Athens, Ga. – The public is invited to attend an open house at the new University of Georgia Health Sciences Campus, located at the corner of Prince and Oglethorpe avenues, on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Guests are asked to enter the facility using Foster Road off of Oglethorpe Avenue. UGA President Michael F. Adams will host the event.
The program begins at 10 a.m. in George Hall with remarks from Adams, Senator Johnny Isakson, Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University, Barbara Schuster, dean for the GHSU/UGA Medical Partnership and Phillip L. Williams, dean of the College of Public Health. A reception and self-guided tours will follow the program. The event is scheduled to end at noon.
The health sciences campus opened on Monday, Aug. 6 for fall classes. The UGA Health Sciences Campus will accommodate two primary occupants: the College of Public Health and the GHSU/UGA Medical Partnership.
“The health of the public is a key mission for any land-grant institution today, and the UGA Health Sciences Campus represents a clear commitment to this mission,” said Adams. “The new campus enables us to expand our education, research and service efforts in the health sciences giving greater opportunities to tackle the health crises that affect our citizens. It was also a timely opportunity to repurpose a historic piece of property following the relocation of the Navy Supply Corps School.”
The 56-acre site, formerly the home of the U.S. Navy Supply Corps School, was deeded to the university by the U.S. Department of Education in spring 2011. After a $20 million investment to renovate buildings for classrooms and administrative office space, the campus is ready to host students.
“We are projecting approximately 550 College of Public Health and 120 medical partnership students to be taking classes at the HSC this fall,” said Kathy Pharr, UGA assistant vice president for finance and administration and director of Health Sciences Campus administration. “Coupled with academic faculty/staff estimates of another 140, we are projecting a total of 810 faculty, staff and students based at the HSC this fall.”
Students enrolled in public health have opportunities to study environmental health, global health, health promotion and behavior, health policy and management, epidemiology and biostatistics, gerontology, disaster management and toxicology.
“Bringing our unique disciplines together on one campus, will facilitate the opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and will better enable us to address complex public health concerns in Georgia and around the world,” said Williams.
Faculty, staff and students from public health will transition from the six buildings on UGA’s main campus and rented offices downtown to their permanent home on the new campus over the next two to three years, as renovated spaces are competed.
Medical students at UGA, as part of the medical partnership, also will be housed at the new campus. The partnership began in 2009 and enabled the Georgia Health Sciences University to expand its class size from 190 to 230, adding 40 students who are educated by GHSU and UGA faculty in Athens.
“The Medical Partnership brought together the significant instructional and research resources of UGA with the medical expertise of the GHSU Medical College of Georgia” said Schuster. “With the move to the new Health Sciences Campus, the medical campus is close to the two Athens hospitals and readily accessible to multiple health care facilities. The new campus will stimulate collaboration with the College of Public Health and provide additional resources to continue the small group learning activities which help students integrate the medical science with clinical skills and diagnostic reasoning which are the foundation of excellence in medical care.”
The first class of students will graduate in 2014.
The University Childcare Center, which opened in January, is also located on the new campus. The center currently enrolls 130 children from infant through four years of age but expects to accommodate its full capacity of 146 children by the end of 2012. The childcare center is located in the former Navy Exchange building and is operated by a third-party provider Prodigies Child Care Management.
After the renovations are complete in fall 2015, approximately 1,400 faculty, staff and students will be based at the Health Sciences Campus. That number will grow to 1,650 once a new facility can be built for the department of environmental health science as no present buildings could be modified to accommodate the group. Additional UGA students housed in residence facilities on the campus will bring the total closer to 1,800.
A map of the campus with preferred parking areas is available at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/Open_house_map-small.jpg.
**Note to editors: speakers updated Aug. 15