Miller Nursing Home Earns 2019 AHCA/NCAL Silver National Quality Award

Colquitt, GAMiller Nursing Home has been recognized as a 2019 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award recipient by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The award is the second of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program which spotlights providers across the nation that have demonstrated their dedication to improving quality of care for residents and patients in long term and post-acute care.

In 2018, Miller Nursing Home was awarded the Bronze Quality Award and in 2019, the facility demonstrated all of the criteria needed to receive the Silver Award distinction.  “Miller Nursing Home is only one of seven long-term care facilities in Georgia to receive the Silver Award,” said Jessica Dunnigan, Long Term Care Director. “The award recognizes the focused processes our team has in place for effective continuous improvement as well as patient outcomes. I’m really proud of our team and our entire organization.”

Miller Nursing Home serves traditional residents and also specializes in long-term ventilator and dialysis care.  Currently, the facility houses 75 long-term vent care patients; when the expansion underway is completed later this year, up to 100 long-term vent care patients, with or without dialysis can be accommodated in addition to our traditional residents. Our nursing home shares a campus with Miller County Hospital, a 25-bed critical access facility, which offers residents immediate access to diagnostic and acute care services.  The multi-disciplinary care team at Miller Nursing Home includes board-certified physicians; mid-level providers, RNs, wound care specialists, a dietician, LPNs, CNAs; respiratory, speech, physical, and occupational therapists.  Custom-tailored goals are set to support each resident’s needs, following acute illness or injury or initial admission from home.

Based on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award Program, established in 1996, challenges member providers to achieve performance excellence through three progressive levels—Bronze, Silver, and Gold. At the Silver level, members develop and demonstrate effective approaches that help improve organizational performance and health care outcomes.

“As a Silver Quality Award recipient, Miller Nursing Home is well on its way to progress in their quality journey by continuing to achieve better quality results,” said Alana Wolfe, Chair of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers. “I commend them for this outstanding achievement.”

As a 2019 recipient of the Silver award, Miller Nursing Home can now advance in further developing comprehensive approaches that meet the criteria required for the Gold Quality Award.

The awards will be presented during AHCA/NCAL’s 70th Convention & Expo in Orlando, Florida, October 13-16, 2019. 

Paying Your Georgia State Income Taxes Can Be a Heart-Warming Experience

If you’ve ever wondered about the importance of rural healthcare, wonder no more.  In the midst of Hurricane Michael, which was still packing winds over 100 miles per hour when it passed through our community, Miller County Hospital stood ready to care for existing patients as well as those who needed local medical attention during the storm and its aftermath.  Even without running water for 18 hours and running on generator power, Miller County Hospital and its team of providers and support staff, along with First Responders, delivered care to people in our area.  Our team rose to the occasion and we are so proud of each person and the selflessness displayed in the face of very trying circumstances.

Please read the article below about the tax credit program – your personal or business state income taxes can be allocated specifically to help Miller County Hospital via this tax credit program.  Act now!  The window of opportunity is limited, details below.

Individuals and qualified LLCs, S corps and Corporations can earmark personal or corporate state tax dollars to go to approved rural hospitals – and Miller County Hospital in Colquitt, Georgia is eligible for your tax credit support. Rural hospitals in Georgia are not only critical for access to healthcare to citizens, but they hold the keys economic engines of their communities by providing direct jobs at their facility, supporting local allied businesses, and offering assurance to existing and new industry that healthcare for employees and their families is available.

It’s been said, if you want to see a community die, close it’s hospital. It’s a harsh reality, but so very true. Georgia lawmakers understand the extreme importance of rural hospitals and their financial struggles; as a result, in 2016, they enacted Senate Bill (“SB”) 258, legislation that, effective January 1, 2017, awards Georgia income tax credits to individual and corporate taxpayers who contribute to qualified rural hospital organizations (“RHOs”) located in Georgia.

The 2019 Tax Credit Overview
Participation in the Georgia HEART tax credit program is restricted to qualified Georgia rural hospitals, with criteria including county population size (50,000 or less, excluding military personnel); tax-exempt status or public hospital authority management; acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid; and minimum annual provision of indigent or uncompensated care, along with other parameters including demonstrating need, sustainability and the utilization of the donation.
From 2018 through 2021, Georgia taxpayers can access $60 million of Rural Hospital Organization (RHO) tax credits each year, with each qualified RHO having access to $4 million of tax credits, until the total annual $60 million cap is met. Individuals, married couples, an individual who is a member of an LLC, shareholder of an “S” corp, or partner in a partnership (pass-through entities) can participate, as well as “C” corporations:
• Individual Filer – 100% of the amount contributed, up to a limit of $5,000
• Married Filing Jointly – 100% of the amount contributed, up to a limit of $10,000
• Pass-Through Entity – 100% of the amount contributed, up to a limit of $10,000, so long as they would have paid Georgia income tax in that amount on their share of taxable income from the pass-through entity
• C Corporation or Trust – 100% of the amount contributed or 75% of the corporation or trust’s Georgia income tax liability, whichever is less

The bottom line: up to 100% of the money you are going to pay to the State of Georgia for income tax can be allocated to a qualified rural hospital of your choice as a tax credit. It’s that simple – instead of paying the state tax money, you can donate the designated funds to a rural hospital and make a real difference in the lives of our patients.

Why Select Miller County Hospital for Your Tax Credit Donation?

Miller, twice named Hospital of the Year by Hometown Health, is a 25-bed critical-access hospital that employs 500 people at its hospital, nursing home, and provider offices. Every dollar we receive from this program will be invested in staff, facilities, and equipment to provide quality care for real people…people who live and work in our rural community; people who would have to drive long distances for care if Miller County Hospital didn’t exist.

Act Now! The Window of Opportunity is Limited.
There’s no downside and no catch; it’s just this simple: instead of paying the State of Georgia the income tax money you owe, you donate the tax money to a rural hospital through the tax credit program and make a real difference in the lives of our patients.
Time is limited for the tax credit opportunity. Pre-applications for 2019 will be accepted beginning October 1 of 2018 for 2019 taxes. The $60 million cap for the 2018 tax year was reached in a few short weeks – and we expect the same for 2019.

Let’s Talk.
Would you like to speak to someone from Miller County Hospital about this program and how we will use any funds donated to our organization through the tax credit program? If so, we’d love the opportunity to talk with you!

Interested? Click here to learn more and access your tax credit application. Once the cap allowed by the State of Georgia is reached, no other applications will be accepted; if you’d like to make a difference with your dollars, please act now.


Five Star Rating for Miller Nursing Home

Miller Nursing Home received a 5-Star Rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services! What does this mean? Officially, it is a quality rating assigned after inspections to help patients and family members make informed choices and to help facilities know where improvement is needed. Unofficially, it means we are beaming with pride that the hard work of our staff and excellent resident care has been recognized by the inspection team! Miller Nursing Home provides long-term ventilator and dialysis care as well as traditional resident care with care, compassion, and skill.

Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average.  Factors included in the rating system include  ratings for Health Inspections over the previous two years; Staffing is rated and takes into consideration average number of care hours provided to each resident by nursing staff and Quality Measures that factors in 16 different physical and clinical measures to offer information about how well residents’ needs are being met.

Shawn Wittaker, 2017 Nurse Executive of the Year

Shawn Whittaker, RN, of Miller County Hospital/Hospital Authority of Miller County, was selected by HomeTown Health, LLC as the recipient of the 2017 Nurse Executive of the Year award at the HomeTown Health 18th Annual Fall Conference held at Callaway Gardens October 18-20, 2017.

Shawn was selected for providing exceptional leadership by adopting “Best Practices” for rural hospital improvement, for her well-established commitment to staff education and leadership development, and her dedication to superior patient care while emphasizing technological advances at her facility.

“This award is presented each year by HomeTown Health to a Chief Nursing Officer who exhibits extraordinary talents and skills in positively influencing the delivery of rural health care in Georgia. Shawn has given tirelessly to leading her department, being an integral part of her hospital’s continued drive to successful provision of care and service lines, has engaged with new staff as services expanded at her facility, and has never lost her dedication to superior patient care experiences. She’s a vital piece of the puzzle at Miller County Hospital.” said HomeTown’s CEO Jimmy Lewis.

About HomeTown Health:

HomeTown Health, LLC was formed in 1997 and is an organization of more than 70 rural and small hospitals, located throughout the southeast, which collectively pursues ways to help our hospitals survive in this environment of tremendous budget cuts from the state and federal level. The mission of HomeTown Health is to ensure that rural healthcare is preserved at the local community level wherever possible and that a continuum of care is available to the rural populations. For more information, visit

For more information contact:
Jimmy Lewis, CEO HomeTown Health, LLC

Long Term Ventilator Care Facility in Georgia

Miller Nursing Home in Colquitt, Georgia, offers long-term ventilation care for patients from Georgia and other states. In 2010, Miller Nursing Home became the second ever facility in Georgia to house a ventilator unit on campus. Then, in 2015, our facility became the very first nursing home in Georgia to provide onsite dialysis (hemodialysis) to our ventilator-dependent patients if needed.

Because of the limited number of facilities that care for ventilator patients, caregivers and providers often have trouble locating a facility that is not several states away. Keeping these ventilator-dependent residents close to their loved ones throughout their entire treatment is of paramount importance to us. We strive for all-encompassing treatment for our residents experiencing respiratory issues and requiring ventilator care and possible long-term placement.

Miller Nursing Home is a Medicare and Medicaid approved and licensed long-term care facility currently housing 107 beds, as well as a 50-bed specialty unit specifically for our ventilator-dialysis patients. Our grounds are also connected to a 25-bed critical access hospital, specializing in immediate diagnostic and acute health care services. Our interdisciplinary staff of workers in the post-illness rehabilitation unit communicates personally with our patients to craft a treatment and recovery plan, custom fitted to each patient.

To be eligible for placement in our mechanical ventilation program, the potential patient must meet a few requirements, all outlined on our website. Ready to learn more? Click here!

Wound Care Clinic

Grace Moore, an active 93-year-old, fell a little over a year ago and ended up with a wound on her ankle. She didn’t show it to anyone and the initial injury progressed to a significant wound with infection that required medical attention. Her primary care physician, Dr. Bennett, referred her to Dr. Michael Clifford and the Miller County Wound Care Clinic for treatment.

“Dr. Clifford, Markesha, and the entire team at Miller County Wound Care Clinic are fantastic,” said Tommy Moore, Grace’s son. “From the very beginning throughout the entire treatment period of almost a year, they took great care of our mother.”

Tommy says Dr. Clifford explained the situation to his mother and told the family it was going to be a fairly long process to treat and hopefully heal the wound. “And he was right,” Tommy said. “It took almost a year to heal. But in that time we grew to really have a personal relationship with Markesha Groomes, the clinic manager; Dr. Clifford, and everyone on the team – and the care was superb. In fact, while we’re glad the wound is healed, we miss seeing everyone!”

Each Thursday, Mrs. Moore would go to the clinic for treatment, cleaning, and fresh bandages. “They were so patient with our mother,” Tommy said. “They helped turn a bad event into a great experience.”

If you have a wound from an injury, surgery or chronic medical condition such as diabetes or poor circulation or from other causes, the expert team at Miller Wound Care Clinic is ready to help. A physician referral is required; but if you need a referral, please contact us and we will put you in touch with a physician to evaluate your wound care needs. For more information, please call 229-758-5907 or email

Ventilator Patient Spotlight

Ten years ago, when Hugh Wilson was diagnosed with cancer, he and his wife, Debbie were prepared to fight. After years of chemotherapy and radiation, Hugh was doing well by all accounts – until this past March. At that time, because of the long-term effects radiation had on Hugh’s esophagus, it was determined he needed a feeding tube.

Being from Atlanta, Hugh and Debbie checked into a facility in the city for the procedure and ended up being there for about 2 ½ weeks. In the rehabilitation center in Atlanta, Hugh developed a serious infection landing him in the ICU and rendering him in need of additional care. It was determined that Hugh, 78, was too weak to go back home, but needed a long-term ventilation care facility.

Debbie did her research and after reading reviews in US News & World Report and state inspection records in Georgia, she determined Miller County Hospital and Miller Nursing Home’s long-term ventilation care program was the only place she would trust with Hugh’s care.

The first phase of Hugh’s journey to reach his goal of returning home with his wife began in Miller County Hospital’s swing bed unit. All of the Miller County Hospital staff involved in Hugh’s rehabilitation meet weekly to discuss his individualized plan of care. Hugh’s wife, along with any family members, are involved in this meeting – their input is valued and respected by the whole team; these meetings take place for all patients as part of their care.

If any of our ventilator patients or ventilator/dialysis patients do not have returning home as their goal, they will most likely be transferred to Miller Nursing Home, which is attached to the hospital by a secure hallway. This unique physical feature makes the transition of care much easier for the patient. At Miller Nursing Home, the ventilator patients will have the same level of care provided by expertly trained physical, occupational and speech therapists; respiratory therapists, and nursing staff. In fact, some of the very same staff who provide treatment in the hospital are part of the ventilator care team at Miller Nursing Home. The care team has established an excellent process to ensure continuity of care at these two facilities.

“Hugh’s care has been unbelievable here at Miller County Hospital,” says Debbie. “We have no regrets at all. People in this hospital display kindness and care nothing like I’ve ever experienced.”

Though Miller County’s facilities happen to be located in a more rural part of the state, Debbie says there is nothing even close to comparable as far as the kindness, attention to detail, and overall care Hugh receives anywhere in the Atlanta area. She attributes a lot of this to Hugh’s physician, Dr. Garrett Bennett.

“Dr. Bennet comes around with his PA and spends as much time with you as you need and want,” continues Debbie. “He is personable and an excellent doctor.”

Debbie also commends the physical therapy staff as well as the dieticians. “The dieticians work carefully with Hugh’s dietary needs – you couldn’t as for anything more. And the physical therapy he receives is excellent. This place is his best shot.”

If you or your loved one are in need of a long-term ventilation care facility, we welcome you to contact us for a tour to experience for yourself the satisfaction that the Wilsons have found at our facility. Call 229.758.4229 to speak to our Admissions Counselor or learn more here.

Need More Information?

If you have any more questions about the services at Miller County Hospital, please, contact us here.