Columbus Regional, Hughston Clinic partner to improve, expand orthopedic trauma care

Alliance expected to bolster capabilities at The Medical Center, other Columbus Regional hospitals

tadams@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 11, 2013 

Midtown Medical Center is one of the hospitals and facilities under the Columbus Regional Healthcare System.

JOE PAULL — jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com

Columbus Regional Healthcare System said Wednesday it is partnering with The Hughston Clinic in a “strategic alliance” aimed at bolstering orthopedic care at The Medical Center’s emergency and trauma center.

The Hughston Clinic, long known for its top-notch orthopedic expertise, will recruit orthopedic trauma surgeons for the effort, while also opening an office near The Medical Center and Doctors Hospital. They are expected to work with Dr. John McGuigan Jr. and his staff, who already offering orthopedic trauma treatment at The Medical Center.

Chuck Stark, president and chief executive officer of Columbus Regional, said the system is “honored” to be working with The Hughston Clinic surgeons and their staff. The clinic already performs surgeries at Hughston Hospital — a Columbus Regional facility — as well as at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City. Hughston Clinic and the Phenix City hospital both are owned by a group of orthopedic physicians.

“This strategic alliance takes the clinical excellence and superior patient satisfaction results achieved by our Hughston Hospital in working with The Hughston Clinic physicians there, and will bring that same level of physician involvement, leadership and commitment to excellence to both Doctors Hospital and The Medical Center,” Stark said.

The move will dedicate three full-time orthopedic trauma surgeons to The Medical Center’s emergency and trauma center, ensuring that injured patients have around-the-clock access to the surgical specialists, Columbus Regional said.

The Hughston Clinic and its subsidiary, The Hughston Medical Management Group, also will head an effort to field new orthopedic programs and improve existing programs at all three of the Columbus Regional hospitals.

The late Dr. Jack Hughston founded The Hughston Clinic in 1949. Through the years it became a national hub for orthopedic treatment, surgery and research, with sports stars, weekend athletes and aging or injured residents seeking care there.

Hughston Clinic CEO Mark Baker called the new alliance an “exciting time” for the orthopedic center and the 21 physicians involved with it.

“We are expanding and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about what we have in the works,” he said. “We have an outstanding team of well-known physicians and I have total confidence in partnering with Columbus Regional Healthcare System. We are all looking forward to embracing our new partnership to better serve our community.”

The Medical Center opened a new 24,000-square-foot emergency and trauma center in 2011, serving both west central Georgia and east Alabama. It sees roughly 50,000 patients each year, about 10,000 of those children. In June, a new 5,080-square-foot Pediatric Emergency Department opened adjacent to the emergency and trauma center.

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