MCG Athens plan on track, Rahn says

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ATLANTA --- Despite an aggressive schedule, plans to open a Medical College of Georgia satellite campus in Athens by fall 2010 are on track, MCG President Daniel W. Rahn told a new Board of Regents committee Wednesday.

"Proceeding as fast as we can is what we need to be doing and what we are doing," Dr. Rahn told the first meeting of the Medical Education Expansion Committee, created to oversee the initiative. "I think we're going to be fine."

Chancellor Erroll Davis also stressed the need for quickly moving the project forward, saying Georgia was 37th of the 50 states in the number of doctors per capita when discussions of the project began two years ago.

The state now ranks 40th.

"We're going in the wrong direction," Mr. Davis said.

Administrators with MCG and the University of Georgia are preparing for an April visit to the Athens site by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for medical schools. That committee's blessing will be critical for the school to go forward.

Regents recently approved a lease agreement for the property where the school will be housed until it moves to the Navy Supply Corps School, which is expected to be handed over to the University System of Georgia in 2011. Dr. Rahn and UGA Provost Arnett Mace said the schools were already working to hire a dean, department heads and faculty and to develop a curriculum for the Athens branch.

Despite an otherwise tight budget, regents approved an $8 million increase in the budget for the project, which also includes expanding programs in Albany and Savannah.

The liaison committee would likely make a final decision on the Athens site in June.

That would allow MCG to begin accepting applications for the satellite campus and send out early acceptances in fall 2009.

"If we get the approval in June, then we're fine," Dr. Rahn said.

Brandon Larrabee can be reached at brandon .larrabee@morris.com or (678) 977-3709.

Comments (17) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/21/08 - 05:47 am
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So in this time of austerity

So in this time of austerity with state money, we are going to spend millions for a TEMPORARY building until the school can be moved to the Navy property the following year? Also notice the part about hiring a dean and department heads to develop a curriculum. Does this sound like duplicating what we already have here in Augusta? It makes much more sense to expand here. The reason we don't have more physicians in Georgia is because we don't have enough residency programs to keep them here. Let's tell the truth and work on that instead of wasting hundreds of millions starting another medical school.

lifelongresidient
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lifelongresidient 08/21/08 - 06:43 am
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you see athens wants a

you see athens wants a satelite mcg campus, well why doesn't the university of georgia have a "satelite" campus of its law school...whay scared too many "undesireables" would want to pursue a law degree??? i am from pennsylvania, where the main state school makes itself available to as many who wants to and are qualified to attend as possible....uga doesn't hold a candle to temple university, or univ penn wharton school of business so uga get over yourself

Bizarro
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Bizarro 08/21/08 - 06:55 am
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Why doesn't Athens want a

Why doesn't Athens want a dental school? There is one dental school in the state (Emory closed) and there is a shortage of dentist. Good dental care is linked with good overall preventive health care, but the state stands idly by.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/21/08 - 07:05 am
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If you happen to already BE a

If you happen to already BE a dentist, the so-called shortage would be good news indeed.

aaa
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aaa 08/21/08 - 07:26 am
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jisomjr: I thought Temple was

jisomjr: I thought Temple was a junior college somewhere in Arizona. Anyway, the point I want to make is this: Forget Athens. Build Here. Build Now.

mojo
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mojo 08/21/08 - 07:31 am
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it would be interesting to

it would be interesting to know who is in the pictures Dan Rahn apparantly has, and what are they doing, to give him the ability to ram this plan forward over any and all obstacles?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/21/08 - 07:55 am
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The only obstacles, Mojo, are

The only obstacles, Mojo, are here in Augusta. And we are but speed bumps to Rahn.

double_standard
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double_standard 08/21/08 - 07:56 am
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We didn't have these problems

We didn't have these problems when Charles Walker was around.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/21/08 - 08:24 am
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Well, is Temple's football

Well, is Temple's football team ranked #1??

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 08/21/08 - 08:35 am
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Let's see, Sonny says county

Let's see, Sonny says county government is getting too big, yet Rahn can waste huge amounts of money making his own little kingdom, decorated with state money? You gotta love politics, unless you are the poor sap paying for it. Maybe Rahn's new foundation can spring for the total bill.

Have they spent a dime on Gilber Manor yet?

aaa
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aaa 08/21/08 - 09:22 am
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The new foundation can't

The new foundation can't afford a donation. They're already 2 million dollars in debt to SunTrust for the purchase of the old Fat Man's property. If this wasn't all so pathetic, it'd be funny.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 08/21/08 - 09:46 am
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UGA alumni come off their hip

UGA alumni come off their hip and give money to their school. MCG alumni will not donate to their school. They just convince the politicians to raid the state and local treasuries for school expansion.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 08/21/08 - 11:41 am
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Actually the alumni have

Actually the alumni have given huge amounts to the school, but with this coup by Rahn older alumni are now skeptical of what is going on. And I did phrase dentist shortage wrong, there is not a shortage just a maldistribution of dentist so there are underserved areas. http://www.agd.org/publications/articles/?ArtID=3508. The MCG foundation tax returns are public knowledge in 2006 direct public support was over 6 million. It is a state school and state responsiblity-not alumni who got in debt paying the school for their education. If the responsiblity were to fall on doctors they would leave the state and practice medicine elsewhere. What an idiotic assertion.

LaTwon
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LaTwon 08/21/08 - 12:09 pm
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so we the citizens of

so we the citizens of richmond county give 10 million to mcg which spends 8 million fronm the state to prepare a site in athens and we are 3 million short. hey joe bowels, explain how the ten million didnt cost r c anything again.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 08/21/08 - 01:03 pm
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Good posit LaTwon. MCG seems

Good posit LaTwon. MCG seems to find the money to build there new Cancer center, etc. etc, etc., but need a dental school let's rob the MCG foundation-and make it legal to boot.

ThePrince
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ThePrince 08/21/08 - 06:24 pm
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1

1

createyourfuture
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createyourfuture 08/22/08 - 02:03 am
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You all seem to be on the

You all seem to be on the wrong page. The new school in Athens is being masterminded by the president of UGA, Micheal Adams. Yes, Dawg Nation, the man you love to hate who actually held your beloved Coach Dooley responsible for the Jan Kemp and basketball team shenanigans that went on in the UGA Athletic Department. The last I checked, the Athletic Director IS responsible for the Athletic Department, but apparently Vince thought himself above all that.

Anyway, Adams wants a medical school because all the Southern University of (blank) have a medical school on campus. SC put a campus in Columbia in the late 1970's so all the USC student's wouldn't have to move to Charleston.
Micheal Adams is supported by the Governor, a BS, DVM degree holder from UGA. Yes, the Governor is a vet! The state legislators & Regents, dominated by UGA graduates, want to add to the "prestige" (oxymoron) of the University of Georgia.

The problem is that Athens has nowhere near the clinical material and hospital structure needed for a 4 year medical school, but I am sure the local hospitals will bury the hatchet to obtain the taxpayers' money from the UGA teat. After all, they have to support the Dawgs.

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