Elizabeth Gray, MD, associate dean at the Southeast Campus of the Medical College of Georgia, based in Savannah and Brunswick, has been named founding campus dean of the Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia-Georgia Southern Partnership campus.
The campus, which is slated to open in Savannah in the fall of 2024, will be the third four-year campus of the state’s only public medical school. It also will allow MCG, already one of the nation’s largest medical schools by class size, to increase its enrollment from 264 students per class to 304, and ultimately produce more physicians for Georgia.
Gray, an internist, has led the Savannah location of the Southeast Campus, home to around 80 third- and fourth-year students who live and learn in the area, since 2020.
“Dr. Gray has a long history of leadership in medical education,” said MCG Dean David Hess, MD. “Not only has she worked diligently to strengthen and grow relationships with our clinical partners, St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System and many other community stakeholders in Savannah, she has also built a community research program for students at that campus, while, at the same time, expertly guiding them through the clinical phase of their medical education. I know her experience and great reputation will be tremendous assets as we continue to grow our presence in Southeast Georgia.”
“We are excited that this partnership is taking another step forward and look forward to working with Dr. Gray,” added Carl L. Reiber, PhD, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Georgia Southern. “She will be an important piece in ensuring that we all meet the need of providing greater access to education and training for medical students and ease the state’s ongoing shortage of physicians.”
As campus dean, Gray will be charged with developing a long-term vision and setting goals and priorities for the campus; developing a leadership team; and working with hospital partners, like St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System and others, to develop clinical education opportunities for students, as well as future graduate medical education opportunities.
“Dr. Gray has been the associate dean of the MCG clinical campus here at St. Joseph’s/Candler for the last three years, and in that time, we have gotten to know her as a well-respected administrator and teacher,” said Paul P. Hinchey, president and CEO. “She is highly respected by our medical faculty. The medical students graduating from the campus are top-notch. With Dr. Gray leading the new four-year medical campus here in Savannah, I see the relationship between MCG and St. Joseph’s/Candler growing even stronger and providing a key resource for our health care community.”
Gray came to MCG from Nova Southeastern University School of Allopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she was director of the school’s clinical sciences and clerkship curriculum, and as a founding faculty member helped develop learning objectives for students, recruited clinical faculty and teaching sites, authored accreditation standards and directed the clinical simulation and standardized patient programs.
Gray earned her medical degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She completed her internal medicine residency at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
In May, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved $1.7 million for renovations to Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah to establish this new campus. Georgia Southern is providing approximately 23,000 square feet of instructional and lab space in its Armstrong Center and the Waters College of Health Professions’ Health Professions Academic Building, located down the street from St. Joseph’s Hospital. Renovations include 10,000 square feet of dedicated student group workspace and faculty and staff offices and 13,000 square feet of shared anatomy lab and large classroom space. They also include the creation of a new anatomy lab within the Health Professions Building, as well as minor renovations and new furniture, fixtures and equipment for the student group workspace and faculty and staff offices.
Last month, MCG received word from its accrediting body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, that plans to establish the campus met their rigorous standards.