Saint Mary’s Health Care System


St. Mary’s was founded in 1906 by two Athens physicians, Dr. H. M. Fullilove and Dr. J. P. Proctor. The hospital closed in 1937 following their deaths and was purchased, at the request of the community, by the Most Rev. Gerald F. O’Hara, Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah-Atlanta. At his invitation, the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus reopened St. Mary’s as a Catholic hospital on July 10, 1938. In 1966 the Sisters relocated St. Mary’s to its current site on Baxter Street. In 1998, the Missionary Sisters transferred sponsorship of St. Mary’s to the Sisters of Mercy, South Central Community, and St. Mary’s became part of Catholic Health East, which merged with Trinity Health in 2013.

About St. Mary’s:

St. Mary’s Mission is to serve in the spirit of the Gospel as a compassionate and transforming healing presence within our communities. Providing quality health care services to the more than 500,000 people residing in Northeast Georgia, we place special emphasis on patient safety, orthopedics, neurosciences, cardiac care, general medicine/general surgery, women’s and children’s health, and older adults. Our system features 196-bed St. Mary’s Hospital, a full-service community hospital in Athens; 56-bed St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital, a community hospital in Lavonia; 25-bed St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital, a Critical Access Hospital near Greensboro; a region-wide home health care/hospice service; Highland Hills Village retirement community and memory care facility; inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation; advanced imaging services, and a growing network of experienced, highly specialized physician practices.

Awards and recognitions:

Georgia’s Hospital of the Year in 2006 and 2010, St. Mary’s is proud to be the official health care provider for the University of Georgia Athletic Association. St. Mary’s holds numerous recognitions from Healthgrades and Women Certified, as well as the Joint Commission Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for advanced primary stroke care, advanced inpatient diabetes, heart failure care, hip and knee replacement surgery, and spine surgery. In addition, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan was named Georgia’s Small Hospital of the Year in 2014.

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