GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - George Regional Health System can now boast of a five star rating from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It's the only hospital within a 100 mile radius to receive the prestigious rating.
"We rank now within the top two percent of hospitals in the nation," George Hospital CEO Greg Havard said. "There are over 4,500 hospitals in the nation and only 168 of them attain this five star rating. And that's a testament to our patients and customers. They are the ones that had the voice to say, hey, this small town hospital is delivering care just like any of the big cities are doing."
The medical staff agrees. Dr. Jay Pinkerton is the hospital chief of staff.
"We're a small hospital, but being small doesn't mean that you don't follow those standards of care, that you don't meet those standards of care, and that you don't take the best possible care of patients," Pinkerton explained.
Charles Whitley is a patient at the hospital, and has nothing but praise for the care given here.
"Just to add to that five star rating, my mother-in-law came through here night before last and had to be lifeflighted. What the doctors did here, essentially, is what saved her life. So I'm pretty comfortable with that," Whitley said.
For long time employees, like lab technician Angela Burkett, the rating means one thing.
"I'm proud to work at a facility that's a five star hospital. And I mean, it makes me feel good because I work here and I feel that with us receiving a five star, I feel like I had something to do with that as an employee here."
As for how this five star rating was achieved, hospital administrators say the answer is easy. It all begins with the staff members, the ones on the front lines of medical care.
"This gives them a lot of sense of pride," Havard said. "Without these guys, we couldn't do it. Because this is an achievement that's based on what they have done, throughout the years."