Marietta-based Wellstar Health System and Augusta University Health System (AUHS) have signed a letter of intent to form a partnership that, according to the news release from Wellstar, could result in the Medical College of Georgia becoming one of the largest public medical schools in the U.S.
Augusta University is part of the University System of Georgia and is the home of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG). MCG is the state’s only public medical college.
A news release from Wellstar Health System quotes Board of Regent Chairman Sonny Perdue, who commented favorably on the partnership:
“AUHS, Augusta University and the Wellstar Health System have a shared mission to solve Georgia’s health care challenges,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue said. “By joining forces and working together, we can leverage Wellstar’s clinical platform and leading-edge systems to support patients while providing more opportunities for students to learn, train and care for residents in local communities across Georgia.”
News releases published on the Wellstar Health System website and on Augusta University’s Jaglwire announced that the merged organization would focus on the following initiatives:
- Expanding digital health offerings to create more convenient access to care and provide more individualized care regardless of location.
- Growing the pipeline of physicians and other health care providers serving Georgia by increasing the number of students who train and conduct research through MCG.
- Developing new treatments, innovative care offerings and scalable care models to optimize the health and well-being of every patient.
The Wellstar news release also stated that the partnership would likely bring a new hospital and medical office building to Columbia County, which is adjacent to Augusta/Richmond County to the north along the Savannah River.
“A new teaching campus in Atlanta at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital could also be established under the proposed partnership. As a result, MCG, which already has the ninth-largest freshman medical school class in the nation, would grow to become one of the largest public medical schools in the country,” the Wellstar Health System press release stated.
The Courier has requested details from the University System of Georgia and Augusta University about the approval process for the partnership, and we’ll provide more information when it’s available.