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June 11, 2009                                                                                               Joye Burton

DCH Announces New Healthcare Facility Regulation Division and Leadership 

ATLANTA – Dr. Rhonda Medows, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), announced that the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS), a division of the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR), will now function as a division within DCH under the new name, Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR), effective July 1.  The transition is in response to Senate Bill 433, which instructs DHR to transfer all matters relating to the licensure and regulation of hospitals and health related institutions.  

“The realignment is to ensure that Georgians are receiving the highest quality of care, ultimately leading to better health outcomes,” said Dr. Medows.  “The Department will utilize the vast knowledge and expertise of three individuals who will now lead the division and ensure that we are meeting the highest professional standards.” 

The leadership for the newly formed division includes Doug Colburn, who will serve as Division Chief, Leslee Pool, who has been named Deputy Chief of Complaints and Investigations Unit, and Sharon King, who will be Deputy Chief of Survey/Certification Unit. 

“The transfer of these sections will ensure that Georgians are able to access quality and affordable health care services across the state,” said Doug Colburn.  “We are confident that this transformation will improve the quality of the state’s health care delivery system and allow us to protect our most vulnerable citizens.”   

In addition to hospitals, HFR will license and regulate nursing homes, home health agencies, private duty home care, personal care homes, and personal care home employee record checks.    

Prior to becoming the first Chief of HFR, Mr. Colburn worked with DCH as the Director of Transition since October of 2008.  He concentrated his efforts in moving both ORS and Public Health from DHR to DCH. 

Previously, he was with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in the Medicaid Integrity Group, and before that, with DCH as the Director of Program Integrity and its first Inspector General.  Mr. Colburn has also held positions with the Cobb County Juvenile Court and the City of Smyrna Police Department.  

Mr. Colburn received his Master of Science in Conflict Management and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Public and Social Services from Kennesaw State University.  He is also a Peace Officer Standards and Training certified officer and instructor.  Mr. Colburn has been an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and is a faculty member with the Medicaid Integrity Institute for the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina.   

As the first Deputy Chief of Complaints and Investigations Unit of HFR, Ms. Pool will administer all of the complaint investigations and all operational parts of the division.  The complaints group responds to allegations pertaining to quality of care in all of the regulated facilities.  A rapid response team is also part of this section. 

Before coming to DCH, Ms. Pool was the Deputy Director of ORS.  She worked with key managers to develop and implement strategies, goals, and objectives to achieve mission of DHR and ORS and she assisted the director in managing daily activities and challenges of the office, including serving as director in the absence of the director, responsive to the deputy commissioner and commissioner.  Earlier in her career, she served in service and management capacities with the Division of Public Health, at Grady Memorial Hospital, and with the Division of Mental Health at Brook Run/Georgia Retardation Center. 

Ms. Pool has an MS in Audiology and Communication Disorders from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  She also holds a BS Education degree in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Virginia. 

In her new role as the first Deputy Chief of Survey/Certification Unit of HFR, Ms. King will be responsible for the periodic surveys required by CMS as well as those done to comply with state statute.  Her group will also conduct initial surveys for certification and work closely with the Certificate of Need program.  Any provider requesting a waiver of the rules will submit it through her section.  Previously, Ms. King served as the DCH’s Project Manager for the transition. 

Prior to this position, Ms. King was an attorney with the law firm of Hall, Booth, Smith & Slover P.C., specializing in Health Care Law.  While at that law firm, she served as the Healthcare Section Practice Group Leader.  She represented health care clients in federal and state regulatory matters.  During her years of law practice, Ms. King also served as General Counsel to Ridgeview Institute, Inc. in Smyrna, Georgia and as a Judicial Staff Attorney to the Honorable Denise Majette, Former Judge, DeKalb County State Court. 

Ms. King is a member of the State Bar of Georgia Health Care Section and serves on the Alumni Board for the Mercer Law School; Board of Directors for the Foster Children’s Foundation, Incorporated; and is on the Board of Directors for the Northeast Atlanta School of Ballet.  Ms. King is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Gwinnett. 

Ms. King received her Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University and her Bachelors of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University.# # # # 

~Iris McIlvaine

Public Information and Program Manager

Office of Communications




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