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SGMC Named Top 10 Georgia Hospital for Spine Surgery and Heart Surgery

Posted on: December 8th, 2011


South Georgia Medical Center has been recognized as a top-10 Georgia hospital for spine surgery and cardiac surgery for the second consecutive year. In the Georgia Trend report, SGMC ranked fourth in the state of Georgia for spine surgery and seventh for cardiac surgery. The awards recognize quality outcomes and low patient mortality rates for a 3-year time period.

Affiliated physicians associated with these rankings include: Neuro/Spine Surgeons Hitham Khalil, MD and Edward Mark, MD; Orthopedists Eric Gee, MD, and James Goss, DO; and Cardiothoracic Surgeons Ulfur T. Gudjonsson, MD; Julian E. Hurt, MD; Charles P. Murrah, MD; and David L. Saint, MD. The rankings were compiled by a leading healthcare ratings organization using data reported to the state and federal government and published in the December, 2011 issue of Georgia Trend Magazine.

“Given the fact that spine and cardiac surgeries are extremely difficult procedures that require precision and extensive expertise, this is quite an honor for our hospital, our affiliated physicians and our employees,” said SGMC CEO Randy Sauls. “This recognition reaffirms our commitment to be the premier healthcare facility in South Georgia. Rankings, such as these, demonstrate that patients no longer have to travel out of the area for state-of-the-art care.”

In the area of spine surgery, SGMC ranked fourth in the state and is the only hospital south of Macon to achieve such a prestigious ranking– outperforming many larger metropolitan hospitals and teaching institutions. Our affiliated Neurosurgeons Hitham Khalil, MD and Edward Mark, MD and Orthopedists Eric Gee, MD, and James Goss, DO, offer more complex spine surgeries than what are usually performed in regional hospitals.

These include restorative and corrective procedures related to various spine conditions including but not limited to, degenerative spine disease, herniated cervical, lumbar and thoracic disc disease, and spine fusions. Our spine neurosurgeons also manage and surgically treat spinal cord tumors and other invasive spinal conditions. Using a dedicated spinal surgery suite, SGMC’s affiliated physicians offer surgical treatments utilizing the latest in neuro/spine technology.

Our excellent outcomes are directly linked to quality of care, infection prevention and physician and staff training and expertise. For cardiac surgery, SGMC ranked seventh. The Dasher Heart Center at SGMC offers a full range of preventive, diagnostic, interventional, surgical and rehabilitative heart care. Cardiothoracic surgeons practicing at SGMC are: Ulfur T. Gudjonsson, MD Julian E. Hurt, MD; Charles P. Murrah, MD; and David L. Saint, MD.

The Dasher Heart Center also offers minimally invasive procedures and off-pump heart surgeries which eliminate the need for a heart bypass machine. The Cardiac Surgery ranking is based on outcomes and mortality for coronary artery bypass surgeries (CABG) and valve replacement surgeries. Because of rapid growth in the area of cardiac care, construction is currently underway to expand the Dasher Heart Center. Scheduled for completion in 2013, the new five-story patient tower will have three floors dedicated exclusively to cardiac care.

For more information on the services to be found at the SGMC, please call 229.259.4420 or visit us online at