The Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center recently named Valdosta Technical College President James Bridges to its Board of Directors. The term of office is three years.
The center is a community-driven, not-for-profit organization whose goal is to improve access to healthcare by improving the number and distribution of healthcare providers in 38 counties in southwest Georgia. Started in 1990 and located in Albany, the organization is governed by a board representative of the geographic region. The 24-member Board of Directors provides leadership and counsel to the organization.
The Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center has four goals -- to develop and conduct health career awareness for youth and adults to build a pipeline; to facilitate community-based clinical training for health professional students to aid in regional recruitment; to provide continuing education for health professionals to assist with licensing requirements to maintain clinical competencies; and to provide access to electronic or journal information to help with healthcare provider retention.
Funding for the center is obtained from contracts, book royalties, community partners, federal grants, as well as from the state legislature.
Over the years, the organization has arranged over 561,388 clinical hours of training for health professional students. More than 350 health professional students who were supported by the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center in their clinical training have chosen to practice in the region.
Valdosta Technical College has co-hosted the summer healthcare awareness week called Camp MICRO for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors for the past two years with Valdosta State University and South Georgia Regional Medical Center.
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