Mercer University School of Medicine Presented at Rotary

by | February 13, 2018 9:09 am

Last Updated: February 13, 2018 at 9:10 am

The Rotary Club of Swainsboro held its February 12, 2018 meeting at Catered Creations in Swainsboro.  Al Lawson welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order.

Kenny Griffin gave the invocation and Greg Hodgins led the pledge and Rotary Four-Way Test.  Rotarians welcomed guests Seth Brewer, Carmen Tanner, Damien Scott, Dr. William B. Headley, and Dr. Roberto H. Barja to the meeting.

Lawson announced that The Rotary Club of Swainsboro is donating $2500 to support the Historic Dixie Theatre preservation project. In addition, Lawson encouraged members to attend the upcoming Mardi Gras Celebration in support of the Historic Dixie Theatre.

The Rotary member profile was Peyton Frye. Peyton has been a Rotary member since 2007.  He served as president in 2011-2012. Peyton Frye is Practice Manager for East Georgia Healthcare (EGHC). Peyton is married to Brooke Youmans Frye. They have two children:  Lawson, seven years old and Anna Caroline, four years old. The Frye family is active in the activities of the First United Methodist Church and numerous community service projects in Emanuel County.

Rotarian Phil Boatright introduced Dr. Jean Rawlins Sumner, Dean of the Mercer University School of Medicine.  Dr. Sumner graduated in the first Mercer School of Medicine class in 1986. Dr. Sumner served as a rural primary care physician in Wrightsville, Georgia for many years. She is passionate about rural healthcare and devoted to establishing Georgia as a quality Primary Care State.

The doctor’s presentation was anchored in a quote by Gerver Tully, “Persistence and resiliency only come from having been given a chance to work through difficult problems.” Dr. Rawlins emphasized the importance and uniqueness of the original, problem-based curriculum utilized at Mercer. Students begin with a real medical scenario the first day of class. Dr. Rawlins emphasized that rural healthcare doctors provide the same if not better healthcare as large city hospital doctors. Dr. Rawlins stresses to her students that the most important lesson you can learn in medicine is “to listen to your patient.” In addition to medicine, Dr. Sumner enjoys painting, pottery, and her wonderful grandchildren.

The Rotary Club of Swainsboro is a unit of Rotary International and a member of District #6920. Rotarians believe that it is amazing what we can accomplish when hearts and minds work together to enhance health and improve our community.

Find out more about Rotary International at Also, like Swainsboro Rotary at

Article by Gail Ware, Public Relations Chair, Swainsboro Rotary Club
Pictured:  Dr. Barja, Dr. Sumer, Dr. Headley, and Phil Boatright

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