The Albany Herald (GA)
Jun. 14—ALBANY — Phoebe Putney Health System has signed a new agreement with a southwest Georgia-based ambulance service to provide medically necessary ambulance transports for Phoebe patients. Beginning Wednesday, Gold Star EMS will handle those patient transportation services for the health system.
“Gold Star has a proven track record of excellent patient care and efficient transport,” Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Joe Austin said. “When our patients need to be transferred between Phoebe facilities, from Phoebe to another hospital or to a post-acute care facility, we trust Gold Star will handle those transports quickly and compassionately.”
The agreement has no impact on emergency medical services. Any individual who calls 911 for a medical emergency will be transported by EMS in the county from which they called. The Phoebe/Gold Star partnership will serve those who are already Phoebe patients, when needed.
“Our patients are free to select a provider of their choice when they need to be transferred via ambulance, but we believe it is our responsibility to make sure we always have an efficient and quality option available to them,” Phoebe Vice President of Patient Logistics and Care Coordination, RN Kim Whitley, said. “That’s what this agreement provides. Goldstar will dedicate the necessary equipment and medical personnel, so Phoebe patients always have a timely transport resource dedicated to their care.”
Gold Star opened its operations in Albany in 2010 and has since grown to be the largest ambulance service in southwest Georgia with additional locations in Americus, Thomasville, Bainbridge, Valdosta and Homerville.
“I’m proud of our entire team — from EMTs and paramedics to managers and billing specialists,” Gold Star Founder and Owner Todd Hockman said. “We work great together, and our common goal is taking care of the patients we serve. Of course, the patients are our customers, but so are their family members and caregivers, nurses at nursing homes and the team at Phoebe. We look at everyone we come in contact with as our customer, and we want to exceed their expectations.”
Gold Star will take over the Phoebe contract from Grady EMS. Gold Star currently employs around 125 people and is looking to hire additional staff.
“We’re a hometown business, and we’re excited to be growing,” Hockman said. “We started our business 11 years ago with two ambulances because we saw an opportunity to help Phoebe by taking their overflow calls. It’s nice to come full circle and be their primary provider,” Hockman said.
Anyone interested in applying for a job with Gold Star can call (877) 794-4911.
Meanwhile, Phoebe officials announced Monday that COVID-19 numbers for the health system have continued to decline, with 14 patients receiving treatment at Phoebe in Albany and one person at Sumter Medical Center in Americus.
(c)2021 The Albany Herald, Ga.
Visit The Albany Herald, Ga. at www.albanyherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.