Wellstar Health System (Wellstar) and Augusta University Health System (AUHS) have signed an agreement to partner to improve healthcare in Georgia, US.

The partnership is known as Wellstar MCG Health, with “MCG” standing for the Medical College of Georgia, which is the only public medical school in Georgia.

The Wellstar MCG Health partnership is expected to improve medical training, research, and clinical care throughout the state while serving as a model of bringing together community-based health systems and academic medical centres such as MCG and its affiliate hospitals.

Georgia governor Brian Kemp said: “This is an important day for healthcare in Georgia. I am excited for the benefits that this partnership will provide our state, including world-class care sites, greater access to care for our communities, and more training and education for physicians and other vitally important health care providers at Augusta University and its outstanding Medical College of Georgia.”

University System of Georgia (USG) chancellor Sonny Perdue said: “This partnership combines the strengths of AUHS, Augusta University and Wellstar to advance medical education and research, and provide more access to quality health care where people need it most, especially in rural Georgia.”

Following regulatory approval, the partnership will focus on five areas, namely digital health, paediatric care, care innovation, an expanded pipeline of clinicians, and access to expertise.

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According to the agreement, Wellstar has committed to invest almost $800m over a decade in AUHS facilities and infrastructure.

This amount includes more than $200m for Augusta University Medical Center (AUMC), which has an over 600-bed safety net and a teaching hospital.

Furthermore, capital for a new hospital, medical office building and ambulatory surgery centre in Columbia County, as well as the costs with regard to the implementation of a new state-funded electronic medical records system across AUHS will also be funded.

The agreement features primary AUHS clinical sites that includes AUMC, Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital, the Georgia Cancer Center, and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, a new hospital in Columbia County. It also covers various clinics in Augusta and certain counties of South Carolina.

This new partnership is expected to be finalised later this year after receiving regulatory approvals.