Georgia Health Sciences University
Georgia Health Sciences University, formerly the Medical College of Georgia, is the state’s
health sciences university, a thriving academic health center that in the past decade has logged
48 percent increase in student applications
25 percent increase in enrollment
146 percent increase in sponsored research
Assuming the dual roles of President of Georgia Health Sciences University and CEO of the
newly established MCG Health System, President Ricardo Azziz has rapidly advanced the
university’s mission of better health since beginning his tenure in July 2010.
His administration’s vision is for the institution to become a leading academic health center
and top-50 research university while transforming the institution and the region into a health
care and biomedical research destination. His leadership team is generating unprecedented
momentum in vaulting the university to national and international prominence as an
integrated academic health center and a biomedical research institution.
His leadership team’s priorities include:
Excellence and growth in research, education and clinical care
Leadership development and accountability
Civic and community engagement
Fiscal sustainability and growth
He and his leadership are crafting an aggressive growth plan, including a 20 percent increase in
the faculty body and the development of the necessary clinical and research facilities to ensure
the institution’s continuing competitiveness and increasing impact.
Founded in 1828, the university offers 34 degree programs in its five colleges:
Medical College of Georgia, the 13th oldest medical college in the nation
College of Allied Health Sciences, with programs including physical therapy,
occupational therapy and medical illustration (one of only four of its kind nationwide)
College of Dental Medicine, the state’s only dental college, which will soon increase its
class size from 63 to 100
College of Graduate Studies, with programs including Ph.D. degrees in 12 biomedical
College of Nursing, which includes Georgia’s largest advanced nursing degree program
GHSU’s graduates are among the best-prepared in the country. The university’s technology-
infused curricula include a set of customized iPhone applications, the first of its kind
nationwide in a public health sciences university. GHSU also offers simulation laboratories
enabling students to practice surgery, anesthesia and dentistry, among other skills. Distance-
learning and Internet-based instruction have vastly increased access statewide and beyond to a
GHSU houses a thriving biomedical research enterprise, focusing resources in the areas of
cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes/obesity, infection/inflammation and neurological
disease. Recent findings include a molecular mechanism that selectively and safely removes
memories without damaging brain cells; a way to block the waves of electrical silence that kill
brain cells after a stroke; and inhibiting a vital protein to cripple cancer growth.
It was also GHSU researchers who through the decades have laid the groundwork for fertility
and birth-control treatments, beta-blocking drugs and selective suppression of the immune
GHSU was recently named one of the nation’s top-15 places to work by The Scientist.
GHSU’s sponsored funding research has increased 146 in the past decade, currently
exceeding $86 million.
The university has more than $63 million in National Institutes of Health funding.
GHSU’s distinction as an academic health center—one of only 80 nationwide—ensures that its
patients have access to the latest technology, the newest biomedical breakthroughs and the
best in health care.
Its clinical facilities, managed by MCG Health System, include:
MCGHealth Medical Center, featuring the region’s only level-1 trauma center
MCGHealth Children’s Medical Center, Georgia’s second-largest children’s hospital
Specialized centers including the MCGHealth Cancer Center, the first of its kind in
Georgia to offer Phase I and 2 clinical trials
A kidney transplant program that recently received a HealthGrades Excellence Award
Multiple specialty clinics
These facilities log half a million patient visits annually, and half of those patients are
GHSU is world-renowned for its pioneering role in Patient Family Centered Care, ensuring that
patients and their families partner with their clinicians in every aspect of treatment. Faculty
and students also travel the globe to volunteer their services, including staffing medical and
dental clinics in Cusco, Peru. GHSU is the state’s second-largest Medicaid provider.
The GHSU campus is vibrant and thriving, characterized by extensive expansion. In addition to
its main campus in Augusta, GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia recently opened a partnership
campus in Athens and clinical campuses in Albany and Savannah. A third clinical campus will
open soon in Rome. This expansion will enable the college to increase its class size
approximately 60 percent by 2020, making it the largest medical college in the nation.
The College of Dental Medicine plans to incrementally increase its class size from 63 to 100 by
2016, with a new building erected to accommodate the growth. The approximately $112
million new facility will have five floors, 220,000 square feet and equipment including
simulation technology and distance-learning capabilities. Patient visits are projected to double
upon completion. As the state’s only dental college, the GHSU College of Dental Medicine
produces a quarter of Georgia’s dentists.
Faculty and students treat patients at more than 800 sites statewide, as well as participating in
innovative public/private partnerships that provide invaluable service for the state’s veterans,
disabled and incarcerated. GHSU is truly critical to the state of Georgia, with a statewide
economic impact of $8.3 billion when including the effects of its workforce, industry and
A Great Investment
GHSU logs a $2.1 billion annual economic impact on the local economy, indicating that every
dollar the state invests in the university reaps a more than thirteen-fold return. Even more
importantly, GHSU immeasurably enhances health and well-being—not only by offering
extensive clinical, community and volunteer services, but by expediting cutting-edge new
treatments to the bedside and by filling a large percentage of the state’s health care workforce
The university’s mission—to improve health—is central to every aspect of GHSU’s educational,
research and clinical initiatives.