Dr. Shelley Nuss, campus dean of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Lamartine Hardman Cup from the Medical Association of Georgia.
One of the highest honors from the Medical Association of Georgia, the award recognizes a physician who has solved a problem in public health or made a contribution to the science of medicine, including but not limited to excellence in the field of medical education.
Nuss was recognized by the Medical Association of Georgia at a ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah.
“I am truly grateful to be recognized with this award,” said Nuss. “The Lamartine Hardman Cup is renowned among health care professionals across Georgia. To be named the 2023 recipient is such an amazing and humbling honor.”
Nuss attended Purdue University and received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy before earning her M.D. from West Virginia University. She then completed her internal medicine and psychiatry residency at WVU, where she served as chief resident.
In 2016, Nuss became dean of the Medical Partnership, where one of her major accomplishments has been tackling the physician shortage in Georgia.
“Of the 41 states that currently have a public medical school, Georgia ranks last with a rate of roughly nine medical students per capita,” said Nuss. “Although Georgia has increased medical student enrollment over the past 10 to15 years, we are not increasing as rapidly as the population of the state is increasing.”
The Medical Partnership expanded its enrollment from 40 students per class to 50 in 2020 and eventually to 60 per class in 2021. It will have a total of 240 students in 2024 compared to 160 when the campus opened in 2010.
Nuss has also been instrumental in expanding graduate medical education (GME) statewide. She led the development of new residency programs and teaching hospitals across Georgia in her work with the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
In 2013, the Board of Regents formed the GME Regents Evaluation and Assessment Team (GREAT). Nuss was appointed to GREAT and worked closely with the chair to develop a process to build new residency slots across the state. She advocated for state funding to support GME hospital startup funds and led the development of the grant process for the new teaching hospitals.
“We know that getting doctors to come to Georgia for residency training is a big step in getting them to remain in state and practice,” said Nuss, “so establishing more residency programs in new locations is critical to our mission of addressing the growing physician shortage.”
Nuss’ advocacy for these new programs led to multi-year funding from FY13 – FY19 ($19.6 million over seven years). In 2016, she was appointed chair of the GREAT committee and has continued to oversee the project.
Upon completion of the GME project, there will be nine new teaching hospitals, 31 new residency programs, and close to 800 new resident positions across the state.
Nuss also works closely with the Georgia Board for Healthcare Workforce and currently serves as the chair of Georgia’s statewide Medical Education Advisory Committee that advises the board on various issues regarding Georgia’s medical education system. She also serves as the Area Health Education Centers’ co-chair of the Statewide Primary Care Taskforce to help address the growing shortages of health care providers in rural areas, and as vice president for the board of directors for the Foothills AHEC.
A recipient of numerous leadership and teaching awards, in 2019, she received the Mark Silverman Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American College of Physicians, which recognizes a physician who has demonstrated excellence in teaching but has also served as an inspiration for younger physicians to advance their knowledge in medicine. For her dedication in leading the University of Georgia and the Medical Partnership through the COVID-19 pandemic, she was one of 200 individuals to receive the Champion of Humanistic Care, a national award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.