The Macon Telegraph
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.
"We are pleased about the opportunity to work with Mercer. Healthcare continues to change and requires us to find innovative solutions for the delivery of care as well as patient outcomes," said R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. "We want to attract and influence the number and quality of individuals entering healthcare and bolster interest in the profession, which is why the nursing initiative is an ideal first step."
R. Kirby Godsey, president and CEO of Mercer University said, "Piedmont has been one of Mercer's educational partners for almost 20 years. Our pharmacy and nursing students have gained invaluable clinical experiences at its hospitals. The new Center now enables Mercer and Piedmont to broaden and enhance that strong foundational relationship through new initiatives and partnerships so the healthcare needs of Georgians can be better met for generations to come."
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.
About Piedmont Healthcare
Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, named in the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals® list in 2005 and 2002, and a 500-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead, offering all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 100-bed acute care community hospital in Fayetteville, also named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® for the second year in a row; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 35-bed community hospital in Jasper; the Piedmont Hospital Foundation; Piedmont Physicians Group, a 72-member primary care physician group with 20 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and the Piedmont Clinic, a 460-member physician network. Piedmont and
Piedmont Fayette Hospitals were the only two Georgia hospitals on the 2005 list of 100 Top Hospitals. For more information, visit www.piedmont.org.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a private, faith-based institution that has a national reputation of scholastic excellence, with rigorous academic programs, innovative teaching and time-honored values that embrace reason, responsibility, compassion and character. A dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education, the University has 7,300 students; 1,300 faculty and staff; 10 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology and nursing; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press that has published more than 1,000 volumes; four academic libraries; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a budget of more than $150 million; an endowment of more than $180 million; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.