MUMC Receives 'Hero' Award for Sugar Refinery Efforts

(November 11, 2008) –The Georgia Medical Society presented Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) in Savannah, Ga., with a Healthcare Hero award. The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of MUMC Team Members during the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion on February 7, 2008. The honor was one of six given in different categories ranging from innovation to allied health.

The Georgia Medical Society developed the Healthcare Hero awards to recognize organizations and individuals that have had a positive influence on community healthcare.

On the night of the Imperial Sugar refinery explosion, units from MUMC’s MedStarOne ambulance service were among the first on the scene. Four trauma surgeons and four off-duty E.D. doctors were at MUMC’s emergency department within minutes. Nearly 100 physicians treated incoming patients. A flood of administrative and support staff converged on the hospital ready to do whatever was necessary.
One MUMC nurse likened the team’s performance during the crisis to “an orchestra where all parts were working together as they should.” Another described a “blanket of compassion covering the patients and their families.”

Thirty two patients were treated at MUMC, and all but one left the trauma center alive.

The Georgia Medical Society was the first chartered medical society in the state of Georgia, and is the oldest county medical society in existence in the United States. The present membership is approximately 500 physicians practicing in the counties of Chatham, Effingham, Bryan, McIntosh, and Long.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.