None of us is as smart as all of us.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”   – Ken Blanchard

A Tremendous Team Effort…

Great news this past week that our university and health system have been selected by the Georgia Department of Community Health to build a state-of-the-art community teaching hospital in Columbia County, one of our state and nation’s fastest growing counties. While appeals are likely and much work is still ahead, we wanted to celebrate this tremendous effort on the part of so many, especially Shawn Vincent for his leadership on this innovative proposal.

Enables Great Care… For Our Patients…

Breathing is one of the things many of us take for granted. But patients such as Lettie Sue Abercrombie can’t. The ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that attacked her neuromuscular system had weakened her diaphragm, making breathing difficult. It’s a problem for most ALS patients, our Dr. Michael Rivner tells us. So we now offer a pacing system that helps patients with this essential life function.  Our congratulations and thanks to Dr. Rivner and our ALS Clinic team and to Dr. Vijay Patel who has taken on this complex surgery.  A truly great effort. Check it out:

And Helps Inspire the Next Generation

She was one of the few out-of-state students for our summertime, pipeline Student Educational Enrichment Program in 1983. Dr. Lisa Cooper came to our medical school as an advanced SEEP participant from Nashville and we are so pleased to share how amazingly she has done. The long-time faculty member at Johns Hopkins directs its Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities, where she and her team work with the Baltimore community to find answers that will ultimately help us all live better. At the recent Association of American Medical Colleges Annual Meeting, Dr. Cooper was honored with the 2014 Herbert W. Nickens Faculty Fellowship Award for outstanding contributions in medical education and health care equity. We congratulate her as well as our amazing SEEP team, which includes so many of you, for being marvelous mentors committed to a better world.

Our Genetics Counselor … Is Honored for Both

Here’s another terrific example of your impact. When the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics’ Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting happens in 2015, the highest-rated genetic counselor- authored abstract submission will receive the ACMG Foundation Carolyn Mills Lovell Award. Sound familiar? Ms. Lovell is our very own genetics counselor and we are super proud that the very first ACMG Foundation award specifically for genetics counselors honors her.  Another familiar name, Dr. David Flannery, our long-time genetics chief who is now ACMG’s Medical Director, made it happen, noting Ms. Lovell’s exemplary service to patients and families and teaching of students and residents. Congratulations!

Our Students and Faculty… Have Some Super Shirts for Sale

How awesome is it when you get something great-looking and get to help a great cause in the process! Our chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association, which has as one of its many missions encouraging women to study and practice medicine, has comfortable, beautiful long-sleeve MCG T-shirts for sale for $20 each. Proceeds will support the group’s Valentine’s Day Girls Empowerment in Medicine Spring Event where the girls at the Boys and Girls Club of the CSRA will learn more about medicine with activities focusing on cardiovascular health. You can check out and order the shirts on our MCG facebook page here: But don’t delay because the sale wraps up at 10 p.m. Sunday. We appreciate this incredible extra effort by our students and faculty, especially sophomore Anjali Patel, to help ensure that our next generation of physicians reflects the patients they serve. Now let’s do some shopping!

Dr. Belin de Chantemele… Has a Novel Approach to a Pervasive Problem

Cardiovascular disease, as you know, is a major issue in our country and a major focus of our medical school. Dr. Eric Belin de Chantemele recently received a grant from the National Institutes of Health that will help us learn more about how diabetes causes dysfunction of the thin lining of our blood vessels and sets the stage for vascular disease. His focus is a multipurpose protein called PTP1B, and with the help of our Dr. Patel again, he is looking at the expression and activity of this protein in the blood vessels of people with and without diabetes. Check it out at

Brett Heimlich… Is Making a True Difference… In Africa

A proud update regarding MD/PhD Student Brett Heimlich’s work in the southeast African country of Malawi as a Fulbright Fogarty Award recipient. He shares that this November he helped open the only lab in the country performing any sort of definitive diagnostic test for sickle cell disease. This in an area of the world with some of the highest sickle cell rates. Our medical school has long been a leader in sickle cell research and care so Brett stands on some fine, familiar shoulders. His efforts already are enabling children and their parents to get a proper diagnosis and the care they need. Remarkable.

Dr. Hess Will Help Us… Be Even Better Leaders

And finally today, please join me in welcoming Dr. Caryl Hess as the university’s new Director of Leadership Development. Most recently, Dr. Hess has run her own Ohio-based consulting firm and before that spent five years as Director of the Cleveland Clinic Academy, where she managed the Clinic’s leadership development programs in the U.S., Canada, and Abu Dhabi.  Here she’ll oversee the GRLeadership Academy and help out with strategic issues such as curriculum, policies, and protocols regarding research and scholarship. We are glad to have her with us.

Upcoming Events

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. 13 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon- 1 p.m., GB1220A, Harrison Commons, Large Classroom.

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.