Local Philanthropists Lead Way to Purchase EMR for Good News Clinic

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Thanks to a lead signature gift to The Medical Center Foundation from philanthropists Don and Dot Pirkle, fundraising is under way in earnest to purchase a new electronic health records system for Good News Clinics (GNC).

“As a past board member for GNC and retired Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer for The Dow Chemical Company, Don knows first-hand the important role such systems play in delivering better coordination of care, safety, and improved outcomes for the clinic’s vulnerable patient population,” says Melissa Tymchuk, Interim President of The Medical Center Foundation.  “We are grateful for Don and Dot’s willingness to support the Healthy Journey Campaign to benefit GNC.”

GNC provides medical and dental care at no cost to patients from Hall County who cannot afford to purchase health care services, do not have health insurance and have a family income within 150% of the federal poverty level.  Forty-six physicians, 12 mid-level providers and 44 dentists volunteer to treat patients at GNC.

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) recently installed Epic as its electronic health record system, uniting its many services – including the hospitals, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group and The Heart Center of NGMC – with one patient record.  The Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees has committed to raise more than $1 million dollars to bring GNC the same vital technology and provide integration between GNC, NGHS, and other community providers’ systems.   According to Antonio Rios, MD, Chief Physician Executive for Northeast Georgia Physician’s Group and GNC physician volunteer, “the advantage of this electronic health record system is that there is one chart for the patient.  The chart will follow the patient throughout the continuum of care.  It doesn’t matter if the patient was in the hospital, at the ER or within one of the clinics – everybody will be able to see the same exact information.”

Once all of the funds are raised, the implementation can begin.

“We are grateful for the Pirkle’s lead gift and The Medical Center Foundation’s commitment to this important project,” said Allison Borchert, Executive Director of Good News Clinics. “The implementation of Epic will be a game changer for us in terms of improved patient care, outcomes, and practice efficiencies.  We will be able to improve the clinic experience for both our patients and our volunteer physicians.”

“Don and Dot are passionate about healthcare excellence and making a difference in the lives of others.  Wherever they give of their time and resources, they are deeply dedicated and invested in a way that makes your organization and mission more successful,” says LeTrell Simpson, Chair of The Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees.  “We are so thankful for their signature gift and for them leading the way for others to give.  They recognize the tremendous value GNC has on the health of the community.”

To learn more about The Medical Center Foundation’s initiative to benefit Good News Clinics, please call 770-219-8099. Donations can be made online here.