Marietta, Ga. (April 29, 2024) – Wellstar Foundation raised $1.2 million to support innovation and advancement across Wellstar women’s health services during its 25th Anniversary Wellstar Grand Gala on April 20 at The St. Regis Atlanta. This year’s event resulted in the highest dollar amount raised in the event’s 25-year history and honored outstanding clinical partners and philanthropists Dr. David L. Parks, Dr. Mark McLaughlin and The Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation.

Sponsored by ApolloMD, Bank of America and Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, the sold-out black-tie event was emceed for the third year by Condace Pressley, director of community and public affairs at WSB-TV and a member of the Wellstar Foundation Board of Trustees. Special guests joined 600 corporate and community partners from across Georgia, including Atlanta Hawks Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, a long-time friend and ambassador for Wellstar. Additionally, Naima Bond, a Wellstar doula, shared a story highlighting the importance of personalized care throughout pregnancy, and Amy Hartley, a breast cancer survivor who received family-centered care from Wellstar, was celebrated in the room.

Wellstar Chief of Women’s Health Dr. Paula Greaves emphasized the many women’s healthcare challenges and the solutions needed, especially for issues impacting maternal mortality. “Georgia ranks among the worst states in the nation for maternal mortality,” said Greaves. “Disproportionately, Black and Brown women are 3-4 times more likely to die from childbirth, and we need to change that.”

Julie Teer, Wellstar Foundation President, echoed. “Georgia ranks 43rd out of 50 in the nation for maternal deaths. It does not have to be this way. In fact, 89% of these deaths are preventable,” said Teer. “For too many women in communities around our state, there is a lack of access to care, especially preventative care and screenings that can be lifesaving. At Wellstar, we’re doing something about it.”

Screenings and diagnostics play a critical role in improving outcomes through prevention and early detection of diseases, allowing treatments to start sooner. Wellstar is focused on delivering new and expanding existing ways to improve women’s health. From providing free prenatal care to anyone who will deliver a baby at Wellstar to offering vouchers for screenings and diagnostic services like mammograms to ensuring access to preventative care and cancer detection for all women, Wellstar is not only uniquely positioned but committed to serving the diverse needs of women across Georgia.

Dr. David Parks, an otolaryngologist, physician and surgeon with Wellstar Medical Group, was celebrated and honored with the Physician of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Parks’ love for his profession, exceptional care for his patients, and dedication to Wellstar is unmatched. In 2017, Dr. Parks and his wife gave generous gifts to the Wellstar Foundation supporting cancer care and the trauma emergency department at Wellstar Kennestone Medical Center, including funding a portion of renovations at the Cancer Center.

Dr. Mark McLaughlin, a radiation oncologist, was honored as the Physician of the Year. An inspired leader who continually pursues ways to bring the highest quality care to Wellstar and our patients, Dr. McLaughlin’s advocacy helped bring technology like the Cyberknife, life-changing cancer innovation that delivers radiation in 1-5 treatment days, to Wellstar. Today, Wellstar is the only health system in Georgia and the second busiest Cyberknife in the nation offering this leading-edge treatment.

The Kevin and Brittany Kisner Foundation was recognized as the Philanthropist of the Year for their generosity and heart for children. Through their foundation, Kevin and Brittany have generously pledged contributions to Children’s Hospital of Georgia exceeding $5.3M to establish a pediatric behavioral health and wellness center of excellence that will serve children and families throughout Georgia.

Wellstar is a nonprofit health system and is nationally recognized as a leader in healthcare innovation. Serving more than 1.4 million Georgians, Wellstar is the largest provider of charity care in the state and the second-highest provider of charity care in the nation. Wellstar Grand Gala proceeds support the Wellstar Foundation and Wellstar’s commitment to improve health outcomes for women today and for generations to come. To make a tax-deductible donation or for information on future Foundation events and corporate partnerships, visit



Through corporate and community partnership, the Wellstar Foundation fuels innovation and action to address the vital needs of diverse communities in Georgia. As the philanthropic arm to Wellstar Health System, the Foundation is transforming healthcare by enhancing health equity, innovation and technology, behavioral health and workforce development. Every dollar donated funds the mission and initiatives addressing the most pressing healthcare needs in Georgia. To learn more, visit or call 770-956-GIVE (4483).


At Wellstar, people are at the center of everything we do. A nonprofit community healthcare system, we are nationally recognized for our personal, high-quality care, inclusive culture, and exceptional doctors and team members. We provide access to compassionate, high-quality care through our: 11 hospitals; 325+ medical office locations; 11 cancer centers; 91 rehabilitation centers; 35 imaging centers; 18 urgent care locations; five health parks; three hospice facilities and one retirement village. Wellstar thoughtfully invests 100% of every dollar we make into initiatives that create healthier communities. To learn more about how we care for the communities we serve,