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Our opinion: Great things happening in Sumter County

The latest news from this week have the potential to greatly impact the economy of Southwest Georgia, and potentially the entire state.
The announcement on Thursday is that the Georgia Southwestern State University College of Nursing and Health Sciences will expand its program, doubling the number of students entering the program each year, and consequently helping to solve the critical shortage of nurses around the state.
Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, GSW will open a second nursing enrollment period to allow more students to enter the program in the spring semester.
The Georgia Nurses Association says there is a potential shortage of some 50,000 registered nurses in Georgia by 2030, due to rapid population growth and a growing elderly who are living longer.
We commend GSW and its leaders for making this investment to the program, as well as to the residents of the entire state. The plan will bring more students to live and study locally, which will provide a very welcome economic boost.
The other good news this week comes from the Americus-Sumter County Hospital Authority which has approved an option by an Atlanta-based LLC to purchase just over nine acres on Forsyth Street for $600,000. The property is the former site of the temporary hospital built after the March 2007 tornado destroyed Sumter Regional Hospital. The developer has said it is interested in the property for the location of a nice restaurant and retail space. The option is for 180 days. We’re hoping we can welcome new business to Americus some time later this year!
Strong leadership with vision make for successful communities. Both GSW and the hospital authority have demonstrated these characteristics.
We appreciate their leadership.