The following message is shared on behalf of AU Medical Center CEO Lee Ann Liska.
If you park in the parking decks that service AU Medical Center, CHOG or our clinics, chances are you’ve seen our patients, families and visitors circling through searching for an open parking space. How frustrating that must be to face a medical issue or come to visit a loved one in the hospital and also have to worry about parking.
As a pioneer in Patient- and Family-Centered Care, we should put our patients and families first. The patient experience begins upon arrival, and we need to alleviate parking problems for our patients, families and guests. This one amenity says a lot about how important they are to us.
As I’ve mentioned previously in my weekly newsletter, we have been studying the parking situation in parking decks Deck 1 (15th Street), Deck 2 (MOB), and Deck 3 (CHOG). Unfortunately, the results show that of 2,126 available parking spaces, only 947 spaces are allocated for patients, families and guests.
To this end, we must ask ourselves, “What message are we sending to our patients and families?”
By addressing patient parking in our decks, there is a clear opportunity to improve the experience of our patients by improving their access to the facilities where they receive care.
As part of Augusta University’s overarching parking program, this past October we began the process of reassigning a significant number of employees who currently park in the decks to perimeter parking areas on the Health Sciences campus. In October, 209 employees were moved to spaces that recently were opened in Lot 55, across from the Annex building in the former Kroger parking lot. Beginning Dec. 15, 200 more employees will be moved to spaces in Lot 30, across from the 15th Street parking deck. Additionally, as new parking areas become available, we will continue the process of reassigning approximately 150 employees to perimeter parking lots.
We certainly understand that we are asking our employees to not only make a sacrifice for our patients, but to also adjust the timing and destination of your daily commute. However, we want to assure you that we are working to make the transition as safe, convenient and efficient as possible.
To this end, we have:
- Added an additional JagExpress shuttle between Lot 55, the West Entrance and the medical center/Medical Office Building drop-off, operating Monday – Friday, 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. – 12 a.m.
- Extended the hours of the current JagExpress Green/Gold shuttles route to 9 p.m. every weekday.
- Bolstered our Public Safety patrols to provide coverage of the perimeter parking areas during key times throughout the business day.
- Completed a light study and added lights in perimeter parking areas to ensure adequate overhead illumination is provided.
- Created a feedback form where employees may voice concerns, ask questions or report any issues.
All employees identified for reassignment during December will receive individual communications detailing additional information about your new parking allocation. As we work to identify and ready additional perimeter parking areas, we will communicate updates via PAWS, JagWire News, and email to keep everyone informed.
We appreciate your compassion for our patients, as well as your patience as we work to demonstrate our best efforts in Patient- and Family-Centered Care.
Lee Ann Liska
AU Medical Center, CEO