At the Northside Hospital Forsyth Women’s Center, treating everyone like family is taken literally.
So much so, hospital administrator Lynn Jackson and Women’s Center manager Melissa Sugg have had grandchildren born there.
“It was wonderful,” Sugg said. “The staff and doctors were great. But they didn’t do anything they don’t do for everybody.”
The Women’s Center, 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive, is now celebrating its 10th year of service. And, there’s reason to celebrate with 26,000 babies born, including 3,200 last year.
Sugg has been deeply involved since the center opened Aug. 1, 2008.
But her journey to opening the center wasn’t a straight path. Sugg was originally an interior designer before she became a stay-at-home mom. She visited many hospitals after her daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Throughout that time she became fascinated with anatomy and physiology. She went back to school with the intent of taking care of neonatal babies at Northside to help empower moms to know they have the skills they need.
Her timing was spot-on because that’s when Northside was beginning to expand its women’s units and she captured the attention of her director who was working on the plans for the original center in Atlanta.
When it was discovered Sugg could read blueprints and work with families, her future was set. She helped open the Atlanta Center, and jumped on the chance to work with the Forsyth Center when it later opened.
“I was asked what my vision was, and I said I wanted it to be a place where people in the community can come and feel welcome,” Sugg said. “I also wanted it to be a place where the staff is extremely passionate about being here and providing the best customer service they can.”
Sugg and her leadership team handpicked 150 staff members to open the Forsyth Center initially, and they were able to help fine-tune the building to include specifications they deemed necessary. Most of the new staff members came from the Atlanta campus, so Sugg said they already understood the Northside vision and mission.