MOULTRIE — The PCOM South Georgia offices temporarily located at Hospital Park in Moultrie are abuzz with activity.
The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, or PCOM, leased the space to house a number of full-time employees prior to the August opening of the institution’s new Tallokas Road location in Moultrie.
PCOM South Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, four-year additional location of PCOM, a multiprogram institution of education founded in 1899. PCOM officials say the new location, which will have a 75,000-square-foot facility on 31 acres, is being developed to help meet the health care needs of the region.
Officials said the PCOM South Georgia admissions team is in full swing going across the south Georgia region, visiting high schools and colleges to tell the PCOM story. Admissions Assistant Director Dana Brooks and Admissions Assistant Victoria Heath are planning an April welcome luncheon at Southern Regional Technical College for students who have been accepted to the class of 2023 and will start classes in late summer.
Chief Academic Officer Dr. Michael J. Sampson and Campus Officer Joanne M. Jones are spending a majority of their time interviewing prospective faculty members, speaking to community groups and ensuring that PCOM South Georgia meets accreditation standards.
The school has received initial accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. PCOM South Georgia will offer the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree to 55 students.
With the assistance of Dr. Marla D. Golden, the chair of clinical education for PCOM South Georgia, Sampson is working to build relationships with existing and prospective preceptors. Preceptors are experienced physicians in various specialties who provide third- and fourth-year medical students with supervision during clinical practice.
“I am excited to be living in the community and watching PCOM change the landscape, both literally and figuratively, in south Georgia,” Sampson said. “As I am out telling the PCOM South Georgia story to Rotary and Kiwanis clubs and meeting with medical staff at our regional hospitals, I am amazed by the positive reception that PCOM South Georgia is receiving.
“What was once a dream is now coming to a reality, especially when we all work together for the common good to enhance health care in south Georgia.”
Officials with PCOM said its human resources office continues to recruit qualified applicants to fill both faculty and staff positions. To date, a number of faculty members are under contract and are expected to assume their responsibilities at various times during the winter, spring and summer months.
Sebastian Egberts, a PCOM employee and anatomy faculty member in his fourth year with PCOM in Philadelphia, decided to make the move to Moultrie.
“The idea of establishing a brand new location and building it from the ground up is something very exciting,” Egberts said. “Since I already am part of the PCOM family on the Philadelphia campus, I have been following the planning stages ever since the south Georgia location was announced.
“What intrigued me about the new location on a personal level was that prior to working at PCOM in Philadelphia, I worked for an osteopathic college in rural Ohio, of which I have many fond memories. I find that often in smaller places, people grow closer together and relationships between faculty, staff and students are tightly knit.”
Tamara Scaccia, a PCOM Georgia employee for more than 10 years who now works as the administrative assistant to Sampson, also made the decision to take a position in Moultrie.
She said she has enjoyed the “laid-back vibe,” the north Floridalike weather and her four-minute commute to work — but she said she does miss her friends.
“The community here is amazing. You mention PCOM South Georgia and they are fully on board,” Scaccia said. “I have really loved watching this beautiful campus come to life, and I am so very excited to be a part of this amazing team that is helping build this new location from the dirt up. I see the vision and it is coming together.”
On the construction front, JCI Senior Project Manager Brett Diamon reports that brickwork has begun on exterior walls and will continue for around eight weeks. Roofing is ongoing and windows will soon be installed.
Diamon said that mechanical, electrical and plumbing rough-ins are complete inside the walls, while the above ceiling rough-ins will continue for the next several weeks. In addition, drywall installation has begun and will continue as more and more areas become available.
He said a number of subcontractors are working on the PCOM South Georgia project. They include Acousti Engineering, All State Electrical, American Glass, Chambless Construction Specialties, Dalton Carpet One, Georgia Automatic Sprinkler, Griffin-Folsom Construction, InEx Systems, Jim Boyd Construction, Keith Lawson Company, One Path, Plexi-Chemie, Overhead Doors of Southwest Georgia and Richter Contracting.
Other subcontractors on the project are Robles Masonry, Ruis Fence Company, Rutland Voltage Systems Inc., S&L Integrated Systems, Thyssenkrump Elevators, Trinity Fabricators, Valdosta Commercial Doors, Ware Paint & Drywall and Woodlane.
Egberts, who is currently relocating, summed it up.
“For me the decision to make the big move to Moultrie was made easier because I was already in a privileged position knowing that PCOM is a great institution,” he said. “I have faith the new location will be a success story as well.”