West Georgia Health CEO Jerry Fulks receives Georgia Hospital Association Chairman's Award
Jerry Fulks, president and chief executive officer of West Georgia Health, is the recipient of the Georgia Hospital Association's 2015 Chairman's Award.
The GHA honored Fulks for his leadership of the 276-bed hospital in LaGrange, Ga.,, with the facility serving the community for nearly 80 years. The company said he has led West Georgia Health through several transitions during his 14-year tenure as CEO.
"In the years Jerry has served as president and CEO of West Georgia Health, he has been responsible for many 'firsts' in this organization," said Mike Patton, chairman of West Georgia Medical Center's board of trustees, in a statement. "He created the West Georgia Health Foundation, and he implemented electronic health records (in 2008), making West Georgia Health among the first 5 percent of hospitals in the nation to utilize EHR -- years before it became a federal mandate."
Fulks also oversaw construction of a four-story patient tower that houses facilities for the heart clinic, emergency department, intensive care unit and labor and delivery. He managed the launch of several new service lines over the years, the company said, including the Women's Health Center, wound care, bariatric surgery and occupational medicine.
In 2004, he began a hospital-wide safety initiative to ensure a safe work environment. After implementation, safety scores steadily improved and the hospital ended fiscal year 2014 as its safest ever, recording its lowest safety incident rate. This year Healthgrades honored West Georgia Health as being in the top 5 percent nationwide in patient safety excellence for the third consecutive year.
The LaGrange hospital also was honored this year as one of three U.S. hospitals to receive Premier Inc.'s QUEST Award for outstanding patient care. CareChex ranked the facility in the top 10 percent of U.S. hospitals for medical excellence in "overall hospital care," as well as "overall surgical care."
"Jerry Fulks' outstanding leadership has been a fundamental part of the success of West Georgia Health and its ability to serve the community effectively," said Georgia Hospital Association President Earl Rogers. "We appreciate all he and the West Georgia Health staff have done, and continue to do, for the health-care field. He is a most-deserving recipient of this award."
In the community, Fulks has served as president of the LaGrange Rotary Club, chairman of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the West Georgia Technical College Board of Directors. He received his master of healthcare administration from the Medical College of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.
EMC Engineering Services promotes Christopher Brazell
EMC Engineering Services Inc. said it has promoted Christopher Brazell to senior principal owner.
The Savannah, Ga.-based firm has production offices in Columbus, Brunswick, Statesboro, Augusta, Atlanta, Albany and Valdosta. It offers a range of environmental, civil, marine, survey and construction management services to municipalities, governmental agencies, industries, commercial investors and developers in the Southeast.
Brazell, originally from Vidalia, Ga., received associate of science degrees in nuclear engineering and physics at Middle Georgia College in 1996. He later served at the college as an adjunct professor teaching land surveying courses. He received a bachelor of science degree in 2001 and a master of science degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 2004.
Brazell began his career with EMC in 2002 as a construction inspector in Savannah. He relocated in 2003 to Atlanta, where he helped start the firm's Atlanta branch. In 2006, he relocated to the Columbus branch and has grown the regional staff and market share to become one of the leading business units at EMC. He also became the firm's youngest associate owner.
As senior vice president of the West Georgia Division, Brazell manages EMC's Columbus, Albany, Atlanta and Valdosta branch offices, and is the liaison for all military projects.
Brazell received the Young Engineer of the Year Award in 2010, presented by the Georgia Engineering Alliance. He is the president of the Columbus Georgia Tech Alumni Network, and a graduate of the 2009 class of Leadership Columbus and Leadership Harris County.
He is an active member in North Columbus Rotary Club, Columbus Habitat for Humanity, Young Professionals of Greater Columbus, the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Harris County Chamber of Commerce, Columbus chapter of Ducks Unlimited, Georgia Society of Professional Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers and the Columbus chapter of the Society of Human Resources Managers.