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

Published on September 27, 2016


Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC), rated Georgia’s #1 Heart Hospital 11 years in a row (CareChex), dedicated its new Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit on Sunday afternoon. More than 80 donors, who gave more than $1 million through The Medical Center Foundation to make possible the only advanced inpatient heart failure unit in the region, attended the dedication and were the first to walk the halls.

“More than five million people suffer from heart failure in the United States,” 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 excellent treatment and education for patients.  Now, through the generosity of the donors, we have a facility that matches our expertise.” 

            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:

  • A prominent location on the second floor of NGMC’s South Tower, with 16 private rooms designed with patient and family comfort in mind that include nature-inspired healing artwork, comfortable seating that transitions to an oversized sleeper for caregivers, motion-sensor night lights, large tiled bathrooms, 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
  • 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 nurse, patient’s nurse, case manager, social worker, physical therapy, cardiology pharmacy and chaplain – all to ensure optimal care and that the patient, family and other caregivers have all of the tools necessary to self-manage heart failure once returning home
  • More efficient care, aided by 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 and Sherrie Schrage and Sherrie’s mother, Mrs. Muriel Nathan.  The center provides a dedicated, comfortable and classroom style learning environment where patients get 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-square-foot center 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 courses. Caregivers are offered by-stander CPR classes.

“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 of 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 Treatment Unit and The Nathan-Schrage Teaching Center come to life,” says Nancy Colston, president & chief development officer, The Medical Center Foundation.  “Woody was a remarkable leader and would be so very proud to know that we continue to lead the way by setting the bar high and 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




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