Northeast Georgia Medical Center Surgeons Collaborate in National Program to Improve Patient Care

Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Two Northeast Georgia Medical Center surgeons are part of an elite group of surgeons from across the nation with a unique commitment to improving the quality of care for patients who undergo hernia surgery. Dr. Chad Copper, a surgeon with The Hernia Center at Longstreet Clinic, and Dr. Ron Lewis, a surgeon with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates, are participating in the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative (AHSQC).

“Participating in the AHSQC is truly about providing better care for our patients,” says Dr. Lewis. “It allows us to compare data and outcomes from our cases with others across the nation, so we can improve our approach by learning from – and collaborating with – our fellow surgeons.”

Through the analysis of more than 27,000 hernia surgeries so far, the AHSQC provides best practices, decision support, care pathways and ongoing performance feedback to participants and partners. The group started tracking cases in 2013, and now more than 260 surgeons participate across the nation.

Both Dr. Lewis and Dr. Copper perform many of their hernia repair surgeries using the da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, which allows them to perform more complicated procedures while making smaller incisions. The pair have combined to complete more than 850 robotic hernia repair surgeries.   

“Quality is our number one concern,” said Dr. Copper. “I joined the AHSQC because I wanted to know whether robotic surgery was better for patients than traditional surgery, and the data confirmed that robotic hernia repair surgery patients go home faster and have less pain – which can decrease the need for narcotic pain medicine.”

Surgeons have performed more than 5,000 robotic surgeries at NGMC since 2009. Learn more about NGMC’s Robotic Surgical Program at



Since 1951, Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) has been on a mission of improving the health of our community in all we do. With hospitals located in Gainesville, Braselton and Barrow – the three NGMC campuses have a total of 713 beds and more than 700 medical staff members representing more than 50 specialties.  NGMC is part of Northeast Georgia Health System, a non-profit that cares for almost 1 million people across more than 18 counties.  Learn more at