Profile: SouthCoast Health
Thursday, August 7th, 2014
SouthCoast Health — formerly known as SouthCoast Medical Group — may have recently re-branded their name, website, and corporate identity, but the commitment to wellness for which they are best known remains unchanged.
John Marrero, administrator at SouthCoast Health, has been with the organization since the beginning, and has seen myriad changes for the better in that time. “SouthCoast Health was formed in 1996,” he explains, “and has been providing quality healthcare solutions to Savannah and the surrounding counties for nearly 20 years.” That means he’s helped the organization grow to now encompass 80 physicians and provide care across 18 locations in the Baxley, Hinesville, Pooler, Richmond Hill, Rincon, and Savannah communities in Georgia, as well as the Bluffton and Hilton Head Island communities in South Carolina.
“SouthCoast Health is a multi-specialty, physician-owned medical group based in Savannah, Georgia, that is dedicated to the overall health and wellbeing of its patients,” John says. In everything they do, the group’s motto — “Total Wellness for Life” — shines through. “That motto reflects our approach to patient care,” John explains. “We go beyond individual clinical treatments and instead partner with our patients to strive toward their complete health and wellness. We constantly seek avenues to serve the members of our communities by contributing to their total health and wellbeing.”
This commitment to total wellness is apparent in the wide range of services that SouthCoast Health offers. “Our specialties include allergy and immunology, cardiology, ear-nose and throat, eye care, family medicine, imaging services, infectious disease, internal medicine, laboratory services, neurology, nephrology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, pharmacy, physical therapy, podiatry, pulmonology, sleep medicine, surgery, travel medicine, and urology” — a long list that John and the other professionals at SouthCoast know intimately. “This range allows us to provide coordinated care across our health system to keep our patients’ overall health at the center of everything we do,” John says.
As the largest independent physician group in the region, it’s clear SouthCoast Health is doing many things right. John has some insight: “I believe our success can be directly attributed to our unwillingness to settle for the status quo. Healthcare is evolving at light speed, and we are committed to evolving with it in whatever way is needed to meet the needs of our patients.”
Of the many accomplishments that serve as landmarks in SouthCoast Health’s nearly 20-year history, John isn’t afraid to play favorites. “The thing I am most proud of is SouthCoast’s longstanding commitment to quality. SouthCoast was the first multi-specialty group in this region to adopt electronic medical record (EMR) technology, and we did so to ensure that our patients’ medical information would be seamlessly available to all of our doctors at any location and at any time.”
It’s the kind of cutting-edge technical advance that has defined SouthCoast’s practice. “Once the EMR was in place, we were able to leverage it beyond its primary use to begin tracking and measuring how well we managed certain conditions, such as diabetes, and where we needed to improve,” John goes on. “As a result, we became the first group in this region to attain recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for providing excellent evidence-based care to our diabetic and heart/stroke patients.” But the good news doesn’t end there: SouthCoast Health will also be eligible this fall to qualify for NCQA Patient Centered Medical Home recognition, which pays tribute to medical providers that emphasize coordinated care and communication across the health system to improve patient experience.
SouthCoast’s commitment to technical advances in medicine goes beyond their use of electronic medical records. “We continuously strive to improve and enhance our patients’ care experience, and technology plays an important role in allowing us to do that,” John says. “Our group has made investments in 3D mammography, large bore MRI, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, and our most recent addition of a new online patient portal.” This new portal enables patients to manage their records and communicate directly with their personal clinicians, empowering SouthCoast patrons to make more informed decisions about their health. “It’s yet another tool for our patients to work in constant partnership with their doctors,” John adds.
Over the years, this patient-centered focus has defined SouthCoast Health and set it apart. “It’s at the core of everything we do,” John states. “SouthCoast Health’s outstanding and highly qualified physicians and staff have diverse backgrounds, but their shared commitment to providing the best overall care to every patient exemplifies our company vision.” In the end, that’s what has never changed at SouthCoast — and by the looks of it, never will.