St. Joseph’s/Candler continues rich tradition of care at the Georgia Infirmary

With services like Adult Day Health Center, SOURCE and now CCSP, the Georgia Infirmary continues to serve the Savannah community more than 180 years later

Roberta Jones began attending the Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center more than eight years ago. However, her history with the Georgia Infirmary goes back much further than that.

Roberta delivered all three of her sons at the former hospital. Still to this day, the 78-year-old Savannah resident remembers walking in with her husband and checking in at the front desk.

Roberta Jones
Roberta Jones

“I have fond memories of this place,” Roberta says. “Today I’m so grateful it’s here as an adult day center. I’d be lost without it.”

St. Joseph’s/Candler has continued the rich history of the Georgia Infirmary, serving members of the community with the adult day health center and SOURCE Clinic.

The first of its kind in the nation

The Georgia Infirmary was the first hospital for African Americans built in the United States. It was chartered on Dec. 24, 1832, and moved to its current location in the Victorian district of Savannah in 1838.

In 1904, the Georgia Infirmary was among the first in the nation to train African-American nurses. At its peak as a hospital, the facility had 89 beds and five pediatric cribs, as well as other equipment for X-rays and surgery.

In 1974, Georgia Infirmary closed its doors as a hospital, however, continued to serve the community as a stroke rehabilitation day center, says Peggy Padgett, manager for Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center. The facility joined with Candler Hospital about a decade later, and when St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital came to be one health system in 1997, the Georgia Infirmary also became part of the health system.

The Georgia Infirmary also was the first Medicare-certified comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility. Today, a large portion of funding for the day center program comes from SOURCE and Community Care Services Program, which are Medicaid-waiver programs that assist the elderly with home and day support. The program also serves Veterans and accepts private pay.

Adult Day Health Center

The Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center helps participants maintain good health while providing an enjoyable, caring and safe environment. Nurses are present at all times to assist members with their physical needs, such as preventing falls, going to the bathroom, taking medication and assisting with eating, Padgett says. Social needs also are met with daily activities.

One such activity is music therapy. A music therapist comes in four days a week. On Mondays, adult day health center members can participate in music therapy, which provides them with assistance beating a drum or strumming a guitar. Tuesday through Thursday the music therapist leads two chorus groups. These groups mostly perform gospel and holiday songs. They do performances at the city of Savannah’s Golden Age Centers.

Peggy Padgett
Peggy Padgett, manager for Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center

Another popular activity is arts and crafts, especially ceramics. Currently, a recent graduate of Armstrong State University is lead

ing members in hands-on arts and crafts projects. SCAD students also have assisted in the past.

“Ceramics allows members to get to do a lot of free-hand work, which is more therapeutic,” Padgett says. “This gives them a chance to make something and have it to take home.”

Members also can take home produce grown in their garden outside the Georgia Infirmary building. Raised beds allow members in wheelchairs and others with disabilities to work in the garden from a comfortable position. They grow beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and more. The food is either shared with other members, such as in a cucumber salad, or can be taken home to enjoy.

Other activities include Bingo, a Tuesday Bible study, a Wednesday devotional lead by community church volunteers, exercises with SJ/C Wellness Center exercise physiologists and occasional field trips. Members also can enjoy a television and computer room and rocking chairs on the relaxing front porch.

“Everyone has their own interests,” Padgett says. “We really try to make this person-centered care. We want this to be as kind and respectful and give each person the dignity that they all deserve.”

Currently, the Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center has approximately 80 members, with an average of about 45 members a day. The doors are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Member can come and go anytime between those hours and come as many days a week as they would like. However, members do need to keep somewhat of a schedule with staff because daily meals are provided by Meals on Wheels and transportation needs to be scheduled a few days in advance.

A referral is also needed. The majority of members are referred by physicians or a SOURCE case manager. The adult day health center is currently accepting new members.

“I am quite sure anyone that comes here would enjoy it,” Roberta Jones adds. “I enjoy the people, crafts and getting up in the morning knowing I’m coming here.”

For more information about the Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health Center, call 912-819-1500.


In 1997, the Georgia Infirmary initiated SOURCE (Service Options Using Resources in Community Environments), a case management program to improve health outcomes for elderly or disabled Medicaid recipients with chronic medical conditions. As of July 1, 2018, the Georgia Infirmary was approved to provide case management for the Community Care Program (CCSP).

SOURCE and CCSP have the same goals and support services including primary medical care, home- and community-based support services and case management. Contracted physicians do a SOURCE Clinic on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Case managers work closely with doctors and service providers to help SOURCE and CCSP members achieve goals related to good health and community residence. Support services offered include:

  • Assistance with meals
  • Housework
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Adult day health
  • Emergency response buttons
  • Personal care homes
  • Respite for caregivers

If you’d like more information about SOURCE or CCSP, call us at 912-819-1520.


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  • St. Joseph's Hospital Campus: 11705 Mercy Blvd., Savannah, GA 31419, (p) 912-819-4100
  • Candler Hospital Campus: 5353 Reynolds St., Savannah, GA 31405, (p) 912-819-6000
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St.Joseph's Hospital Campus: 912-819-4100

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