Eyewitness News at 6, 9/12/2012

11:04 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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 Hello and Thanks for joining us. 
     I'm Leah Johnson.
     Frank Malloy has the night off.
 The Medical Center of Central Georgia named a new president and C-E-O.
     A woman from New Jersey.. With ties to Georgia has a nursing background... and starts at the hospital October First.
     Lorra Lynch Jones talked with Ninfa Saunders about why she'll lead Central Georgia's largest health system.
After ten years in New Jersey.. Ninfa Saunders says she's coming home to Georgia, lured by the top job at the Medical Center.
<it has a state reputation, but also has a national reputation. It could rival many organizations across the US>
She lived in the Peach State for more than 20 years... Working as a nurse at Emory and on the administrative staff at the Dekalb Medical Center.
Saunders says her nursing background... And her parent's illness gave her a unique outlook on healthcare.. With a focus on patients.
<seeing my parents go through a very difficult time until their death, it really gives me a perspective, not only from the eyes of the patient, but the eyes of the family. The confluence of that with what I know as a clinician, really puts patient advocacy at the center of what I do.>
Chairman of the Medical Center Board... Nancy Anderson says Saunders education and accolades impressed the search committee... But her vision for health care's future made her stand out.
<she has that clinical focus. She knows doctors are really important. She knows we need to get them involved and get on the same page. I think she can help us get there.>
Saunders sees preparing the Medical Center for the challenges of the new health care law as a looming obstacle... But one she's ready to handle.. As the hospitals first female and minority CEO.
<above all, I see myself as an executive and a healthcare leader that really tries to look at what the mission, vision and values of an organization is>
Saunders says she wants to be a partner with community the Medical Center serves.. With an open door for communication and connection.
In Macon, Lorra Lynch Jones, 13WMAZ, Eyewitness News
   Saunders described her approach to the community as transparent, and says she wants to immerse herself in the job and in the area... Before making major decisions.
     She praised the leadership of retiring CEO Don Faulk... saying she wants to build off his success.
     Saunders will move here with her husband who is a financial planner.


Saunders will be taking over an institution with a large impact on the economics and healthcare of a large part of the state. 
     Candace Adorka reports on the growth of the Medical center. 
Today, the Medical Center of Central Georgia stands out as one of the tallest, largest buildings in downtown Macon.
But it didn't start out this way....

MCCG used to be Macon Hospital. Back in 1895, this 2-story, 8-room brick building could handle 20 patients at a time. One doctor, one nurse, and 6 other employees kept the place running for about 22-thousand people in and around Macon. 

Today, the hospital serves about 750-thousand people... mainly in 30 central and south Georgia counties. --- it's the state's second largest hospital after Grady Memorial in Atlanta--- and 46-hundred people work at MCCG.    

It's the area's only designated level 1 Trauma center-- and according to the CDC--- that means if you're severely injured, you're 25 percent less likely to die at MCCG, than a lower level trauma center.    

The hospital campus downtown includes a heart center, a children's hospital, the Cancer life center, but it goes beyond that. 

Central Georgia Health systems controls the Medical Center...but also includes a rehab hospital, home care services, and a community health foundation.

All that translates to big bucks.

 Last year the hospital brought in more than 1-point-8 billion dollars ($1,831,401,247) --- but they say they also it provided more than a billion dollars in care ($1,194,618,389)...for which they weren't reimbursed.

The organization is still growing. Next year The peach county medical center will open under Central Georgia Health Systems umbrella. 

It's a long way from the days of Macon Hospital.
Candace Adorka, 13 WMAZ Eyewitness news. 

The Medical Center's outgoing CEO, Don Faulk, talked about the transition with Kenny Burgamy during Eyewitness News Midday.
<the mission is the mission and told that to department heads today and the place is going where it should go..so you just keep doing your job and this community will be great and Ninfa will be the beneficiary of that as well  ..
Is there a little bit of you as you look at the transition is kind of a  bittersweet type situation..yes it is..you know the first time I walked through there as a 21-year-old and came back in 1974 as a 24.  There's a lot of my life there ..I'm one of those people that's a little nervous about the change as well but it's the right time and it's a good thing>
   Don Faulk has been with the Medical Center of Central Georgia for nearly 40 years.



     Damon King served as the Medical Center's chief executive officer for 29 years before retiring in 1997.
     King says it would help the new C-E-O to be known to her employees and seen by them. 
     But he also says people who use the Medical Center should take a keen interest in the chief executive officer.
     Including those who complain about waiting six hours in the emergency room.
< He should care because if they're sitting there six hours, unless something really unusual is going on, they need to go up to the front office and say we need a new CEO.>
 And King says the C-E-O should be available to anyone who wants to talk.

<I had an open door policy. I saw anybody that wanted to see me. That takes some time. But that's another way you get to know your employees. That's the way the community gets to know you.>
 King says he hasn't met Ninja Saunders and has never worked at a hospital where a nurse was the C-E-O.
     But he also the situation could work well and that nurses would be especially pleased to have here as the top administrative official.

  In today's 13WMAZ Web Poll--- we asked if you or a member of your family have needed the Medical Center of Central Georgia in the past year?
     Just over half of you...51 percent...said yes.  
     49 percent of you say no
   You can vote now... Visit 13WMAZ.com.
   Look for the question on the right side of the homepage.

A seventh grader at Bibb County's Weaver Middle School is accused of bringing a gun to school in his shoe.
     That's according to David Gowan, the school district's Director of Risk Management. 
     He said the gun was discovered around 11:30 a.m.
    A news release calls it a small-caliber handgun. 
 The 14-year-old male student told investigators that he found it near the bushes while waiting for his bus.
     The news release says school officials got a tip about the gun from another school.. Elam Alexander and found the teen inside a classroom. 
    Bibb County Schools Director of Risk Mangement David Gowan says that's why the school was never on lockdown.
<14:14:10) our processes worked perfectly here because campus police received information, they reacted on that information, they had the appropriate response at the school not only where they received the information, but they had an appropriate response by sending campus police here and already having campus police stationed here so they responded appropriately also. And we were able to locate that student immediately, secure the student and secure the gun.(14:14:36)>
There are no reported injuries.
     Gowan said the male student has been sent to a youth detention center.

Leaders of one Macon Church  say someone is vandalizing their sanctuary... Not with spray paint or by breaking windows.
                                    Instead they say someone's using insects to do the damage.
     Brittiny barber explains.

   James Denson serves as a steward at Fountain Temple AME Church..and he's also the pastor's husband.
 He says lately they've had some uninvited guest showing up on their front door.
< Sure enough, the evidence is here on the tape where someone came over and deposited the cockroaches on the front door. >
     It's happened several times in the last month Denson says.. 
< You would see them around the edge of the door here>
  Where they'd find the roaches around the entrance to the church.
< Initially we waived it off. This time of year maybe they're trying to come in, the roaches are, but after repeated actions we thought this is happening on it's own. Someone's bringing them here.    >
  So he decided to put up a surveillance camera and this is what he found- a man with no shirt on.. allegedly grabbing bugs out of a cup and throwing it towards the door.  
< Hopefully at the end of the day he will stop his mischief>
 And in the name of good Christian stewardship, the congregation still extends an olive branch.
< We are about saving souls and bringing lives to Christ and we would like for him to come in to the church and be a part of it. If not this church then be a part of somebody's church. >
  For now, he say the creepy, crawly critters have not shown up at the church since September 1.. The day he says he caught the perpetuator on camera.
     Brittiny barber 13wmaz eyewitness news.
  Denson says he's had several minor problems with some neighbors near the church....
     And in the Police report he says he thinks they may be involved in the bug dumping.
     Macon police are investigating.

Finally tonight, it was sometimes called the Woodstock of the South ... Back in 1970, hundreds of thousands of people descended upon Byron to see legends like Jimi Hendrix and the Allman Brothers.
And this weekend, a historical marker will cement the Atlanta International Pop Festival into the history books... Tom George spoke with one local man who was there for it all.
<it was incredible, I'd never seen a "real hippie">

The place  Byron, Georgia - the year .. 1970<we were still wearing our hair very short and listening to beach music and what we called soul music, so it was all brand new.>

On the 4th of July weekend,  the area near the Middle Georgia Raceway became home to the 2nd Atlanta International Pop Festival, or what some call the Woodstock of the South.
<you can imagine what the folks in Byron were thinking when all of a sudden anywhere from .. Depends upon which numbers of you look at , anywhere from 150 to close to 600 thousand in attendance to see some of what has now become some of the world's greatest bands.>

Music legends like Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and at the time, a little known Georgia band called the Allman Brothers, who were just getting their big break....
<can you imagine them as a band just really starting out and getting that phone call from management saying hey how would you like to be on the stage with Jethro Tull, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, you know that had to be awe-inspring. >

And inspring to Tim Thornton, who was 17 and working a popsicle truck at the concert ... Today
he  bought the old raceway's land ... And is now putting a in new Georgia historical marker , which will be installed at a ceremony there this weekend.

<the marker will be placed right here on U.S. 41, where at the time of the concert, you would've seen Beetles and Buses backed up all the way on to the interstate .. The actual concert though was 600 yards away behind the racetrack>
< hearing and seeing fireworks in the sky with Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Stangled Banner with his teeth on his guitar that was pretty incredible. >

Making sure the road ... And the memories... Go on forever.

In Byron, Tom George, 13WMAZ Eyewitness News.
And if you want to join in on the action, there will be live music Friday night at the Perry Arts Center.
 the marker dedication will be Saturday at 3 pm at the Middle Georgia Raceway.

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