Agenda Item # 1
Columbus Consolidated Government
Council Meeting

December 4, 2018

Agenda Report # 68



TO: Mayor and Council

SUBJECT: Support for Mercer Medical School Expansion

INITIATED BY: City Manager’s Office


Recommendation: Approval is requested to support the resolution for the Mercer Medical School Expansion in Columbus.

Background: In 2012, a partnership was formed between Mercer University School of Medicine and Columbus hospitals. For the last 6 years, Mercer has trained 3rd and 4th year medical students in Columbus. The goal of the partnership was to bring a full four-year medical school campus to Columbus. To date, more than 80 Mercer medical students have trained in Columbus hospitals. Columbus is situated to be Mercer’s next four-year medical school campus.

Analysis: The economic impact to the community will provide many new construction jobs to renovate a facility at an estimated cost of $13-14 million in capital investment. There will be approximately 75 new jobs (faculty/staff) added to this campus with an annual operating budget of $20 million including a state appropriation of $9.2 million. Every new physician that starts a practice in Columbus will generate in excess of $2.5 million in economic impact. The student population will grow from 30 to 240 over the first 3-4 years.

Financial Consideration: Contingent upon the state providing operating capital to this project, the commitment will be $100,000 per year for 5 years funded thru the Economic Development Fund. This funding will be considered in the FY20 budget process.

Legal Consideration: The City Attorney has reviewed the resolution and approved.

Recommendation/Actions: Approval is requested to support the resolution for the Mercer Medical School Expansion in Columbus.


Mercer Medical School Columbus Campus Opportunity (11.29.18).pdfMercer Medical School Columbus Campus Opportunity (11.29.18).pdf


A RESOLUTION

NO. _____

WHEREAS, in February 2012, a partnership was formed between Mercer University School of Medicine, Columbus Regional Health, and St. Francis Hospital to establish a clinical campus in Columbus. The goal of this partnership was to, in time, bring a full four-year medical school campus to Columbus; and,

WHEREAS, to date, more than 80 Mercer Medical students have trained in Columbus hospitals. As of May 2018, the Columbus Campus has graduated more than 60 physicians to help meet the health care needs of Georgia; and,

WHEREAS, Columbus is ideally suited to be the home of Mercer’s next four-year medical school campus; and,

WHEREAS, the Mercer Medical School Columbus campus student population currently educates approximately 28 medical students. With the expansion, it will increase to 160 and is projected to grow to 240 students; and,

WHEREAS, Mercer Medical School accepts only Georgia residents. To date, more than 60% of all Mercer graduates remain in the state to practice, regardless of where they complete their residency. More than 80% stay in state if they complete their residency in Georgia. Investments in medical education will bolster physician recruitment efforts while creating “home grown” physicians with a high likelihood of staying in Columbus after their training; and,

WHEREAS, the Rural Medical Scholars Program, funded by an endowment, pays from 80-100% of tuition costs if the student, after graduation, commits to practice for at least four years in underserved rural areas of Georgia; and,

WHEREAS, each Georgia physician contributes, on average, $2.5 million in total economic impact and, on average, directly supports 10.8 jobs; and,

WHEREAS, aside from bringing high paying jobs to the region in the form of additional physicians, the Mercer expansion will introduce additional research opportunities, grant funding, and scientific partnerships to the region; and,

WHEREAS, this Council will consider an annual appropriation of $100,000 for the next five budget cycles toward this project.

NOW, THEREFORE, THE COUNCIL OF COLUMBUS, GEORGIA HEREBY RESOLVES:

We hereby express our support for the establishment of a Mercer University four-year medical school campus in Columbus, Georgia. Let a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Economic Development Corporation.


____________

Introduced at a regular meeting of the Council of Columbus, Georgia held on the 4th day of December, 2018, and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of ______ members of Council.

Councilor Allen voting __________.
Councilor Baker voting __________.
Councilor Barnes voting __________.
Councilor Davis voting __________.
Councilor Garrett voting __________.
Councilor House voting __________.
Councilor Huff voting __________.
Councilor Thomas voting __________.
Councilor Turner Pugh voting __________.
Councilor Woodson voting __________.



_________________________________ __________________________
Lindsey Glisson, Deputy Clerk of Council Teresa Pike Tomlinson, Mayor