Hospitalists Services - St. Mary's Hospital and Health Care System


What is a Hospitalist?
A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital. Most hospitalists are general internal medicine physicians, family practice physicians, or pediatricians.

What is Athens Hospitalist Services (AHS)?
Located in St. Mary’s Hospital, Athens Hospitalists Services is an independent group of board certified internal medicine physicians dedicated to patient satisfaction.  AHS hospitalists serve as a liaison between St. Mary’s medical staff and primary care physicians when patients can no longer be cared for in an office setting.

How is my Primary Care Physician Included?
To ensure seamless patient care, St. Mary's hospitalists keep your primary care physician informed of your status during your time in the hospital and are on call 24 hours a day for any questions or emergencies.  Upon your discharge from the hospital, St. Mary’s Hospitalists also work with your primary care physician to arrange further treatment, follow-ups, prescribe necessary medications and send medical records to your physician. St. Mary’s hospitalists see private patients of community physicians. These physicians have a written agreement for their patients to come to St. Mary’s.

What if I do not have a primary care physician?
Some patients may not have a primary care physician.  If this is the case, St. Mary’s Hospitalists will help these patients find a primary care doctor before they leave the hospital. This allows patients to receive seamless, quality care.

How does the St. Mary's hospitalist learn about me and my condition?
Our hospitalists talk to your primary care physician on a frequent basis. At the time of your admission to the hospital, your primary care physician calls and informs us of your condition and sends over records to provide as much information as possible about your illness. The process is similar to what your physician does when he/she refers you to a specialist for another opinion or additional tests or treatments. During the course of your hospitalization, a St. Mary's hospitalist and your primary care physician may talk further regarding your treatment. At discharge we will communicate with your primary care physician to discuss any further treatment needs, help arrange follow-up, prescribe necessary medications and send hospital records to your primary care physician's office.

(For information on St. Mary's NeuroHospitalists (Drs. Morris, Smith, and Morgan), please click HERE.


Meet our Team!

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BerryStephen Berry, MD
 Chief Medical Informatics Officer

Dr. Berry joined Athens Hospitalist Services in July 2010. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Zoology from The University of Georgia in 1988 and a Master's Degree in Exercise Science from Georgia State University in 1991. After finishing medical school at The Medical College of Georgia, he completed his residency at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Berry remained at UAB as Chief Medical Resident from 1998-1999. He practiced 8 years of traditional Internal Medicine and then became a Hospitalist. Dr. Berry is an Atlanta native and lives in Gainesville, GA with his wife and three children. Dr. Berry currently serves as Chief Medical Informatics Officer for St. Mary's Health Care System.

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Stephane Conte, MD

Conte Hospitalist
 Geriatric Specialist

Dr. Conte joined Athens Hospitalist Services in July 2011. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Miami in 1998. He attended Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he earned his medical degree in 2004. Dr. Conte completed the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship in 2002, and completed his Internal Medicine residency training at Lutheran Medical Center in New York City, New York in 2007. He then graduated from fellowship training in Geriatrics in 2008 at New York University. Dr. Conte was in private practice prior to moving to Athens with his family.


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Chris Hall, MD
Hall AHS Medical Director

Dr. Hall received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Chemistry from Tulane University, New Orleans, LA in 1990.  He attended Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA where he earned his Medical Degree in 1995.  His internship and residency in Internal Medicine were completed at The Medical College of Georgia in 1998.  He served as the Chief of Medical Residents at MCG for the next year.  He then returned to Atlanta where he was the Senior Medical Associate at the Emory Clinic until joining Athens Hospitalist Services in 2003. Dr. Hall currently serves as Medical Director for the practice.

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Thai Vinh Le, DC, MD
Dr.-Le3 Hospitalist

Dr. Le joined Athens Hospitalist Services in September of 2012. In June 2012, he completed his residency at AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, NJ. He completed his Doctor of Chiropractor degree at Southern California University, Whittier, California in 2000. He went on to medical School at Our Lady of Fatima University in the Philippines in 2007.He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.

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Robert Meyer, MD
Dr-Meyer4 Hospitalist
 Lead Faculty for Internal Medicine Residency Program

Dr. Meyer, a native of Athens, joined Athens Hospitalist Services in 2008. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from The Citadel, Charleston, SC in 1995 and received his MD from the Medical College of Georgia in 1999. He subsequently received a commission in the United States Navy and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth in Portsmouth, VA. He served on active duty as a physician from 1999 until 2008. He is certified in Palliative Care, trained in Hyperbaric Medicine and is active in acute inpatient rehabilitation medicine. He is a key faculty member for our Internal Medicine Residency Program that will accept its first residents in July 2015.

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Bruce Middendorf, MD
B-Middendorf AHS President
 Chief Medical Officer, St. Mary’s Health Care System

Dr. Middendorf came to Athens from Orchard Park, N.Y. with his wife and four children to establish the hospitalist program at St. Mary’s Health Care System, in 2002, which has now grown to 10 Board Certified Physicians.  In September 2008, he became the Chief Medical Officer for St. Mary’s Hospital. Dr. Middendorf earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and trained at Millard Fillmore Hospitals, becoming board certified in Internal Medicine.  Subsequently, he became director of the Outpatient Department, Chief of Primary Care, and then Assistant Program Director for the Internal Medicine residency training program there.  He then worked as an emergency physician and Director at Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw, N.Y. for 12 years developing their emergency medicine program. 

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Jaideep Patel, MD
Patel Hospitalist
 Medical Director, Hospice & Palliative Care, St. Mary’s Health Care System

Dr. Patel joined Athens Hospitalist Services in 2002.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi.  Dr. Patel completed medical school in 1999 at the University Of Mississippi School Of Medicine in Jackson, MS.  Dr. Patel completed his internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.  He is also the Director of Palliative Care & Hospice for St. Mary’s Health Care System.

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Adam Traill, DO
Traill Hospitalist
 Chief, Department of Medicine, St. Mary’s Health Care System

Dr. Traill joined Athens Hospitalist Services in August 2004.  He graduated from The University of Florida in 1997 with a Bachelor’s in Microbiology.  From 1997 to 2001 he attended The University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, MO, where he earned his medical degree.  His Internal Medicine residency was at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2001 to 2004.  He is Chief of the Department of Medicine at St. Mary’s Health Care System.

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Lela Ward, MD

Dr. Lela Ward joined Athens Hospitalist Services in August 2014. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics from The University of Georgia in 2006. After finishing her medical school at The Medical College of Georgia, she completed her residency at Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Ward was Chief Resident from July 2013 through June 2014. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. Dr. Ward is a native of Madison, Georgia. She and her husband returned to Madison upon joining Athens Hospitalist Services.