New Faces, New Focus at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow

Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Barrow is proud to announce the addition of several new physicians and services since joining Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) in January.  The emergency department is now staffed by the same group of physicians who also staff NGMC Gainesville and NGMC Braselton.  In addition, two general surgeons and two orthopedic surgeons have joined the medical staff, and many other changes are evident at the regional hospital.

“Providing high-quality healthcare for the residents of Barrow County is our mission,” said Chad Hatfield, President of NGMC Barrow.  “Now that we are a part of Northeast Georgia Health System, we have more resources and physicians supporting our daily efforts to improve access to high quality healthcare in the Barrow communities.  Since the Emergency Department is where many patients may first have an experience with NGMC Barrow, we felt we could make a significant impact in our community by making changes there.”

Patients seeking care at the NGMC Barrow emergency department will now be treated by the physicians of Gainesville Emergency Department Services (GEDS).  Eric Deal, DO, NGMC Barrow’s Emergency Department Medical Director and longtime physician at NGMC Barrow, has joined GEDS and is now working under the leadership of Mohak Davé, MD, Chief of Emergency Services for Northeast Georgia Medical Center, to direct the team of physicians from GEDS who now staff NGMC Barrow’s emergency department.

NGMC Barrow has also announced the addition of J. Christopher Brandys, MD, and James Chambers, MD, general surgeons with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group (NGPG) Surgical Associates, and Gregory Woods, MD, and Darrell Scales, MD, surgeons with NGPG Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine, to the medical staff at the hospital.

“One of our short term goals for the Barrow community is to improve access to surgical care,” said Hatfield, who noted the general surgeons are located in the medical offices attached to NGMC Barrow, while the orthopedic surgeons are located in the Bethlehem area for improved access along the Highway 316 corridor.  “This expansion in our surgical services will allow for our community residents to have many of the more common types of surgery performed here, close to home,” Hatfield added. 

Similar changes are evident for patients hospitalized at NGMC Barrow as well.  After joining the NGHS family, NGMC Barrow replaced its group of hospitalist physicians with NGPG Inpatient Medicine.  This group provides care for acutely ill hospitalized patients 24/7 and is led by Oladimeji (Sam) Akiode, MD, Medical Director of Inpatient Medicine at NGMC Barrow.  Dr. Akiode directs the inpatient medicine program at NGMC Barrow under the leadership of Dr. Suhel Patel, Medical Director of NGPG Inpatient Services at NGMC Gainesville, and works with system leadership to ensure consistency of care across all NGMC hospital campuses.

Leaders at NGHS also understand that most residents will need help connecting with a primary care physician first.  Following the addition of four new offices, the NGPG network includes offices across Barrow County through which residents can connect to NGMC Barrow before hospital services are needed:

  • NGPG Auburn: Richard Schlossberg, MD
  • NGPG Bethlehem: Calvin Terrelonge, MD
  • NGPG Dacula: Linu Joseph, MD and Susan Smith, MD
  • NGPG Family Health Associates (Winder): Garey H. Huff, Sr., MD; Garey H. Huff, Jr., MD and Audrey C. Huff, MD
  • NGPG Gateway Exchange: Ling Li, MD
  • NGPG Statham: Devin Stephens, MD
  • NGPG West Jackson: Scott Ellis, MD; Marissa Mercado, MD and C.J. Rolison, DO
  • NGPG Winder: Kabita Regmee, MD

In addition to the new physicians now caring for patients at NGMC Barrow and across Barrow County, the hospital has made a variety of other changes to improve the patient experience and expand its scope of services:

  • New Guest Services Representative enhances patients’ experiences, serves as an interpreter, and provides family support.
  • NGHS medical librarians are now available at NGMC Barrow on Thursday afternoons.
  • Expanded classes and seminars, including healthy cooking classes, are now available at NGMC Barrow.  For a complete list, visit
  • A new affiliation agreement with the NGMC Cancer Center provides NGMC Barrow patients with improved access to cancer services, including an oncology nurse navigation service, tumor conference support, Cancer Registry data collection, and community health screenings and education with a cancer focus.
  • A comprehensive nursing assessment was completed to provide a framework for fully integrating nursing care at NGMC Barrow into the NGHS culture of high quality and safe patient care delivery, and consistency across facilities.
  • New equipment purchases totaling almost $2.5 million include an ultrasound machine, a nuclear medicine camera, a new 64 Slice CT scanner, patient vital sign monitoring equipment, and 2 new  hyperbaric oxygen treatment chambers in the Wound Care Center.
  • NGMC Barrow’s Wound Care Center now has a panel of six physicians: Christopher Brandys, MD; Randall Hanson, MD; Gordon Kelly, MD; James Leigh, MD; Susan Smith, MD and Sam Richwine, MD, providing care to patients from all over our region with complex wounds. 

“We are focused on the revitalization of our Medical Center and overall healthcare services” says Hatfield, “it is vitally important to every member of our staff that NGMC Barrow exceed patients’ expectations and become the preferred healthcare provider for Barrow County.  The changes implemented in the last six months are only the first wave of improvements, and many more are on the way.”



Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Barrow has been serving Northeast Georgia since 1951 and joined Northeast Georgia Health System in 2017.  With 56 beds and a medical staff of more than 200 physicians, NGMC Barrow brings services modeled around the programs of excellence at NGMC Gainesville – Georgia’s #1 Hospital (CareChex®) – to Barrow County.  These include emergency services, advanced surgical and medical care, orthopedics and cancer treatment.

NGHS is a non-profit health system 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