Jun. 10—The Institute for Executive Women recently announced the first recipient of the newly-established Dr. Michelle R. Johnston Award for Servant Leadership.
Angelo Ammons, who serves as CEO of Clinch Memorial Hospital in Homerville, will be the inaugural award winner.
Ammons will be the keynote speaker during a virtual Women's Power Breakfast hosted Friday by the institute.
The Dr. Michelle R. Johnston Award for Servant Leadership award, named for the current president of College of Coastal Georgia, is designed to recognize and honor women who have sacrificed self for others, relied on innovation to overcome immense challenges and made heroic efforts to transform their communities.
"I am truly honored to be recognized for this award," Ammons said. "While we have faced many challenges in the wake of being a rural hospital in a climate of economic uncertainty, COVID almost closed our doors, yet we have found a business model to survive and thrive. I am thankful for the wisdom and support from another woman hospital CEO who helped us develop a pathway toward growth."
Ammons, who earned her associate of science in nursing degree at CCGA, began working at Clinch Memorial Hospital in 2017, when the hospital was on the brink of closure. To keep the facility open and prevent residents of the rural area from having to travel out of town for health services, Ammons reached out to other CEOs in similar situations and asked for advice.
She then developed a new business model and brought in new talented health care workers. She succeeded in saving the hospital from closing.
"What makes this story so incredible is that Ms. Ammons had never run a hospital before," said Catherine Blake, president and founder for the Institute for Executive Women, an organization that aims to connect women in order to develop community and encourage mentoring. "Determination and grit combined with fighting for her community led her to seeking the wise counsel of peers for ideas. Putting her ego aside, focusing on the needs of others and being fearless to try something new were what saved Clinch Memorial Hospital. And it worked — what a story!"
Ammons is originally from Macon. In addition to her work at the hospital, she is the founder of a nonprofit organization that plans to build and sustain a free medical clinic in San Antonio, Intibuca Honduras.
Ammons was named Hospital Leader of the Year by HomeTown Health in 2018, and Clinch Memorial Hospital was recognized by HomeTown Health as Hospital of the Year for 2019. In November 2020, she and the hospital were featured in a story in TIME Magazine that details some of the struggles that she faced and how she attributes her success to collaboration with a strong mentor.
The Women's Power Breakfast will take place from 9-10 a.m. Friday via video. Advanced registration is required and can be completed by contacting the institute at 770-883-1117. The event is free.