An Interview with Hal Coble

Hal Coble (Photo Courtesy of Adventist Health Systems)

Posted February 17, 2015

The following interview was conducted on behalf of The Chamber Report for an article featured in the December 2014 Issue. Please see this issue for the full story. Hal Coble is the Administrator of Murray Medical Center, which recently formed a partnership with Adventist Heath System.

What changes do you expect to see in the coming years with Murray Medical Center?

Murray Medical Center has had a long and storied past with many ups and downs in its operations and financial performance.  I believe the coming years will see many positive changes.  These changes will take time and will be implemented in phases. 

The first phase will be stabilization.  This includes implementation of a Health Information System that will allow Murray Medical Center to stabilize our financial reporting and management systems.  This is crucial to a hospitals’ success in this era of cost containment and electronic medical records.

The second phase will be implementation.  The staff at Murray Medical Center has maintained a level of professionalism and quality patient care through the years.  With the affiliation of Adventist Health System and more particularly Gordon Hospital, we will be able to implement strategies and policies that will pave the path to success.  Implementation happens when “the rubber meets the road”.  We, as a team of employees, are excited about getting down to work to make Murray Medical Center a hospital that the citizens of Murray County can be proud to call their hospital.

The third phase will be growth.  As healthcare continues to change, we will be changing as well to meet the needs of this community.  Growth for us will mean adding technology in the way of equipment and facilities throughout this county that will provide access to high quality healthcare to our citizens.  The next few years will see many exciting changes in the way disease and illnesses are treated.  Murray Medical Center is now positioned to take advantage of these changes.

How does the Murray County community differ from others you have worked in?

In the short time that I have been working in this community, I have gained a real respect for the people that have already touched my life.  So many places I have worked in the past have had positive attributes but nowhere have I seen a community that has so many of those as Murray County.  Family, Beauty, Seasons, Youth, Quality Education, Churches, Friendliness, Sincerity, Love, Sharing, and A Hard Work Ethic are all labels that can be assigned to what I have witnessed in this community. 

One of the attributes that sets this community apart from others where I have worked is LOYALTY.  The people of Murray County are loyal; loyal to their families, their religious beliefs, their friends and to their community.  Loyalty is rare these days.  The first place I witnessed it here was as I interviewed the employees of Murray Medical Center.  As I talked with them, I would ask each one how long they had worked at Murray Medical Center.  I was amazed at the tenure of most of the employees.  Most had worked at the hospital for 20, 30 or, in a few cases, 40 years!  That shows a level of care and loyalty to a hospital rarely seen in 2015. 

How will Adventist Health Systems implement change in order to improve the quality of service or influence in the day-to-day operations of Murray Medical Center?

We will implement change by following the example of Adventist Health System leaders over the past 43 years and implementing policies and procedures that are uniformly followed in our 45 hospitals.  Change will come by following closely our Mission and Values which consist of six strongly held principles.  They are, Our Christian Mission, Focus on Community Wellness, Quality and Service Excellence, High Ethical Standards, Compassion, and Cultural Diversity. 

Adventist Health System is a national leader in quality, safety and patient satisfaction and we look forward to working with our exceptional team of loyal employees to effect positive change in the day-to-day operations of Murray Medical Center. 

Cookies on the Corner

Posted September 5, 2014

The Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce and Amedisys Hospice of Dalton will host Cookies on the Corner on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center.

Now in its fourth year, this annual event serves to honor our veterans, emergency service workers, firefighters, police officers, current military service men and women, EMT’s and first responders, Refreshments will be served, and artwork honoring our public safety worker and veterans will be on display.

We invite all that can and will to come out in memory of those who have lost their lives and honor those who continue to give and have given the best part of their lives in service to their country.

The Chamber of Commerce is located at 126 North Third Avenue in Chatsworth.

Chamber Announces Scholarship Recipients

From left to right: Diane Arnold, Office Manager, Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce; Steve McMullen, Leonard Insurance Agency, Chamber Delegate; Jacob Hickman, North Murray High School Chamber Scholarship recipient; Domingo Bautista, Murray County High School Chamber Scholarship Recipient; Jeremy Hardin, Aflac Insurance Agency, Chamber Delegate; and Dinah Rowe, President & CEO, Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce.

August 1, 2014

The Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce awarded two Murray County School System graduates with scholarships.

Scholarship recipients Domingo Bautista of Murray County High School and Jacob Hickman of North Murray High School both plan on attending Dalton State College this fall.

Bautista was an honorable mention for the Dalton Daily Citizen's All Area Wrestling Team.  

Hickman was named one of two Star Students at North Murray High School when he tied with a fellow student for the highest SAT score. 

The Chamber was proud to present these two students with funds for their education. Members of the Chamber are partners in providing the scholarships every year. Along with their yearly dues, most businesses choose to include a voluntary donation earmarked for the Chamber's scholarship fund.

The proof of Murray County's goals for a high quality work force and continuous improvement in all business sectors is reflected in this commitment to education. The Chamber strives to work with the driven partners it has in the form of member businesses to create a climate of opportunity and fruitful enterprise that will eventually attract the talent it has cultivated in its students.

Black Bear Fesival Committee Announces First Countdown Photo Contest

Photo by Rick Davenport

July 15, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen, fans of all ages, the Black Bear Festival Committee is proud to announce their very first Countdown Photo Contest.

The 85 day countdown begins on July 25, 2014, and this year we want to see your photos and hear your memories about what makes the festival great. You can submit your photo on the festival's Facebook page or email them to murraywelcomecenter(at)

We will choose five winners throughout the contest and use their photos as part of our countdown. Winners will receive a voucher for one day's free admission to the Festival.

A winner will be announced on August 10 and 27, September 13 and 30, and October 17, 2014. The announcement will come in the form of a post on the Black Bear Festival 85 Day Countdown.

This year, the countdown will be posted on the Black Bear Festival's Facebook page and the Chamber of Commerce's Twitter feed simultaneously.

We look forward to seeing your photos, hearing your stories, and meeting again at this year's festival.

24th Annual North Georgia Mountain Christmas Parade Winners

Photo by Rick Davenport Photography

December 9, 2013

Two days worth of deluges, 16 mph winds and an overnight 30 degree drop in temperatures couldn’t stop the 24th Annual North Georgia Mountain Christmas Parade from making its way down Third Avenue in Chatsworth on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.

While the heavy rains held off for the day of the parade before setting in again on Sunday, it was the hard work and dedication of participants that set the wheels in motion on this year’s event. The week before saw local groups and organizations putting on the final touches of their floats in adverse weather conditions that could have easily dissuaded those fainter of heart.

Their hard work and dedication paid off, and the Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce this year’s North Georgia Mountain Christmas Parade Winners.

The Gladden Middle School Cheerleaders take home the Best of Theme Award for their float featuring a Red Carpet Line-Up of Christmas Movie heroes and heroines.

The Most Musical Float Award goes to Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church for their float featuring the Polar Express full of Christmas Carolers.

Murray Medial Center’s float depicted the Grinch returning to Whoville on Christmas morning with his sleigh loaded with stolen Christmas gifts and decorations. The group earned the Best of Lights Award for their entry.

Gospel Way Baptist Church earned the Best Religious award for their entry, “The Greatest Story Every Told,” featuring scenes from the life of Christ and a pageant of angels walking alongside the float.

The Murray County High School Band kept in step and won the prize for Best Walking Group.

Chatsworth Church of God spread the most Christmas cheer with their entry, “Dynasty Christmas,” proclaiming “We will not camouflage our love of Jesus,” and earning the Best Spirit Award.

The Walgreens team will take home the Most Creative Float Award for their A Christmas Story themed float complete with frozen flagpole, pink bunny pajamas, and leg lamp.

The President’s Choice Award goes to First United Methodist Church for their Elf themed entry featuring Buddy the Elf and his friends.

The award for Most Outstanding Float goes to the Murray County Rescue Squad for their Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer float. The Rescue squad puts several months’ worth of work into their float every year.

All awards apart from the Presidents Award are judged by a panel of judges from outside the Murray County Community. This year’s judges were from Gilmer and Cherokee Counties.

In addition to the prizes awarded by our judges, we will be adding a People’s Choice award. The Chamber plans to have pictures of each entry on our Facebook page by Friday, Dec.13 and the judging will take place on the page through Friday, Dec. 20. Those not on Facebook may email their vote to murraywelcomecenter(at)

The Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all parade participants and volunteers for their help in organizing the event. We would like to send special thanks out to the Murray County Sherriff’s Department, Chatsworth Police Department, and the Murray County Rescue Squad.

24th Annual North Georgia Mountain Christmas Parade Theme Announced

Photo by Rick Davenport Photography

November 1, 2013

December 7th will see the arrival of the 24th Annual North Georgia Mountain Christmas Parade on Third Avenue in Chatsworth, GA. This year’s theme is “Christmas on the Silver Screen” as submitted by Anita Thornton.

The theme includes classic Christmas movies and more recent films as well as a large range of genres. Everything from Little Drummer Boy and Miracle on 34th Street to Nightmare before Christmas and the live-action adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas is fair game in this cinematically-charged parade.

To register your entry in the Parade, stop by the Chatsworth-Eton-Murray County Chamber of Commerce to pick up an application in person, or visit to find the digital forms on the “Calendar” page.



Black Bear Festival Reflects Murray Culture

Photo by Rick Davenport Photography

October 14, 2013
Hannah Parson

The city of Chatsworth has a community spirit and drive that brings thousands into Murray County every year. From the Red and Gold Leaf Festival to the modern-day Black Bear Festival, it’s a town that has always relished in the fall season and the celebrations that come with the gathering of the harvest and the end of the summer heat.

The seventh annual Black Bear Festival will be held next weekend on October 19 and 20, and it’s the drive of the Murray communities that has positioned it to be the most diverse and colorful event the town has hosted.

The festival will start with an opening ceremony of the Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial as it makes its first stop in the North Georgia area. The ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and the memorial will be open to the public throughout the festival.

Throughout the weekend, over seventy vendors will line city streets and congregate in Chatsworth City Park. This year promises more unique and authentic displays than ever before, including chainsaw carver, working chuck wagon, carriage rides, hand crafted wood furniture and stained glass pieces, multiple artistic demonstrations from the Go Murray Arts center, and tours of the Historic Wright Hotel and Chatsworth Depot and a unique look inside the Section House located inside the park.

Events on tap for Saturday include the Black Bear Classic 5k and Fun Mile hosted by First National Community Bank at 1 p.m. According to race organizers, this is an excellent course for runners looking to set a new personal best record. 

The Black Bear Classic Car Truck, Motorcycle, and tractor show will also be Saturday, and organizer Randy Knight has worked to recruit the widest variety of vehicles that the show has ever hosted.

“We’re going to have a wide range of vehicles,” said Knight. “It doesn’t matter what their interest is; it looks like we’re going to have that vehicle.”

Car show organizers are expecting everything from antique cars and reproductions to rat-rods and street-rods, customized motorcycles, choppers, and tractors.

Tractors are a new addition to the Black Bear Classic. Murray County is still a predominantly agricultural county,” said Knight. “There’re a lot of folks like myself that remember the old tractors and would really enjoy seeing them. I think it would bring a wider audience to the car show.”

In addition to a full day of events including the race, car show, pumpkin decorating contest, and trick-or-treating, Saturday will also feature a variety of entertainment and musical performance.

Mentalist and Magician Charles Wright will astound the audience as he emcee’s the event. Musical artists such as American Idol finalist Ayala Brown and US 101 Backroads Artist Wade Trammell will take the main stage, and wrestlers will perform throughout the day.

“Entertainment at the Black bear festival is geared towards families and people of any age,” said Stephen Yuzenko, Entertainment Recruiter for the Black Bear Festival.  “While it usually has a stronger country and rock theme, the music and varied entertainment appeals to the whole family.”

Not only will the audience enjoy the Saturday line-up, but the performers will take away something from the Festival as well.

“Past performers came to Chatsworth and loved the friendly & welcoming community,” Yuzenko said. “Each year I hear from past performers who have experienced great successes from performing at the Black Bear Festival, such as signing with a major record label, to being selected to perform with major international stars, and even selling songs played at the festival for nationally broadcasted T.V. shows”

Sunday’s musical lineup will feature local gospel groups The Sluder Trio, The Wilsons, Janice Steelmon, and The Kingdom Seeks Quartet while the crafters and demonstrators will continue to be hard at work. 

Sunday’s events include a pet costume contest and parade, baking contest, and continued historic downtown tours

Come out and enjoy the Murray County community at its best. Admission is $1:00 per person. Times are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial Memorial Visits Black Bear Festival

Photo by Vincent Summers, Blue Knights GA7

October 11, 2013

The Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial is scheduled to make its first stop in Northwest Georgia area. This mobile tribute to fallen law enforcement personnel will be on display during the Black Bear Festival on October 19 and 20.

Ed Christian, President, Georgia Law Enforcement Memorial Association, said, “Our goal is for the public to realize how many names there are and what a sacrifice communities have been making throughout the state of Georgia for years.”

The Murray County Honor Guard will escort the Memorial, which bears 690 names of officers fallen in the line of duty, into it’s temporary resting place in Chatsworth City Park on Friday, October 18.

“There’s a state memorial in Forsythe and national memorial in Washington D.C. ” said Christian, “We would like to bring it to the communities. People don’t often realize how many names there are,”

In addition to the display at the festival, there will be an opening ceremony on October 19 at 10:00 a.m. Families and loved ones of the officers recognized by the memorial will have special viewing areas set aside for their visit to the memorial.

“I would like for everyone in the state of Georgia to remember our heroes who’ve been fighting the battle for the last 250 years…for everyone to remember who they are and keep those memories alive.” said Christian.

The Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial is in the care of the Blue Knight Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Georgia Chapter 7 and the Georgia Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. For Information and scheduling for your community, contact Ed Christian 404-556-1911 or eddie2909(at)

The Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial is scheduled to make its first stop in Northwest Georgia area. This mobile tribute to fallen law enforcement personnel will be on display during the Black Bear Festival on October 19 and 20.