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Macon Native Starr H. Purdue, Navicent Health Board of Directors Chair, Receives Prestigious Georgia Hospital Association Distinguished Service Award

Atrium Health Navicent Board of Directors Chair Starr H. Purdue has received one of the Georgia Hospital Association's (GHA) highest honors, the Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented at the association's annual Summer Meeting and recognized Purdue for her service and dedication to the health and wellbeing of Macon-area residents, and those in surrounding communities.

Purdue has served on the Atrium Health Navicent Board of Directors since 2001 and has served as its chair since 2009. During her tenure as chair, she has been instrumental in leading Atrium Health Navicent's growth and prominence throughout the central and south Georgia region. Under her guidance, the health system has received many regional and national awards, and recognition in the areas of leadership, quality, equity of care, and community and citizenship endeavors.

Purdue, a Macon native, has helped advance healthcare services for patients in central and south Georgia by helping the health system expand services and enhance its facilities and technology. Her commitment to improving lives is evident in the development and improvement of high-quality health services offered by Atrium Health Navicent. She helped cultivate the development of several services and programs, including pediatric services through the construction of the new Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital and its associated pediatric emergency room; the creation of Autism and Dvelopmental Center, Atrium Health Navicent; the construction of and consolidation of oncology services at Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Atrium Health Navicent; the addition of a heliport at The Medical Center, Navicent Health; and the construction of an inpatient hospice facility at Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent.

Purdue's focus on relationships with community partners has fostered a collaboration between Atrium Health Navicent and hospitals in surrounding counties. These beneficial partnerships have helped expand access to care beyond the Macon area and the walls of Atrium Health Navicent so that patients in these areas can remain close to home for high quality care.

Under Purdue's leadership, Atrium Health Navicent developed several programs to address health disparities in the community and social determinants that may otherwise impede the ability to access care. Healthy Communities, Atrium Health Navicent is a program that partners with public and private organizations to address social factors that lead to poor health. MedLaw, Atrium Health Navicent is a team of legal, social and medical workers who provide free legal services to qualified patients. The expansion of primary care and preventive services in low-income neighborhoods has been made possible through a partnership with the health system and community health centers. Purdue has championed these efforts and has been a key player in uniting the health system with area partners.

"Starr Purdue has led tremendous efforts to better the health of Atrium Health Navicent patients as well as residents of the community and surrounding areas. Thanks to her dedication, thousands of individuals have access to better healthcare and a better quality of life. She is most-deserving of this award," said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers.

"We are so very pleased that Starr has been recognized for her tireless dedication to improving the lives of others. Starr has dedicated her life to serving others, and GHA's Distinguished Service Award truly epitomizes her character and commitment to this community and this region. It is an honor to serve alongside her," said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, FACHE, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.

Candidates for this annual award are hospital trustees or community leaders who have made significant contributions to improving healthcare in Georgia.

About GHA

Founded in 1929, GHA serves more than 170 hospitals in Georgia and promotes the health and welfare of the public through the development of better hospital care for all Georgia's citizens. The mission of GHA is to advance the health of individuals and communities by serving as the leading advocate for all Georgia hospitals and health care systems. GHA represents its members before the General Assembly and Congress, as well as state and federal regulatory agencies, and is an allied member of the American Hospital Association. For more information, please call 770-249-4500 or visit

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent was incorporated on November 17, 1994, as a nonprofit corporation whose primary purpose is to coordinate The Medical Center, Navicent Health and other affiliated entities in their mission of providing a comprehensive continuum of high quality, reasonably priced healthcare services to the region. Atrium Health Navicent has 970 beds for medical, surgical, rehabilitation and hospice purposes. The health system includes The Medical Center, Navicent Health, a nationally recognized tertiary teaching hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children's Hospital, the region's only dedicated pediatric hospital; Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin and Medical Center of Peach County, Atrium Health Navicent, both rural hospitals; Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent, the region's oldest and most experienced rehabilitation provider; Pine Pointe, Atrium Health Navicent, which provides palliative and hospice care in homes and in its facility; Carlyle Place, Atrium Health Navicent, the area's first continuing care retirement community; Navicent Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atrium Health Navicent; as well as diagnostic and home care services. For more information, please visit