Gov. Nathan Deal commended two important packages from this year’s General Assembly and the fiscal year 2013 budget for aiding the state’s goal of moving Georgia Health Sciences University into a place among the nation’s top 50 academic health centers.
During a visit to GHSU’s cancer center Tuesday, Deal said $28 million in bond funding allocated to the construction of the Medical Education Commons Building represents an investment in the institution and the state. Funding for 400 new residency slots in hospitals across the state will further support the health care profession across Georgia.
“Health care, we know, is going to continue to be an important industry, not only from the actual providing of health care and the new procedures and the new treatments that are going to be available to people in our state, but also for the research that accompanies that. I think this institution is perfectly suited to be an anchor for all of that taking place,” Deal said.
The classroom building for medical and dental students will support enrollment growth, boost research capabilities and improve clinical care, the governor said.
Investing in 400 more positions for doctors to serve their clinical residencies was a goal of the governor during the state’s legislative session. The additional slots should help keep Georgia’s medical school graduates in the state.
“If we do not have those residency slots, those who have been educated from kindergarten through our colleges and our medical schools will have to leave our state to do their residency,” Deal said. “Unfortunately, many of them never return.”
GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said that the institution has received increased state support in recent years but that public funding must be leveraged by private philanthropy as was accomplished with the Medical Education Commons Building.
“We need to continue to produce results. Results basically engender trust,” he said. “We have a vision, we have a path, we have a clear message. We need to begin to deliver on all of those things.”