Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that the state will give $70 million to Morehouse School of Medicine and Mercer University’s medical school.
The money comes from a settlement with the federal government over disputed Medicaid reimbursements. Deal said the two schools were chosen because of their efforts to place graduates in rural and underserved areas in Georgia.
“It is only fitting that we in turn invest this money in health care education programs, particularly those that prioritize placing primary care physician graduates in high-demand areas throughout the state,” Deal said in a prepared statement. “Likewise, this funding fulfills a decades-old commitment made to Mercer University by the state. With this investment in its health care program, we are making good on that promise.”
President and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice says the two schools are expected to split the funds evenly.
She said Morehouse School of Medicine will use the money to help expand its medical school classes and residency programs, as well as recruit new staff.
“The governor and the legislators have seen that many of those physicians and health care professionals from Morehouse School of Medicine are practicing in those counties where legislators represent, and I think they see the impact,” Montgomery Rice said.
In a statement, Mercer University President William Underwood says their portion of money will directly help students who've shown a commitment to providing primary care in areas of the greatest need.