Georgia Alliance Honors Hospital for Outstanding Community Contributions(Valdosta, GA) –South Georgia Medical Center (SGMC) was named 2013 Large Hospital of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals (the Alliance) at its 30th Annual Conference on October 18. The facility was recognized for its state-of-the-art renovations and projects catered specifically to the needs of its community. Through both affiliate and main campus centers, SGMC invested more than $150,000,000 in new service lines, advanced technology, and community health education programs and services for the 11 surrounding counties it serves. South Georgia Medical Center also reaches out to the community to serve those who would not otherwise be able to receive medical care. Direct-care initiatives include a health care center placed strategically in an underserved area of Valdosta, occupational health screens to local industries and a free primary care clinic for the working uninsured. In FY12 alone, the hospital committed $11,607,230 to providing indigent, charity and other uncompensated care and experienced another $11,273,336 in bad-debt. Additionally, SGMC invests in increasing the number of health care workers by supporting career development in the field. The hospital has partnered with both Wiregrass Technical College to develop a Nursing Program and Valdosta State University to develop a Health Sciences and Healthcare Administration Program. “The Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals is proud to recognize South Georgia Medical Center for its contributions to the Valdosta community,” said Alliance President, Monty Veazey. “Our state’s not-for-profit hospitals are committed to improving the health of their communities and being able to draw special attention to the commitment, innovation and dedication is a tremendous honor for me.”About the Hospital of the Year AwardThe Georgia Alliance of Community Hospital’s “Hospital of the Year” is an annual competition that spotlights the important value of Georgia’s community hospitals. Hospital submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges from public relations agency Porter Novelli, focusing on initiatives that support direct patient access, improved access to underserved populations, major economic development initiatives, major quality-of-life initiatives and extraordinary community benefits.About the Georgia Alliance of Community HospitalsThe Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals (GACH) has been working for the best interests of community not-for-profit hospitals and Georgia’s health care consumers since its founding in 1983. The Alliance works to foster goodwill among community health care professionals; to advocate the enactment of sound laws, rules and regulations affecting community hospitals; to conduct and disseminate research and to share ideas that improve the health care delivery system in Georgia.About South Georgia Medical CenterSouth Georgia Medical Center is a not-for-profit, regional referral hospital dedicated to being the leader in improving the health, wellness and quality of life in the communities it serves. Located in the metropolis of Valdosta, Georgia, SGMC serves a multi-county area in South Georgia and North Florida. As a 330-bed acute care hospital, SGMC provides area residents with broad services through its growing medical staff of more than 200 physicians and 3,000 staff. Through state-of-the-art renovations and a commitment to offering health care and benefit services to underserved members of the community, SGMC continually strives to provide quality patient care and quality outcomes.