Welcome to the University of Georgia School of Medicine

The Athens-Clarke Local Redevelopment Authority today unanimously approved the University of Georgia’s acquisition of the Navy Supply Corps School (on Prince Ave.) “to turn the Navy school in to a medical campus.” According to the Athens Banner-Herald:

The deal approved Monday is contingent on the state legislature approving funding within three years, the university paying $7.9 million to local nonprofits that help the homeless, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approving the federally required homeless assistance plan and the U.S. Department of Education agreeing to let UGA have the base for free.

Though every member of the LRA voted for the agreement, many “complained openly about the arrangement,” while “several other LRA members also said they have some reservations.” The complaints apparently came from the fact that:

The agreement gives Athens-Clarke officials and neighborhood residents no power to approve of any changes UGA might make to its plans. The university is only required to inform two LRA members — Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation director Amy Kissane and Sue Custance, a Normaltown resident — of any changes.

Those two members are among those complaining.

Here’s a quick tip for the members of the LRA, as well as of any other voting body: if you vote for something, it sounds pretty dumb to immediately go off and complain about it.

22 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    So, the state is going to support Medical College of Georgia and a medical school at the University of Georgia?

  2. Whitehead recommends UGA get bombed… that was before he decided to send MCG to Athens,

    Does he still want to bomb certain parts of UGA?

    Interestingly there was a student in Jackson County school near UGA who was inspired by ? a few weeks later and brought a bomb to school.

    Iraq not a big issue in the 10th district because Whitehead encourages bombing of 10th district schools.

  3. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Apparently so, Bull. Frankly, I don’t think it’s that raw a deal, considering MCG only takes in 1,500 or so students.

    I’m not sure how state funding works for medical schools, but if it works like the University of Georgia, then it won’t be too big a financial burden on the state. (UGA, for example, pulls roughly 5% of its budget from the state, last I saw, and the rest is from endowments, donations, and athletics.)

    Now, I’m speaking out of total ignorance with regard to a Med School, but if it works in a similar way, it shouldn’t be too bad.

  4. Know Nothing says:

    I think it would be important for UGA to develop a Medical School. MGC is easily overshadowed by Emory and will never compete with it. UGA eventually will be able to compete with Emory in medicine just as it did with its law school.

    Also, it’s absurd for UGA to have a pharmacy school, and masters program in public health, and no medical school. It’s just as absurd as Princeton not having a law school.

  5. UGA Wins 2006 says:

    $7.5 Million for the homeless? How many homeless are there in Athens and how did that get in the equation??????? How can the University take tax payer dollars and give them to outside groups like that?

  6. NancyHart says:

    Wins —
    The base realignment act requires that some part of every closed base goes to homeless services. UGA had to pay the money so they could get the property.

  7. Misunderestimitated says:

    Maybe they should treat homeless people in clinical rotations. That $7.5 million is for higher education not for homeless services.

  8. Jeff Emanuel says:

    UGA Wins 2006, Athens has one of the highest poverty rates in the South.

    The local government’s nanny-state programs have, of course, done exactly zero to alleviate that.

  9. drjay says:

    as a (twice) graduate of mcg and a uga alum i am cautiously optimistic that this can be a great thing for both schools, for athens, and for the state. if either a new hospital is built in athens or athens regional is expanded sufficiently to handle rotations–the prospect of a new (potentially level 1) trauma center in athens is great–as has been mentioned uga already has a pharm school (some of those students do rotations in augusta right now) and a public health program–also mcg currently has a satellite program for its school of nursing in athens that can be folded into this new endeavor–the mcg vs uga compettiton mentality is going to have to be abandoned–and if adams or the regents or anyone else sees this as part of a grand plan to close mcg in augusta or somehow supplant it–that could be a problem–but if they work symbiotically–or even paralell w/out interfeirng w/ the other its win/win–in south carolina usc has a med school in columbia and their if a medical university in charlesotn and they both do just fine–the same could totally happen here–ga is easily a big enough state to support the private med schools and 2 public ones w/out any of them killing the other…

  10. Misunderestimitated says:

    The secrecy with which they put together does grate a bit. I think it will be good for Georgia but if they expect the Legislature to appropriate money, maybe, just maybe they ought not be kept in the dark.

    From the article:

    “UGA administrators denied that the university acts secretly and called for a more trusting relationship. The university needs flexibility to be successful and can’t be beholden to an outside group that has control over its plans, said Tim Burgess, UGA senior vice president for finance and administration.

    “We have a long history of being participatory, and if you want to see how we do things, all you need to do is walk on our campus,” Burgess said.

    That’s not what Erroll Davis, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, said four months ago to lawmakers who were upset about being kept in the dark on the medical campus plans.

    “We made a conscious effort to exclude everyone, to be frank,” Davis told a state House of Representatives subcommittee in February.”

  11. The Comma Guy says:

    Why not shutter MCG and move it to UGA since MCG is essentially a stand-alone campus and as suggested up-thread doesn’t share its toys and resources with related UGA programs?

    What really concerns me is that once again, the folks who really need good doctors and competent hospitals in South Georgia are ignored. If you’re going to form another med school, why not place it in Tifton and make that a Level One trauma hospital as well?

  12. drjay says:

    where is it suggested that mcg doesn’t “share” w/ uga–as i noted there were plenty of pharm students from the uga program in augusta doing rotations at mcg–it would be foolhardy and an incredible expense to abandon over 150 years of infrastructure and tradition in augusta to consolidate and start anew in athens–but adding one makes perfect sense the state is definitely large enought to support a 2nd state med school–unless the numbers have changed recently the med school class is only about 180 at mcg every year

  13. Demonbeck says:

    “I thought MCG and UGA had joint programs.”

    Why do you need a joint program? Have you got glaucoma?

  14. buckmckenzie says:

    Among the 10 most populous states Georgia is the only one with a single public medical school. Even smaller states in the south often have at least 2 (AL, TN, SC for instance).

    The reason to do this in Athens rather than Tifton has to do with all complementary programs in place already at UGA. Vet medicine, Pharmacy, Public Health, and strong biosciences. It’s not just about pumping out docs, a strong medical school in such an academic setting could do wonders for attracting biotech and other high skill industry to the state. North
    Carolina and Alabama have certainly capitalized on this already.

  15. drjay says:

    i agree w/ that buck–but there is an impression among folks in augusta and other members of the mcg community (myself included) that buy somewhat into a conspiracy theory–whether real or imagined that is something along the lines of adams and the new chancellor are hatching a scheme to strip augusta of mcg and move it all to athens under the banner of uga–and that this is the 1st step down that road–and even though as i said i’m cautiously optimistic–that thought is still in the back of my mind–and in the front of the minds of many others.

  16. buckmckenzie says:

    As another UGA/MCG alum, I’d hate for conspiracy theories and fear to derail an important opportunity for the state. There’s no reason medical centers can not thrive, synergistically, in both locations.

  17. Know Nothing says:

    Tifton? Are you nuts? That’s in the middle of nowhere. I hate to break it to you folks in rural Georgia, but strong research universities and hospitals happen to be located in areas where there are more humans than cows.

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