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Local Project Expected to Create 1,200 Jobs
by Chamber News on April 3rd, 2012

The just announced VSU Health Sciences Building is expected to add 1,200 new jobs to this area and bring in new students who will each add  $18,000 per student to the local economy. In addition, expectations are that medical residents will become local and regional physicians in this area at completion of their residency.

In a joint presentation to the Chamber Board of Directors last week, Dr. Louis Levy (Valdosta State University), Dr. Ray Perren (Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) and Randy Sauls (South Georgia Medical Center) detailed these and other reasons the new facility will make a huge impact on Valdosta, Lowndes County and this region.

Programs and educational opportunities the building will now make possible, according to Dr. Levy, will allow students and faculty to engage in cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary practice and expand interaction with SGMC and hospitals in our region.

Although it doesn’t train physicians, Wiregrass Tech’s Dr. Perren said WGTC trains many of the front-line health care providers such as EMTs, paramedics, health information technologists, radiology technicians and more. He said that WGTC sees the HSBA project as making Valdosta a medical training hub for the regional health care community for South Georgia and North Florida.

As SGMC’s head, Sauls expressed the need for more qualified health care professionals, stating that there are currently 180 high quality positions open at SGMC. He added that statistics show that 76 percent of residents graduating from the Medical College of Georgia are leaving the state to find residencies.

Since residents are far more likely to start their career where they conduct their residency, he said, SGMC is currently partnering with Tifton, Thomasville, Moultrie and Albany through the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium, to bring residents to South Georgia to train in their disciplines.

Sauls, along with Dr. Levy and Dr. Perren, said the local community may not yet realize the impact of the new facility, but that it will be a very significant one that will play a major part in the local economy and health services far into the future.

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