by Gary Leftwich
Payable over five years, the gift solidifies the partnership between Piedmont and UWG as the university continues to grow its presence in Newnan and Coweta County.
“We’re excited to partner with the University of West Georgia and enhance the UWG Newnan student experience and increase connections to the community,” said Mike Robertson, CEO, Piedmont Newnan Hospital. “As a not-for-profit organization, our success enables us to give back and support local partners like the University of West Georgia, aligning our healthcare focus with its students’ needs to promote academic success and healthy living.”
Specifically, the gift will be used to support academic programming, which will aid progression through degree programs and help students graduate with skills needed by area employers. UWG plans to hire additional adjunct faculty for Newnan; develop new, expanded classes and curricula; and provide instructional equipment.
In addition, the university plans to restructure advisement, allowing students direct contact with specialists as they sign up for classes.
“We’re working to make it easier for students to have the traditional, complete college experience in Newnan,” said Dr. David Jenks, UWG’s associate vice president for academic affairs. “From student services and advising to providing a wide variety of classes and research facilities, they can study, learn and graduate right here.”
UWG Newnan also is exploring plans to use a portion of the gift to enhance study areas, improve Wi-Fi service and increase connections to the Newnan community by creating a welcome area where visitors can learn more about the university.
“We are excited to explore new opportunities with Piedmont Newnan Hospital and identify learning experiences that add value for students, while training the future of healthcare leaders Coweta County,” said UWG President Kyle Marrero. “We are committed to helping students succeed as we help develop our region’s workforce.”
The partnership is working, with Piedmont hiring 61 new graduates—about a third of its new nursing hires—in the last two years.
West Georgia’s partnership with Piedmont also ensures students stay healthy as they study. The Piedmont Newnan Fitness Center in downtown Newnan provides free memberships to UWG students. Nearly 250 students have enrolled since the partnership started.