Future Healthcare Providers Graduate from PCOM Georgia
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Healthcare Providers Graduate from PCOM Georgia

May 24, 2023

PCOM Georgia held its annual commencement ceremony on May 23, this year graduating 283 physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, physician assistants, biomedical scientists and medical laboratory scientists.

Members of the PCOM Georgia 2023 graduating class pose on a staircase in full regaliaThe pomp and circumstance were elevated as students processed into the auditorium to the accompaniment of a bagpipe and snare drum. The grand ballroom at the Gas South Convention Center was filled with loved ones who witnessed their students crossing the stage to receive their diplomas and hoods.

Julie Ginn Moretz, the chief experience officer and the assistant vice president of patient- and family- centered health care at the Augusta University Health System, delivered the keynote address. The sister of PCOM Georgia Chief Campus Officer Bryan Ginn, Moretz received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, as part of the ceremony.

Moretz asked the graduates “what would health care look like if patients designed it?”

Once the self-described scared young mother of a newborn diagnosed with three major life-threatening heart defects, Moretz has worked tirelessly to transform the culture of health care so that the hospital experience is more patient-and family-centered.

As the first volunteer chair of the Patient/Family Advisory Council at AU Health, Moretz partnered with hospital leaders to develop a nationally recognized patient- and family- centered program which led to a position as a hospital director.

“It’s about keeping patients and families together and including them in the care plan and decision-making process,” she said.

Moretz reminded the students that “words matter. Your patients will memorize the words you say.”

A final lesson Moretz conveyed to the graduates is that “you can’t save everyone but you can always share your passion and compassion.”

President Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, presents diploma to student on stage at commencement ceremonyJay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, addressed the graduates. He said, “As you leave here today, you are poised to lead in a world of continuous change. You are empowered to effect change and to grow from it.”

“I encourage you to harness the power of change. Commit to leaving things better than you found them. There is no limit to your capacity for greatness,” he said.

The Honorable James “Jimmy” Burnette, Jr., who serves as the mayor of Suwanee, offered greetings from the city and thanked the graduates for the volunteer service they provided to the community during their years at PCOM Georgia. He noted their participation in health fairs, food banks, Relay for Life activities, and their service during the pandemic to include providing vaccinations and groceries for the vulnerable.

Students in the audience at the PCOM Georgia commencement cereomonyIn addition to their volunteer work and academics, many of the students also had active family lives. Provost Kenneth J. Veit, DO ‘76, noted that 39 graduates were engaged while in school, while five became betrothed to a fellow classmate. In addition, 30 students were married during school and class members as a whole have 36 children, of which 20 children were born while their parents were students at PCOM Georgia.

The Class of 2023 is made up of 109 DOs, 76 pharmacists, 39 physical therapists, 30 physician assistants, 27 biomedical scientists and two medical laboratory scientists.

To watch a live stream of the ceremony, click here.

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  • About PCOM Georgia

    Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a branch campus of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution of higher education with a storied 125-year history dedicated to the healthcare professions. Located in Suwanee (Gwinnett County), PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. Graduate degrees are offered in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science and physician assistant studies. The campus joins PCOM South Georgia in Moultrie in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state. Emphasizing "a whole person" approach to care, PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the community. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcomgeorgiahealth.org.

    Contact Us

    Jamesia Harrison, MS
    Assistant Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: jamesiaha@pcom.edu
    Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 470-572-7558

    Connect with PCOM Georgia