Region-wide Audience Celebrates PCOM South Georgia at Groundbreaking Ceremony

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

A broad cross-section of South Georgia's healthcare, education, development, political and community leadership came together in Moultrie, Georgia, on Thursday, April 26, 2018, for a groundbreaking ceremony for PCOM South Georgia.

PCOM South Georgia is a four year medical program which is an additional location of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Students from Georgia and the region will be recruited for PCOM South Georgia's inaugural class of 55 medical students with classes scheduled to begin in August of 2019.

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, commended PCOM leadership for their vision in establishing the new regional campus focused on rural Georgia, comparing the investment to former Governor 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.

He addressed the audience of about 500 from across the region. "…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. The fact that physicians are going to be trained, that they're going to be able to be placed in residencies here in this community - the likelihood of them staying here is far greater.

Cagle acknowledged the foresight of leaders from the region. He said, "The fact that individuals are going to have world class health care all across South Georgia because of individuals just like you that were willing to step up, put your money where your mouth is and partner with great institutions to ensure that South Georgia has the very best to offer for its citizens - that's what we celebrate and 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."

Bert Brantley, Chief Operating Officer of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, said not only will PCOM South Georgia impact the region's health care, but the new facility will also increase the area's competitiveness and have a positive 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 said.

Jay Feldstein, DO, president and CEO of PCOM thanked those who have helped to 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."

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at the 31-acre site of the new facility which is located off Veterans Parkway and Tallokas Road.

Cagle lauded 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 the "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.