As 2014 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the many blessings I have received throughout this year. Each day I have the opportunity to witness joy, grief, miracles and compassion. I often tell the staff at Rockdale Medical Center, "We are human beings taking care of human beings," and I truly believe we have some of the best people in the industry working here at RMC to care for you and me.
Our commitment to developing our staff is a point of pride. In 2014 we graduated our first Leadership Academy class. The class consisted of both clinical and non-clinical employees that, I believe, are the future leaders of this organization. Their mandatory classes included topics such as Dealing with Difficult Employees and Emotional Intelligence. Our second class is well under way and I look forward to watching these new leaders grow over the coming years.
I am also proud of the support we, as an organization, provide for our community. Since 2010, Rockdale Medical Center has contributed over $2 million dollars annually in taxes which support our city, county and state. With over 1,200 employees, RMC is one of the largest employers in the region. We are committed to ensuring the delivery of needed healthcare to all members of our community, regardless of the ability to pay. In 2013, RMC provided over $9 million in uncompensated care.
In September we finalized a partnership with Piedmont Healthcare. Our shared commitment to high quality healthcare available close to home for our patients made this an ideal collaboration. During this same time, we received approval from the State of Georgia to pursue an Interventional Cardiology program. We will work with Piedmont to build this program at Rockdale, and beginning in April 2015 patients in Conyers and surrounding communities will no longer need to drive into Atlanta for this service.
We were also recognized by The Joint Commission for the second year as a Top Performer in services for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia and Surgery. In November, the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care recognized Rockdale Medical Center as a Chest Pain Center. Each of these accomplishments signifies our continued commitment to providing the best we can in services to our community, as well as our relentless pursuit of excellence in the services we perform.
I believe that good health begins with having access to primary care services, and we are fortunate to partner with local physicians that support our vision. I am pleased to announce that we are continuing to expand primary care services into Social Circle and, soon, in south Rockdale with a new urgent care location.
While I am thankful for all of the many accomplishments we, as a hospital, have achieved throughout the year, I know that it is because of you, the patient, that we are successful. Your support and belief in our organization is the reason we exist. I am humbled that you allow us to share in some of your happiest and saddest moments. It is with a grateful heart that I wish you and your family a very happy and healthy 2015.
Deborah Armstrong is the CEO of Rockdale Medical Center, a 138-bed acute-care hospital owned by LifePoint Hospitals and fully accredited by The Joint Commission.