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

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This week, the Sterling Council announced the 2024 Recipients of the prestigious Sterling Award. This year there were two first-time recipients of the Governor’s Sterling and Georgia Oglethorpe Award who will both be formally recognized on Friday, May 31, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando at a banquet honoring their accomplishments and attainment of this recognition.

The Sterling Council is the premier resource for performance and business excellence in the southeast. The coveted award process elevates organizations in ways no other system can. Our extensive corps of Sterling performance excellence professionals, which includes more than 150 examiners and a 40-member Board of Directors, maintains exceptionally high standards and saves organizations, as well as the state, millions of dollars annually.

Governor’s Sterling Award:

Located in Southwest Florida, Lee Health is one of the largest public health systems in the U.S. With more than 2 million patient interactions each year and more than 15,000 employees, Lee Health is committed to providing leading-edge, compassionate, patient-centered care. The health system offers coordinated care to ensure patients get the right care at the right time and in the right place through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers, clinics and specialized care facilities. Lee Health also provides unique regional services, such as the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and the Regional Trauma Center, which serves a five-county area.

The health system’s hospitals consistently rank among the best in the U.S., as noted by prestigious organizations such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. News & World Report, The Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades.

Lee Health is the first Healthcare System to be recognized with the Governor’s Sterling Award.

Georgia Oglethorpe Award:

Wellstar Sylvan Grove Medical Center is a nonprofit, critical access hospital in Jackson, Georgia and one of 11 Wellstar Health System hospitals. Wellstar Sylvan Grove operates with 25 in-patient/swing beds (subacute rehab) and a 13-bed emergency department. The swing bed unit serves patients from all over the country, and the emergency department treats over 17,000 patients annually. Wellstar Sylvan Grove receives patients from across the nation because of their excellent reputation for rehabilitative care. “Together we can achieve more” describes the mindset of the Wellstar Sylvan Grove team. The hospital’s teamwork approach is the key driver of maintaining zero hospital-acquired infections for over three years and consistently remaining in the top 75th percentile for patient satisfaction as a facility.

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Wellstar Sylvan Grove consistently remains one of the top-performing hospitals on the Great Place to Work® Survey, a national employee engagement survey, which resulted in the health system being named one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, earning the award in 2024 for the sixth time. The family culture extends outside of the four walls of the hospital to the people in the community. Wellstar Sylvan Grove participates in many community events, including a mobile market that helps to provide nutritious food and health education to the community at no cost.

Wellstar Sylvan Grove Medical Center is a first-time recipient of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award, and is the seventh hospital that is part of the Wellstar Health System to be recognized with the Sterling Oglethorpe Award.

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


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