University Hospital Celebrates its 200th Anniversary

James R. “Jim” Davis joined University Health Care System as executive vice president and chief operating officer in early 2009 and succeeded J. Larry Read as president and CEO in mid-2010. Davis has led an incredible expansion of facilities and services across the CSRA, including the addition of hospitals and prompt care centers in Augusta, Thomson, Aiken and North Augusta. Davis also oversaw a major Emergency Department expansion beginning in 2016 that promises to streamline services and increase capacity for the estimated 85,000 patients who rely on University for urgent care.

These facilities allow University to serve the people of the CSRA in every stage of their life, and in every corner of our community. However, for Davis, leading this 200-year-old organization is not merely about physical growth or even University’s storied history of healing. It’s about the people at the heart of this place: the administrators, physicians, nurses, patients and families. “That’s what University Hospital is,” said Mac Bowman, M.D. “Special place, special people. Plain and simple, nothing more, nothing less. That’s what it’s all about.”

Physicians like Bowman, a Georgia Hospital Hero in 2016, and Randy Cooper, M.D., a leader in University’s nationally recognized Breast Health Center, consistently draw other top-flight doctors to University and give patients the confidence to place their health in the hospital’s hands.

Recent and current nursing leaders like University Health Care System’s EVP/COO and University Hospital President Marilyn Bowcutt — also the longtime director of nursing — and Reyne Gallup — current chief nursing officer — along with a staff of more than 1,100 nurses have elevated University as the CSRA’s only Magnet Hospital as recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Department leaders like Ben Guest, the interim executive director of Brandon Wilde Life Care Community, and Joan Diamond, administrative director of the W.D. Watson, M.D., Women’s Center, care for University’s eldest and youngest patients. University Health Care Foundation leaders like President Laurie Ott, Catherine D. Knox and William E. Barfield Jr. help ensure that University’s ever-growing suite of services is supported financially as they prepare for the future.

Above all, University is about the people we serve. The estimated 25,000 inpatients, 400,000 outpatient visits, 100,000 emergency department experiences and 425 residents of Brandon Wilde each come to us with a story — a past, a present and a future. They’ve let us be a part of this story, and we take that responsibility seriously.

Leading up to the bicentennial year, University was named the CSRA’s “Hospital of Choice” by the National Research Corporation (the 19th consecutive year University received that distinction), winning consumer confidence in 28 out of 31 categories. The NRC gave University top marks for “Highest Patient Safety.” That distinction was reinforced in 2017 when University was the only area hospital to receive an “A” in patient safety from industry watchdog The Leapfrog Group, University’s eighth consecutive “A” rating from the organization. Tying together these accolades was the recent U.S. News & World Report ranking, which placed University at the top in the CSRA and at No. 3 in Georgia, out of nearly 175 hospitals.

“In my mind, all we can do is be a better University tomorrow than we are today,” Davis said. “It’s great that we’ve been here for 200 years. University Health Care System has done an incredible job of taking care of the Augusta community. But to me, it’s about the future. It’s about being here for the next two hundred years, taking care of all those new residents and existing residents in Augusta and meeting all their health care needs in the future.”

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