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Hospital has new owner, new name
CHI Memorial buying Cornerstone Medical Center and former "Hutcheson on the Parkway"

CHI Memorial in Chattanooga will buy Cornerstone Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe and has acquired the former "Hutcheson on the Parkway" in Ringgold.

Larry Schumacher, CHI Memorial CEO and senior vice president of operations, Southeast Division, Catholic Health Initiatives, said, "In August, at the request of Cornerstone's Atlanta-based owner, ValorBridge, CHI Memorial began to manage Cornerstone Medical Center, and talks progressed on integration opportunities. Subsequently, a definitive agreement to acquire was signed effective December 29, 2017. At the same time, we have acquired the former Hutcheson on the Parkway."

CHI Memorial will provide services at the newly named CHI Memorial Hospital-Georgia (formerly Cornerstone Medical Center) and CHI Memorial-Parkway (formerly Hutcheson on the Parkway).

"With this acquisition, Cornerstone will become part of an integrated health system with more than 3,500 employees and 661 medical staff members. This will enable physicians and associates at

Cornerstone and CHI Memorial to collaborate and innovate in order to improve the delivery of efficient and effective inpatient and outpatient care across a broad geographical region" says Schumacher. "This is an opportunity to enhance the services that we can offer in the North Georgia region and build upon the good work that has been accomplished by the Cornerstone team. In light of the everchanging healthcare landscape, this will help ensure we keep our enduring promise of exceptional quality health care to the residents of the entire region."

"This is a significant investment in the health of our community by a brand

our residents know well and trust. The hospital will provide great healthcare and jobs which are important to our area's economic development," said state Sen. Jeff Mullis, president and CEO of the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority.

"In the past few years, our region has seen significant industrial and residential growth," said Randall Peters, chairman of the Board of the Catoosa County Economic Development Authority. "The need for quality healthcare close to where people work and live continues to grow. This acquisition will restore much-needed advanced medical services to the people who live and work in North Georgia, and opens new doors for our community organizations to work with CHI Memorial to address widespread health disparities," he said.

"The Board of Commissioners and I are extremely excited that we have the opportunity for stability and growth in health care services available to the residents of Catoosa County and Northwest Georgia," said Catoosa County Board of Commissioner Chairman Steven Henry. "With our growing population and convenient interstate and highway access, it makes perfect sense that Catoosa County should become the center of gravity for world class health care in Northwest Georgia, and we commend CHI Memorial for undertaking a major leadership role in our region. Catoosa County Government stands ready to work with CHI Memorial to grow and expand our health care infrastructure and services."

County's new budget checks all of the legal boxes to move forward

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield authorized the official adoption of the general budget for 2018 during the Thursday, Nov. 30, commissioner's meeting in LaFayette.

The county budget was effectively adopted in October, but due to a state law advertising error, the commissioner readopted the budget at his latest meeting on Nov. 30.

The adoption was delayed due to an objection raised in October due to its legality.

On Oct. 5, Clerk of Court Carter Brown, said, "On behalf of myself, the other constitutional officers, other county officials, .... we want to inform you that we object to this budget and that we bring into question the legality of the process that you are following to adopt this budget."

The commissioner was soon informed the objection was in regards to making the new budget available seven days in advance and the need to hold three advertised public meetings on it.

If a copy of the budget is asked for review, the commissioner must make it available seven days in advance of when the budget is approved, Whitfield said in October.

"Basically, what happened is that I messed up the first time — just plain and simple. We spent a lot of time working on the millage (property tax) rate and there are procedures we have to follow by state law for advertising and so forth. We are required to have three public hearings. We had five. Most of them lasted over three hours apiece. We had very good attendance and very good participation," Whitfield said. "I did not realize (and) lost track of how we had to advertise them separately for the budget and so we actually passed the budget in October and we didn't do the proper procedures to meet the state laws. So it was brought to our attention, so we wanted to go back and correct that, get it documented correctly, do the advertizing. We did have the public meeting at our last meeting on November 9. There was no public comment or concern or question, at all, from anyone, so we're kind of doing this as housekeeping."

Whitfield said no changes have been made to the budget since its Oct. 5 presentation.

"It's just a rookie mistake that I made that we publically wanted to get corrected," said Whitfield, who took office in January.

6th Cavalry Museum releases annual "Patton Prayer" Christmas Card

Send holiday greetings to family and friends in style this year with the 6th Cavalry Museum's Patton Prayer Christmas Card. Each year since 2010, the 6th Cavalry Museum has offered a special holiday card with General George Patton's Christmas Prayer and this year is no exception. The cover of the 2017 card, painted by local north Georgia artist Durinda Cheek, features a beautiful watercolor of Patton and his dog Willie in a Jeep. These are one-of-a-kind cards that can only be found at the 6th Cavalry Museum.

The History of the Patton Prayer

The original "Patton Prayer," written by Patton's chief of chaplains Col. (Monsignor) James H. O'Neill, was delivered in December 1944 to the American troops fighting during one of the worst blizzards in European history. One of the 250,000 cards delivered to troops containing the prayer on one side and a Christmas greeting from Patton on the other side is in the museum's permanent collection.

The Germans had taken advantage of the weather to launch a surprise counterattack (known as the Battle of the Bulge). The 101st Airborne and elements of the 10th Armored held Bastogne and needed to be relieved before they ran out of supplies and were overrun. The Patton Prayer asks that the Lord "restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend."

The weather unexpectedly cleared, allowing resumption of close air support and an air-dropped resupply of the besieged units at Bastogne. Patton's Third Army broke through the German counteroffensive ten days later, prompting O'Neill to say, "General Patton prayed for fair weather for battle. He got it."

Inspiration of the artist

Local artist Durinda Cheek painted this year's card cover. Cheek is the daughter of Harry E. Copeland, one of the founding members of the 6th Cavalry Museum. This is the third Patton card Cheek has painted for the museum and is one of the many ways in which she supports the museum. "I love the meaning behind the card with Gen Patton's prayer for the troops," said Cheek.

"For this year's Christmas card, I had the idea of General Patton standing in his jeep looking out at what's ahead. One day that I was in the museum, I spoke with a gentleman who had inquired about the Patton Cards and told him about the idea of Gen Patton in the jeep. He said that Patton was always with his dog, Willie. That gave me the idea of placing his dog riding in the jeep with him. Of course I used old national archive photographs and took some liberties with them for the design."

Ordering cards

Cards are available online at or by calling the museum at 706-861-2860. All proceeds from cards sales support the operation and programming of the 6th Cavalry Museum.