Bina Named Dean of Mercer’s Savannah Campus; Sumner to Succeed Bina as Dean of Mercer School of Medicine


MACON – Mercer University Provost Dr. D. Scott Davis today announced that Dr. William F. Bina III, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, will become dean of the Savannah Campus of the School of Medicine, a campus that developed into a full four-year medical school campus under his leadership. He also will take on additional responsibilities as senior vice provost for global medical programs for the University. Dr. Jean Sumner, M.D., currently associate dean for rural health, will succeed Dr. Bina as dean of the Mercer University School of Medicine. These new appointments are effective July 1, 2016.

“As the School of Medicine continues to expand its educational and research footprint in Savannah, Dr. Bina has volunteered to assume the vitally important responsibility of leading that campus,” Dr. Davis said. “It also will benefit the University and our students for him to devote more time to expanding the international healthcare components of the growing Mercer On Mission program, an initiative that he has been involved with and passionate about for several years.”

Dr. Sumner, who is a member of the School of Medicine's first graduating class and a practicing physician in Washington and Johnson counties, has been leading a major telehealth initiative for the School of Medicine as associate dean for rural health.

“She is well positioned to assume leadership of the School of Medicine as Mercer seeks to faithfully fulfill the School's mission to prepare primary care physicians for rural and medically underserved areas of our state,” Dr. Davis said. “The need has never been greater for primary care physicians in Georgia.”

A 1986 graduate of the School of Medicine, Dr. Sumner has been a community faculty preceptor for the School of Medicine since completing her residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, Navicent Health, in 1989. She has served as hospital chief of staff and nursing home medical director, as well as a board member, chair and president of numerous community and statewide professional organizations. At the state level, Dr. Sumner has served most recently as a governor-appointed member, then president and medical director, for the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

“Mercer is a great institution committed to excellence in education and service to our state. I am honored to be asked to work with the medical school,” Dr. Sumner said. “Dr. Bina has a tremendous legacy, and all of Georgia should appreciate the contributions he has made and will continue to make to medical education and global medical initiatives. He has set the bar for all of us very high.”

Dr. Bina joined the Mercer School of Medicine in 1991 and has served in various family medicine and community medicine departmental roles, including director of the family practice residency program, chair of community medicine and director of the nationally accredited Master's of Public Health degree program. He served in the School as executive associate dean and interim dean prior to appointment as dean in March 2009. Before coming to Mercer, Dr. Bina was director of the Occupational Health and Preventive Medicine Division, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. Last November, the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians named Dr. Bina as its 2014 Georgia Family Physician of the Year.

“I am excited about the opportunity to focus on the continued development of our Savannah campus, which with the recent expansion of its facilities is now positioned to enroll the same number of M.D. students as the Macon campus, and to lead an expansion of Mercer's global medical programs,” Dr. Bina said.

About the Mercer University School of Medicine (Macon, Savannah and Columbus)

Mercer University's School of Medicine was established in 1982 to educate physicians and health professionals to meet the primary care and health care needs of rural and medically underserved areas of Georgia. Today, more than 60 percent of graduates currently practice in the state of Georgia, and of those, more than 80 percent are practicing in rural or medically underserved areas of Georgia. Mercer medical students benefit from a problem-based medical education program that provides early patient care experiences. Such an academic environment fosters the early development of clinical problem-solving and instills in each student an awareness of the place of the basic medical sciences in medical practice. The School opened a full four-year campus in Savannah in 2008 at Memorial University Medical Center. In 2012, the School began offering clinical education for third- and fourth-year medical students in Columbus. Following their second year, students participate in core clinical clerkships at the School's primary teaching hospitals: Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The School also offers master's degrees in family therapy, preclinical sciences and biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. and Psy.D. in clinical medical psychology.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.