The Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute is now being managed by Georgia Regents University (formerly Medical College of Georgia) under a plan to bring the historic facility into a contemporary medical model, State Rep. Debbie Buckner said.
GRU signed an agreement to manage the medical hospitals at the institute and with Georgia Regents Medical Center will manage inpatient rehabilitation and long-term acute care of patients.
Buckner, who helped put the new arrangement in place, said there will likely be little or no change the first year, as GRU representatives assess the needs at the facility.
“A lot has changed in health care, and the mission and function of Warm Springs is not matching what’s going on in medicine these days,” Buckner said. “A lot of people think that this is a really good opportunity for the hospital to revamp its focus and mission and be able to do great things as it always has in the past.”
The institute is one of Meriwether County’s largest employers, and keeping it healthy is vital to the area’s economy, Buckner said.
“While the jobs are incredibly important, what is equally important if not more important is the service provided to people in our part of the state. It’s a good location to provide much-needed health care for our part of the state.”
Bill Bulloch, executive director of the institute, said the facility employs 402 people and that the new arrangement will help ensure that the institute remains vibrant.
“This management agreement was developed because both parties, in conjunction with the governor and our legislators, realized that this type of partnership will enable the modernization and improvement of hospital operations at Warm Springs – allowing our clinical care providers to better meet the needs of our community, as well as improve and expand our vocational services which prepare Georgians with disability to gain employment and independent living skills,” Bulloch said.
Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute was established as a polio treatment center in 1927 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Its clinical operations include the Roosevelt Warm Springs Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital, which serves individuals who require intensive rehabilitation; and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Long Term Acute Care Hospital, which specializes in the treatment of catastrophic illness, chronic illness or severe injuries.