James.qxp July August 2018 web - Page 50



broad cross-section of South Georgia’s healthcare, education, economic development, political and community leadership came together in
Moultrie on April 26 for a groundbreaking ceremony for PCOM South Georgia. The celebration was held at
the 31-acre site of the new facility which is located off
Veterans Parkway and Tallokas Road.
PCOM South Georgia— an additional location of
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania— is a four-year medical program.
In fact, students from Georgia and the region are already
applying for PCOM South Georgia’s inaugural class of 55
osteopathic medicine students with classes scheduled to
begin in August of 2019.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony and commended the foresight of leaders from the
region in partnering with PCOM so that South Georgians
can be educated in the health sciences in rural Georgia and
have expanded access to “world class health care.” “I am
confident that the future of this institution, but more importantly the future of South Georgia and Georgia as a whole, is
in better hands because of people just like you,” he said.
He praised PCOM leadership for their vision in establishing the new regional campus focused on rural Georgia,
comparing the investment to former Gov. Zell Miller’s vision
of expanding the Savannah seaport.
“Today, because of that vision, what we celebrate is the
fastest growing port in the nation,” Cagle said. “We’re going
to have a groundbreaking, but this is really a commemoration
of what the future is going to look like for South Georgia.”
Bert Brantley, Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia
Department of Economic Development, also explained how
PCOM South Georgia will positively impact the region’s
health care, significantly increase the area’s competitiveness and have a definitive effect on the region’s economy.
“Any time a new physician moves into a community,
that generates not only his or her job but an additional five
jobs that come with it and a $1.6 million economic impact on
a region,” he emphasized. “It also generates $1.4 million in
healthcare savings as people don’t have to travel as far and
can get health care closer to where they are.”
PCOM President and CEO Dr. Jay Feldstein thanked
those who have helped make PCOM South Georgia a reality.
“The vision that brought us to this place and the efforts of so
many individuals and organizations to make this additional
location possible will yield results that we simply cannot
foresee on this day,” he said.
Dr. Feldstein acknowledged Georgia legislators, local officials, college presidents and hospital administrators who
have all pledged to partner with PCOM South Georgia.
“Through educating healthcare practitioners, we can and
will help improve health in this region of Georgia,” he added.
Cagle made a point to laud the South Georgia Medical
Education and Research Consortium, chaired by Colquitt
Regional Medical Center CEO Jim Matney, which he said
was developed “in order to cast a vision for what the future
can look like and being steadfast in your commitment to see
this day come to a reality.”
He applauded “innovative partnerships” among several
South Georgia hospitals including Phoebe Putney Health
System in Albany, Archbold Medical Center in Thomasville,
Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, South Georgia
Medical Center in Valdosta and Colquitt Regional Medical
Center in Moultrie. “To see this institution, to see the community step up to fill this gap,
obviously it’s going to have a
lasting impact,” Cagle said.
A final note. Shortly after the
groundbreaking ceremony,
PCOM proudly announced that
Michael Sampson, GA-PCOM’s
associate dean for clinical integration and associate professor
of family medicine/sports medicine, will be serving as the associate dean and chief academic
officer of PCOM South Georgia.
Bryan Ginn is the Chief Campus
Officer of the Georgia Campus of
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic
Medicine.

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