NGHS ensures consistent leadership for Habersham Medical Center and adds new general surgeon

Published: Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Habersham County’s local hospital will have consistent leadership and prepare to welcome a new general surgeon as it officially joins Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) next month.

Kevin Matson

Kevin Matson, who is currently serving as interim president of Habersham Medical Center, has been named NGHS’ vice president of regional hospitals. That means he will continue to have primary oversight of the hospital as it becomes Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Habersham on July 1. Matson will eventually take on primary oversight of the nearby NGMC Lumpkin hospital as well, once the Habersham transition is complete and stabilized. He also continues to lead system-wide orthopedic and oncology service line operations and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed getting to know Habersham employees, medical staff and the local community during the past two months,” Matson said. “I think my unique experience working at all levels across NGHS is already helping create a smooth transition for NGMC Habersham to join our system, and I look forward to continuing to improve care coordination between Habersham, Lumpkin, Gainesville and locations in between.”

Matson joined NGHS in 2000. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Brenau University and earned his master’s degree in Health Administration from Ohio University. Kevin, his wife April and their four children live in Hall County.

People in Habersham County can also look forward to more surgeries being scheduled close to home, as NGHS has recruited a general surgeon to be dedicated to NGMC Habersham later this fall. Joseph Rondina, MD, earned his medical degree from Boston University; completed his residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia; and has two decades of experience as a general surgeon. His passion for rural healthcare led him to spend the last 18 months rotating through a group of community hospitals across five states – including Habersham Medical Center.

“I’ve fallen in love with this area and the people, and I can see the wave of positivity that’s come with NGHS’ commitment to investing in Habersham,” Dr. Rondina said. “I’m excited about putting down roots and calling this community home.”

Dr. Rondina is the third dedicated physician NGHS has already brought to Habersham County. Amy Howard, MD, joined Northeast Georgia Physicians Group OB/GYN in Demorest earlier this month. A new cardiologist – Alan Opsahl, MD – will join Georgia Heart Institute’s Demorest office and see patients five days a week starting July 31.

“The excitement is just beginning,” Matson said. “It’s a new era for healthcare in Habersham.”

Plans are in the works for a public event to celebrate NGMC Habersham joining NGHS next month. Details will be announced soon, and updates will be shared at