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Piedmont Healthcare Funds Nursing Chair at Mercer University
Date:11/12/2007

Chair will help establish new Ph.D. program in Nurse Education at Mercer

ATLANTA, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Piedmont Healthcare President and CEO R. Timothy Stack and Mercer University President William D. Underwood announced today 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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 healthcare, 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.

Through the Center for Health and Learning, Piedmont Healthcare aims to enhance its teaching environment and expand on-campus research that is focused on outcomes and improved patient care. Piedmont also seeks increased access to students and potential employees in nursing, pharmacy and other allied health fields. Long-term, Piedmont hopes to establish unique hospital/university integrated programs.

Mercer seeks to establish a more vigorous research presence and to deepen program offerings in nursing and pharmacy. Mercer also expects to broaden its medical residency program and its non-clinical education programs, such as chaplaincy, health management and health law.

About Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 458-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead, offering all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services, a recipient of the 2006 and 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient Safety(TM) according to HealthGrades (a leading healthcare ratings company) and one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals for four consecutive years in the 100 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed acute care community hospital in Fayetteville, named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals(R) for the fourth year in a row and one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper and named the 2006 Hospital of the Year by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals; Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed acute-care community hospital in Newnan; the Piedmont Heart Institute, established in 2007 to enhance the practice of cardiology across Georgia; the Piedmont Hospital Foundation; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 75 primary care physicians in 22 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and the Piedmont Clinic, a 527-member physician network. For more information, visit http://www.piedmont.org.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University has 7,200 students; 11 schools and colleges -- liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; two teaching hospitals -- Memorial University Medical Center and the Medical Center of Central Georgia; educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit http://www.mercer.edu.


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SOURCE Mercer University
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