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

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Navicent Health Board of Directors Chair Starr H. Purdue has received one of the Georgia Hospital Association’s 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 Navicent Health Board of Directors since 2001 and has served as its chair since 2009. During her tenure as chair, she has been instrumental in leading Navicent Health’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 Navicent Health. She helped cultivate the development of several services and programs, including pediatric services through the construction of the new Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health and its associated pediatric emergency room; the creation of Autism and Dvelopmental Center, Navicent Health; the construction of and consolidation of oncology services at Peyton Anderson Cancer Center, Navicent Health; the addition of a heliport at The Medical Center, Navicent Health; and the construction of an inpatient hospice facility at Pine Pointe, Navicent Health.
Purdue’s focus on relationships with community partners has fostered a collaboration between Navicent Health and hospitals in surrounding counties. These beneficial partnerships have helped expand access to care beyond the Macon area and the walls of Navicent Health so that patients in these areas can remain close to home for high quality care.
Under Purdue’s leadership, Navicent Health developed several programs to address health disparities in the community and  social determinants that may otherwise impede the ability to access care. Healthy Communities, Navicent Health is a program that partners with public and private organizations to address social factors that lead to poor health. MedLaw, Navicent Health 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 Navicent Health 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 Navicent Health.
Candidates for this annual award are hospital trustees or community leaders who have made significant contributions to improving healthcare in Georgia.