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Navicent Health

History of Navicent Health

At a time of progressive growth in Macon’s history when hospitalization was still a relatively new concept nationwide, a group of concerned citizens championed the establishment of a community healthcare facility to treat area residents in need of quality medical care. On March 27, 1895, The Macon Hospital, now known as Navicent Health (Navicent Health), officially opened at 820 Pine St., offering accommodations for four private and sixteen ward patients.

What began as a two-story, eight-room brick residence constructed in the mid-1840s soon grew to include operating rooms and wards located in outbuildings on the property behind the main structure.

Olin H. Weaver, M.D., a young Atlanta physician, was recruited by Macon’s townsfolk to organize the new hospital and become its first administrator. Dr. Weaver and his staff — a nurse, two maids, two orderlies, one cook, and a nurse superintendent — initially served a population of 22,000 residents.

As Maconites became accustomed to the notion that their new community hospital was a place of healing and not a gateway leading to “lost hope and no return,” (-anonymous) the facility began to thrive. Much of the hospital’s early success is attributed to Dr. Weaver’s leadership, as well as the astute assistance of the hospital’s first chairman of the Medical Board, Dr. William F. Holt, and his successor, Dr. Henry McHatton.

In the ensuing years, Navicent Health evolved into a 637-bed, full-service, acute care hospital that now serves an estimated population of 750,000 residents in central and south Georgia and is the second largest hospital in the state. Accredited by Det Norske Veritas (DNV), the medical facility serves a primary service area of 30 counties and treats patients from nearly 80 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties.

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