Historic day of firsts for Medical College of Georgia

On a day of historic firsts, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue declared his goal: “To make this the best academic medical complex in America.”

Georgia leaders, Perdue and University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr., joined Medical College of Georgia President Ricardo Azziz – on July 1, the new president’s first day – to formally adopt a new governance structure that optimally aligns MCG’s clinical and academic missions. Willis J. Potts Jr., chairman of the USG Board of Regents also was on hand for the historic day in which MCG’s new president also assumed overall responsibility for MCG’s clinical, educational and research activities.

“Georgians have benefitted from the different components of MCG for decades, but we believe this new era of collaboration ushered in today will provide even more benefits for doctors, students and patients,” said Perdue, whose own father was treated at MCG. “This day is exciting because a strong, well-designed MCG health system will free people up to do what they do best … caring for the sick and preparing the next generation of doctors.”

The joint operating agreement was signed at a ceremony on July 1 in the lobby of MCG’s Health Sciences Building. A total of 16 documents outline the new structure.

A luncheon followed the signing ceremony in the Alumni Center, and a public reception convened at 4 p.m. Each gathering gave the MCG community and the CSRA an opportunity to meet the new president, only the eighth in MCG’s history, who will preside over an economic engine that impacts the surrounding community to the tune of nearly $2 billion each year.

At the reception to welcome Azziz, his wife and their three children, Chancellor Davis likened Augusta to Rochester, Minn., a town that isn’t at the forefront of most people’s awareness. But as the home of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, it draws thousands of people a year.

MCG Health System will be “a jewel of health care,” Azziz declared. “We’re going to grow. We’re going to develop. This is not about one person. This is about a team. If we don’t do that, it will be our failure to take the opportunity.”

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