New care center is part of AU Health ambulatory care expansion
A group of four physicians and several advanced practice clinicians with Family Medicine Associates of Augusta received white coats Monday as they officially joined the staff of AU Medical Associates, the Faculty Practice Plan of the Medical College of Georgia. In addition, Augusta University leaders unveiled signage at FMAA’s Summerville practice site at 1417 Pendleton Road, which – after 25 years of service – will become AU Health Family Medicine Associates Care Center beginning April 1.
“We are excited to join the Augusta University family,” said Dr. Anthony V. (Tony) Smith, who has practiced at Family Medicine Associates of Augusta since 1992. “We all have some type of Alumni association with MCG, and we have taught students for over 20 years, so to make it formal is wonderful. Essentially, this transition is like coming home.”
Smith said that the FMAA practice will become a model for how to continue this kind of collaboration to provide primary care across the area.
“From a medical, professional and social standpoint, AU made it worry-free,” said FMAA Site Coordinator and Clinical Associate Professor Dr. Andrew Van Alstine. “All we’ve ever know is private practice, so we had anxieties. From the first meeting, you’ve put us at ease. The whole process has been a smooth one.”
“We are pleased to have the FMAA team join AU Medical Associates and to unveil one of several new community care centers,” said Dr. Julian Nussbaum, Executive Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Augusta University and CEO of AU Medical Associates. “This new Family Medicine Associates Care Center creates for hundreds of primary care patients, a direct connection to specialty and subspecialty care, cutting-edge treatments, and clinical trials and research solely offered at Augusta’s only academic medical center.”
More importantly, this changeover helps AU Health establish more primary care options for patients in areas of the community where and when they need it most.
“The future of medicine is where our patients are,” said Nussbaum, “whether that’s around the coffee table with a personal device, around the corner at an urgent care office, or more complex care downtown at AU Medical Center.”
Augusta University Health System is investing in physician practices, urgent care, and outpatient facilities as part of an overarching ambulatory care expansion plan.
“Today is a step forward in the execution of our health care mission at Augusta University,” said Dr. Brooks Keel, Augusta University President and AU Health System CEO. “Our goal is to improve access to care for all Georgians. Through the distinctiveness of academic medicine and the digital innovation we deliver through key strategic partnerships, we aim to provide seamless integration and access to some of the most advanced care in the region, the state and across the Southeast, right here at home in Augusta, Ga.”
AU Health is a not-for-profit corporation in Augusta, Ga., that provides clinical operations as a cooperative organization for Augusta University. The 478-bed Medical Center includes a Critical Care Center, housing the region’s only Level I trauma center; the 154-bed Children’s Hospital of Georgia, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care; and more than 80 outpatient clinics and the AU Medical Associates practice group that combine to provide primary and specialty care in ambulatory care settings in Augusta and throughout the state. Augusta University physicians are consistently ranked among the nation’s best in both America’s Top Doctors® and Best Doctors in America®. In addition, Children’s Hospital of Georgia has been ranked number one in the nation in pediatric quality and safety among academic health centers for three of the past 10 years.