Atlanta Hospitals are Something Special

Atlanta is home to some of the most prestigious healthcare systems in the world, ranking at the top of the list from maternity care to cancer treatment and just about everything in between. With robust medical options within the city limits, the hardest part of finding quality care may be deciding which hospital to choose.

Fortunately, the city’s most reputable hospitals proudly house experts in many fields who continue refining our medical options. Here is the latest in specialized health care options across Atlanta.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
With a focus on keeping our youngest residents healthy, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta boasts the largest pediatric radiology program in the country and families in Cobb County benefit from more than 20 pediatric radiologists representing all specialties from X-rays from fractures and computed tomography (CT) scans to a diagnosis of a more serious condition.

The system’s Aflac Cancer Center also offers revolutionary MIBG therapy. It is considered one of the most effective treatments for children with relapsed neuroblastom — a malignant tumor composed of neuroblasts, usually in the adrenal gland. The Aflac Center is one of the few in the country offering the treatment, and the technique generally has fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy and radiation.

CHOA also teamed up with Georgia Tech to develop on a new technique to identify brain tumors. A nanocarrier made from fat was developed to carry a clinically approved dye called Evans Blue, which stains brain tumors blue. The finding will help hospitals worldwide that lack equipment like an intraoperative MRI machine to guide tumor removal. The new technique also means neurosurgeons can remove brain tumors in children more accurately.

Beyond its leadership in innovative technologies, Children’s touts awards for just about everything from top pediatric hospitals to best places to work. Parents magazine named it No. 12 among the country’s top pediatric hospitals and The Atlanta Business Chronicle named CHOA one of the healthiest employers and best places to work in Atlanta. Working Mother magazine also honored Children Healthcare with the distinction of being one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.”

Northside Hospital
From pregnancy to menopause, Northside Hospital offers specialized services for every stage of a woman’s life. Holding the distinction as the hospital that delivers more babies each year than any other in the country, Northside enjoys a reputation as one of the best maternity and newborn hospitals in the nation. It also received a nod from J.D. Power and Associates for providing “An Outstanding Maternity Experience” and is ranked No. 1 by Atlanta consumers for maternity/OB and women’s/GYN services.

Northside’s Center for Perinatal Medicine in Atlanta, Alpharetta and Forsyth County offers parents nationally recognized expertise and innovation in perinatology, obstetrics, radiology and pediatrics. For high-risk mothers, diagnostic sonograms, fetal heart rate monitoring and genetics counseling are available. The center was one of the first in the country to provide first-trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects.

With high-risk pregnancies in mind, the Atlanta campus offers a 34-bed perinatal unit staffed by caregivers specializing in high-risk and multiple pregnancies. The unit features high-tech monitors, music and relaxation classes, certified pet visitation and even boredom busters. The three campuses also offers one of the most comprehensive lactation programs in the country, housing more than 60 board-certified consultants for individual breast-feeding education and assistance to new mothers.

More than 17,000 babies are born at all three hospitals annually, and to date, more than 10,000 babies have been delivered at Northside Hospital-Forsyth Women’s Center.

Piedmont Healthcare
Piedmont Healthcare provides the community with around-the-clock emergency services and all major medical, surgical and diagnostic care across specialties like heart, cancer, transplant, orthopaedic, neurology and women’s care.

Focusing on its cancer care, Piedmont treats a variety of diseases including brain and central nervous, breast and liver cancer. The center recently offered a new liver cancer procedure called irreversible electroporation. Generally considered a safer alternative to heating or freezing tumors, the procedure uses electrical shock energy around the tumor to kill cancer cells and can also hone in on difficult to treat locations.

In recent years, Piedmont Healthcare launched a lung cancer-screening program. With lung cancer causing more deaths than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined, Piedmont’s new screening uses a low-dose CT to detect the disease in high-risk patients. By locating potential nodules in the lungs early, mortality from lung cancer can be reduced by up to 20 percent.

Technological advancements and accolades aside, Piedmont is also a leader in cancer awareness and hosts a variety of citywide events. Chef Hans Rueffert, a former “Next Food Network Star” finalist and stomach cancer survivor, has previously hosted a cooking demo with Piedmont Hospital’s Cancer Wellness Center. The event opened the center’s doors to cancer patients, survivors, family members and caretakers and focused on fueling the body for wellness. The cancer center also invited patients for a day of celebratory survivorship at Stone Mountain Park with a picnic and laser show.

WellStar Health System
Known for its variety of expertise services from a burn program to orthopaedics, the WellStar Health System houses several major hospitals throughout the metro area, in addition to urgent care centers and hospices. Among other renowned specialties, WellStar features innovative robotic surgery.

WellStar is one of the first health networks to adopt surgical robotics for precision urologic, gynecologic and cardiac surgeries. With a global reputation for pioneering new advances in surgical procedures and techniques, WellStar Kennestone Hospital performed the world’s first laparoscopic gallbladder removal. Led by Dr. Harry Lightfoot Jr., a general surgeon in the WellStar Medical Group, the WellStar team made a small, unnoticeable incision in the patient’s belly button to remove the diseased organ. The center also shares its expertise by training more than 15,000 surgeons in laparoscopic surgery.

WellStar focuses on an all-encompassing approach to surgery at each stage and uses the da Vinci System, in which a surgeon sits a few feet from the patient and uses a high-powered camera to guide the robot’s arms through small incisions. This leading robotic surgery system offers minimally invasive surgery and expands the surgeon’s capabilities. While da Vinci surgery may not be appropriate for every individual and procedure, the system offers the potential for faster recoveries with more precision. Typically, patients who chose da Vinci surgery experienced reduced pain and trauma, fewer complications, reduced blood loss, less scarring and shorter hospital stays.

While each WellStar campus is equipped with leading technology, the Cobb Hospital location houses cutting-edge high-definition video and camera systems with the ability to send live images for teleconferencing for educational purposes or consultation. Meanwhile the WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta features state-of-the art operating rooms for adult open-heart surgeries. In all, more than 31,000 procedures are performed annually at WellStar.

Atlanta Healthcare Collaborations
With so many specialized hospitals in the Atlanta area, the city commands attention as a healthcare leader paving the way for groundbreaking innovation. But that doesn’t stop with research and technology.

In recent years, Piedmont Healthcare and WellStar Health System announced a Georgia Health Collaborative. The first of its kind in the state, the collaborative will allow the two leaders to share intellectual knowledge on clinical care and seek out cost reductions. In all, WellStar and Piedmont provide 2,393 hospital beds, 10 hospitals, seven urgent care centers and more than 700 physicians.

“We believe that the future of health care in America is through organizations working together and partnering and not through owning and controlling,” says Reynold J. Jennings, WellStar president and CEO. “We want to bring the best in health care delivery together to share best practices and create innovations that will improve health care for all Americans while reducing costs.”

Whatever your needs, Atlanta’s healthcare systems deliver across-the-board quality, innovation and patient care. Contact your area hospital for more information on the latest procedures and how to best meet your healthcare needs.