What visioning will do for Fayette County

Michael Burnett's picture

Engaging a community in a visioning process is one of the guiding principles of master planning. As a very active participant and business leader in the community, Piedmont Fayette Hospital looks forward to being a part of the Fayette Visioning Initiative that will serve to help us further define our future.

Why is participation in this process important to Piedmont Fayette? Twenty-five years ago a group of Fayette County citizens created the Fayette ‘93 visioning plan, which provided a roadmap for Fayette County’s high quality of life, work and play community that many of us enjoy today.

The Fayette ‘93 plan also identified a need for a hospital in Fayette and today that vision is very much a reality with Piedmont as the leading healthcare provider in the community.

As we look to our future and the diverse needs of our community, the Fayette Visioning Initiative will help Piedmont better understand and respond to the health needs of the community.

The process is also an important tool for discovering common values and developing a shared sense of purpose and how we shape our future together.

I was raised in Fayette, and after college I spent the early part of my career with Piedmont in Atlanta. But when it came time to raise our family, my wife, Amy, and I returned to Fayette.

The same quality of life standards, education and healthcare system that drew me back to Fayette are the same standards that we can preserve — and see flourish — through our planning process.

The visioning initiative provides a foundation for honest and creative interaction. Together, with our community leaders, residents and businesses we will ensure our community’s future meets our collective vision. We will also develop a picture of what will be accomplished when the strategies developed are implemented.

Whether you live or work in Fayette, or just visit for recreation, we all represent a puzzle piece of our community’s future. The process by which we plan our future shows how all of the pieces fit together. Like the picture on a jigsaw puzzle box, it is easier to assemble the puzzle when you can see the box cover.

There is a survey that will be available until Dec. 31, 2013 that is meant to garner input from the community to help build a more relevant and successful vision for the future. I’d like to invite you to participate in the survey which can be found at www.FayetteVision.org.

Please take the time and submit your responses in support of this initiative and your representative place in the community. If you would like to engage further, the website can connect you to the various activities that will take place over the next six months.

Piedmont Fayette is proud to have served our community for 16 years and we are excited to be a part of this collaborative journey.

[J. Michael Burnett is chief operating officer of Piedmont Fayette Hospital and a Fayette Visioning Initiative Steering Committee member. He also is the chair-elect of the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce.]

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Mr. Burnett - Visioning

Just like you, my family moved here in 2003 because Fayette County is a great place to raise a family.

And I certainly concur that taking part in the survey is important to be heard. After taking this survey a few weeks ago, I think the survey shortchanged Piedmont Fayette Hospital.

I also agree that Piedmont controls the market in Fayette, Henry, and Coweta counties, however we need more specialists local to the south side without having to travel to Atlanta or further. For instance, a simple pediatric tonsillectomy utilizing a Piedmont doctor has to be done in an outpatient facility in Atlanta. The Piedmont pediatric endocrinologist who used to have hours in PTC closed his office here and only sees patients in Atlanta. While FC has many fine general pediatricians, pediatric specialists are rare in FC and the surrounding counties, though Piedmont Newnan seems to be gaining more due to the new hospital and other medical complexes popping up down there.

Piedmont Healthcare made a wise decision when they promoted you to succeed Mr. Cutts. No one was more deserving than you. With that said, I'd like you to study the results of the survey because the community needs you to lobby Piedmont Healthcare to bring pediatric specialists and more to FC before our projected growth, because if we don't, we are bound to lose out in the long run.

Please push the vision leaders to identify all medical related needs of the community so that we can lure quality people to our county and not react after the fact.