PCOM South Georgia Essay Contest Winners NamedApril 5, 2018
“Together, Let’s Shape the Future of Health in South Georgia” is the theme for the
groundbreaking ceremony of PCOM South Georgia, a four-year medical program to be located in Moultrie, Georgia.
One high school student and one college student will be recognized as winners of an
essay contest launched in conjunction with the groundbreaking. The students will be
presented with certificates and $500 scholarship checks at the April 26 ceremony.
The Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center (SOWEGA-AHEC), based in Albany,
coordinated the contest which asked students to respond to the question: “How can
your generation work together to help shape the future of health in South Georgia?”
Zizi Ohamadike, a junior at Lee County High School in Leesburg, was the high school
winner of the essay contest. Ohamadike is a current participant in the SOWEGA AHEC’s
Rural Health Leadership Program.
Ohamadike wrote, “In order to maintain the health of South Georgia, my generation
must realize our responsibility to maintain a community in which quality health is
feasible to all people. Such a responsibility demands that we possess the attributes
of a servant leader that enable us to serve the community that nurtures us.”
Julia Patterson, a senior at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, was the
college winner. Patterson was selected for the Pathway to Med School program last
year and has worked with the AHEC since high school. In addition, Patterson participated
in the SERVE (Students Embracing Real Volunteer Experiences) program and has volunteered
for the Farmworker Health Project.
According to Patterson, her generation must be the one that steps up and answers the
call to serve the region.
“We must become physicians, physician assistants, nurses and other healthcare providers
who are willing to commit to serving our communities long term,” she added, “The satisfaction
of serving our rural community must outweigh the conveniences and amenities that could
be found in a big city … I think my generation has the potential to redefine the healthcare
system of South Georgia.”
The expansion of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) into southwest Georgia presents additional opportunities to train and “grow our own”
to meet healthcare needs in rural Georgia, according to Laura Calhoun, executive director
of the SOWEGA-AHEC.
“The future of healthcare in southwest Georgia looks bright if the essays submitted
are an indication of our future providers,” Calhoun said. “I am encouraged by the
commitment level the students expressed in wanting to make a difference in the health
of southwest Georgia as well as the level of understanding of the challenges we face.”
Read the winners’ complete essays:
The PCOM South Georgia groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Thursday, April
26, 2018 near the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Tallokas Road in Moultrie,
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About PCOM South Georgia
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) extended its commitment to the
Southeast by establishing PCOM South Georgia, an additional teaching location in Moultrie, Georgia. PCOM South Georgia offers both
a full, four-year medical program leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
degree and a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree. PCOM is a private, not-for-profit
institution which trains professionals in the health and behavioral sciences fields.
Joining PCOM Georgia in Suwanee in helping to meet the healthcare needs of the state,
PCOM South Georgia focuses on educating physicians for the South Georgia region. The
medical campus, which welcomed its inaugural class of medical students in August 2019,
has received accreditation from the American Osteopathic Association's Commission
on Osteopathic College Accreditation. For more information, visit pcom.edu/southgeorgia or call 229-668-3110.
For more information, contact:
Public Relations and Social Media Specialist
Office: 229-668-3198 | Cell: 229-873-2003
Connect with PCOM South Georgia