Patient Care and so much more …

Patient care comes in many forms and actions. Our Outpatient Rehabilitation and Therapy team — and friendly faces who will greet you before and after your appointment — are great examples of that. These kind words really shine a light on their services.

“Please keep doing what you are doing. From the time we enter the grounds, we are treated wonderfully. Ms. America and Mr. Ted are so patient with our son.  Even on our bad days, they encourage me. Ms. Lisa is always helpful and patient, Ms. Dorothy is so sweet and Ms. Ashley works so well with our child. There is not enough room to talk about Ms. Marcie and Ms. Kim but I will try. These ladies have been a blessing to us. Our son has made so much progress. They both work hard in planning. They are organized, on time, patient, and are perfect in their jobs for kids. They listen to me as a parent. I can ask them questions. They respond to emails. They have given back paperwork in timely matter. I feel secure with them.”

Learn more about our Outpatient Rehabilitation team and services.

MSB Team

America Delgado (Visitor Information) and Ted Jelke (Volunteer Services)

Marcie Cochran, Lisa Gresham, Ashley Hays, Vickie Dillow, Kimberly Crowe and Dorothy Long; Rehabilitation Services

Marcie Cochran, Lisa Gresham, Ashley Hays, Vickie Dillow, Kimberly Crowe and Dorothy Long — Rehabilitation Services

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Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Recognition, Service


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Free Breast Screening Grant

Grant Means Free Screening & Support to Those Who Qualify

Breast Cancer AwarenessGeorgia drivers who purchased Breast Cancer Awareness license plates are helping people in need get the breast screenings and support they need.

Thanks to the Georgia Access to Care, Treatment and Services (ACTS) Breast Cancer License Tag Grant Program, the Athens Regional Foundation has been awarded a $50,000 grant to contribute to the “Northeast Georgia – BREAST (Be Ready with Early Access to Screening Tissue) Initiative.” Georgia CORE – the Center for Oncology Research and Education – administers the ACTS Grant on behalf of the Georgia State Office of Rural Health within the Department of Community Health.

“Awarding these grants is one of the most worthwhile jobs we have at Georgia CORE,” says Angie Patterson, Georgia CORE vice president and lead administrator of the ACTS Grant. “We are thrilled to present Athens Regional as a 2014 grant recipient.”

The “Northeast Georgia – BREAST Initiative” is a collaborative partnership led by Athens Regional’s Breast Health Center, the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support and the Athens Nurses Clinic to provide low-income women free clinical breast examinations, screening mammograms and diagnostic procedures, such as diagnostic mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies as well as cancer risk assessment, counseling and genetic testing. To qualify for the free screenings, Athens Nurses Clinic needs to perform a clinical breast exam first.

For years, organizations throughout Georgia have applied for the ACTS Breast Cancer Grant — funded by the state’s breast cancer license tag program. Legislated by the Georgia General Assembly, $22 of every breast cancer awareness license tag purchased or renewed goes to the indigent care fund, which in turn pays for breast cancer education, screenings, and treatment for Georgians without insurance who are also below the poverty level.

“As long as Georgia drivers buy the license tag, the fund will continue to grow,” said Patterson. “With breast cancer being the second leading cause of cancer death among women in our state, we need more people to buy them so we can expand breast cancer treatments and early detection services to as many Georgians as possible.”

More Information

  • To see if you qualify for these free screenings, call Athens Nurses Clinic at 706-613-6976.
  • Learn more about mammograms at Athens Regional’s Breast Health Center.
  • To purchase a breast cancer awareness license tag, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website or your local county tag office.
  • For more information cancer care initiatives, as well as trials, treatments, oncologists and resources currently available throughout the state, visit

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Volunteers Share Stories with Young Patients

Peds Reads BarberitosChildren staying with us can now enjoy storybook adventures thanks to volunteers in our community. The Athens Regional Foundation is working with community partners to bring happiness to our young patients through the Peds Reads program.

Local volunteers are scheduled to visit with patients on the Pediatrics floor each month to read books, pass out stickers and lighten hearts. Volunteers from Barberitos, including mascot Pepe the pepper, were the first to share stories with patients.

“Let’s face it, a hospital is not the most fun place a child and their family can be. Simple acts, like reading to a child who is not feeling well or coloring with their sibling, creates an opportunity for the whole family to forget, for a brief moment, that they are in a hospital,” said Julie Jordan of Barberitos Franchising. “The Peds Reads program allows these kids to have fun and just focus on being a kid. I can’t think of an easier way to brighten someone’s day.”

The Peds Reads program will take place the last Tuesday morning of each month with groups of readers scheduled through May of 2015. “Our Pediatrics Unit sees a variety of patients. Whether these children have broken bones, acute or chronic illness, or are recovering from surgery, the smiles and friendly hellos from our Peds Readers make a difference,” says Michelle Strickland, Nurse Manager of the Pediatrics Unit.

The Athens Regional Foundation is excited to offer this program with the help of our community partners.

Thank you, Barberitos!

Thank you, Barberitos!


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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Events, Foundation, News


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By: Helene Hendon, CYT
(Helene teaches the Yoga for Men with Cancer at the Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support.)
Have you allowed yourself to laugh today? Scientific research is supporting the age-old wisdom that laughter is the best medicine. Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the research is that fake laughter is as effective as real laughter. We can become proactive laughers, not relying on others or on external events. Go ahead, allow yourself a few fake giggles or chuckles! The more we laugh the easier it becomes and the more we feel inclined to laugh.

How Laughter Helps Your Health

Laughter, real or fake, is very beneficial. It increases oxygenation, releases endorphins, reduces cortisol and adrenaline, and produces regulatory T-cells. In other words, laughter reduces stress, improves mood, mental clarity and creativity, stimulates the relaxation response and supports the immune system. After prolonged laughter, endorphins, combined with an increase in oxygenation, shift the body’s physiology resulting in a positive mood change. As the laughter subsides, a peaceful, relaxed, and mentally alert state arises.

There are many ways to increase the amount of laughter in our lives. One way is through Laugh-A-Yoga. Typically in a Laugh-A-Yoga class, one participates in laughing games, while seated, standing and/or lying down, a meditation on laughter and finally a deep relaxation at the end. The class emphasizes the power of the fake laugh, supports the “fake it ‘til you make it” mindset and recognizes the “flip-flop-flip” principle of moving back and forth through real and fake laughter.

More Information

For more information on Laughter Yoga, you may want to read an article in the Hektoen International, a Journal of Medical Humanities.

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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Loran Smith Center, Wellness


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Your Health Matters to Athens Regional

Improving the lives and health of those we touch is not just our mission within the walls of Athens Regional Health System.

Our "Health Matters" Team

Our “Health Matters” Team

We have a team of nurses, a certified health educator and a dietitian devoted to developing caring and trusting relationships with our community. They are an extension of the great care provided at our hospital, Regional FirstCare locations and physician offices. These relationships help reinforce that you can always count on Athens Regional to provide unmatched healthcare.

As a health system, we are always here for your care and we feel it’s just as necessary to provide you with the information, tools and support you need to self-manage and avoid unnecessary hospital visits. Our “Health Matters …” programs are meant to do just that.

Learn more about our community “Health Matters” programs.

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Posted by on July 11, 2014 in Wellness


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Becoming a Nurse – A Personal Story

Christpher Piller, RN, BSN, has been frequently recognized with compliments and awards for his nursing excellence here at Athens Regional Medical Center. Here’s just one example of his compassionate care:

“Chris never left the bedside for a single moment. He never let go of her hand or stopped looking her in the eye. He let her know she was bigger than this moment and this diagnosis. This patient received horrible news that day but she also received a nurse who understood what compassionate bedside care is all about. In addition, his care did not stop in our department. He transported her to her new room, spent time with her family and made sure they did not have any questions or concerns.”

His caring nature comes from a personal experience. He shares his story of becoming a nurse:

I grew up in a family of nurses and when I was younger I thought nurses were people who took care of sick and injured people by giving them medication. As I grew older and had interactions with nurses, I saw them acting as a caregiver, supporter or advocate whenever it was needed and I realized nursing was not limited to what I originally thought.

Nurses must possess not just a caring heart but also a strong one to fight for their patients. A nurse does not only give medication but also provides comfort to their patients. A nurse is not only a good speaker but is also a good listener. I grew to see that nursing is a profession that is always patient focused.

When I was in my early 20’s, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease for the first time. Over the next 15 years it would come and go into remission numerous times. During that period, I went through rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. My respect for the profession of nursing grew each time those nurses wiped my tears, listened to me cry and complain, or just held my hand. The doctor got the credit for “fixing” me but through it all it was the nurses who took care of me. The lessons I learned by being a patient, as well as those I witnessed through my interactions with nurses during this time, shaped the nurse I wanted to become.

I have been influenced by many strong, dynamic, knowledgeable and caring nurses. When I started my career in healthcare, I quickly realized that being allowed to help care for patients is a privilege. As nurses, we meet them on their worst days when they feel powerless and out of control. We have lists of probing questions that sometimes are difficult to ask. We make sure to not just hear what they say but to really take the time to listen to them.

Nurses are there to care for you throughout your life. They are there from the moment you enter this world until the moment you leave it. I hope I never forget what it feels like to be the patient. The care I give today as a nurse is a direct reflection of the care I have received over the many years while dealing with Hodgkin’s disease. I remember and understand that patients come to a stranger asking for help and I know that we as strangers must ensure they trust in our abilities to help them.

Christopher receiving the 2014 J. Martin Sparks Award for bedside nursing excellence.

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Posted by on June 13, 2014 in Nursing, Recognition, Service


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New Imaging and Lab Satellite Location for You

Athens Regional Health System is proud to announce the expansion of its CT Imaging and Regional Lab Outreach services to a satellite office on West Broad Street.

Athens Regional patients now have the convenience of receiving their CT Scans and Outpatient Laboratory collections for testing at the ARMC Laboratory on the second floor of 2142 West Broad Street, Building 200. The building space is shared by affiliated urologists, Drs. Mark Ellison, Gary Walton and Robert Byrne.

More Information

For more information on scheduling a CT Scan, call 706-475-1000 and choose Option 1 or ask your provider to schedule an appointment for you.

For Lab Customer Support, call 706-475-3318 and choose Option 1.

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Posted by on June 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


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