Medical College of Georgia honors Phoebe Health System CEO

Feb. 20—AUGUSTA — The president and CEO of the hospital that has long served as the primary educational partner for the Medical College of Georgia's first regional campus, the Southwest Campus in Albany, and an MCG alumna who oversees nearly 600 residents and fellows in 50 residency programs at her alma mater and its primary teaching affiliate Augusta University Health have been honored by MCG Dean David Hess.

Scott Steiner, who has led Phoebe Putney Health System since 2019, received the Community Advocacy Award, and Dr. Natasha Savage, a 2007 graduate who serves as senior associate dean of graduate medical education and designated institutional official, received the Professionalism Award at Hess' State of the College Address.

"Scott Steiner has always been keenly aware of the need for Phoebe to be engaged in educating the next generation of physicians for Georgia and has been steadfast in his support of our faculty, staff and students at our Southwest Campus," Hess said. "Like Mr. Steiner, Dr. Savage is equally dedicated to medical education and has and continues to work tirelessly to ensure that our junior colleagues receive the best possible training in their chosen specialties right here at our home base in Augusta."

Almost exactly one year after Steiner joined Phoebe, COVID-19 began to overrun Albany, and the small community quickly became one of the country's first hotspots. The health system was among the first to have to deal with operational challenges like staff exhaustion, shortages of PPE and other critical supplies, as well as the dissemination of timely and accurate public information. Because they experienced it first, the team at Phoebe also was instrumental in helping other health systems prepare their own responses to the pandemic.

Always an advocate for education, Steiner helped develop a new Medical Education Innovation and Simulation Center at Phoebe. Construction continued during the pandemic, and the 22,000-square-foot center opened in 2020. Available for all health care disciplines, including students at the Southwest Campus, the center has been instrumental in onboarding new nurses for Phoebe, as well as introducing middle and high school students from the surrounding region to the possibility of health care careers.

While many hospitals in rural and underserved areas are struggling to maintain existing services, under Steiner's leadership, Phoebe also is building a new and expanded neonatal intensive care unit, trauma ICU and emergency center.

"Throughout his time here, Scott and the entire Phoebe Family have continued to be unwavering supporters of MCG's mission and vital partners in our efforts by offering access to these new and innovative environments," Dr. Doug Patten, the campus' associate dean, said. "These provide an anchor, where our students can learn and grow, which we hope will lead to the return of more of our graduates to help meet the needs of the region."

In addition to being the senior associate dean of graduate medical education and designated institutional official, Savage also is vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Pathology. She also is chief of staff at AU Health and is the health system's medical director of hematology and hematopathology, overseeing the hematology, bone marrow, flow cytometry and hemostasis labs at AU Medical Center and the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

Savage completed her anatomic and clinical pathology residency in 2011 at MCG. She completed a fellowship in hematopathology at Stanford University before returning to the faculty of her alma mater in 2012.