Wellstar Community Report – July 2018 - June 2020

Wellstar is nationally ranked and locally recognized for its high-quality care, inclusive culture, exceptional doctors and caregivers, and one of the largest and most integrated healthcare systems in Georgia. To us, it’s more than healthcare. PeopleCare.

More than healthcare. PEOPLECARE


TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 Message fromOur Leaders 2 More than healthcare. PeopleCare. 6 PeopleCare Everywhere 10 Complete Care 18 People Caring for People 24 Building Healthier Communities

31 Board of Trustees 32 Financial Overview 34 Wellstar Foundation 36 Donors 42 How to Help

OUR MISSION To enhance the health and well-being of every person we serve.


We serve with compassion.

We pursue excellence.

OUR VISION Deliver world-class healthcare to every person, every time.

We honor every voice.

Content and images in this report may reflect activity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent introduction of protective measures at all Wellstar facilities. Read more about our ongoing pandemic response and protocols on pages 14-15.

Healthcare is changing to meet the ever-evolving needs of patients, consumers and communities. At Wellstar Health System, we actively listen to those we serve to understand those needs and address them with skill and compassion. Nationally ranked and locally recognized for high-quality care, a diverse and inclusive culture and exceptional team members—Wellstar is people taking care of people. While the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for us all, our commitment to serve patients, families and communities across Georgia remains unchanged. Our dedication to uphold our Mission and enhance the health and well-being of every person we serve, regardless of circumstance or diagnosis, remains steadfast. That’s because we know that healthy individuals build healthy, resilient communities. Listening has always been a priority at Wellstar. Beginning in July 2018, we spent 18 months gathering feedback from more than 8,000 Georgians, including team members, community partners, patients and consumers. Their input was our North Star, helping to guide our strategy and ensure that Wellstar is positioned as the healthcare partner of choice in the communities we serve. From these conversations, we learned that consumers want a health system that shows compassion and empathy while fostering a strong patient-provider partnership and giving consumers control over their healthcare journey. Consumers told us they want tailored, quality care that values them as individuals. This insight aligns with our belief that healthcare is a partnership, a journey from birth to end of life. Our greatest asset in this effort is the dedicated, diverse care teams that staff our hospitals, offices and facilities—the extraordinary physicians, nurses and others on the front lines, and behind the scenes. By combining research insights with patient feedback and critical regional insights from our 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) with the Georgia Health Policy Center, Wellstar refined our Mission, Vision and Values and established a new brand identity. Join us on the journey to be MORE THAN HEALTHCARE.

Candice L. Saunders President & CEO

Otis A. Brumby, III Chair, Board of Trustees

The result? A renewed commitment to excellence with a personalized, integrated approach that is more than healthcare. The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) findings helped us identify opportunities to support people in our community. Being a not-for-profit health system permits Wellstar to offer care when and where it’s needed most. In 2019, we provided $785 million in charity care, unreimbursed care and community programs. Through more than 450 community partnerships, we deliver meaningful programs in areas that go beyond traditional medical services, like literacy, housing and food insecurity. By addressing essential needs, we continue to make a difference in the health and prosperity of the community today, and in the future. Our CHNA further confirmed that integrating healthcare services across our entire system is vital to meeting community needs and bringing high-quality, compassionate care to more people. From our hospitals to health parks and medical offices, we are steadfast in our belief that providing the best care in the world revolves around your needs. Thank you sincerely for entrusting us with your health and that of your loved ones. Your support of our system, including the life-changing work of the Wellstar Foundation described in this report, sustains us and inspires our journey to serve with excellence. Together, we will achieve “More than healthcare. PeopleCare.”

Candice L. Saunders

Otis A. Brumby, III

President & CEO

Chair, Board of Trustees

1 | 2019–2020 COMMUNITY REPORT

MATTHEWSCARE Deidra and Bow Matthews’ first experience with Wellstar Cobb Hospital was the birth of their children Chase and Canon. Over the years, that connection deepened as the family faced, and overcame, health challenges including Deidra’s bariatric revision surgery and Bow’s cardiomyopathy, a type of heart failure. Through it all, their physicians persisted in finding personalized solutions. When Bow’s condition proved resistant to treatment, his cardiologist, Ravi Edupuganti, M.D., urged him to get serious about making changes in diet and exercise. Bow felt empowered tomake a difference in his life, which led to action. The result was 84 pounds lost, health regained and confidence restored. From childbirth to broken bones and mended hearts, the Matthews family has enjoyed a close personal relationship with their Wellstar physicians. Their experience is proof that when patients and care partners work together, families are healthier and happier, too!

“Wellstar is the health system that gave me a second chance at life. A second chance to hold my wife and children. A second chance to fight.” – Bow Matthews


ZACCARE When 23-year-old Zac DiGiorgio volunteered to install some shutters at his parents’ home, he never imagined his kind gesture would nearly cost him his life. A loud noise brought Zac’s dad Chris running to find his son had fallen from the ladder and was having a seizure. Emergency responders delivered Zac to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital where he was diagnosed with a life- threatening traumatic brain injury. Surgeons at the Kennestone Neuro ICU performed successful cranial surgery. But treatment, including use of a ventilator, had badly damaged Zac’s lungs. With their son in amedically induced coma, his parents agreed to an experimental procedure known as ECMO to oxygenate Zac’s blood. It worked. Weeks after the fall, Zac woke up, 80 pounds thinner and eternally grateful to his care team. Within months of his final procedure, Zac had completed a half-marathon and was on his way back to the life he loves.

“Thanks toWellstar, the only person who can tell that I had a life-threatening brain injury is my barber who sees the scar when he cuts my hair.” – Zac DiGiorgio

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BRETTCARE Brett Faucett was, quite literally, at a crossroads. While driving to a meeting, the 39-year-old felt numbness in his left arm. He could ignore the symptoms and keep going, or turn around and head to the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Emergency Department. Brett made the right choice. At the ED, he was diagnosed with a “widow maker” heart attack—a 99% blockage of a major artery. A stent was inserted to open the artery, and within 24 hours Brett was back home with his family. Several years later, Brett was on a flight when he experienced chest pain. Upon landing, he was rushed to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center where a second heart attack was confirmed. This time, he was placed on a strict diet and exercise regimen, with great results. Today, Brett is looking and feeling well. He credits his family and his cardiologist for giving him the support and expert care he needs to stay well.

“My family has a dad and a husband thanks to Dr. Paul Douglass and his amazing team.” – Brett Faucett


FRANK&LLENCARE After nearly 55 years of marriage, Frank and Llen Ryan are committed partners on life’s journey. But they’re not in it alone. Their pursuit of health is a long and successful partnership with their Wellstar physicians. Fromprimary care to complicateddiagnoses, treatment, surgery and therapy, Wellstar has provided the Ryans the best in PeopleCare for more than 20 years. The couple has had their share of challenges, like Llen’s Type 2 diabetes and debilitating back pain and Frank’s cancer, heart disease and Parkinson’s. Through it all, their Wellstar care team has held up the medical side of the partnership, while the Ryans do their part by choosing healthy habits. Today the couple is living their best, healthiest life. Frank plays tuba in a band, while Llen creates art and pays it back as a dedicated Wellstar volunteer. Eating well and walking at Kennesaw Mountain are part of their daily routine.

“Staying well is a decision we make every day. We can never appreciate our Wellstar doctors enough for all that they do.” – Frank and Llen Ryan

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Hospital Health Park Post Acute Facility



Medical Office Rehab Center Urgent Care





As one of the most integrated health systems in Georgia, when we talk about serving the community, we mean it. Wellstar hospitals, health parks, medical offices and other facilities are conveniently located across metro Atlanta and in counties to the south. At every site, our teammembers are there to keep you and your family well by providing convenient, cost-

effective healthcare solutions. We’re meeting the growing needs of our communities by thoughtfully expanding to provide more of the services that matter most—from rehabilitation to imaging, cancer treatment and urgent care. While our footprint may be larger, our mission remains the same—to enhance the health and well-being of every person we serve.

A Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center B Wellstar AtlantaMedical Center South C Wellstar Cobb Hospital D Wellstar Douglas Hospital E Wellstar Kennestone Hospital F Wellstar North Fulton Hospital

G Wellstar Paulding Hospital H Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital I Wellstar Sylvan Grove Hospital J Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center K Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital

11 inpatient hospitals

1 Acworth Health Park 2 East Cobb Health Park 3 Vinings Health Park

4  Cherokee Health Park 5  Avalon Health Park

5 health parks

1 pediatric center

2 senior assisted living facilities

3 inpatient hospice units Austell, Marietta, LaGrange

9 cancer centers

16 urgent care facilities

300+ medical office locations

34 imaging centers

74 rehabilitation centers

7 | 2019–2020 COMMUNITY REPORT

PEOPLECAREANYWHERE Whether you need close urgent care, primary and specialty care medicine right in your neighborhood or prefer to log into a virtual health visit, Wellstar makes it easy to get quality care at your convenience.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and Donna has a routine visit scheduled with her Wellstar cardiologist. It’s been a crazy morning with work and family duties. As Donna opens her laptop to begin her appointment, she takes a deep breath, and feels her heart rate slow. Thanks toWellstar telemedicine, Donna can often visit with her care team from home, without battling traffic and parking. Wellstar Health System continues to innovate, making care not only closer, but more convenient. That’s because patients like Donna have told us that accessibility to physicians, nurses, testing and procedures matters more now than ever.

Whether it’s a virtual medical appointment or a one-stop visit to her local health park for blood work and a quick bite, Donna loves knowing that the services she and her family need are as close as the neighborhood grocery store. At Wellstar health parks, hospitals, physicians’ offices and other locations, convenience goes hand in hand with collaboration. We know that the best healthcare is built on partnerships. When patients participate in their healthcare decisions, they feel better about the process and they experience more favorable outcomes.

FY 2019 – FY 2020 Wellstar Patient Engagement

826,000 Health Park patient visits in 2019 and 2020

3.4 million total Health Park visits since implementation

7,308 virtual health patient encounters

16 services offered through telehealth

1,000 new jobs created at Health Parks

2 new Health Parks added in 2019

2,547 telepsychiatry ED and IP video visits

5,768 teleneurology/ telestroke encounters


Health Parks: Delivering the Best in Convenient PeopleCare Healthcare consumers know what they want. That’s why 2019 saw the opening of our two newest health parks—Cherokee and Avalon. At all fiveWellstar health parks, the focus is on community and convenience. We deliver the neighborhood-based services you’ve asked for, like primary care, outpatient procedures, urgent care, imaging and specialty physician practices. Patients love our health parks experience, with lots of daylight and a modern, restful design.

Quality Care in Our Communities: • 826,000 patient visits in 2019 and 2020

• Focus on families with primary care and prevention • Friendly atmosphere with Bistro and Starbucks (per location) • Community Education and Wellness Center for classes and programs • Sponsorship of local health fairs and community events • Easy parking • Latest equipment and innovative procedures • Integrated with other Wellstar hospitals and offices

Wellstar Virtual Health: PeopleCare Everywhere At Wellstar, we know the world of medicine is everchanging and evolving. When it comes to cutting- edge research and technology, Wellstar remains ahead of the curve. Prior to 2020, Wellstar had a robust inpatient telehealth program, but the arrival of the global COVID-19 pandemic served as the catalyst for an accelerated system-wide initiative to provide virtual care everywhere. This effort surpassed unprecedented milestones forWellstar Health System as a leader in providing virtual care, including: • 2,547 Telepsychiatry ED & IPVideo Visits • 5,768 Telestroke/Teleneurology ED & IPVideo Visits • 2,033 WellstarON Urgent Care Video Visits

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COMPLETECARE From primary care to specialty medicine, our Service Lines are at the heart of the Wellstar care model. Our physician leaders drive collaboration while improving patient outcomes and experiences.

Our services lines during FY 2019 – FY 2020

Behavioral Health Our successful behavioral healthcare model gives patients 24/7 access to inpatient psychiatric services and support at all 11 Wellstar hospitals. Psychiatrists, psychologists and master’s-level providers offer specialized care for those with cancer, heart disease, neurological issues and other emotionally challenging conditions.

Cardiovascular The award-winningWellstar Cardiac Network has earned a reputation for innovation and best practices. From irregular heart rhythms to open heart surgery, our specialists are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions, including pediatric cardiology. Across our System, we see more effective treatment, appropriate hospital stays and more happy homecomings.

Digestive Health Whether it’s mild heartburn or a serious condition like Crohn’s Dis- ease, our digestive health experts specialize in diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal diseases. We use the latest diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to find out what’s causing symptoms and relieve discomfort. Gastroenterologists offer advanced endoscopy and screening for col- orectal, esophageal and liver cancer.

12,000 gastrointestinal procedures per year

250 behavioral health specialists

11 cardiovascular subspecialties

Hospital Medicine Hospital Medicine physicians lead the medical team in managing and coordinating the care of hospital patients. Our innovative care delivery model involves interdisciplinary rounds that include the patient, their family, nursing, pharmacy, care coordination and other disciplines, to create tailored care plans for each patient. More than 60% of patients receive care in an acute collaborative care unit

Musculoskeletal Wellstar is a national leader in advanced, multidisciplinary

Neurosciences Wellstar is home to the state’s largest Joint Commission accredited stroke network, with eight stroke facilities, including a certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Our board-certified neurosurgeons, neurologists and neurointerventionalists also treat back and spine pain, brain tumors, headaches and dementia. Annually, more than 2,000 patients choose Wellstar for spinal procedures. 4,000+ patients with stroke symptoms treated annually

treatment for relief of chronic pain frommusculoskeletal disorders. We’ve earned the highest ranking for Total Joint Replacement. From expert diagnosis and proven treatments to innovative rehabilitation, the focus is on positive outcomes.

100+ physicians offer multidisciplinary care


We are proud to deliver a full continuum of quality care for our communities, from birth to end of life. Our 12 service lines establish our strategy and define the way we care. Led by physicians and other clinicians, service lines support and connect people, processes and

technologies. From surgery to pediatrics, cardiology to women’s health, experts within each specialty bring their insight and innovation to colleagues across our System. The result is better patient care and a healthier community.

Oncology The Wellstar Cancer Network— where compassion meets innovation—now offers more community-based, world-class care through a partnership with Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers. Again in 2019, Wellstar was a winner of the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award for commitment to high-quality cancer care. More than 20 cancer drugs tested in clinical trials obtained FDA approval Pulmonary Critical Care Wellstar is a nationally recognized leader in pulmonary medicine. Board-certified pulmonologists partner with other clinicians and specialists to diagnose and treat lung and breathing problems, lung cancer and sleep apnea. Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital is nationally known for treatment of COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. 100+ board-certified pulmonary/ critical care/sleep specialists

Pediatrics From sniffles to cardiac care, Wellstar is a comprehensive resource for kids’ health, and parents’ peace of mind. Our goal is exceptional care close to home. New services include pediatric neurology, urology and outpatient orthopedic surgery. Our full-service Pediatric Center received a 97% patient satisfaction score.

Primary Care Primary care physicians—internists and family medicine specialists— manage both routine and specialized healthcare needs. From diagnosing and treating chronic conditions like allergies and diabetes, to screening and counseling, they treat the whole person, with an eye on family wellness and disease prevention.

200,000+ pediatric primary care visits annually

270 employed and affiliate providers

Surgical A pioneer in laparoscopic and robotic techniques, Wellstar has earned a global reputation for excellence in surgery, thanks to the best people, processes and technology. In 2019, 700 Wellstar surgeons performed more than 75,000 surgeries. Advances like the da Vinci® surgical system mean shorter stays and faster healing.

Women’s Health Wellstar women’s health specialists meet the healthcare needs of women across their lifetime. More than 340 providers care for patients at all stages, providing reproductive, breast, cardiac, imaging, oncology and urogynecology services close to home. We joyfully delivered personalized birth experiences for more than 15,000 moms and their new additions this year. 25,000+ obstetric, gynecologic and breast procedures each year

#1 volume for surgical procedures in Georgia

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EXPERTQUALITYCARE Extraordinary clinicians are at the heart of extraordinary healthcare. Wellstar clinicians bring competence and compassion to every patient we serve.

Whether they’re conducting an office visit or a research study, Wellstar physicians, nurses and other care teammembers heal, and lead, with compassion. Our expert team provides world- class healthcare to members of the community regardless of their circumstances and within a variety of care settings, including our hospitals, health parks and treatment centers. Delivering PeopleCare starts with a commitment to safety and quality. Wellstar clinicians participate in Safety First, our safety and reliability program. It strengthens safety culture by reducing errors, improving communication

and reporting unsafe conditions. The impact of Safety First has been significant. When it comes to the use of innovative technology and evidence-based practices, Wellstar clinicians lead the way. They’re at the forefront of clinical trials that give patients access to promising new treatments. Physician leaders participate actively in the strategic growth and direction of our System. They contribute to every major decision and ensure that the voice of the patient is heard. Their commitment to wellness leads them out in the community where they teach, mentor and share their expertise.

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else, I can’t even imagine doing anything else. Surgery for me is one of the reasons that life is good.”

“The most powerful thing you can do to improve your health is to make lifestyle changes like diet and exercise and weight loss. The impact is more powerful than most medications.” Ravi Edupuganti, M.D. Cardiologist

Tony Griffith, M.D., Surgeon

“I take pride in treating female patients and solving issues that affect younger women.” Jenifer Conde, M.D. Obstetrics and Gynecology

“One day, I want to look back at my career and remember the people I helped. I’m happy I made a difference.” Hans Lee, M.D. Cardiovascular Disease Cardiac Imaging


“My fellowWellstar physicians are partners in care. They share my commitment to the best in quality and outcomes for our patients.”

“My patients, even those in their 90s, are successfully using Wellstar’s MyChart portal to become more empowered about their medical issues and treatment.” “The best part about my job is the patients that I have the opportunity to care for every day. It is very rewarding to help patients who come in and are in pain and unable to live the life they want and to be able to provide them the tools, medication, other treatments to get them back to the quality of life they desire.” Kelly Weselman, M.D., FACR Rheumatologist

Paul Douglass, M.D., MACC, FSCAI Chief, Division of Cardiology

“We know that patients who are supported do better. Group prenatal care decreases preterm births, low birth weight and anxiety, while increasing patient satisfaction.” Joy Baker, M.D., FACOG, PMH-C, C-ERM, MT (ASCP) Obstetrics and Gynecology “I am thankful to be a nurse and thankful to be a part of Wellstar Spalding!” Laura Moss, RN IMCU

Ryan Cantwell, M.D. Internal Medicine

“I cannot help but say how proud I am to be part of the team.” Elizabeth Peters, MSN, RN, SCRN, Stroke Program Coordinator

“In addition to providing the best care to my patients, I find immense joy in playing an influential role in training the next generation of physicians. As a clinician it is a part of our Hippocratic Oath to educate future healthcare providers and leaders and provide compassionate care to our patients – I am extremely happy that I am able to do both at Wellstar.” G. Waldon Garriss, III, M.D., MS, FAAP, MACP Program Director, Internal Medicine

“I like the fact that when patients return after successful treatments I can see in their faces that their lives are really better.” Thomas Chun, M.D. Urologist

“There are great advances being made in treating neurological diseases. And Wellstar supports us in providing the best care for our community. I love what I do. I love to be able to work with the patients, the whole rehabilitation team and the family.” Vimala Nair, M.D.

Hospital Medical Director for Rehabilitation Services

13 | 2019–2020 COMMUNITY REPORT

SAFEHANDSONCARE Wellstar leads an all-hands-on-deck effort to protect team members and patients through a historic pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented time for our community, state and nation. Amid the pandemic, Wellstar has been collaborating and working to keep both team members and patients safe. One focus has been on team member wellness and resiliency. Wellstar has developed resources and tool kits to support team members in self-care aimed at positively impacting mind, body and day-to- day life. A healthy team member is important in providing safe, quality care to patients. Wellstar also reinforces specific strategies to keep team members and patients healthy and reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19, such as: ● Continue to wear a face mask/covering in public. ● Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from people who do not live with you. ● Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

● Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze —or use the inside of your elbow. ● Avoid crowds—the more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19. ● Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh outdoor air as much as possible; if indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. ● Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. ● Be alert for COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, loss of taste/smell and/or shortness of breath. Take your temperature if symptoms develop.


Help for our frontline team members Wellstar started a “Helping Hands” initiative to support and provide additional staff/resources to assist our patients and families. Many administrative, non-bedside nurses volunteered to return to clinical areas to perform tasks such as personal care support, passing food trays, taking vital signs and contacting families unable to visit, to provide updates on their loved ones. Keeping our team safe with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) During this challenging time, Wellstar has worked hard to ensure our teammembers have essential PPE to protect against COVID-19. Wellstar Supply Chain leadership has taken a number of actions, including an accelerated process for evaluation of new PPE items. As well, the System has established direct relationships with manufacturers to purchase PPE, removing a layer in the process and reducing the potential for counterfeit products. And we have addressed nationwide supply shortages to take pre-emptive action, such as purchasing critical materials in demand to protect patients, visitors and team members. Due to proactive measures, Wellstar has not experienced a shortage of PPE. Our team members have always had access to the equipment needed to protect themselves, colleagues, families and patients.

Safety Skills Team members routinely practice what we call our Safety First Relationship and Reliability Skills to reduce error and improve communication to keep ourselves and our patients safe. These evidence-based practices address the challenges of communicating effectively while wearing a mask or face covering: ●  Speak up when more information is needed or if you feel something is unsafe. ● Ask clarifying questions when information is incomplete or vague. ● Work together by cross-monitoring team members to point out high-risk situations. ●  Read back and repeat back to validate and verify critical information. ● Self-check using the STAR process: S top, T hink, A ct and R eview to help us focus and pay attention to detail. ● A strong safety culture that encourages open communication of concerns and unsafe conditions for timely correction and improvement.

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INNOVATIVECANCERCARE An advanced method of removing a breast cancer tumor offers an alternative to the traditional choices.

Traditional methods for treating breast cancer are a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) or lumpectomy (removal of the tumor), followed by radiation (either whole breast or partial breast). Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT) was introduced at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital in 2019 and has been enthusiastically embraced. The two-part, single-procedure method involves removal of the cancerous tumor and introduction of high-dose radiation through a saline-filled balloon that is removed during the operation. The best candidates for IORT are patients over 40 with a small tumor that has not spread outside the breast. According to Wellstar radiation oncologist Mark McLaughlin, M.D. (pictured in the right image below), IORT saves patients time and money. He describes the method as a "game changer," as

it can reduce the number of patient radiation visits from 25 to zero. Other benefits include less involvement of other tissues, quicker recovery and a better cosmetic result. Dr. McLaughlin teamed up with Wellstar breast surgeon Laura Pearson, M.D., (pictured in the left image below) to perform the first Wellstar IORT procedure. Says Dr. Pearson, “IORT is unique because it requires close collaboration from the care team. From start to finish, we work together to ensure the procedure is successful.” Adds Dr. McLaughlin, “With treatments like IORT, Wellstar patients can get back to their lives sooner and live life to the fullest.” Investment in innovations like IORT means more choices and better outcomes for Wellstar patients. IORT is currently offered at Wellstar North Fulton and Wellstar Kennestone hospitals.


NANCARE A Life-Changing Decision

It had been eight years since Nan Harman-Dempsey had undergone a mammogram when she was persuaded by her Wellstar internist, Robert Young, M.D., to get tested. As it turns out, the busy Alpharetta attorney had cause for concern. Because her breast cancer was caught in the early stage, Nan was a candidate for a groundbreaking surgery known as intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). In fact, she was the first Wellstar patient to undergo IORT, performed at Wellstar North Fulton Hospital. In a single procedure, the tumor is removed and a source of intensive radiation is introduced. Nan was able to return home the same day and enjoyed a quick and successful recovery. “Since I was so close to home, it took a lot of the stress and pressure offme. Don’t put off your mammogram. It could save your life!” – Nan Harman-Dempsey

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PEOPLECARINGFORPEOPLE Wellstar puts patients and team members at the center of everything we do—enhancing the health and well-being of every person we serve. It’s more than our mission, it’s who we are.

Like the patients we serve, ourWellstar team members have a choice. That’s why we’re working harder than ever to provide a rich and rewarding employment experience, with great benefits, opportunities for career growth and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. At the same time, we’re doing more to attract the best candidates for our positions. It’s working. Whether serving at the bedside or behind the scenes to provide world-class patient care, Wellstar teammembers are making a difference in patients’ lives. Working in healthcare is more than a job for our nurses, physicians and care teammembers. It’s an opportunity to contribute. That passion sets us apart.

This year we took important steps to transform the way we seek and attract top candidates and ensure a diverse, inclusive workforce. Among the changes was the creation of a skill-specific talent sourcing team. We also conducted extensive research to ensure that our workforce planning strategies are the best in the business—strong, yet nimble and responsive to changing needs. These efforts were recognized. In every Wellstar facility, teammembers distinguished themselves on the job, achieved a satisfying work/life balance and pursued opportunities for education and advancement. On a System level, Wellstar was recognized with awards, including “Best Workplaces for Diversity” (Fortune Magazine) and “Best and Brightest Companies toWork For” (National Association for Business Resources).

It’s an honor to be consistently recognized, but just as important is the insight and inspiration we gain from benchmarking our performance. Through comparison with other organizations that value what we value, we can better identify performance gaps and leverage that knowledge for improvement, raising the bar as we go.



NAFE Top Companies for Executive Females – 10 years running

Companies that Care Honor Roll 12 years running

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Best Adoption- Friendly Workplace – 4 years running


ASHLEYCARE Life comes full circle for this teammember

At 26, Ashley Irwin was a young woman on the move. A graduate of Auburn University, Ashley was working in fundraising at United Way of Greater Atlanta in September 2011 when a flareup of her Crohn’s disease sent her to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where she had been born. Ashley was recovering at home when what she believed to be a severe migraine turned out to be a stroke. Complications led to emergency brain surgery at Kennestone and a couple of weeks in ICU. Following a successful rehab and recovery, Ashley continued her non-profit career by joining theWellstar Foundation in 2016 as a development officer. Fast forward eight years to September 2019 when Ashley and her husband Kevin returned to Kennestone to welcome their first child! As she held little Luke for the first time, Ashley was overcome with awe and gratitude. “From my birth, to my stroke and the birth of my son, Wellstar has always been there for me,” she says.


Best and Brightest Companies to Work For 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Great Place to Work Certified

Atlanta Business Chronicle Atlanta's 25 Largest Employers – 2020

Fortune Best Workplaces in Health Care – 2019, 2020

Aug. 2019- Aug. 2020

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HONORINGEVERYVOICE Wellstar has a long-standing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion—a commitment that was strengthened in 2020.

Early in the year, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) representatives across the System conducted listening sessions with teammembers so that all voices had a venue to be heard. The sessions also provided an opportunity to learn about the actions and responses teammembers wished to seeWellstar take to help drive positive change for our communities and our team. Those sessions inspired the creation of theWellstar DEI Advisory Council comprised of leaders, teammembers and physicians. TheWellstar DEI Advisory Council actively works to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment,

where everyone feels valued and heard—and where racism and discrimination of any kind are not tolerated. A Leader Toolkit was also developed to equip leaders with the resources they needed to support in-depth, honest conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion with our team members. The toolkit features facilitator tips, an explanation of terms, background material and extensive resources. Our network of 12 site-based Inclusion Councils are an essential asset to all DEI initiatives. While most have been in place for several years, three were added in 2020 in response to the listening

Working Mother Best Companies for Dads – 2020

Working Mother Best Companies for Multicultural Women – 2019

Fortune Best Workplaces for Diversity – 2018, 2019

Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index Company – 2020


Key Outcomes of theWellstar Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Council

Workforce Diversity to best reflect the communities we serve.

Culture of Inclusion

Culture of Competence so we’re serving, speaking and acting with compassion in all things.

Health Equity to provide safe and culturally appropriate care for every person, every time.

Community Engagement and Supplier Diversity to become an even stronger partner for our communities.

to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are integrated into our performance and behavioral structures.

sessions. The Wellstar DEI Advisory Council works in collaboration with our established Inclusion Councils to ensure the voices of our team members are reflected in all the work we do and enable a connected cycle of feedback across our system. With the recent launch of Inclusion Councils within Wellstar Medical Group and Shared Services, every Wellstar facility and department is working to advance DEI. Together, these cross-functional team members keep a pulse on the unique needs and opportunities at each of our sites and work closely with an Executive Sponsor to drive work forward.

“The events of 2020 presented for all of us, as individuals and as an organization, an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are working tirelessly to ensure Wellstar is not only a place where racism and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, but also an environment where everyone is able to be their full and authentic self,” says Garry Gross, Operational Leader of the Wellstar DEI Advisory Council. We are committed to serving with compassion, pursuing excellence and honoring every voice.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in how we live out our values every day at Wellstar.

Serve with compassion We treat every person we serve, and each other, with kindness and empathy.

Pursue excellence We are constantly striving to grow and do better. Through educational programs and professional development, we create opportunities for each of us to learn more about promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

Honor every voice We recognize that our diverse perspectives, experiences and identities are our strength. We listen to and value what every person has to say and celebrate what makes each of us different and unique.

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PURSUINGEXCELLENCE Our team members have earned a reputation for skill, compassionate care and dedication. That reputation again translated into numerous awards and accolades. For healthcare professionals, the most meaningful recognition of all is a word of thanks from a patient on the mend or a hug from a grateful family member. Over the years, Wellstar team members have consistently earned the respect of the healthcare and business communities. Awards and recognition shine the spotlight on individual and team excellence. Wellstar teams and facilities were the proud recipients of awards in safety, stroke care, surgery, management, patient outcomes, engagement and other areas. Wellstar team members are more than clinicians, techs and administrators. They’re healthcare professionals who help advance their chosen fields by reaching higher. The honors they receive bring them respect, while inspiring others. From facility-based awards to international recognition, our people shine. Though this is only a partial list of recognitions, we are honored by each and every accolade.


2019 Mission: Lifeline ®

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION® The American Heart Association® (AHA) recognizes hospitals for their success in using Get With The Guidelines® and Mission: Lifeline® to improve quality of care and outcomes for heart and stroke patients.

GET WITH THE GUIDELINES® Heart Failure Achievement Wellstar Douglas Hospital – Gold Plus Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Silver Plus Wellstar Paulding Hospital – Bronze Resuscitation Achievement Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Silver Plus Target Stroke Elite Plus Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital – Gold Plus Wellstar North Fulton Hospital – Gold Plus Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Gold Plus Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center – Gold Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South – Gold Stroke Elite Wellstar Cobb Hospital – Gold Plus Wellstar Douglas Hospital – Silver Plus Wellstar Paulding Hospital – Bronze Target Type 2 Diabetes Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center – Honor Roll


Wellstar Cobb Hospital – Bronze Wellstar Douglas Hospital – Silver Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Silver Wellstar North Fulton Hospital – Silver Wellstar Paulding Hospital – Silver

Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital – Silver Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center – Silver Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South – Bronze NSTEMI Wellstar Douglas Hospital – Silver Wellstar Kennestone Hospital – Bronze Wellstar Paulding Hospital – Silver Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital – Silver Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center – Bronze



Georgia Hospital Association

LIFELINK OF GEORGIA LifeLink Platinum Award Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center was honored for its commitment to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donations.

GEORGIA HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION Patient Safety & Quality Summit Awards The Wellstar System Medication Safety Department, Wellstar Medical Group, Wellstar Windy Hill Hospital and West Georgia Home Care took honors from GHA for publications and initiatives that advance safety and quality.

SOCIETY OF THORACIC SURGEONS Recognition Kudos to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital for earning two stars in every rated category.

WATSON HEALTH IBM Top 100 Hospitals

FLORIDA STERLING COUNCIL Governor’s Sterling Award Recipient Wellstar Paulding Hospital was honored for excellence among Florida and Georgia organizations that have implemented successful quality management systems.

LEAPFROG HOSPITAL SAFETY GRADE Grade A for Fall 2019 Wellstar Douglas, Kennestone and Paulding hospitals received recognition for their efforts to keep patients from errors, injuries, accidents and infections.

Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center was selected as one of the top-performing hospitals in the U.S. based on clinical, operational and patient- satisfaction metrics.

THE JOINT COMMISSION Gold Seal of Approval for Comprehensive Cardiac Center (CCC) Certification Wellstar Kennestone Hospital became the first hospital in Georgia to earn this certification.

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT 16 Best Hospitals in Georgia Wellstar Kennestone and Cobb hospitals made this prestigious list.

WORKING MOTHER Top 10 Best Companies for Multicultural Women Best Companies for Dads 100 Best Companies in the Nation Wellstar Health System was recognized for a 12th year in a row.

23 | 2019–2020 COMMUNITY REPORT

TeamMembers Rally to Support Our Communities On a beautiful June afternoon in 2019, more than 400 volunteer team members launched Wellstar’s inaugural Day of Service. The focus was food insecurity. Participants hosted a pop-up food market, worked in a community garden, supported a state-wide network of food access agencies, created a mobile food pantry and prepared healthy bag lunches. “Wellstar Day of Service demonstrates howWellstar is more than healthcare. As a healthcare organization, it is important that we support social determinants of health agencies like the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Feeding the Valley to ensure our communities have the proper nutrition to maintain overall health,” says Shara Wesley, DrPH, Assistant Vice President, Wellstar Center for Health Equity.

BUILDINGHEALTHIER COMMUNITIES Wellstar is committed to addressing the full range of health needs within our communities.

From prevention and wellness programs to inpatient and outpatient care, we have the ability and desire to create lasting and impactful change in the health and well-being of the communities we serve across Georgia. The diversity in clinical and community interventions are profound in scope and complexity. Wellstar has several partnerships with community-based clinics that safeguard vulnerable community members—who may not have access

to primary care—to ensure they receive the care they need to stay healthy or manage their health conditions. For instance, Wellstar has begun to assess patients for food insecurity to connect those patients with food access support in their communities. These services also include the support of expecting mothers who may not otherwise have access to prenatal care.


Community health initiatives reach individuals beyond our hospital walls, including those without insurance and those with chronic conditions that must be managed. Below are some of our programs in 2019 and 2020.

Center for Health Equity In 2019, Wellstar launched our Center for Health Equity in response to needs revealed by our triennial Community Health Needs Assessment process. The Center will provide oversight for System-wide strategies, initiatives and programs that are addressing health disparities that persist within six strategic domains:

Access to Primary Care

Behavioral Health


Food Insecurity


Women’s Health

Supporting Growing Families Wellstar is working to reduce the maternal mortality ratio in Georgia, especially among African-American women. Actions include reviewing and monitoring practices at all Wellstar hospitals. We support community education and services that reach more than 15,000 families each year. Wellstar also supports programs like Babies Born Healthy that provide subsidized prenatal services.

Wellstar Day of Service In 2019, we launched the Wellstar Day of Service. It was a rewarding opportunity for teammembers to engage in community service, while also connecting. Our team members served over 1,000 hours supporting healthy food access agencies.

Congregational Health Network This network leverages the strength of faith-based partnerships and serves as a bridge between our system and spiritual communities, supporting improvements in lifestyles and healthy habits. In 2019, we increased efforts to improve access to nutritious food. Outreach activities included community-based nursing through our Congregational Health Network, which supports more than 84 faith organizations.

Fighting Cancer In our constant fight against cancer, we enhanced community screening to ensure that follow-up care is continuous and well coordinated. In partnership with the Wellstar Foundation, Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, and It’s the Journey, we conduct free mammograms, with emphasis on underserved African- American and Hispanic women.

Community Safety-Net Clinics

Our community safety-net clinics provide medically underserved individuals with wellness exams, vaccinations and medication counseling. We also offer reduced-cost outpatient services in partnership with community- based clinics throughout our service area.

Food as Medicine Program We also continue to prioritize food access and chronic disease management with our Food as Medicine Program. Through a partnership with Open Hand Atlanta, this intervention provides participants with medically tailored meals and food boxes, along with modules on chronic disease management and healthy food preparation.

Medical Interpretation Services In 2019, Wellstar provided telephonic, video and onsite interpretation sessions. Documents were translated and offered in 20 different languages and braille. The increase in services and utilization displays Wellstar’s strong ability to effectively communicate with our Limited English Proficient patient population.

25 | 2019–2020 COMMUNITY REPORT

MOREOUTREACHBETTEROUTCOMES We seek to build healthier, more resilient communities by looking at health through a wide lens that includes not just office visits and bedside care, but education, outreach and prevention, as well.

Wellstar Population Health works to improve the health outcomes of the patients we serve. Underlying this work is the big idea that clinical outcomes are influenced by many non-medical factors. These are known as Social Determinants of Health. For example, the health of an individual with diabetes isn’t only a matter of taking the right dose of insulin or regularly visiting the physician. It’s also about the patient’s access to healthy food and community services, housing status, education and employment. To better understand these patients, their risks and factors that affect their health, Wellstar Emergency Departments have developed a Social Determinants of Health data collection process. The information gathered during ED visits will be used to identify community resources and other ways to meet non-clinical needs that impact health.

We know that disparities due to race, ethnicity, gender and socio-economic status influence clinical outcomes. During the pandemic, Population Health team members created predictive models using clinical history and demographics to identify the most vulnerable populations. These groups were targeted for outreach by our specialists, who provided resources and education to help protect them from the ravages of COVID-19. Wellstar Health System also supported a System- wide expansion of telemedicine in 2020. Seeing a healthcare provider virtually not only reduces the chance for virus transmission, but also addresses inequities in transportation and access to services.

Shara Wesley, DrPH, is Assistant Vice President, Center for Health Equity and Community Outreach. Jeffrey Hines, M.D., is Medical Director of Wellstar Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity. Together with other team members, they are leading the charge to provide equitable care for all, especially those disadvantaged by social, racial and economic factors.


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