Coliseum Health System Builds a Rich Health Care Environment

Thressea Boyd

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital serve approximately 150,000 patients from across Middle Georgia each year, a number that continues to grow. Demand for health care services in the region is increasing due to an aging population, tobacco use and obesity, which is representative of Georgia and the U.S.

“More people are accessing our system.  We are fortunate to have a rich, high quality health care environment in Middle Georgia.  It’s rare that people need to travel outside of the region for care.  Ninety-eight percent of the time Coliseum can meet the needs of our community,” said Lance Jones, CEO of Coliseum Medical Centers.

“We continue to be thankful to our medical staff for developing the health care environment and the level of expertise we have,” said Steve Daugherty, CEO of Coliseum Northside Hospital. 

Coliseum Health System, which manages two hospitals located in Macon, is a member of the privately held hospitals collectively known as Hospital Corporation of America.  Coliseum has served the Middle Georgia region for 40 years. 

Keeping Middle Georgia on the job

“Coliseum continues to assess the healthcare needs of the community. We strive to provide the majority of our community’s needs.  There is a big economic impact when people have to travel out of Middle Georgia for health care in terms of lost workforce productivity and disruption to families,” Daugherty said. 

“We continue to invest in new technologies, program and services.  Recently, Northside added a new navigation system for spinal surgery to improve the outcomes of patients.  You can imagine how important precise measurements are when you are placing screws in the spine and this system provides greater precision for our surgeons and better outcomes for patients.” 

Women’s health, cardiovascular, oncology, behavioral health, weight-loss surgery, orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation are among the other program areas of emphasis at Coliseum.  In addition, an employer clinic opened this year to provide rapid access to specialized care for employees of local businesses.  The clinic, called the H2U Health Clinic, is located on the campus of Coliseum Medical Centers and is available for employees of businesses who have contracted with the clinic.  

“Unfortunately, even people with health insurance may not have a primary care provider.  The employer clinic is a bridge to that level of care.  It helps keep employees out of the emergency room, gets folks back on the job, and connects them with a primary care physician as appropriate,” Jones said. 

“We’re a large employer with between 1,200 and 1,300 employees so we understand how important it is to keep people on the job.  We use the employer clinic for our own staff,” Jones said. 

Succeeding in a people business

According to Daugherty, health care is essentially a people business.  Many of the challenges Coliseum faces are related to maintaining and nurturing a high quality staff of nurses, physicians and other health professionals. 

“Nurses are the backbone of a hospital and attracting high-quality nurses is one of the challenges we face.  We are very selective and are looking for more than clinical competence.  We want nurses who can also deliver great customer service,” Daugherty said. 

Coliseum tries to be sensitive in supporting its nurses and physicians in terms of understanding the demands made on their time by regulatory bodies for example.  The hospitals try to learn and adjust their work delivery models to support their medical staffs and improve their efficiency and effectiveness. 

“In terms of attracting physicians to our hospitals, we are so fortunate to have Mercer University here in Macon because a high percentage of physicians stay and practice where they train,” Jones said. 

Supporting the local economy

Coliseum Health System supports a local payroll of about $100 million and pays annual sales and property taxes of about $7 million, according to Jones.

“Coliseum Health System is a valuable member of the local economy.  There is a lot of talk and effort around shoring up the tax base in Macon and we provide a very stable contribution to the tax base,” Jones said.

Both hospitals want to be active in the neighborhoods and communities in which they are located.  For example, Coliseum Medical Centers recently became involved with the Macon Arts Alliance to revitalize the Mill Hill neighborhood.   The health system also supports a number of community organizations including the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, Historic Macon Foundation, Macon NOW, and Community Foundation of Central Georgia, among others.

More information on Coliseum Health System is available at