Archbold Foundation Contributes to Success of Hospital
A Tradition of Giving Back
Since opening its doors in 1925, Archbold Medical Center has grown to become one of the leading, regional, integrated health systems in southwest Georgia. The health system has a reputation for innovation, with a history of being the “first” hospital in the region to offer advanced patient treatments and procedures. Archbold boasts state-of-the-art medical technology not typically in a town the size of Thomasville.
Like most health systems across the country, Archbold has faced challenges while learning to navigate the changing healthcare landscape in recent years. For many hospitals, declining reimbursements and reductions in state and federal funds have made it difficult to invest in new technology and infrastructure needed to provide next-level patient care.
Fortunately, Archbold has been able to rely on its local hospital foundation to help fund critical new projects and programs so patients have access to care often only found in larger cities.
The Archbold Foundation was created in 1983 with the sole purpose of building and sustaining a financial legacy of support for John D. Archbold Memorial Hospital and Archbold Health Services. The Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) corporation that is governed by its own volunteer board of Trustees. Archbold Foundation President Vann Middleton has led fundraising efforts for the Foundation since 2013.
According to Archbold President and CEO Perry Mustian, the Archbold Foundation has played a vital role in the health system’s ability to continue to pursue its mission.
“Even amidst all the changes we’ve seen in healthcare over recent years, I can proudly say Archbold has remained committed to what is most important—providing our patients the very best high quality patient care,” said Mustian. “The steadfast support of the Archbold Foundation has allowed us to bring advanced technology to patients in our region. In recent years, the Foundation has helped fund the construction of state-of-the-art healthcare facilities where our clinical teams have saved thousands of lives.”
“Archbold is a pillar in our community and the health system is a critical asset to our region,” said Middleton. “We are very fortunate to have a long history of generous supporters, which began with Jack Archbold in 1925 when he made his momentous gift to build a state-of-the-art hospital in memory of his father.”
Middleton continued, “Archbold is a passionate cause. Most everyone in our community will encounter a life-changing experience at one of our facilities. We have tremendous support from passionate community members who want to make a difference by generously giving back to the Archbold Foundation.”
Over the years, donations to the Archbold Foundation have helped fund innovative new programs, capital projects and new equipment and technology that have helped position Archbold to remain a leader in healthcare in our region.
In 2003, the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center acquired Gamma Knife brain radiosurgery technology as a result of a donation given to the Foundation. Archbold was the second hospital system in the state of Georgia to bring the Gamma Knife technology to our community.
In 2015, the Foundation invested $4 million to upgrade to the Gamma Knife Perfexion™, the newest technology of its kind that allows surgeons to deliver non-invasive, but highly accurate, therapeutic doses of radiation to areas from the brain, and as far down as the seventh cervical vertebra.
“Having access to the Gamma Knife technology has allowed Archbold to provide treatment to patients with complicated cases, who otherwise might not have had other treatment options,” said Gerald Kadis, MD, neurosurgeon at Archbold.
“We had amazing success with the original Gamma Knife technology,” said radiation oncologist Steve Johnson, MD. “And the Perfexion™ has proven to help us continue with that tradition, while also allowing us to take our Gamma Knife program to the next level.”
In 2016, as a result of another successful Archbold Foundation community fundraising effort, patients at the Archbold Women’s Center gained access to new medical technology that they would have previously had to travel more than 50 miles to take advantage of. The Archbold Women’s Center unveiled 3D Mammography technology, which has provided patients access to state-of-the-art breast imaging technology. In total, over $1 million was raised by the Foundation in order to bring 3D mammography to our community.
“The technology has revolutionized the way we are able to detect breast cancer,” said radiologist Mary Anne Bullard-Grayson, MD. “The purchase of 3D mammography was a very wise investment for the advancement of healthcare in our region. We are very grateful for all the generous donations that helped bring this technology to Thomasville. ”
Inpatient Hospice Coming to Thomasville
In late 2018, Archbold Memorial Hospital announced the planned expansion of services to add an inpatient hospice center to meet the unique needs of patients battling life-limiting, terminal illnesses.
To date, the Archbold Foundation has raised over $5 million for the construction and endowment fund for Inpatient Hospice Center which will be housed on the 4th floor of the existing West Wing of the hospital.
Inpatient hospice provides around-the-clock service for patients with a terminal illness requiring an advanced level of care that cannot be provided at home or in an assisted living facility. The goal of this often short-term care is to control severe pain and provide a comfortable environment for patients outside of the home.
The center will be named The John B. and Elizabeth V. Wight Inpatient Hospice Center. Johnny Wight was a very successful businessman in Cairo who served as an Archbold Trustee for 36 years and was a co-founder of the Archbold Classic Pro-Am Golf Tournament. Mr. Wight passed away after a lengthy illness in June 2017.
Sensing a need for inpatient hospice care, the Wight family felt compelled to give the lead gift for the Center that will be named after Mr. Wight and his wife, Beth.
“I realized, when my husband was ill, how nice it was to have help and support from Hospice of Southwest Georgia,” said Beth Wight. “Having an inpatient unit will give patients and their loved ones an additional choice, and much needed support for end-of-life care.”
The planned inpatient hospice center is designed to be a home away from home for patients and their families. The space will feature wood style flooring and upholstered furniture to provide a comfortable and warm environment. Patient rooms will include comfortable furniture for both patients and loved ones. A family living room, located between two patient-care suites, will provide comfortable seating and a semi-private area for family members to gather outside the patient suites.
“The John B. and Elizabeth V. Wight Inpatient Hospice Center will complete the circle of compassionate care that is the mission of Archbold and at the heart of our wonderful, giving community,” said Gina Shumake, former chair of the Archbold Foundation Board of Trustees. “Hospice is a service you are never really aware of until you or a loved one needs it. Then, it is invaluable.”
Construction of the Inpatient Hospice Center is scheduled to be complete in 2020.
Foundation to Provide $2.8 Million in 2020
This summer, the Archbold Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted to confirm a transfer of over $2.83 million to the Medical Center to support new hospital initiatives, as well as many existing programs during the 2020 fiscal year.
The largest grant request approved by the Board will be designated for the purchase of a second DaVinci Xi surgical system for the operating room at Archbold Memorial Hospital.
“Since launching a robotic surgery program at Archbold in 2011, we have seen many patients benefit from the technology,” said Ed Hall, MD, general surgeon at Archbold Memorial Hospital. “The new DaVinci Xi is versatile and flexible, and can be used for a variety of procedures. This new technology will strengthen our robotics program at Archbold, which will lead to even better outcomes for our patients.”
The Board also approved grant requests that help fund a variety of other programs throughout the health system.
One of the newest programs the Board has committed to help fund is the Nurse Residency Program.
“We’re grateful the Foundation saw the critical need to support our new Nurse Residency Program at Archbold,” said Amy Griffin, Vice President of Patient Care at Archbold. “This program is designed to provide new nurses with intensive curriculum, training and resources that will help better prepare them to provide excellent care to the patients in our community.”
For the third consecutive year, the Foundation committed to financially support Live Better, the Archbold-led collaborative of key community leaders and partners focused on building a healthier community, with a special focus on reducing Thomas County’s obesity rates.
“The support we have received from the Archbold Foundation has made a huge impact on what Live Better has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” said Mark Lowe, Vice President of Planning and Marketing at Archbold. “We have a more engaged community coming together around a common theme, and we’re making meaningful strides towards our goal of reducing obesity and making Thomas County a healthier place to live.”
The Foundation also continues to support patient programs and initiatives at the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center, including the Oncology Resource Center Fund which serves as an important resource for patients needing educational, emotional and financial support before, during and after treatment.
This year, the Foundation will also be helping Singletary Oncology Center patients minimize the out of pocket cost for scalp cooling treatments – a new technology recently brought to the Lewis Hall Singletary Oncology Center. Many patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer experience hair loss, which is widely recognized as one of the most traumatic experiences a patient may encounter during cancer treatment. The Foundation helped fund the purchase of new scalp cooling treatment technology that will help patients preserve their hair, and their confidence, during chemotherapy. The Foundation Board also approved the grant request to help offset the cost of cold cap therapy for patients who qualify for the treatment.
“We are grateful for the support of the Archbold Foundation,” said Becky Troyer, administrator at the Singletary Oncology Center. “Bringing this new technology to our community will positively impact the overall well-being of our patients during their cancer journeys.”
For many years, the Foundation has supported funding for third phase Cardiac Rehabilitation for heart patients at the R. Charles Loudermilk Heart and Vascular Center. The Foundation approved funding again this year that will help provide patients recovering from heart surgery, who otherwise could not afford it, access to monitored rehab therapy at the Heart and Vascular Center.
How You Can Make an Impact
The Archbold Foundation holds three special event fundraisers each year that support programs and initiatives of the Medical Center.
The Pink Affair
Held annually in October, The Pink Affair benefit fashion show features local cancer survivors. This year, the event will be held on October 24 at the Thomasville Center for the Arts. Proceeds from this year’s event will benefit the new cold cap therapy system at the oncology center. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and tickets will be available for purchase through the Archbold Foundation starting October 1.
The Archbold Classic
Now in its 25th year, the Archbold Classic Pro-Am Golf Tournament has raised over $5 million in support of the Archbold Scholarship Program, a program that assists Archbold employees and local deserving students with important financial support while they pursue degrees in nursing or other healthcare related fields. The 2019 Archbold Classic will be held on November 11th at historic Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
The Tree of Lights
The Archbold Foundation’s Tree of Lights is an annual hospital tradition that benefits Hospice of Southwest Georgia. Families and community members are invited every year to gather around the hospital’s front lawn for the lighting of the hospital’s tree, an event that marks the beginning of the holiday season in Thomasville and offers a celebration of life and remembrance for attendees. Throughout the month of December, donations are made to the Tree of Lights “in honor of” or “in memory of” a loved one. These gifts are acknowledged with a symbolic light on the tree. A tribute book is on display in the hospital lobby noting all gifts made throughout the holiday season.
The 2019 Tree of Lights event will be held on Thursday, December 5th at Archbold Memorial Hospital.
“These community fundraising events allow us to promote the mission of the Archbold Foundation—which is to continually help with the growth of Archbold Medical Center and its community,” said Middleton. “We are constantly amazed by the generosity of the Archbold community and their desire to make Archbold a top medical facility.”
“We are proud of the impact that the Archbold Foundation is able to make in our community year after year,” said Middleton. “Thank you to each of you for your continuing support of Archbold. The time, talent and treasure from our donors, volunteers, and the exceptional medical and clinical staff are what make Archbold Medical Center a uniquely important asset to our community.”
For more information on the Archbold Foundation, Foundation events, or to make a donation, visit www.ArchboldFoundation.org.