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Piedmont Scholars Named, Learning Center Dedicated
August 22, 2006

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ATLANTAMercer University and Piedmont Healthcare recognized their second class of Piedmont Nursing Scholars and dedicated a new Learning Resource Center at a ceremony Aug. 23, on Mercer's Cecil B. Day Campus in Atlanta. The Piedmont Nursing Scholars Program is the first initiative of the Center for Health and Learning, a partnership between Mercer and Piedmont.

Designed to address the critical shortage of nurses in Georgia, the Piedmont Nursing Scholars program is helping to recruit, educate and ultimately place more nurses at Piedmont and in the community at large. Thirty-four students from Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University have been selected to participate in the scholarship nursing program this year. Selection criteria included demonstrated leadership, scholastic achievement and commitment to the profession of nursing. These students will begin having an increased amount of clinical experience at Piedmont and will participate in research on nursing practices. 

The students selected to participate are:

Ø      Danielle Acha-Morfaw, Maryland

Ø      Stachia Aiken, Baltimore, Md.

Ø      Emily Grace Battaglia, Newnan, Ga.

Ø      Diane Brajta-Clark, Salem, Mass.

Ø      Diedre Campbell, Lithonia, Ga.

Ø      Kareen Carty, Ontario, Canada

Ø      Laura Cash, Brooks, Ga.

Ø      Dana Coleman, Kennesaw, Ga.

Ø      Robyn Davenport, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Ø      James DiAngelo, Chamblee, Ga.

Ø      Kimberly Dowell, Vancouver, Wash.

Ø      Leena J. Ebai, Cameroon, West Africa

Ø      Charissa Faith, Calhoun, Ga.

Ø      Sheena Gaiter, Marietta, Ga.

Ø      Yanet Garcia, Atlanta, Ga.

Ø      Julie Hilsman, Atlanta, Ga.

Ø      Deena Holloway, Greenville, N.C.

Ø      Keith Hood, Monroe, Ga.

Ø      Laura Hudgens, Albany, Ga.

Ø      Elizabeth C. King, Sharpsburg, Ga.

Ø      Sarah King, Brookings, S.D.

Ø      Mary Glenn Morehead, Augusta, Ga.

Ø      Hannah Oliver, Social Circle, Ga.

Ø      Donya Olivier, Covington, Ga.

Ø      Lauren Pfeifer, Peachtree City, Ga.

Ø      Whitney Pozgar, Nashville, Tenn.

Ø      Kristin Punch, Suwanee, Ga.

Ø      Claire Reeves, Atlanta, Ga.

Ø      Kimberly Roe, Hampton, Ga.

Ø      Cindy Sar, Atlanta, Ga.

Ø      Brianne Shanks, Birmingham, Ala.

Ø      Andrea Steuer, Athens, Ga.

Ø      Anne Thorne, Chamblee, Ga.

Ø      Constance Wernersbach, Indianapolis, Ind.


"Mercer University is pleased to partner with Piedmont Healthcare through the Piedmont Scholars program. This initiative will enhance health care delivery in Atlanta and throughout Georgia," said William D. Underwood, president of Mercer.

Scholars will work with the College and Piedmont Healthcare on defining good practices, reporting what a good clinical experience involves, and identifying what is important to future graduates when considering a work commitment to a health care facility. They will also be asked to serve as ambassadors for fellow students who may be considering applying for the Piedmont Nursing Scholars Program. Students will receive financial assistance for their participation in program.

"I have always been a hard worker in school, but the scholarship has made me work even harder to achieve my academic goals," noted Kareen Carty, one of the selected Scholars. "As a Piedmont Scholars recipient I will also have the opportunity to work with experienced Piedmont nurses to enhance my nursing knowledge in different areas of nursing."

The Aug. 23 ceremony also included the dedication of a new Piedmont Healthcare Learning Resource Center, made possible by the Mercer-Piedmont partnership. The new Center features a practice area with simulation manikins, a camera and an observation room to allow faculty to evaluate students' expertise in performing procedures. The Learning Resource Center expansion is on the third floor of the College of Nursing building, adding eight beds and approximately 25 to 35 seats in the classroom portion of the lab.

"The new Piedmont Healthcare Learning Resource Center will allow us to meet student demand and augment the didactic portion of the teaching-learning process," said Susan S. Gunby, dean of Mercer's College of Nursing. "Piedmont Healthcare's commitment to this lab has increased the resources for both undergraduate and graduate students to acquire or enhanced proficiency in nursing skills, techniques and procedures."

"Piedmont strives to provide future nurses with the technology mandated by the new age of health care," said R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare. "This effort supports the technology and nursing education that Piedmont hospitals rely on every day and reflects our strengthening partnership with Mercer University."


About Piedmont Healthcare

Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization and one of the nation's 100 Best Performing Integrated Healthcare Networks (Top 100 IHNs), is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 500-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead. Piedmont Hospital offers all major medical, surgical and diagnostic services, and is a recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient SafetyTM from HealthGrades  (a leading healthcare ratings company) and one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals in the 2006, 2005 and 2004 100 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study. PHC also includes:


·      Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 100-bed acute care community hospital in Fayetteville, named one of the nations 100 Top Hospitals® for the third year in a row and one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals in 2006 and 2005;

·      Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 35-bed community hospital in Jasper and one of the nation's Most Improved hospitals in the 2006 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study;

·      The Piedmont Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives;

·      Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 70 primary care physicians in a network of 18 offices throughout metro Atlanta; and

·      The Piedmont Clinic, a 469-member physician network.


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About Mercer University:
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education, the University has 7,300 students; 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies; major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; four regional academic centers across the state; a university press; teaching hospitals in Macon and Savannah; an educational partnership with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta; an engineering research center in Warner Robins; a performing arts center in Macon; and a NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit