In 1906 Amster and McRae hired Fort Gaines native Dr. James Edgar Paullin, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, as Piedmont's house physician and pathologist. He established the sanatorium's organizational and management operations, emphasizing a philosophy of quality over quantity that characterizes Piedmont to this day.
In an era when medical specialization was limited, Piedmont set a new standard. With a solid staff of doctors, each a leader in his field, the sanatorium provided specialized yet integrated treatment. Paullin continually emphasized the importance of treating patients as people, not cases. From the beginning, Piedmont physicians were involved in the hospital's development and administration,
By the end of World War II (1941-45), the aging Capitol Avenue complex was insufficient for a staff of 127 physicians to serve a city that claimed more than 302,000 residents, according to the 1940 U.S. census. In 1953 the hospital purchased twenty-six acres along what is now Peachtree Road. The following year construction began on a $5 million, 250-bed facility made possible by contributions from the public. Georgia governor Herman Talmadge proclaimed it "another milestone
In 1994 the hospital opened the Heart Center of Atlanta. The following year J. B. Fuqua, an Atlanta businessman, politician, and philanthropist, donated $3 million to the center, which was renamed the Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta. In 1999 Fuqua donated an additional $3 million.
As of 2008 Piedmont is a 481-bed facility serving the metropolitan Atlanta area. The hospital employs 3,700 workers and a medical staff of more than 900 physicians. The recipient in 2006 and 2007 of a Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety, awarded by the respected rating firm HealthGrades, Piedmont is an acute tertiary-care facility offering all major medical, surgical, and diagnostic services. Among its specialties are cardiovascular services, women's services, oncology, orthopedics, neurosciences, and organ transplantation (kidney, pancreas, and liver). In 2008 HealthGrades named Piedmont Hospital as the Best in Atlanta for Overall Cardiac Care and Cardiac Surgery.
Piedmont Hospital is part of a growing family of health-care entities. It is the flagship institution of Piedmont Healthcare, which also includes Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed acute-care community hospital in Newnan; the Piedmont Heart Institute; the Piedmont Hospital Foundation; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 75 primary-care physicians in a network of 23 offices throughout metropolitan Atlanta; and Piedmont Clinic, a 567-member physician network.
Ruth N. Henley, Sanatorium to Medical Center: The History of Piedmont Hospital, 1905-1985, ed. Stuart R. Oglesby III ([Atlanta?]: Ampersand Studios, 1984).
Stuart R. Oglesby III, Continuing the Commitment: The History of Piedmont Hospital, 1985-1991 (Atlanta: Greer Design Group Inc., 1992).
Derek Toomey, Piedmont Hospital
A project of the Georgia Humanities Council, in partnership with the University of Georgia Press, the University System of Georgia/GALILEO, and the Office of the Governor.