Piedmont and Mercer Announce Partnership
June 3, 2005
ATLANTA, GA., June 3, 2005 -- Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University have formed a partnership that will create a number of joint initiatives, including nursing, pharmacy, research and other medical and allied health education programs as part of a Center for Health and Learning.
While the partnership is not exclusive, both institutions have identified potential areas of collaboration. Piedmont Healthcare aims to enhance its teaching environment and expand on-campus research that is focused on outcomes and improved patient care. Piedmont also seeks increased access to students and potential employees in nursing, pharmacy and other allied health fields. Long-term, Piedmont hopes to establish unique hospital/university integrated programs.
Mercer University seeks to establish a more vigorous research presence and to deepen program offerings in nursing and pharmacy. Mercer also expects to broaden its medical residency program. In addition, Mercer aims to broaden its non-clinical education programs, such as chaplaincy, health management and health law.
One of the first initiatives under the Center for Health and Learning will be a collaborative nursing partnership between Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University and Piedmont. This partnership will help recruit, educate and ultimately place more nurses at Piedmont and in the community at large. Georgia is expected to need 80,000 nurses by 2020 to meet the state's healthcare needs. Current projections estimate there will be only 48,000 nurses, 40 percent below what will be needed.
The nursing partnership will include efforts to increase the number of nursing graduates, an enhanced nursing clinical practice at Piedmont, and additional faculty opportunities. Piedmont and Mercer will share resources and costs, hold community activities to promote healthcare/nursing careers and establish an annual nursing research conference. A Piedmont Scholars program is being established to attract highly qualified students to enroll at Mercer to study nursing and to receive clinical experience at Piedmont.
Mercer also has partnership agreements with two other major hospital systems: the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. The two medical centers are the teaching hospitals for the clinical education of Mercer medical students.