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Mercer, Piedmont Partnership Begins Training Program for Practice Managers

August 31, 2010

Media Contact:
Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

ATLANTA — The Center for Health and Learning, a partnership of Piedmont Healthcare and Mercer University, will launch a program to train practice managers from Piedmont Heart Institute and Piedmont Medical Care Corp. through Mercer’s Practice Management Leadership Certificate Program. The training begins today on Piedmont’s Campus in Atlanta in the Richard H. Rich Auditorium. The courses are led by faculty from the College of Continuing and Professional Studies and were each designed in conjunction with Piedmont executives.

Today’s program begins with a kick-off celebration and welcome at the Rich Auditorium at 9 a.m., which will include welcomes from Dr. Priscilla Danheiser, dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Studies; Sharon Nieb, executive director of the Center for Health and Learning; Beth Nault, corporate director of education and organizational development for Piedmont Healthcare; Dr. Richard Swindle, Mercer’s senior vice president for Atlanta; Michele M. Molden, president and chief executive officer of Piedmont Heart Institute and Myra Miller,  vice president and chief operating officer of Piedmont Medical Care Corp.

The program will include 35 practice managers from around the metro Atlanta area and includes three in-person training sessions, including today, and 10 total modules, which are hybrid or online.  The modules, which run from Tuesday to Dec. 21, include:  organizational communication, team building and effective relationships, management for the practice manager, human resources, client/patient satisfaction, strategic planning for success, record maintenance and security, compliance and contracting, financial leadership for the non-financial manager, and effective leadership for healthcare and leadership succession. Each module requires 10 hours of work time/class time whether face-to-face or online and each online module will include at least a one-hour live chat session.

Today the practice managers will spend the remainder of the day in an orientation led by Dr. Lynn Clemons, associate professor of leadership, and module one training on organization communication, led by Mercer’s Dr. Thompson Biggers, associate professor of communication.

At the midpoint in the program, the second face-to-face training will be held on Oct. 19. Managers who complete the program will receive a Certificate in Practice Management from the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. The ceremony, which is also part of the last module and the final face-to-face training session, is set for Dec. 21.

About the Center for Health and Learning
In 2005, two of Georgia’s oldest and finest institutions — Piedmont Healthcare and
Mercer University — came together to enhance the future of health care delivery and education. Through the Center for Health and Learning, a Georgia 501c3 non-profit organization,
Piedmont and Mercer are creating innovative solutions to challenging 21st Century health dilemmas. These areas include: addressing physician, nursing and other allied health professional shortages; increasing quality while reducing cost; and utilizing joint faculty, student and health professional research and design teams to further innovation and learning. Through the Center for Health and Learning, Piedmont and Mercer assess future trends in health education and patient care. The Center reacts quickly to identify health professional shortages and health care challenges in Georgia. The Center has developed programs in response to shortages in bedside nursing, nursing faculty, physician extenders and physical therapy.

About Piedmont Healthcare
Piedmont Healthcare (PHC), a not-for-profit organization, is the parent company of Piedmont Hospital, a 481-bed acute tertiary care facility in the north Atlanta community of Buckhead; Piedmont Fayette Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Fayetteville and one of the 100 Top Hospitals® in the nation; Piedmont Mountainside Hospital, a 42-bed community hospital in Jasper; and Piedmont Newnan Hospital, a 143-bed, acute-care community hospital in Newnan.  Piedmont Healthcare also is the parent company of  the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), comprised of more than 100 affiliated cardiovascular specialists in Piedmont Heart Institute Physicians with over 30 locations across north Georgia and North Carolina; the Piedmont Physicians Group, with more than 100 primary care physicians in over 30 offices throughout metro Atlanta; the Piedmont Clinic, a 600-member physician network; and Piedmont Philanthropy, the philanthropic entity for private fundraising initiatives. Three Piedmont Healthcare hospitals—Piedmont Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Mountainside Hospital—have received top ratings from patients among metro Atlanta hospitals according to the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey results for the past two years.  For more information about Piedmont Healthcare, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,000 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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