School of Medicine Faculty Member Dr. Bryant Smalley Elected Chair of American Psychological Association Committee on Rural Health


MACON – Bryant Smalley, Ph.D., Psy.D., associate dean for research and accreditation and professor of community medicine and psychiatry at Mercer University School of Medicine (MUSM), was recently elected chair of the Committee on Rural Health within the American Psychological Association (APA).

The APA is the largest association of psychologists in the nation, with more than 115,000 members.

The Committee on Rural Health is a national committee within APA whose mission is to achieve optimal health and well-being for rural and remote populations. Its efforts center on ensuring equal protection and respect of residents of rural and remote regions, integrating rural perspectives into APA policy, and removing barriers to comprehensive health care for rural and remote populations.

As chair, Dr. Smalley will oversee the committee's activities, serve as the primary voice for rural communities within APA, help shape APA's rural-specific agenda, and liaise with other APA committees and working groups to ensure representation of the voice of diverse rural communities within all of APA's activities.

“It is an honor to conclude my three years of service on the APA's Committee on Rural Health by being elected its chair,” said Dr. Smalley. “I look forward to working with my fellow committee members and APA at large to ensure that the needs of rural communities remain a priority for the organization.”

Dr. Smalley's term as chair will begin on Jan. 1, 2018.

“Mercer University School of Medicine is delighted to have Dr. Smalley as a member of our faculty,” said Jean R. Sumner, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “He is a key part of our continued efforts to improve access to quality care in rural Georgia. He brings expertise in rural health, health disparities, social determinants of health care and many other needed topics that enhance MUSM's work in these critical areas.”

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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.