Five Organizations Honored with Governor’s Sterling and Georgia Oglethorpe Awards

May 17, 2023

Dione Geiger, The Sterling Council
(850) 251-5873

~ The Sterling Council Honors Two Florida and Three Georgia Role Model Organizations~

Health First Medical Group: Governor’s Sterling Award

Health First Medical Group (HFMG), located in Brevard County, is a multispecialty and primary care medical group that is a part of the Health First Integrated Delivery Network (IDN), one of “America’s Best Large Employers,” as named by Forbes. HFMG is committed to providing high-quality, consumer-focused care and experiences through a network of highly engaged providers and associates – ranked in the top decile Associate Engagement Index by Perceptyx. The Medical Group has more than 480 providers and 1,500 associates supporting more than 30 office locations, 11 imaging centers, ten labs, two breast centers, and four joint-ventured Urgent Care centers in partnership with AdventHealth Centra Care. HFMG is the largest multispecialty group on the Space Coast, serving 180,000 patients and scheduling more than 1 million visits annually. Their continuous focus on ensuring access to highly skilled providers and staff, ensuring that services are easy and convenient to obtain, maximizing value in every interaction, and creating delightful experiences are critical to their mission.

Health First Medical Group is a first-time recipient of the Governor’s Sterling Award and the first Medical Group to be recognized.

Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department: Governor’s Sterling Award

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (PROS) is the nation’s 3rd largest nationally accredited park system, with 2,700 employees stewarding 287 parks and 40,000 acres of parkland, nature preserves, and environmentally endangered lands. PROS has been accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) since 1995 and was the country’s first large park and recreation department to achieve this distinction. The Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space Masterplan is recognized as a national model for its community-based vision to transform Miami-Dade County into a more environmentally, socially, and economically resilient community through a connected system of parks, public spaces, natural and cultural areas, connected by greenways, blueways, and complete streets designed as linear parks. The Department maintains a 92% level of customer satisfaction that exceeds national benchmarks across all facilities and programs. Miami-Dade Parks employees are dedicated to “connecting people and parks for life.”

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department is a two-time recipient, first earning the Governor’s Sterling Award in 2009.

Wellstar Cobb Medical Center: Georgia Oglethorpe Award

Wellstar Cobb Medical Center is a non-profit hospital with 382 beds in Austell, Georgia. The hospital delivers an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services, including level III trauma, comprehensive burn, behavioral health, and comprehensive cancer services. Founded in 1968, Wellstar Cobb serves hundreds of thousands of patients annually across its service area and the Southeastern United States. The hospital’s utilization of visual management boards, department-based huddles, and A3 Thinking has created a strong system of two-way communication that links the hospital’s senior-most leaders with its frontline team members. This approach has allowed for a high level of integration and deployment of processes across all hospital departments and has led the hospital to achieve industry-leading financial, quality, marketplace, consumer engagement, and workforce results. Wellstar Cobb Medical Center is recognized nationally for its quality and outcomes, including recognition by The Leapfrog Group with an A grade. The medical center’s unique integration of spiritual care into its daily operations has promoted an environment where care providers can care for the whole person. Beginning in 2018 and continuing through 2023, Wellstar Cobb Medical Center was recognized by the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network with the Excellence in Spiritual Care Award.

Wellstar Cobb Medical Center is a first-time recipient of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award.

Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center: Georgia Oglethorpe Award

Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center (WWG) is a non-profit hospital delivering an extensive array of inpatient and outpatient services and emergency services, including Level IV Trauma capabilities. “Putting Patients First – Every Patient, Every Time” describes the unyielding passion and dedication of the workforce to providing care across the full continuum of care at West Georgia Medical Center. The hospital’s quality, safety, and innovation have been nationally recognized, including being named a U.S. News and World Report High Performing Hospital and one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven), as well as recent recognition by The Leapfrog Group with an A grade. As the third-largest employer in Troup County, WWG remains an economic anchor for the community. Continually striving to improve its operations and deliver world-class healthcare, improvement, and innovation is made possible by bolstering its established Lean Six Sigma framework and hardwired best practices. It boasts a tenured workforce, dedicated volunteer base, robust community involvement, and innovative programs such as the Patient Family Advisory Council and Insiders’ Program.

Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center is a first-time recipient of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award.

Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center: Georgia Oglethorpe Sustained Excellence Award

Founded in 1950, Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center is a 633-bed hospital located in Marietta, Georgia, and is part of the nationally recognized non-profit Wellstar Health System. The hospital serves hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and consistently demonstrates the highest levels of performance across all metrics. Wellstar Kennestone is honored nationally for its quality and outcomes, including recognition by The Leapfrog Group with an A grade. Wellstar Kennestone offers best-in-class multidisciplinary care: state-of-the-art cardiac program, collaborative vascular program, renowned Women’s Center, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, multidisciplinary STAT cancer treatment, and more. As one of only three Level II trauma centers in metro Atlanta and part of the state’s largest trauma network, Wellstar Kennestone operates the second busiest emergency department (ED) in Georgia and the second largest ED in the U.S. with the capacity to care for more than 220,000 patients annually. Wellstar Kennestone also offers graduate medical education that prepares clinicians and pharmacists to quality care. They provide medically underserved and uninsured Cobb County residents with access to care and social support services for chronic disease management, wellness exams, vaccinations, and medication counseling.

Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center is a first-time recipient of the Georgia Oglethorpe Sustained Excellence Award, having received the Georgia Oglethorpe Award in 2020.

About The Sterling Council:

The Sterling Council, established in 1992, is a public/private not-for-profit corporation supported by the Executive Office of the Governor. The Council oversees the Governor’s Sterling Award for Performance Excellence and the Georgia Oglethorpe Award, which is based on the national Malcolm Baldrige Award, with Awards being presented annually to high performing, role-model organizations, both private and public, who demonstrate superior management approaches and role model results. Sterling’s annual conference teaches participants how to elevate performance and increase productivity. Nearly 600 executives and professionals gather yearly at this event for a one-stop source for education, information, and inspiration. The conference concludes with the recognition of best practices, the Team Showcase Champion, and the presentation of Sterling, Oglethorpe, and Manufacturing Business Excellence Awards. For more information, please contact Dione Geiger at (850) 922-5316 or visit: