South Georgia Medical Center Brings Healthful Outlook to Region's Economy

When most people go to South Georgia Medical Center for treatment, they don't realize how important this hospital is for both medical care and for the region's economy.

A new report says over the next 10 years, SGMC will pump $2.8 billion into the area's economy and another $1.3 billion into employees’ bank accounts.

James McGahee, CEO of South Georgia Medical Center, says, "So while it's a very positive thing and we're pleased that we're a large economic engine, we're most proud of the fact that we give good, quality health care and restore people's health so they can go back into society."

Meaning all local businesses will benefit, even if they don't sell products to the hospital.

Nurses at South Georgia Medical Center say they love being able to help people out and they say it's also a comfort knowing they're helping out both medically and economically right here in their community.

Debbie Sauls, a nurse, says, "It will continue to grow as the community grows and provide an economical income and growth, so it's very comforting to know that you're part of that."

Leaders also say this growing hospital will help attract new business and development to the area.

McGahee says, "We're an important asset to the community and people used that to make their decision about expanding or relocating here."

Experts predict that more than 4,100 jobs will depend on the success of Valdosta's South Georgia Medical Center over the next 10 years.