Special to the Journal
Phoebe Putney Health System President/CEO Joel Wernick has been recognized among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend magazine in its January issue.
Wernick, who has been Phoebe’s CEO since 1988, was profiled in the issue with other individuals selected “for the power and influence they wield.” According to Georgia Trend, “These are the people who affect the lives and livelihood of all Georgians in one way or another.”
Wernick “has guided the century-old hospital during a period of historic growth, improving facilities and expanding services throughout the region,” Georgia Trend reported. “He has been active in local civic affairs, including serving as chair of the Southwest Georgia Alliance for Progress.”
Also on the list are Dr. Ricardo Azziz, president of Georgia Health Sciences University and CEO of Georgia Health Sciences Health System, U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop, Georgia Department of Agriculture Commerce Commissioner Gary W. Black, State Senator John Bulloch, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Chick-Fil-A President/COO Dan Cathy, U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Chamber of Commerce President Chris Clark, Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
In 2010, Wernick was recognized for the same honor, as well as was among Georgia Trend’s picks for the state’s top 25 leaders.
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 5,000 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 six 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 and is a University of Arkansas razorback. Besides his involvement with multiple local, state and national organizations, he takes time to teach as a member of the Georgia Southwestern MBA faculty.