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New medical director brings military, geriatric care background to Georgia War

Dr. Richard Sams will join Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home as the new medical director, replacing Dr. Nidhi K. Gulati, who is retiring at the end of March.

“As a veteran, I am thrilled Georgia War is giving me this opportunity. Many of our vets have gone through heck to secure the freedoms we as Americans enjoy,” said Sams. “It will be an honor to join the top-notch team at GWVNH to provide outstanding care to some of America’s war heroes in this challenging season of their lives.”

Sams enlisted in the Navy in 1984, spending three years as an enlisted sailor, then went to Boston University on an NROTC scholarship, receiving a degree in biology. He then attended Boston University School of Medicine on a Navy Armed Forces Health Professions scholarship.

He graduated medical school in 1995, completed a residency at Waukesha Family Practice in Waukesha, Wisconsin, then returned on active duty as a lieutenant in the Medical Corps in the Navy. He was an active duty Navy family physician for the next 19 years, stationed in several places practicing and teaching full spectrum family medicine, including Naval Hospital Guam, NH Camp Pendleton, NH Bremerton, Madigan Army Medical Center, NH Jacksonville, Kings Bay Navy Submarine Base and Mayport Naval Station.

Sams ran a family medicine residency program at NH Jacksonville. He deployed to Iraq in 2003 at the beginning of the war, and to Afghanistan in 2011. He provided care to thousands of military retirees and veterans through the years and has a special interest in geriatrics, bioethics and palliative care. He now teaches regularly on those topics at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Sams join the GWVNH team and looking forward to the positive impact he will make on our veterans, their families and our staff,” said Carlton Deese, executive director of Georgia War. “His geriatric and military background, coupled with his experience in medical training/education, will be essential as he moves into the medical director role. As medical director, Dr. Sams will join the GWVNH leadership team in promoting the tripartite mission of Augusta University. We are very excited about his appointment.”

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