UWG, Tanner celebrate nursing school partnership
by Celia Shortt
The University of West Georgia’s nursing program at its Carrollton and Newnan campuses will be named the Tanner Health System School of Nursing.
UWG officials announced the naming earlier this week during a dedication ceremony cementing the two entities’ partnership.
"We are excited about the partnership with Tanner Health System and the scholarship and programmatic support it will provide to UWG's nursing program and students,” said University of West Georgia President Dr. Kyle Marrero. “These enhancements and scholarships will also be available for Newnan and Coweta county students immediately and continue when we open the new renovated Newnan Center.”
UWG broke ground in September on its new campus in Newnan at the site of the old Newnan Hospital on Jackson Street north of downtown. The $15 million hospital redevelopment project will provide four-year higher education degrees in Newnan and expand Newnan’s current UWG campus facilities, currently located in Shenandoah Industrial Park. This school year, UWG had a record enrollment of almost 12,000 students.
Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System, explained the importance of the relationship between Tanner Health System and the university, and that the partnership of the two organizations is strengthened by the organizations’ commonalities. “I think there are two characteristics that these two organizations have in common,” Howard said. “It’s not just that they are great places to work or that they are great facilities, but it is the pursuit of excellence. The pursuit to be great really joins us and will allow us to accomplish what we really want to do in the coming decade.”
"Partnerships such as this truly benefit all our UWG students, and we in Newnan look forward to the growth of not only our nursing program but also the other programs offered here at UWG Newnan," said Director of the UWG Newnan Center Cathy Wright.
According to Marrero, the UWG nursing program will represent approximately 10 percent of the overall student population in Newnan.
“With a goal of 3,000 students at the Newnan Center by 2018 in a variety of relevant academic programs, UWG is committed to a robust presence in Newnan and Coweta County,” he said. “While the Tanner Health System partnership will enhance nursing, it will be the comprehensive ability for regional students to further their education in the other 90 percent of our projected student population that will educate future workforce and propel economic development in Coweta County."
The Newnan Hospital Redevelopment Project is a partnership between the city of Newnan, the Newnan Hospital board, Coweta County, UWG, and the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.
The project will move and expand the current Newnan campus housed at the Shenandoah Industrial Park. The development of the former hospital property will increase instructional space from 15,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet in the first phase of construction. The second phase will bring the total instructional space to 87,000 square feet. Included in the plans is a new lecture hall.
The demolition abatement on the old hospital facility began in October, and the $15 million project is currently on budget and on schedule to start classes in January 2015.