ATLANTA – Cartersville Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Sandlin was awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) annual Hospital Heroes Awards luncheon Dec. 4 in Atlanta. Sandlin, who was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award, was recognized for his many years of successful leadership as the hospital’s first and only CEO.
Sandlin has served as president and CEO of Cartersville Medical Center for 29 years, the longest within the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) organization, the hospital’s parent company. In these years, he has not only established himself as a great leader, but he has also brought positive change to the hospital and its community.
Two-and-a-half decades ago, Cartersville was a small town with a small, rural hospital. As the county and city expanded, so did the hospital. Under Sandlin’s leadership, it grew from 62 beds to 112 beds. He has facilitated 11 expansion projects, including four medical office buildings and a new emergency department. He has also recruited over 100 full-time physicians in multiple specialties, allowing the provision of many services that were not locally available in the past. He worked for a decade and went through multiple certificate of need (CON) applications to obtain approval to build The Hope Center, a thriving regional cancer center.
Even while working to bring new services and features to the hospital, Sandlin always takes the time to visit units, walk the halls and greet each person by his or her first name. He is well-respected by the staff due to his warm-hearted nature and enthusiasm for the hospital and its community.
Sandlin’s involvement in the community does not stop at the hospital level. He has served on several local boards, including the Cartersville Rotary Club and the Cartersville Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board for six southeastern states.
“Under Keith Sandlin’s leadership, Cartersville Medical Center has transformed from a small, rural hospital with limited services to a large regional medical center with a wide array of essential health care services,” said Joe Parker, president of GHA. “He leads by example, and not only is he admired within the Cartersville community, he is one of the most respected, influential health care leaders in our state. He is a deserving recipient of this award.”
GHA’s Hospital Heroes Awards are presented every year to 10 individuals who display outstanding service to the health care field; in addition, one individual is presented with a Lifetime Achievement award, signifying at least 30 years of service.
Established in 1929, GHA is the state’s largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its 174 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia’s citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.