ALBANY, Ga. -- Since Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens signed off on the lease agreement between Phoebe Putney Health System and Dorminy Medical Center, officials with Phoebe now have all the pieces in place to on board the Fitzgerald hospital.
Effective Monday, the hospital will begin operating as Phoebe Dorminy Medical Center.
"We feel privileged to be invited to partner with these folks," said Tim Trottier, senior vice president of regional operations for Phoebe Putney Health System. "There was a lot of anxiety at first, but when word got out that Phoebe was the partner, people started to get very excited.
"There is excitement throughout the entire community."
All the procedures to bring in Phoebe Dorminy have been completed, such as a review of Phoebe employee benefits and training with personnel at the Fitzgerald facility.
The partnership was publicly announced in September. Since that time, an oncology department has been added to the hospital.
Phoebe also is actively recruiting physicians for the facility, and officials are currently looking at expansions and improvements for Phoebe Dorminy.
"Construction is on the radar screen to improve the emergency department and give a face-lift to older parts of the hospital," Trottier said. "We are also looking at adding a new office building."
Joel Wernick, the health system's CEO, gave a brief update Wednesday on the construction of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center -- which officials say is on schedule and coming in under budget.
The anticipated opening date for the Americus hospital is Dec. 17, just more than two years after ground was broken for the facility and its three supporting medical buildings -- which have since begun operating.
"(Phoebe Sumter) will be the newest jewel in the Phoebe community," Trottier said.
In other news, Phoebe Putney Health System has introduced a new attorney to its legal team, Audrey Pike, who will be serving as an associate counsel.
"I'm thrilled to be here and I look forward to working with you," Pike said to the board Wednesday.
She has been working with Phoebe for a month now, hospital officials say.
As development within the system continues, Phoebe's centennial anniversary celebration is still ongoing. On Monday, a day after the official anniversary date, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is hosting employee anniversary celebrations throughout the day.
One such celebration will include a program at Phoebe HealthWorks at midday.