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Gov. Deal announces $70 million more for Morehouse, Mercer Med Schools

2/12/2016, James Salzer, AJC

The state is going to put $70 million it will receive as part of a settlement agreement with the federal government over disputed Medicaid payments into the Morehouse and Mercer University schools of medicine, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday.

“It is only fitting that we in turn invest this money in health care education programs, particularly those that prioritize placing primary care physician graduates in high-demand areas throughout the state,” Deal said.

“Likewise, this funding fulfills a decades-old commitment made to Mercer University by the state. With this investment in its health care program, we are making good on that promise. Finally, we look forward to continue working with these two medical schools to advance their health care training and delivery efforts.”

Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, said the money would allow the school to “continue to increase the enrollment of our medical school and residency programs, as well as ensure increased access to innovative and critical health services for the residents of our state.”

Mercer officials said they would use the money to, among other things, explore new ways to better serve rural Georgia.

“Mercer University is committed to use these funds to make a profound difference in the education of future physicians from Georgia. These funds will directly support future physicians who demonstrate a commitment to providing primary care in areas of the greatest need,” said Mercer University President William D. Underwood.

The state has long provided millions of dollars of public funding to the two private medical schools each year.


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