AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – In today’s State of the College address, the dean of the Medical College of Georgia shares what they’re doing to have a greater impact on public health.

Among the newest developments for MCG is the partnership with Wellstar Health System.

“What it will bring to the community…it will stabilize our health system and help it to grow- help us to grow- here in Augusta, grow in Columbia County, grow in the region,” said Dr. David Hess, Dean of The Medical College of Georgia.

The partnership will also allow MCG to develop a new campus in Atlanta.

“The one place we’re not- and we’ve never really been is Atlanta,” said Dr. Hess. “It’s kind of ironic- 60 percent of the population, 60 percent of our students come from the greater Atlanta area, but we’ve never had a campus.”  

Dr. Hess tells us that MCG hopes to address the doctor shortage by expanding their campuses and through their Peach State Scholar Program.  

“So, that’s how we’re going to do it- by having more medical students, an innovative curriculum,” said Dr. Hess. “And when you shorten the curriculum from four to three years, you get them out earlier.” 

MCG is also putting great effort into research both nationally and right here at home. 

“The idea is to have our medical students in federally qualified health centers,” said Dr. Hess. “And then start doing research, which is practical and pragmatic. You know, like what is the best blood pressure medicine?  How do we protect the brain? You know, brain health is a hot topic now.”

Dr. Hess tells me that achieving a statewide, clinically integrated network is something both faculty and students are looking forward to. 

“Our dream has always been…you know, in ‘Good to Great’, they always talk about the big, hairy audacious goal,” said Dr. Hess. “Well, our has always been a state-wide, clinical academic research network. We’ve always had the academic, now we’re building up the research at our regional campuses. And with the Wellstar…have clinically integrated networks.”

On Monday, February 20th at 12:30pm, Dr. Hess sits down with Brad Means to talk more in-depth about plans at MCG.