Powerful Healthcare Solutions

Doctors with patientTwo of Georgia’s oldest and finest institutions — Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University — came together in 2005 to enhance the future of healthcare delivery and education. Through the Center for Health and Learning, Piedmont and Mercer are creating innovative solutions to challenging 21st century health dilemmas. These areas include addressing physician, nursing and other allied health professional shortages, increasing quality while reducing cost, and utilizing joint faculty, student and health professional research and design teams to further innovation and learning.

The Center leverages the demonstrated strengths of Piedmont and Mercer in the areas of clinical care, research and educational services to improve the quality of health professionals and the health of Georgians. While the partnership is not exclusive and allows both institutions to continue to collaborate with others, Piedmont and Mercer are enhancing areas of joint interest.

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

Mercer, through the Center, establishes a more vigorous research presence, deepens healthcare program offerings and broadens residency programs. In addition, the University aims to expand its non-clinical education programs, such as business, engineering, organizational leadership, chaplaincy and law.

Center for Health and Learning Initiatives

Nurse with childPiedmont Nursing Scholars

The Piedmont Nursing Scholars program, the first Center for Health and Learning initiative, was designed to recruit, educate and place potential nursing leaders within the Piedmont system. More than 100 scholars were selected to participate in the program. Selection criteria included demonstrated leadership, scholastic achievement and commitment to the profession of nursing. These students focused their clinical experience within the Piedmont system, and when employed by Piedmont participated in an RN residency program.

Piedmont Healthcare Endowed Chair in Nursing

In 2008, Piedmont Healthcare provided a gift to the Center for Health and Learning that allowed Mercer to actualize its strategic plans to establish doctoral programs in nursing, which began in 2009. Nursing doctoral students will become tomorrow’s educators, providing additional qualified candidates the opportunity to become nurses.

Physician Assistant Program

Communication and dialogue within the leadership of Piedmont and Mercer led to the establishment of Mercer’s Physician Assistant Program. The program addresses the need for better utilization and access to physician services within Piedmont, Georgia and the nation. Physician assistants are a cost-effective method of extending a physician’s ability to provide quality healthcare. In 2008, the inaugural class of physician assistants began their studies at Mercer. The program has grown each year and has a waiting list of qualified candidates. Piedmont Healthcare provides a significant number of clinical rotation sites and clinical supervisors for the program.

Physical Therapy Program

Mercer launched a doctoral-level physical therapy program in the fall of 2010. The demand for physical therapy will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, and providing this service is a natural step in creating educational programs that address the healthcare professional shortages in the state and region. Clinical rotation sites have been developed within the Piedmont system.

Group of NursesResearch Development

Student and faculty research projects are completed yearly at Piedmont. Current areas of focus include bio-engineering and pharmaceutical sciences. Faculty members, students, physicians, nurses and other health care professionals are currently involved in translational research that enhances quality of care. Research projects on the use of heat transfer in orthopedic replantation surgery, patient computational hemodynamic modeling and the effect of antimicrobials on colonized MRSA are examples of current or recently completed work. Additional projects in bio-engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, medicine and nursing are expected to be developed in the future.

Mercer Tuition Benefit for Piedmont Employees

Mercer University and Piedmont Healthcare are committed to providing quality undergraduate and graduate programs to Piedmont employees. Mercer has established a tuition benefit program that employees can use in addition to current tuition reimbursement benefits. Learn more about the program and approved educational programs. Find out more about the tuition benefit for Piedmont employees.

About Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare, a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 529-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead and the top acute-care, community hospital in metro  Atlanta in the 2011-12 U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals list; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 157-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan; and Piedmont Henry Hospital, a 215-bed acute-care community hospital in Stockbridge.
Piedmont Healthcare also is the parent company of  Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), comprised of nearly 100 affiliated cardiovascular specialists in Piedmont Heart Institute Physicians with over 25 locations across north Georgia; the Piedmont Physicians Group, a multi-specialty group with more than 150 primary care physicians in over 50 offices, in addition to more than 20 specialists in over 15 locations across greater Atlanta; Piedmont Clinic, an 800-member physician network; and Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives.  
Three Piedmont Healthcare hospitals—Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital—have received top ratings from patients among metro Atlanta hospitals according to the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results for the past three years.   For more information visit Piedmont Healthcare.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus — and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information visit Mercer University. 

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