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Dedicated

Published: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), Georgia’s #1 heart hospital, dedicated the new Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit on Sunday afternoon amid more than eighty donors who gave more than $1 million through The Medical Center Foundation to make possible the only advanced inpatient heart failure unit in the state.

“More than five million people suffer from heart failure in the United States and heart failure is the number one admitting diagnosis at NGMC,” says Brenda Hott, MD, the medical director of Heart Failure at NGMC.  “Given the increasing demand, it is critical that we are able to offer excellence in treatment and education for patients.  Now, through the generosity of the donors, philanthropy has made this possible.” 

Named for the late, W. Woodrow “Woody” Stewart who served as Chairman of The Medical Center Foundation from 1998 – 2012 and in 2008 began serving as a trustee on the Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) board and its Strategic Planning, Finance, Audit and Treasury Committees.  The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit features:

  • An advanced heart failure unit located on the second floor of the South Tower with 16 private rooms designed with patient and family comfort in mind and include nature-inspired healing artwork, comfortable seating that transitions to an oversized sleeper for caregivers, motion-sensor night lights, large tiled bathrooms and easily accessible showers and LCD televisions with bed control elements.
  • Care overseen by two cardiologists – Dr. Brenda Hott and Dr. Merhdad Toosi of The Heart Center of NGMC – who are among the few in the nation who are double-board certified in Cardiovascular Disease and Advanced Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology.
  • Specially trained clinical staff dedicated solely to the treatment and care of heart failure patients.
  • Daily interdisciplinary rounds by heart failure disease manager (nurse practitioner), charge and patient’s nurse, case manager, social worker, physical therapy, cardiology pharmacy and chaplain – to ensure optimal inpatient care and that the patient, family and caregiver have all of the tools necessary to self-manage heart failure once returning home.
  • Provides efficiencies through a centrally located nursing station and integrated state-of-the-art cardiac monitoring systems.
  • The Nathan-Schrage Teaching Center, a critical element and a one-of-a-kind modern teaching center made possible through a lead signature gift to The Medical Center Foundation by Lorry & Sherrie Schrage, and Sherrie’s mother, Mrs. Muriel Nathan. The center provides an onsite dedicated and comfortable classroom style learning environment where patients obtain important education and participate in interactive cooking demonstrations all the while learning more about their disease, ways to improve symptoms and have greater quality of life.   The 1,600 sq. ft. center is state-of-the-art and includes a demonstration kitchen and high tech audio/visual functions to live stream education to patient rooms and off-site locations.
  • The teaching team includes a dedicated clinical coordinator, dietitian, and cooking demonstrations by a chef. During a patient’s stay they attend sessions such as Cardiac University and Heart Failure 101.  Caregivers are offered by-stander CPR classes.

“There are many hearts and hands that helped make the new unit possible.  The project is a fitting tribute and would not be possible without the support of Woody’s family, close friends and colleagues,” says Jim Moore, Chairman, The Medical Center Foundation.  “The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit perpetuates Woody’s remarkable vision and passion for a healthier community assuring the work that was important to him continues through his lasting legacy.”

“We are honored and truly grateful to all of the donors for making The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Unit and The Nathan-Schrage Teaching Center come to life,” says Nancy Colston, President & CDO, The Medical Center Foundation.  “Woody was a remarkable leader and would be so very proud to know that we continue to lead the way setting the bar high assuring the very best healthcare possible for the people of Northeast Georgia.”

To learn more about The Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit and The Nathan-Schrage Teaching Center, please visit



Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) is rated Georgia’s #1 Hospital for the third consecutive year and among the top 10 in the nation by CareChex®, an independent healthcare quality rating service.  Both campuses, NGMC Gainesville and NGMC Braselton, share 657 beds and a medical staff of 600 physicians representing more than 50 specialties.

NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS), a non-profit that cares for more than 800,000 people in more than 13 counties, with a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do.  Learn more at