University Health Care System
(706) 722-9011

About University

James R. Davis, president and CEO of University Health Care System.

University Health Care System is anchored by the 581-bed University Hospital, and serves Augusta-Richmond County and the surrounding region. University Hospital is governed by the Board of Trustees of University Health Services, which serves voluntarily to help ensure that our patients have quality medical services. Founded in 1818 as City Hospital, the hospital was first located on the 100 block of Greene Street. University has since moved through four facilities to its present location, which opened in 1970. Over the years, the campus has expanded to include the Heart & Vascular Institute and office buildings that house more than 600 private practice physicians and various treatment centers. University's second site, University Hospital McDuffie, moved to its brand new location in 2015 to serve the residents of Thomson and McDuffie County.

University has a long history as a leader in delivering cardiovascular, cancer and women's services. We developed the area's first outpatient cardiac catheterization and performed the region's first angioplasty. We opened the area's first Breast Health Center and put the area's first Mobile Mammography Unit on the road, giving more women in our community access to breast cancer screening.

Our W.G. Watson, M.D., Women's Center features 36 obstetrical suites and state-of-the-art surgical suites dedicated for obstetrical and gynecological patients. The center has a well-baby nursery and a 40-bed Level III Special Care Nursery offering neonatal intensive care to our smallest and most critically ill infants.

The Heart & Vascular Institute, a 188,000-square-foot cardiovascular center with 72 universal inpatient suites, is the largest, most comprehensive center of its kind in the region and offers a full range of heart and vascular care, from diagnosis to rehabilitation.

Recognizing the need to serve more of the community closer to home, University has established medical centers in South Richmond County and expanded services in Columbia County to include medical office buildings, a joint-venture diagnostic imaging center, a skilled nursing facility, a joint venture Day Surgery Center and Prompt Care facilities. Columbia County is also the home of Brandon Wilde, widely recognized as one of the finest "Life Care" retirement communities in the nation.

University is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC), which is an independent, not-for-profit organization, established more than 50 years ago. The Joint Commission is governed by a board that includes physicians, nurses and consumers. The Joint Commission sets the standards by which health care quality is measured in America and around the world.

In addition:

  • University received 10 five-star ratings in fall 2015 from Healthgrades, the nation’s leading online resource for those looking for a physician or hospital, for the following services:
    • Pacemaker Procedures
    • Respiratory Failure (within 30 days)
    • Colorectal Surgery
    • Esophageal/Stomach Surgery
    • Hip Replacement 
    • Hip Fracture Treatment
    • Spinal Fusion
    • Total Knee Replacement
    • Pneumonia (in-hospital)
  • University Hospital is the only hospital in Georgia to be ranked as a Top 100 Hospital in America for orthpaedic and spine services by Healthgrades, the nation’s leading online resource for those looking for a physician or hospital.
  • University's "A" grade for patient safety was reaffirmed by the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score. The grades used in this program are derived from expert analysis of publicly available data using national evidence-based measures of patient safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Score program grades hospitals of their overall performance in keeping patients safe from preventable harm and medical errors. For more information, visit
  • University Hospital is ranked 30th in the nation in patient safety for overall hospital care and 43rd in the nation in medical excellence for overall hospital care by CareChex, a division of Comparion Medical Analytics, one of the nation's largest privately held health care information services companies. CareChex ranked University fifth in the nation in medical excellence for general surgery, and also recognized University as No. 1 in Georgia in overall medical care, cancer care, pneumonia care, pulmonary care, stroke care, major bowel procedures, gastrointestinal care, gallbladder removal and general surgery. CareChex also includes University among the 100 best hospitals in the nation in patient safety in 16 clinical categories.
  • In its latest rankings of Georgia hospitals, US News and World Report ranked University fifth in the state and highest among area hospitals with eight high-performing specialties: gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; orthopaedics; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; heart bypass surgery; heart failure; hip replacement; and knee replacement.
  • University is the only hospital in Augusta to receive the Magnet Award for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Magnet status is the ANCC's highest honor, and largely considered one of the highest designations that can be received for outstanding achievements in nursing.
  • University has received full Cycle 5 Accreditation with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) from the Accreditation Review Committee of the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. The Chest Pain Center at University Hospital has demonstrated its commitment to quality patient care by meeting or exceeding a wide set of stringent criteria and completing on-site evaluations by a review team from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care.
  • University has received the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award, which recognizes cancer programs that strive for excellence in providing quality care to patients. University's Cancer Services Program is the only hospital in Georgia to receive this designation. Only 95 programs, or 19 percent of the U.S. programs surveyed in late 2008, reached this level of competency.
  • University Health Care System has been honored to receive the Consumer Choice Award from the National Research Corporation (NRC) for best overall quality and image in the Augusta region every year since 1999. The Consumer Choice Award is based on an independent survey of consumers conducted by NRC to recognize the most preferred hospitals in about 190 metropolitan areas across the country. University Hospital's Breast Health Center has been accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. University has the only nationally accredited breast health center in the region and is only the second one in the state to be honored with this recognition.
  • The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a Primary Stroke Center
  • National Research Corporation Path to Excellence Award in Pain Management, Nurse Communication and Overall Hospital Experience
  • Vascular Lab reaccreditation by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories in five areas of testing
  • 123 physicians on University Hospital's Medical Staff were included on the list of Best Doctors in America.
  • The Georgia Hospital Association awarded the Distinguished Service Award to Board Chairman Lee Smith Jr. and honored W.G. Watson, M.D., as a "Hospital Hero."
  • Named the United Way of the CSRA "Top Hospital" in all three categories of giving.
  • University Hospital McDuffie was named the No. 5 "Top Small Hospital in Georgia" by Georgia Trends magazine in December 2015.

About the System

By continuously responding to the needs of the community, University Health Care System has grown into one of the largest, most comprehensive health care providers in Georgia.

University provides compassionate and skilled care through inpatient care, two extended care nursing facilities, home health and prompt care facilities and rehabilitative care programs.

  • University Health Care System is anchored on its main campus by University Hospital, a 581-bed acute care hospital.
  • University Hospital McDuffie, a 25-bed medical center accredited by the Joint Commission, is located in Thomson and serves the residents of that town as well as those throughout McDuffie County.
  • Satellite medical campuses in Martinez, Evans, Grovetown and South Augusta deliver quality health care closer to peoples' homes.
  • University offers four Prompt Care facilities in Evans, Grovetown, North Augusta and Aiken for those who need immediate care but might not be able to get in to see their primary care physician.
  • University Home Health provides physician-directed, in-home care, including skilled nursing, occupational therapy, physical and speech therapy, social work and home health aide services in 14 counties in and around the Central Savannah River Area.
  • At Kentwood Extended Care Facility, the staff strives to make residents feel at home and part of an extended family during their stay. This facility operated by University Extended Care offers 20 personal care beds and 80 nursing home beds.
  • University continues its commitment to the outpatient needs of Columbia County, and University's Evans campus has grown in 20 years to not only Medical Office Buildings, but a Surgery Center, Sleep Center, Speech and Hearing Center, Prompt Care, Occupational Medicine services and more than 20 private practice physician groups. Also featured on the University Health Care System Evans Campus are the following:
    • Westwood facility offers residents a comfortable environment designed to enhance their self-image and preserve their dignity. Westwood's separate Alzheimer's Unit is the only facility in this area that provides this level of care for people with Alzheimer's Disease.
    • Brandon Wilde, University's 250-unit retirement community in Evans, Ga., offers independent living, personal care and nursing accommodations. Residents are assured of care for life, as they may move from one level of care to another as their conditions warrant. Brandon Wilde has become one of the most respected retirement communities in the nation, having been selected five times by New Choices Magazine as one of the top 20 retirement communities in the country.

A physician-hospital partnership is essential to an integrated delivery system of health care, so University and physician leaders formed University Health Link in 1994. This Physician-Hospital Organization (PHO) is jointly owned by University Health Care System and University Physicians Associates, P.C., an independent practice association owned by its physician stakeholders. University Health Link maintains managed care contracts with area health plans that provide access to a comprehensive system of services for thousands of local employees and dependents.

University Health Care System and University Hospital are governed by volunteer boards, whose trustees are comprised of physicians and respected business leaders within our community. They give unselfishly of their time and talents to help University exceed its commitment to the community it serves.


It's a requirement. Anything less is unacceptable. Our uncompromising standards rarely go unnoticed.

Recently, the American Nurses Credentialing Center recognized University Hospital with its prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence. This national award is considered one of the highest honors in nursing and means that our patient care program is one of the best in the nation. University is the only local hospital to receive this distinction.

University Hospital has been a medical pillar in the Augusta community for nearly 200 years. In that time, we've stayed on the forefront of technology. We've taken caring to levels never before imagined. And in doing so, we've even set the standard for health care in the region.

Updated: 1-11-16
Reviewed: 11-20-14


© 2016   University Health Care System
1350 Walton Way, Augusta, Georgia
(706) 722-9011