Foundations Begins Phase II Of Advancing Excellence: Touching Lives

Feb 11, 2016

Phase I of the incredibly successful campaign reached $5 million goal a year early.

After a very successful beginning, The St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations is launching the second phase of the Advancing Excellence: Touching Lives fund raising campaign with a goal of supporting the latest in healthcare innovation.

Phase II will fund projects such as an expanded emergency department at St. Joseph’s Hospital, advancements in cancer care at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion and equipment for the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital.

The three-year Phase I was completed a year early and saw $5.1 million donated.

“The response has been phenomenal and a broad spectrum of people in the community contributed,” said Paul P. Hinchey, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s/Candler. “We are thankful for their support. I think people in Savannah appreciate local ownership and local management as being sensitive to patient needs.”

Advancing Excellence: Touching Lives began in 2013 as part of a strategy to ensure continued availability of the best healthcare services in and around Savannah. The campaign targeted projects to enhance the patient experience across the health system.

Support was broad-based, with donations coming from major Savannah businesses, such as the Colonial Foundation, Howard Family Dental, the J.C. Lewis Family and Seacrest Partners. St. Joseph’s/Candler co-workers stepped up in a serious way, contributing more than $500,000.

Phase II of Advancing Excellence: Touching Lives

Phase II will address many different parts of the St. Joseph’s/Candler system. But the centerpiece will be a new facility dedicated to cardiovascular care at St. Joseph’s Hospital. 

Lauretti-MikellSJ/C is developing the cardiovascular care facility as a multidisciplinary center housing cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, electrophysiologists, and vascular surgeons to enhance our services at The Heart Hospital. 

The facility will have cardiac and vascular diagnostic facilities, including stress testing, echocardiography, nuclear imaging, ultrasound and pacemaker/defibrillator interrogation.  

“The Heart Hospital at St. Joseph’s Candler has long been a leader in cardiac care. I witnessed firsthand the skills and dedication of The Heart Hospital team in action when my good friend was rushed in with a heart attack at the age of 42,” said Scott Lauretti, chairman of the SJ/C Foundations. “He is alive today because of their expertise. The new facility for cardiovascular care will ensure that St. Joseph’s/Candler professionals continue to be equipped to provide the best possible integrated care for patients in our community.”

Lauretti is the co-chair of Phase II along with Dr. Julia Mikell.

“The demand for the best cardiac care has grown as the region’s population has grown,” Mikell said. “We have always introduced new techniques and technologies that no one else has, like the Trancatheter Aortic Valve Replacement program and a state of the art vascular surgery program. To have all these programs housed in one central location will optimize delivery of care and outcomes.”

All Phase II Projects

Advancements at St. Joseph’s Hospital

Emergency Department

  • Outpatient surgery and imaging areas
  • Ambulance entrance
  • Patient waiting area
  • Additional treatment rooms

Enhancements at The Heart Hospital

Facility for cardiovascular care

The new facility for cardiovascular care will be a multidisciplinary center housing cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, electrophysiologists, and vascular surgeons. The facility will also have cardiac and vascular diagnostic facilities, including stress testing, echocardiography, nuclear imaging, ultrasound and pacemaker/defibrillator interrogation.

Advancements at Candler Hospital

Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion

  • Howard Hand in Hand Support for Children
  • Nurse Navigators
  • Research and Clinical Trials
  • Cancer Survivorship Patient Support
  • Expansion of services in Hilton Head Island and Bluffton

Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital

  • Telfair Breast Surgery
  • Neonatal Level II Nursery Equipment
  • Telfair BirthPlace room renovations
  • Mammography

Phase I of the campaign 

The honorary chair for Phase I was Henry Minis. Dr. Julia Mikell and Russ Peterson were the co-chairs. St. Joseph’s Hospital

  • Provided funding for room renovations at St. Joseph’s Hospital to increase efficiency and patient comfort.
  • Provided funding to support the SJ/C Movement Disorders program: To hire a new part time Outpatient Social Worker to navigate newly diagnosed movement disorders patients.
  • Continued funding for an Outreach Coordinator to provide support and guidance to define ancillary services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, nutritional counseling, home health services, therapeutic exercise program and patient navigation.

Advancements in Cancer Care at the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion

  • Provided funding for Howard Hand in Hand – a support program for children whose parents are undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious illnesses. 
  • Provided ongoing funding for the Nurse Navigator Program.

The Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital

  • Provided funding for the renovation of four Telfair Birthplace rooms for improved comfort and efficiency - more than 3,000 babies were delivered at the Mary Telfair Women’s Hospital in 2015.
  • Provided funding to enhance the Labor & Delivery waiting room to provide greater comfort for patients’ families.
  • Purchased two Giraffe OmniBeds for critically ill premature infants in our Special Care Nursery - this all-in-one bed provides a developmentally supportive family-centered critical care environment and reduces stress to the infant while increasing access for family and staff.

Wellness, Education and Community Outreach

  • Developed and funded a new program called Johnny’s Bridges to Hope to deliver and provide assistance navigating medical, educational and support services to families of individuals diagnosed with mental health disorders.

St. Joseph’s/Candler is a national Magnet-designated facility for nursing excellence, with a focus on the latest technologies and research. Its comprehensive network includes centers of excellence for oncology, cardiovascular, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, orthopedics and a variety of other disease specialties. SJ/C's Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion has been selected to be part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the NCI Community Oncology Research Program. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospital is a not-for-profit health system serving 33 counties in southeast Georgia and the South Carolina Low Country and is the largest and only faith-based institution in the region.

To learn more about the St. Joseph’s/Candler Foundations, please go to

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