“I was ready. I have been ready all my career, and I am so grateful to the Medical College of Georgia for giving that to me.”

-Dr. Talmadge A. Bowden Jr., 1966 graduate

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

A true celebration … The 125th Anniversary of the MCG Alumni Association
Outstanding definitely describes this past Saturday’s 125th anniversary celebration of our Alumni Association. Our Infectious Disease Chief Dr. Joe Vazquez set a great tone with the stimulating morning continuing medical education program. Our alums and future alums ate great food and had great fun that afternoon playing with their children on the front lawn of the J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons. Sarah Braswell, historical research coordinator who works with our Dr. Lois Ellison, Class of 1950 and medical historian extraordinaire, then shared her insight with our fabulous alumni on trolley tours that included the old Widow’s Home on Greene Street, where the original City Hospital once stood, and of course the beautiful Old Medical College building on Telfair Street. Did you know that Dr. DeSaussure Ford, an 1856 graduate, was the first Alumni Association president and happened to be our dean THREE times!

Participants in Saturday’s event had a great time…
As you do know, part of what makes a great leader is the innate desire to rightly recognize the significant accomplishments of others. Our Alumni Association President Dr. David Gose started the evening’s festivities off just right by doing just that, including asking our Alumni Association scholarship recipients and former Alumni Association presidents to stand and be seen. MCG Foundation CEO Ian Mercier noted how the foundation board provides the “purest form of support.” David Davis, AKA triple D, president of the Class of 2018 – just 12 weeks into his third year and his clinical rotations and fresh off time with Dr. Frank L. Carter, a 1987 graduate of our medical school and family medicine physician in Waynesboro, Georgia – thanked our alumni for their remarkable dedication to students. Mark Zapata, 2018 class president at the Athens Campus, dittoed the contributions of our clinical faculty, many of whom are MCG graduates who donate their time to educating the important next generation. Our university President Brooks Keel referenced our medical school again as the “jewel in the crown” and asked our amazing alums for their continued support of it and our university.

And shared great tales…
Dr. David Hall, president of the Class of 1948, came all the way from Chickamauga, Georgia to attend the anniversary celebration. His only request was to be seated with Dr. Ellison and who wouldn’t want that! Drs. James. R. Hanahan and Russell Whitaker, longtime friends from the Class of 1975, traveled from Seneca, South Carolina and Anniston, Alabama respectively to attend. These two take every opportunity to connect with each other, just like great friends Drs. Roni Bollag and Tom Allred, from the Class of 2004.  Dr. Bollag, a faculty member in our Department of Pathology, was clearly already in town but Dr. Allred drove all the way from Knoxville, Tennessee with his family to celebrate and be with his friends. These are great indicators of the power of classmates and how our Alumni Association reinforces the important ties that bind our graduates to each other and to their medical school. No doubt an absolute win-win.

Students and staff came together to ensure the rocking good time
We can’t leave this happy celebration without mentioning our students who volunteered their time to make these events such a smashing success. They include, deep breath, Nathan Howell, Caitlyn Hodge, Natalie DixonIsabella Tondi RestaJesse William Wayson, Kristin Walker, Josef Venable, Gabrielle Siegel, Krish KasettyMica Goulbourne, Ryan Goetz, Timothy Erdei, Kimberly Cichelli, Mark Wendolowski, Ornella OduwoleEhizele Osehobo, Rose-Krystel Hegngi, Madiah Ashraf and Nicole Lopez. Kinda makes you feel even better about the future of our medical school and Alumni Association, doesn’t it, that our students would show such terrific reciprocal support for our alumni? Two other indelible signs of plain hard work and success are our Scott Henson, senior director of Alumni Affairs, and Kim Koss, Alumni Association coordinator. We cannot thank them enough for their absolute commitment to our medical school and Alumni Association and to our alumni. They absolutely rock and ensure that our alumni always feel the love and support they deserve. Please check out these insightful musings from our alumni on our home page. Our special thanks to senior video producer extraordinaire Tim Johnson for helping us tell their tales and ours.

Our second-year students have been on the road this week… 
While our alumni were circling home base, some of our future alumni, AKA our second-year students, were on the road this week visiting our great state and statewide campus network. Of course, this takes us back full circle to our amazing alums and other dedicated physicians across our state helping us educate the next generation. Our students, most of whom are from Georgia, gained an insightful perspective on all four corners, which, of course, we hope will help them best decide where they want to spend their clinical years in medical school (and we hope eventually practice!). Quite literally not a moment was wasted.

Experiencing Georgia …
Even time on the road was spent, not only in good conversation, but with podcasts like one with Jonas Salk talking about developing the polio vaccine. This road trip was definitely another tremendous undertaking and success for our medical school. We particularly want to thank Golanda Blackwell, regional campus business coordinator, for her exceptional effort; along with Dr. Greer Falls, associate dean for the class; Dr. Elana Wood in Academic Affairs who is a physical diagnosis educator; Dr. Barbara Russell in our Pathology Department who is senior director of curriculum for our super second-year class; and Malinda Moore, clinical rotations coordinator at our Southeast Campus. Also, Dr. Jones Miller, curriculum director for the third-year when students start clinical rotations; and, of course, Dr. Kathryn Martin associate dean for regional campus coordination. Check out more on our Facebook page and at #mcgonthemove! Definitely!

Monday is Medical Scholars Research Day… Where they’ll present findings from a summer of science
So when these super second-year students get back later today, 122 of them studying at home base here in Augusta will be putting the final touches on their research presentations for the 8th annual Medical Scholars Research Day this Monday at the Harrison Commons. Things get going at noon with, well lunch, and a keynote address from Dr. Michael Saag, associate dean for Global Health and director of the University of Alabama Center for AIDS Research. These hard-working students already have learned plenty from their summer of science and our distinguished speaker will give them more insight on life in academic medicine. Later Monday, 26 of our second years at the Athens campus will be presenting their science on the second floor of the Russell Hall at the UGA Health Sciences Campus. Terrific. Did you know about 60 percent of our students participate in research? Did you know they could not do that without terrific mentors here and in Athens? We thank Dr. Stan Nahman, associate chair of our Department of Medicine’s Translational Research Program, for his extraordinary effort in making this day happen as well. How is that for a closer this week!

Upcoming Events

Sept. 24 – ALS Walk – Beat Feet for ALS benefiting our 12-year-old Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Clinic and our patients!  Augusta River Walk – 9th Street Fountain. Registration and breakfast at 8 a.m., opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m., jazzercise warmup at 9:55 a.m.and the walking begins at 10:05 a.m., see http://walk.alsgru.com/.

Sept. 24 – Augusta University Day of Service.

Sept. 26 – Medical Student Research Symposium, noon to 2 p.m., Harrison Commons.

Sept. 26 – Student/Resident Research Symposium, 5-7 p.m., second floor of Russell Hall, Augusta University – University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

Sept. 27 and 29 – Recognition of Dr. Hervey Cleckley, the famed former MCG psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. The showing of “The Three Faces of Eve,” 5:30 p.m., Sept. 27, Harrison Commons, GB-1110; Lecture, “Dr. Hervey Cleckley: The Medical College of Georgia’s Renaissance Man,” with Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29, Harrison Commons, GB-1110, reception follows in the Harrison Commons lobby.

Sept. 30 – Ice cream social for third- and fourth-year medical students and residents, noon-1:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Oct. 1 – The 2nd annual Pink Pumpkin Party, a family and community event by the Georgia Cancer Center to raise breast cancer awareness and education and honor survivors. Check out the Pink Pumpkin Party and the Pink Pumpkin giving page for more information.

Oct. 6 – Alumni Association, Albany Regional Reception, Doublegate Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 13 – Alumni Association Savannah Regional Reception, Savannah Golf Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 18 – Reception and plaque presentation honoring Bowdre Phinizy and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, whose generous gift in honor of Meta’s father, Leon Henri Charbonnier, marked the inception of MCG’s very first endowment, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Commons.

Oct. 18 – A Service for the Healing of the Mind and Spirit, 7 p.m., St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church, 1420 Monte Sano Ave., a communitywide event for those whose lives have been touched by mental illness, sponsored by the Coalition for Mental and Spiritual Health Ministries and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Augusta.

Oct. 20 – MCG Faculty Senate Meeting, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Nov. 1 – Alumni Association Rome Regional Reception. Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

Nov. 4 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Nov. 5 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.

Enjoy the first weekend of fall!

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