You have nothing to lose by giving your best.

“You have nothing to lose by giving your best.”  -Lailah Gifty Akita

We Are Thankful For You…

This is such a terrific time of year, when our thoughts linger on the people we are privileged to have in our lives. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank each of you again for being a part of the life, in fact, for being the life of our medical school. For the enduring sense of passion and purpose you bring to our medical school, for the pride you have for it, for the amazing individuals that you are. As we proudly note so often, our medical school is among the nation’s first medical schools and because of you it is helping define 21st century medical education and health care. Thank you.

For the Individuals… Who Donate Their Bodies to Medicine and Science

It may seem a bit counterintuitive that some individuals we will never forget we never really knew. The men and women who donate their bodies to medical education and to science definitely qualify. Our annual memorial service last Friday was a truly joyous reminder of this amazing gift from individuals from so many walks of life, some of whom had no direct connection to our medical school. Yet their gift is essential to us. Because as amazing as technology is and will become, there is simply no substitute for learning human anatomy. As Sophomore Class President Katherine Menezes said, they are our students’ first patients. No doubt, they are also their invaluable educators. Our thanks to all of our students for their inspiring comments and exemplary professionalism. Learn more here:

For Our Patients…

Speaking of amazing patients, there’s little doubt that some of our most endearing ones include those at our Children’s Hospital of Georgia, patients such as Addison Claire Wheeler. Addison’s journey began with her mother’s complicated pregnancy and her own premature birth. Because of the proximity and complex care capabilities of our adult and children’s hospitals, we could help Addison’s family manage both. In our NICU, Addison’s parents found not just stellar professionals but compassionate individuals who struggled and celebrated with them and their 1-pound, 5-ounce baby.  Addison’s story is among those to be shared during the 14th Annual Cares for Kids Radiothon Dec. 4-6, live from the lobby of our children’s hospital. Please take a moment to tune in to WBBQ, KISS FM, or the new G105.7, or even walk over to our lobby. Inspiring inadequately describes what you’ll hear.

We Appreciate Your Brilliance… and Diligence

And here’s a great example of how you all go full circle. One of the many things the NICU staff struggled to protect was Addison’s eyesight. Ironically, the oxygen levels needed to sustain her life, could damage or destroy her vision. Meanwhile, across campus Drs. Ruth Caldwell and Postdoc Chintan Patel were publishing a study that provided new insight into how that damage is caused and possible new ways to help protect premature babies such as Addison. Check out more here: This is how great medical schools are made and how old ones keep a vibrant lease on life.

In Pursuing the Next Generation of Therapies…

Here’s another. Our second-year surgery resident Dr. Randi Lassiter has received a Mallinckrodt Research Fellowship to explore the potential of nanomedicine technology in finding a more specific way to protect transplanted kidneys from rejection. Dr. Lassiter is working with Nephrologist Stan Nahman and Transplant Surgeon Todd Merchen on this laudable effort. Just super synergy here. Our congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Lassiter.

The Largesse of So Many…

Telling our story and raising financial support so we’ll have even more stories to tell are an increasingly important aspect of what we do for our medical school and university. There are collective community efforts, like our radiothon, as well as conversations with individuals and businesses or foundations. Recently, National Philanthropy Day was hosted by the Greater Augusta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals to honor those who give and those who ask. We are so pleased to share that Jane Howington, a tireless servant leader who has successfully raised support for many local organizations such as the Greater Augusta Arts Council, was honored as the Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer.  Augustans Braye and Tori Boardman were honored as the Outstanding Philanthropists that they are, as was our very own, the late and so very great Dr. J. Harold Harrison. Simply a terrific gathering.

The Strength…

Please join in a slightly belated welcome to Dr. Nancy Moran Hockley, the new Chair of Clinical Sciences at the Medical Partnership in Athens with the University of Georgia.  She comes to us from Indiana University School of Medicine, her alma mater, where she was Regional Director of Clinical Clerkships and a pharmacology lecturer. During her time there, she also served as Physician Advisor to the Lutheran Hospital of Indiana and she has extensive experience, nearly 20 years, in the private practice of urology. We are glad that she has brought her clinical and academic experience to help educate the next generation of physicians for Georgia.

And Tenacity… Of Our Growing Team 

Finally today, we wanted to share a positive update on an important topic. Gracewood, a state residential facility for the developmentally disabled that we jointly operate with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, received a report from the federal government over the summer citing concerns with patient safety and the adequacy of employee training. A recent follow up review showed that those concerns have been rightfully addressed. We thank Acting Regional Hospital Administrator Dr. Vicky Spratlin, who is also our faculty member, Dr. Charles Li with the DBHDD, and our Drs. Vaughn McCall and Joe Ricci for ensuring these concerns were addressed and for their commitment to exceptional care for these individuals moving forward.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 6 – Faculty and staff golf outing, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Forest Hills Golf Club. Sign up here,

Dec. 17 – Annual Medical Staff Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Children’s Hospital of Georgia, first-floor conference room, BT 1810.

Dec. 19 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 15 – MCG Faculty Senate, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 6 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 24 – MCG Alumni Association Planning Committee, Nominating Committee, Board Meeting and Regional Event, starting at 2:30 p.m., Idle Hour Country Club, Macon.

March 5 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception, 6 p.m., Northeast History Museum, Gainesville.

March 12 – MCG Faculty Senate, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

March 20 – Match Day, noon, location to be determined.

April 17 – Raft Debate, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association, 6 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

April 23-26 – Alumni Weekend.

May 1 – State of the Medical College of Georgia address, noon, Lee Auditorium, lunch provided.

May 4 – MCG Graduation Dinner, 6:30 p.m., location to be determined.

May 7 – Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium, Dr. James L. Olds, Assistant Director for the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), the National Science Foundation.

May 8 – Graduation, 2 p.m., James Brown Arena.


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Augusta University Staff is a collection of talented writers, photographers, students and professionals; all working together to promote and support the amazing impacts and every day wins of Augusta University and the people that make up JagNation.