A (big) new brand in Georgia health care

Macon’s largest health care system has a new name: Navicent Health.


The rebranding of Central Georgia Health System, announced Wednesday, coincides with other new initiatives launched by the organization.

The main hospital in the organization, a 637-bed facility heretofore known as Medical Center of Central Georgia, is now named Medical Center, Navicent Health.

Ninfa Saunders, president and CEO of Navicent, said the new brand combines two words: “navigate,’’ as in helping patients navigate the health care system; and the patient as the “center’’ of that care.

The new name, she added, can help to dispel the image of a regional system in favor of one that can be a statewide or even national health destination. “Patients are going to start shopping for the right care, at the right place and at the right time,’’ Saunders told GHN.

Other former Central Georgia entities will also have the new brand attached to their names, such as “Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.”

Navicent Health currently employs nearly 6,000 people, including 800 physicians.

Atlanta-based health care consultant Chris Kane said such rebranding can be effective for health systems. “It sends a new message,’’ he said. “It’s an indication of potential new strategies and capabilities.”

The only downside of a rebranding is a possible perception by some “that it’s not an effective use of not-for-profit resources,’’ Kane added.

Ninfa Saunders
Ninfa Saunders

The Macon-based system has moved quickly over the past year with new ventures. It recently struck an agreement to manage the struggling Putnam General Hospital in Eatonton, and is in talks to forge a similar partnership with Milledgeville-based Oconee Regional Health Systems.

And a year ago, Central Georgia Health System was a driving force in the creation of Stratus Healthcare, an alliance of 31 hospitals in Middle and South Georgia.

Saunders said the unifying vision in these moves is to “put together a delivery system to manage the health of the population.”

“The speed and rate of change in health care is faster now than in the 42 years I’ve been in it,’’ she said.