Monroe County Hospital Board Member Receives Prestigious Georgia Award | Best Of
Aretha Neal, long-time member of the Board of Trustees for Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth, was presented with one of the Georgia Hospital Association’s (GHA) highest honors, the Distinguished Service Award. Neal, who received the award at the association’s annual convention Feb. 13 in Atlanta, was recognized for her nearly three decades of contributions to the well-being of her community and the preservation of the local health care delivery system.
Neal served continuously on the board from 1984 until her retirement on Dec. 31, 2012.
As a long-time board member, Neal has mentored the professional growth of many other members and four different hospital administrators. A number of hospital and health personnel also look to her as a role model and advisor.
Neal is a lifelong community member and is known for the amazing work she has done in promoting the cause of good community health. Over the years, she served in every officer position on the Board and witnessed many developments in the local health care community and the hospital field at large. She led the oversight of many of these developments, facing the challenge of meeting the needs of the community in a safe and effective manner. She was heavily involved in the growth of Monroe County Hospital services including surgical care; imaging modalities; rehabilitation services; physician recruitment; a rural health center; care and comfort to the indigent and medically needy; and community health fair events.
“Aretha Neal’s passion for rural health has benefited Monroe County Hospital and its patients for many years,” said Joseph Parker, president of GHA. “Her advocacy efforts have contributed tremendously to the well-being of her community and the expansion of Monroe County Hospital’s services. She is well respected, both locally and statewide, and is a most-deserving recipient of this award.”
Candidates for this annual award are hospital trustees or community leaders who have made significant contributions to improving health care in Georgia.
Established in 1929, GHA is the state’s largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its 174 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia’s citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.