MUSM, GRHIC accepting applicants for new rural healthcare ethics program

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Rural Healthcare Ethics Webinar

MACON – Dr. Brian Childs and Dr. Lauren Bunch, professors at Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM), hosted an informational webinar Aug. 11 on Rural Healthcare Ethics. This session, open to all clinicians and healthcare administrators in Georgia, covered a brief description of healthcare ethics in the rural space and the value it can add to patient care.

MUSM, in partnership with the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center (The Center), hosted the event and is now accepting applicants for a new Rural Healthcare Ethics ECHO program.

Project ECHO is an interactive, case-based learning opportunity where participants bring difficult cases and explore possible outcomes with their peers and subject matter experts.

The Center, as a Project ECHO hub, and will be hosting all sessions virtually and offering doctors and nurses Continuing Education Units for each completed session.

The Rural Healthcare Ethics ECHO will explore issues in end-of-life care, proxy decision-making, scarcity of resources, pediatrics, and difficult discharge, among other topics. It is the hope that with the knowledge gained from these sessions, participants will be equipped with the tools they need to more comfortably navigate the ethical issues they face in their clinical settings.

Those interested in joining this ECHO may visit georgiaruralhealth.org/rural-healthcare-ethics/ or call the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center at (478) 301-4700.

About 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, Atrium Health Navicent and Piedmont Macon Medical Centers in Macon; Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital 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. in rural health sciences.

About the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center

In 2018, Georgia lawmakers dedicated special funds to establish a new Rural Health Innovation Center tasked with confronting the complex health care challenges and wellness disparities facing rural communities. Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM) was awarded the grant funds in 2019 and formally established the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center on its Macon campus. MUSM boasts a longstanding commitment to serving rural Georgia’s health needs, with a mission to educate physicians dedicated to tackling the health challenges in rural Georgia. The Rural Health Innovation Center serves as a critical resource to rural communities to improve access and effectiveness of health care by offering research, collaboration and training opportunities.

Morgan is the director of communications and events for the Georgia Rural Health Innovation Center. She is responsible for the Center’s event planning and communication strategy as well as managing its print and digital marketing needs, including the website and social media.