VSU plans allied health school - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

VSU plans allied health school

November 15, 2002

Valdosta - As promised when he began his presidency, Dr. Ronald Zaccari is bringing more degree programs to Valdosta State University.

"We'll have physical therapy, medical technology, pharmacy, and even more in the future," said Zaccari.

All these will be included in the university's new allied health school. But they can't do it alone. The college has formed a crucial alliance with South Georgia Medical Center.

"We always need good nurses, pharmacists, and other medical personnel here at SGMC, and with this partnership we could get a lot of those from VSU so it would help us both," said James McGahee, Hospital CEO.

The new allied health school will be built on a vacant lot right across from South Georgia Medical center. Administrators at both the college and the hospital say this location provides an ideal partnership.

"The students can walk right across the street from classes to their internships, and since everything is right there grouped together, it creates less of a hassle," said Zaccari.

The college of nursing is currently the only complete health program offered at VSU. Students and professors say combining their program into a complete school of allied health would benefit everyone involved.

"We are isolated right now but we don't work in isolation, we have to work with all these health professionals, so this would be beneficial because it allows students to learn in the actual combined setting," said Joan Futch, Nursing Professor.

"Students who are wanting to get a degree like pharmacy or nurse practitioner have to go somewhere in North Georgia for these degrees, but implementing those programs here would bring more students to VSU," said Casey Langdale, Nursing Student.

University and hospital officials agree, their new partnership will bring an economic boost and an overall improvement in healthcare to Lowndes County.

posted at 2:30PM by ashley.harper@walb.com