Piedmont Healthcare President and CEO R. Timothy Stack and Mercer President William D. Underwood announced on Nov. 8 the establishment of the Piedmont Healthcare Chair in Nursing that will benefit Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer. Funded by Piedmont Healthcare by a $2.85 million grant to the Center for Health and Learning, a partnership of Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University, the Chair will support the establishment of a Ph.D. program in nursing education at Mercer.
“The changing and complex nature of health care requires us to find innovative solutions for the future delivery of care as well as patient outcomes,” said Stack. “We want to continue to bolster interest in the nursing profession, and this Ph.D. program is a natural enhancement to nursing education in general and the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program in particular.”
“Mercer is extremely fortunate to be in partnership with Piedmont Healthcare as both institutions are committed to addressing the critical health care needs of this state by educating nurses,” said President Underwood. “The Piedmont Healthcare Chair in Nursing is a tremendous gift to nursing education not only for Mercer, but also for the entire state. One of the most serious areas of need we have in health care today stems from the lack of nurses. A major factor contributing to that problem is the lack of nurse educators available to prepare nurses. This generous endowment from Piedmont Hospital will enable the college to attract faculty of the highest caliber to educate nurse educators, who, in turn, will prepare men and women for the nursing profession.”
In June 2005, Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University formed the partnership known as The Center for Health and Learning to create a number of joint initiatives, including nursing, pharmacy, research and other medical and allied health education programs. While the Center has developed a number of joint initiatives in health care, the largest focus over the past two and half years has been on nursing.
One of the first initiatives under the Center for Health and Learning was the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program, a collaborative nursing partnership between Georgia Baptist College of Nursing and Piedmont designed to help recruit, educate and ultimately place more nurses at Piedmont and in the community at large. Currently, 48 Mercer students are in the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program.