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Phillip Coule

Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, AU Health System & Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs | Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University


Phillip Coule is an expert in COVID-19 testing, hospital quality & safety, emergency medicine, disaster preparedness, and GRAChIE.




Dr. Phillip Coule serves as the Vice President and chief medical officer for Augusta University Health System, and associate dean for Clinical Affairs for the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Coule is an expert in emergency medicine, disaster preparedness and mass casualty triage, and he serves as Medical Director for AirLife Georgia’s helicopter transport service and is on the boards of the National Disaster Life Support Foundation. He is also director of the hospital Emergency Communications Center and helps coordinate the hospital’s emergency response during disasters and mass casualty events. Coule received his medical degree from MCG, where he also completed his residency in Emergency Medicine. He also earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Tennessee.

Areas of Expertise

CoronavirusMass Casualty TriageEmergency MedicineHospital Quality and SafetyDisaster PreparednessGRAChiE

Media Appearances

First vaping related lung injury hits Augusta



We sat down with Dr. Phillip Coule, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. He said, “Those that are vaping need to know that vaping is not safe and this could happen to any one of them tomorrow.” The nationwide vaping epidemic has hit home. AU’s top doctor wants to let people know the crisis is serious, even in the CSRA. “We don’t know exactly what is happening in these cases,” he said of the injuries. “Although a large number of them are associated with illicit or not manufactured products being vaped.” Dr. Coule said the issue surrounds patients with unexplained respiratory or lung failure. Hundreds of cases have popped up across the country that health experts believe are due to vape pens filled with THC, CBD oils or some other chemical. He added the one incident locally is just the tip of the iceberg...

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Urgent Care and Prompt Care see long lines due to Omicron tests

WFXG  tv

Augusta University Health's Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Coule says, “If you’re not exposed and if you don’t have symptoms, don’t go get tested.” If you are having symptoms, however, you should go get tested. Dr. Coule says you might also not even need a test if you're having cold-like symptoms right now. He says you can treat it as a "presumptive positive."

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Hospitals still full but omicron surge may have peaked in Augusta, doctor says

Augusta Chronicle  print


Even as he sees COVID-19 cases rising at AU Medical Center and other hospitals across Augusta and Aiken, Dr. Phillip Coule feels the crest of the omicron wave might be behind them. According to the latest data, "we're clearly over the peak," said the chief medical officer for AU Health System. New cases in Richmond County dropped 22% over the previous week, McDuffie dipped 24% and Georgia decreased 20% while new cases rose 32% in Aiken County, 11% in Columbia County and 89% in Burke County, and 11% in South Carolina, according to an analysis by the Augusta Chronicle. Some areas around Augusta may actually be a little further behind in terms of reaching their peak, Coule said.

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Working through COVID variants, including STEALTH

WJBF  tv


As the fight against COVID continues, the latest “variant” of concern and being tracked across the globe is the Stealth variant. South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control or DHEC, has confirmed 2 cases of this variant have been detected in the Palmetto State. According to health experts, the STEALTH variant is like a little sister of what we know as the OMICRON variant and is why it does not have its own “Greek Name”. Dr. Phillip Coule Vice President and Chief Medical officer at AU Health says, “The STEALTH variant has a slight mutation to OMICRON that can make it harder to pick up on some testing that uses this now mutated genetic sequence to determine infection in a patient.”

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In many rural areas, delta variant COVID-19 surge infected double the number of people

Augusta Chronicle  print


As the delta variant took off last summer across the U.S., it was the rural areas with low vaccination rates that were hit the hardest, researchers at Augusta University said. More than 82% of those counties were rural, which likely compounds the problem, said Dr. Neil J. MacKinnon, AU's provost. "Vaccination rates are lower in rural America. And on top of that they also have reduced capacity to deal with it," he said, in terms of health care resources.

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Rural parts of Georgia — where vaccination rates were low — got hit harder by COVID-19's delta wave

Georgia Public Broadcasting  tv


The delta variant of the coronavirus hospitalized and killed far more people in rural parts of Georgia than in urban areas, according to a study published Feb. 10, 2022, in JAMA Open Network. The University of Cincinnati in collaboration with Augusta University examined how the third wave of COVID-19 — led by the fast-spreading delta variant — swept across the United States in the summer of 2021. Using data from July 1 to Aug. 31, 2021, researchers showed further evidence for what leading health experts, including the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had already warned.

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AU Health offers preventive antibody treatment against COVID

WRDW  tv


Augusta University Health is offering a new COVID prevention treatment for high-risk patients. It’s the only medical facility in the region to offer Evusheld, which is administered in two shots, one immediately after the other. AU Health says it’s ideal for the 3 percent of the people in the United States who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. It’s also good for people who are allergic to the COVID vaccine, according to Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer and vice president of AU Health. Evusheld recently received emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration. It consists of two types of manufactured antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19.

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AU Health offering game-changing COVID-19 treatment

WFXG  tv


A new drug to fight COVID-19 for those with weakened immune systems hit pharmacy shelves late last year. It’s called Evusheld and it’s a preventative monoclonal antibody treatment changing the course for COVID-19 treatments with its effects lasting for months. “We have had people come from far away to get this because we are the only center in the region that is doing it,” says Augusta University Health's vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Phillip Coule. Many physicians and healthcare providers have remarked the treatment as game-changing, due to how it works in the body.

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Local hospitals catch up on elective surgeries as COVID cases decline

WRDW  tv


Local hospitals say it’s full steam ahead to get back on track with elective surgeries. As doctors work through two years of backlogs, they say another challenge can be getting new patients in. We talked to one local couple waiting for surgery when every minute counts. “My reaction was he kept saying malignant, and I was sitting there listening, and suddenly, I realized malignant? Benign is best, oh this isn’t good,” said Mandy Slater, Gary’s wife.

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Mass Casualty Triage: An Evaluation of the Science and Refinement of a National Guideline

Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

E. Brooke Lerner, David C. Cone, Eric S. Weinstein, Richard B. Schwartz...


Mass casualty triage is the process of prioritizing multiple victims when resources are not sufficient to treat everyone immediately. No national guideline for mass casualty triage exists in the United States. The lack of a national guideline has resulted in variability in triage processes, tags, and nomenclature...

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Comparison of Two Packable Hemostatic Gauze Dressings in a Porcine Hemorrhage Model

Prehospital Emergecy Care

Richard Bruce Schwartz , MD, Bradford Zahner Reynolds , MD, Stephen A. Shiver , MD, E. Brooke Lerner , PhD, Eric Mark Greenfield , DO, Ricaurte A. Solis , DO, Nicholas A. Kimpel , DO, Phillip L. Coule , MD & John G. McManus , MD


Uncontrolled hemorrhage remains the primary cause of preventable battlefield mortality and a significant cause of domestic civilian mortality. Rapid hemorrhage control is crucial for survival. ChitoGauze and Combat Gauze are commercially available products marketed for rapid hemorrhage control...

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Analysis of Vaccination Rates and New COVID-19 Infections by US County, July-August 2021

JAMA Network

Dr. Phillip Coule, Dr. Neil MacKinnon, Dr. Diego Cuadros, F. DeWolfe Miller, Dr. Susanne Awad


There is substantial variation in the spatial distribution of COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States. We conducted an ecological data visualization analysis to assess the association of the heterogeneous distribution of vaccination coverage with the dynamics of COVID-19 during the third wave of the pandemic in the US.

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