Helping the Other Georgia
By Mary J. Loftus
Courtesy Laura Hurt
The next nurse to deliver a baby, care for a heart patient, or administer a shot in Tbilisi, Georgia, was probably taught, trained, or in some way touched by Emory Healthcare’s nursing outreach to Atlanta’s sister city in the former Soviet Union.
“Through a two-year, $2 million USAID grant, our nursing faculty developed a new four-year, university-level program at Tbilisi State University,” says School of Medicine Dean Thomas Lawley. “The grant also helped fund classroom space, a simulation lab, skills lab, and staff.”
Twenty nursing students were admitted to the program last fall. During the past three years, the program has helped to train 2,500 practicing nurses in the fields of emergency, critical care, and pre- and postoperative nursing.
Emory Healthcare nurse Laura Hurt, director of nursing operations at Emory Midtown, is overseeing the program and has made several trips to Tbilisi.
“The opportunity to share knowledge and clinical practice skills has been rewarding for both Georgians,” she says.
Emory has been an active part of the Atlanta-Tbilisi partnership for two decades, focusing on health care improvements.