Hospital News


To many people in our community Evergreen Medical Center is more than just a hospital.  It’s very common for our patients to know our staff by name; our employees may be your family members, friends and members of your church congregation.  For our employees, coworkers become a second family; on a typical work day we typically spend more time with each other than we do with our own. With our low turn-over rates, many EMC employees have worked together for years and have developed strong personal and professional relationships.  We are also a family owned company and being the third largest employer in Conecuh County, EMC also offers a critical economic impact to the community. The combination of these elements helps produce a family oriented organizational culture.

Evergreen Medical Center is a vital part of our community, and last week something exciting happened for this part of our community.

CEO Search Committee Leader, Sharon Jones, announced that Tom McLendon, a Jackson, Alabama native will be taking over the reins at Evergreen Medical Center as EMC’s new Hospital Administrator. The EMC Administrator/CEO Search Committee recently completed a thorough interview and credentialing process and has selected Tom out of a number of candidates that have been considered over the past few years.

Tom will be coming to Evergreen from Southern Orthopedic Specialist, PA in Panama City, Florida where he served as the Practice Administrator responsible for complete management of a 10 orthopedic surgeon practice with over $12 million in annual revenue and over 85 employees.  Tom stated, “I wanted to come to EMC because I felt that it was a great organization in a great community.  My wife and I both felt that Evergreen would give us an excellent place to raise our family. ”

Tom earned a Bachelors of Science in Health Services Administration from Auburn University and a Masters of Business Administration with a Concentration in Healthcare Management from Columbia Southern University.  “I chose healthcare because I felt that it was a field that gave me the opportunity to help people on a daily basis.”

Tom has over 10 years of leadership experience in the Healthcare Industry from management positions in large doctor’s groups in Montgomery, Athens, GA and now Panama City.  He is a member of Medical Group Management Association, Alabama Self Insurers Association, Montgomery Claims Association, Athens Specialty Group, and he served on the Advisory Board for the Gulf Coast Community College.

Tom and his wife Lindsey have two children, Brooks (2) and Ella Briggs (1).  Tom also enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, hunting, fishing and playing golf. They are members in the Panama City First Baptist Church.

Lindsey is a full time Mom.  She grew up in Leroy, AL and graduated from Leroy High School. Tom graduated from Jackson High School in Jackson, AL. Current Administrator Gil McKenzie is confident in the new direction for EMC, “He will be working with an outstanding team of physicians, department directors and employees at EMC that have high expectations and that are backing him 100% and are confident in the future success of EMC.”


Most Wired Hospitals Focus on Security and Patient Engagement

Health data security and patient engagement are top priorities for the nation’s hospitals, according to results of the 17th annual HealthCare’s Most Wired™ survey, released today by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The 2015 Most Wired™ survey and benchmarking study, in partnership with CHIME and sponsored by VMware, is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of more than 741 participants, representing more than 2,213 hospitals, examined how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration.

“EMC is committed to delivering quality healthcare; being a leader in Healthcare Information Technology (IT) is one of the objectives that help us achieve that goal” stated EMC Administrator and owner Gil McKenzie.


According to the survey, hospitals are taking more aggressive privacy and security measures to protect and safeguard patient data. Top growth areas in security among this year’s Most Wired organizations include privacy audit systems, provisioning systems, data loss prevention, single sign-on and identity management. The survey also found:

  • 96 percent of Most Wired organizations use intrusion detection systems compared to 85 percent of the all respondents. Privacy audit systems (94 percent) and security incident event management (93 percent) are also widely used.
  • 79 percent of Most Wired organizations conduct incident response exercises or tabletop tests annually, a high-level estimate of the current potential for success of a cybersecurity incident response plan, compared to 37 percent of all responding hospitals.
  • 83 percent of Most Wired organizations report that hospital board oversight of risk management and reduction includes cybersecurity risk.

“With the rising number of patient data breaches and cybersecurity attacks threatening the healthcare industry, protecting patient health information is a top priority for hospital customers,” said Frank Nydam, Senior Director of Healthcare at VMware. “Coupled with the incredible technology innovation taking place today, healthcare organizations need to have security as a foundational component of their mobility, cloud and networking strategy and incorporated into the very fabric of the organization”

“The entire health record at Evergreen Medical Center containing a patient’s protected health information is encrypted throughout the process, from input of information all the way to storage” according to JD Hipple, Network Specialist at EMC.

As hospitals and health systems begin to transition away from volume-based care to more integrated, value-based care delivery, hospitals are utilizing IT to better facilitate information exchange across the care settings. This includes greater alignment between hospitals and physicians. According to the survey, the physician portal is a key factor in strengthening physician-hospital alignment:

  • In 84 percent of Most Wired organizations, physicians can view and exchange other facilities’ results in the portal compared with 63 percent of hospitals surveyed.
  • 76 percent use the portal and electronic health record (EHR) to exchange results with other EHRs and health information exchanges compared to 56 percent of those surveyed.
  • 81 percent can communicate with patients via email or alerts in contrast to 63 percent of all respondents.
  • Driven beyond the requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2, this year’s Most Wired hospitals are utilizing the benefits of a patient portal to get patients actively involved in their health and healthcare. For instance, 89 percent of Most Wired organizations offer access to the patient portal through a mobile application. Other key findings include:
  • 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals offer the ability to incorporate patient-generated data.
  • 63 percent offer self-management tools for chronic conditions.
  • 60 percent offer patient-specific education in multiple languages.

EMC Director of Nursing Angie Hendrix added “One of our newest projects at EMC is implementing a virtual chart to send our patients’ health records electronically to their physicians and other hospitals.  This is just one of many new initiatives we are implementing to reduce healthcare costs, improve communication across the care continuum, and most importantly improve outcomes for our patients.”


“We commend and congratulate this year’s Most Wired hospitals and their CIOs for improving care delivery and outcomes in our nation’s hospitals through their creative and revolutionary uses of technology,” said CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME CHCIO.“These Most Wired organizations represent excellence in IT leadership on the frontlines of healthcare transformation.”

“Congratulations to our nation’s Most Wired hospitals for harnessing the potential of information technology to improve quality care and patient safety and lower health care costs,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA.“At the forefront of the field, these hospitals are setting the bar for protection of patient data through discerning security measures.”

HealthCare’s Most Wired™ Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2015, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Network.Respondents completed 741 surveys, representing more than 39 percent of all U.S. hospitals.Last October, the AHA/Health Forum and CHIME announced the formation of a Most Wired partnership to enhance collaboration between the two organizations in the development and sustainability of the survey, and to collectively help meet the growing demand for useful data on health IT integration.

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners



2015 Annual Service Awards Banquet

At the 2015 Annual Service Awards Banquet Director of Nursing Angie Hendrix and EMC Nurse Managers presented the annual nursing services awards, along with other Directors and Managers who recognize their employees for their years of service.   The Heart of Excellence Awards are presented each year to individuals who have been recognized by their coworkers to have demonstrated excellence in nursing services.

Award Winners for 2015 Heart of Excellence were Kala Lee, Tanya Jenkins, Jule Jeffcoat, Amanda Brown, Angela Cunningham, and Pamela Jones.    Each year there is also one nurse recognized who demonstrates all of the characteristics of a very famous pioneer of nursing, Florence Nightingale. Christy Brown is the 2015 Florence Nighingale Award Winner.

Years of Service Awards Presented to from left to right: Bill King and Phyllis Jones 10 years; Elaine Pipkin, Annie Moss, and Kim Salter 15 years; Margaret Godwin 20 years; Florence Phillips 25 years; and Sharon Jones 35 years. Not pictured: Alfreida Richardson and Kristen Sheffield 5 years; Richard Carbona, Martha Crosby, Treasa Hawthorne and Summer Raines 10 years; Alivia Ellis 20 years; and Sharon Salter and Evelyn


EMC Announces Full Time MRI Services

Evergreen Medical Center emphasizes its mission of being committed to delivering quality healthcare with the installation of a General Electric 1.5 Tesla LX HiSpeed MRI scanner. This scanner brings five day a week MRI services to Evergreen Medical Center’s Radiology Department.

“We strive to provide our community with convenient quality healthcare that is available when you need it,” states Bill King, Director of Radiology. “We are excited to announce that we are now able to provide full time MRI services at Evergreen Medical Center and EMC Diagnostics. The increase in MRI availability allows us to provide convenience, availability and improved care to our patients.”

Previously EMC provided MRI services once a week, but now outpatient MRI services are available Monday through Friday. The Radiology Director and Technologist, Bill King, RT(R), will be performing MRI’s at EMC Diagnostics which will be to providing a full range of MRI exams for our patients and referring physicians.

“The full time MRI scanner is the latest change to EMC Diagnostics,” adds Bill. “All of our services are digital with physicians able to read tests via an online viewing system called PACS.” A physician’s order is required for all Radiology procedures. To schedule an appointment, please call EMC Diagnostics at 251-578-0146.