St. Mary's Sacred Heart

(706) 356-7800
367 Clear Creek Parkway  •  Lavonia, GA 30553

AGCS expanding surgical services at Sacred Heart

Drs. Shirley and Mejias providing surgical care in Lavonia

Lavonia, Ga. – Athens General and Colorectal Surgeons, a St. Mary’s Medical Group practice, has expanded surgical services at St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital. For the first time in several years, surgeons are available for scheduled and emergency procedures during the day, Monday through Friday.

Dr. Sergio Mejias and Dr. Steve Shirley

Steve Shirley, M.D., a native of Franklin County, began practicing part-time at Sacred Heart in the summer of 2018. He has now been joined by longtime Athens surgeon Sergio Mejias, M.D. The two surgeons are rotating weeks at Sacred Heart, providing office consultations and follow-up care, elective surgical procedures, and emergency surgical coverage on weekdays.

“This is a great day for our hospital and the communities we serve,” said Jeff English, President of St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital. “Both of these surgeons are highly experienced, local physician leaders who provide top-quality care.”

English noted that both surgeons are board certified and together have more than 50 years of experience in traditional and minimally invasive procedures. Both earned their medical degrees and completed their residencies and surgical fellowships at Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia.

“The mission of St. Mary’s Health Care System is to be a transforming, healing presence in the communities we serve, and the expansion of St. Mary’s Medical Group surgical services in the Sacred Heart area is an example of how we are constantly working as a network to bring improved access to care for patients in our rural areas,” said Brittainy Horne, Vice President of Physician Services and Strategic Development for St. Mary’s Health Care System.

“Having this team at Sacred Heart elevates our surgical services program to a whole new level,” English said. “More patients will be able to receive the care they need locally, reducing the need for transfers to a distant city and eliminating the stress, time and expense of travel for patients and their families.”

An added benefit, English noted, is that Sacred Heart’s increased surgical capability will promote economic development in and around Franklin County. “Any time you can advance the service line offerings of a rural hospital, you make the community more appealing to businesses, industries, retirees, and the work force,” he said.

Services provided by Drs. Mejias and Shirley include the surgical and non-surgical treatment of conditions affecting the breast, thyroid, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, appendix, and colon, among others. They also provide hernia repair, colonoscopy and upper endoscopy services, as well as the surgical treatment of hemorrhoids. In addition, Dr. Mejias has robotic surgery privileges at St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens.

Sacred Heart Hospital is equipped and staffed to provide inpatient and outpatient surgeries, post-anesthesia care, and recovery services, with critical care services available when needed. In addition, the hospital provides a continuum of care to help with everything from diagnosis to recovery, including imaging capabilities such as ultrasound and CT, laboratory services, and rehabilitation services.

Athens General and Colorectal Surgeons’ Lavonia office is located in the Sacred Heart Medical Services Building at 367 Clear Creek Parkway, Suite 1007. As part of St. Mary’s Medical Group, AGCS accepts most major insurance plans and Medicare. For more information, call 706.548.5488 or visit

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