It's official. The Medical College of Georgia has made its way to McDuffie County.
After nearly two years of exploring the possibility of MCG doctors working in the county, McDuffie Regional Medical Center CEO Doug Keir and other hospital personnel welcomed 10 MCG doctors to the staff during a reception Tuesday evening at the Belle Meade County Club.
Mr. Keir said the arrangement would be beneficial to the quality and availability of health care not just in McDuffie County, but in surrounding counties as well.
"I think what it means to the community and all the communities that we serve is the opportunity for people stay at home for health care," he said, calling it a "great day" for the hospital.
Richard Bias, MCG senior vice president for ambulatory and network services, said the arrangement was born out of a spirit of cooperation that meets needs on both sides of the deal.
"The best thing we can do to assist our patients, to assist the medical college, is to do anything we can with the local communities to help them be successful," he said, adding that he hopes to build relationships with MRMC patients so that when they need additional care, they think of MCG first.
"We're excited that McDuffie is willing to work with us at this point," Mr. Bias said. "And what we tend to do is be very careful and be sure that what we're doing is what the local community wants."
The MCG doctors, who will open offices behind MRMC within the next week, are excited about the prospect of expanding some needed services into McDuffie County.
"We hope it will be a good thing for Thomson to allow some tertiary care surgeons, general surgeons and urologists who usually work at the university at the medical college to come here and hopefully provide some services that maybe aren't performed in Thomson," said Dr. James Brown, an MCG urologist who will initially work in Thomson for a few days per month.