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University System’s Health Professionals Program Earns National Award

Atlanta — September 28, 2005

An innovative initiative by the University System of Georgia aimed at addressing the growing shortage of healthcare professionals in the state has earned recognition from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The group, meeting for its annual conference in Chicago, presented an Honorable Mention award today to the Health Professionals Initiative (HPI) created and administered by the University System of Georgia’s Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP).

“We are appreciative of this national recognition,” said Joy Hymel, executive director of the University System of Georgia’s Office of Economic Development. “The Health Professionals Initiative reflects the University System’s ability to respond quickly and comprehensively to identified statewide workforce needs, and to work in partnership with the private sector to create the programs necessary to meet those needs. ICAPP is a model that could be used in other states and this award will help generate awareness of its effectiveness in supporting economic development.”

Competing in the IEDC’s College/University Economic Development Training Achievements category involving communities with populations exceeding 200,000, ICAPP was a clear standout with HPI. The public-private partnership program addresses Georgia’s critical shortage of healthcare workers, which is projected to worsen dramatically in the near future. More than 1,300 Georgians will become licensed health professionals through HPI’s first two phases, during which 16 public colleges and universities partner with private healthcare providers to provide accelerated instruction and expedite the production of graduates.

“Economic development pursuits have always played an invaluable role in strengthening the nation’s economy one locality at a time, and as our country faces challenges ranging from an elevated national debt to a declining yet still significant unemployment rate, these efforts take on an even greater importance,” said Steven J. Budd, IEDC chairman. “The awards highlight pace-setting establishments in economic development, an excellent example of which is ICAPP.”

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is headquartered in Washington, DC. Its mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development for communities, members and partners. IEDC’s professional economic development awards annually recognize excellence in the economic development profession.

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