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Central Georgia Health System CEO 1 of 130 Female Healthcare Leaders to Know

Central Georgia Health System CEO 1 of 130 Female Healthcare Leaders to Know

Dr. Ninfa Saunders Honored by Becker's Hospital Review 

MACON, GA (Thursday, October 3, 2013) – Becker's Hospital Review, a monthly publication reaching approximately 18,000 acute-care hospital leaders and decision makers, has released its annual list of “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know.” These 130 women demonstrate outstanding leadership within the hospital and healthcare industry and were chosen based on a wide range of management and leadership skills, including oversight of hospital or health system operations, financial turnarounds and quality improvement initiatives.

Dr. Ninfa Saunders, FACHE, President and CEO of Central Georgia Health System (CGHS), was the only healthcare leader in the state of Georgia, and one of only a handful of leaders in the southeastern United States, to be included on this list.

Saunders celebrated her first anniversary at the helm of CGHS on Tuesday, October 1. Under her leadership, CGHS – along with Tift Regional Health System in Tifton, Ga. – founded Stratus Healthcare, one of the nation's largest collaborations of hospitals, healthcare systems and physicians aligned to develop a clinically-integrated network. Since announcing the alliance in July, Stratus Healthcare has become a model for other health systems across the U.S.

Through a partnership with Peach Regional Medical Center in Fort Valley, Ga., CGHS opened The Medical Center of Peach County to serve central Georgians closer to home. CGHS has also aligned itself with Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins, Ga. to further improve the value of healthcare for patients, employers and payors in central Georgia.

“Our organizations are committed to quality patient care and patient safety. Alignments ensures that those in need of healthcare throughout the region receive the right access to care at the right time, using the right resources,” said Saunders.

In her first year, Saunders has not only focused on strategy and operations, but her chief concern has been people. During her tenure, she has instituted education initiatives for CGHS employees, including the institution of the Center for Learning and Innovation. Through her leadership, CGHS has also established partnerships with Mercer University and other area schools to assist employees with furthering their education. In addition, CGHS has reviewed pay scales, and is taking steps to ensure employees' pay is competitive with current market rates. Saunders has also established an Employee Advisory Council, made up of non-managerial employees, to partner with administration, and she has regularly held town hall meetings for all employees to discuss the workplace.

“I accept the recognition from Becker's Hospital Review on behalf of the many outstanding people of Central Georgia Health System. Our dedicated employees put  patients at the center of what they do each day, and I am privileged to serve our community with these wonderful people,” said Saunders.

To view the entire list, please visit