Speial to the Journal
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital President/CEO Joel Wernick has been recognized among the top 25 state’s leaders, representing business, public service and education by Georgia Trend magazine in its September issue celebrating its 25th Anniversary edition.
Wernick, who has been Phoebe’s CEO since 1988, was profiled in the issue because he “has guided the hospital to a period of historic growth in staff, revenues and new services, and has expanded the facility’s presence in vastly underserved areas in Southwest Georgia,” according to the article, titled “Vision, Determination and Optimism – Georgia Leaders Look Ahead.”
Wernick and other leaders were asked to share their vision of the future. The interviews include Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Young Harris College President Cathy Cox, Former UGA football Coach and Athletics Director Vince Dooley, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Former Civil Rights Leaders, Mayor and Congressman Andrew Young.
In his interview, Wernick discussed the future of primary health care and physician recruitment and retention.
“This state does not have enough post-medical school residency spots,” Wernick is quoted as saying in the article. “And those slots need to be created. There is an excellent opportunity over the next several years for us to add probably as many as 100 (residency slots) with assistance from the federal government.”
Wernick is a native of Fort Smith, Ark. Much has changed at Phoebe during his 20-plus years as CEO. The number of physicians has doubled, and employment has grown from 1,500 to almost 4,000 Phoebe employees. Over the years, several million square feet of additional facility space has been added and state-of-the-art technologies available to patients. Phoebe is also now an important piece of educating our state’s future doctors with both residency training and medical school programs.
In 1990, Phoebe Putney had one site – Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Today, as a result of a focused growth strategy, Phoebe gives residents access to health care through more than 30 entry points in the region, including three additional hospitals, more than 100 Phoebe Physician Partners and a continuum of other supporting entities.
A Paul Harris Fellow, Joel has been a Rotarian since 1982. A University of Arkansas razorback, he is married to a Terrell County native, the former Stacy Paul. They have one daughter, Lilly Katherine. Besides his involvement with multiple local, state and national organizations, he takes time to teach as a member of the Georgia Southwestern MBA faculty.