Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

We Send Our Thanks… to Our President

We start today with this week’s news that President Azziz has decided to step down effective June 30. We want to acknowledge Dr. Azziz for his service to our institution and for his commitment to growing a stronger research university. Chancellor Hank Huckaby said it best: “Dr. Azziz has led the transformation of Georgia Regents University into a nationally recognized research institution. He outlined a vision for the new institution and positioned GRU for a bright future.”  We thank you, Mr. President.

Our Congratulations… to Dr. Hunter

You know, many of us are a competitive lot by nature but as we looked to fill the important role of Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, we really didn’t find any naysayers about Dr. Monte Hunter. His face is one of those that seems to default to a smile and who can make fewer words work for him, for his department, and for our medical school, whether it’s on the sidelines of the Augusta Greenjackets, or an operating room, or an American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine meeting. Please join in congratulating Dr. Hunter. Check out more about him here

Our Applause… to Dr. Reeves

One of our own is among four recipients of this year’s Georgia Bio Innovation Awards for forging new ground. The dynamic Dr. Leonard Reeves is a writer, educator, radio, and more recently, television star extraordinaire (check out, who happens to be Assistant Dean of our newest regional campus in Rome. He’ll be officially honored at the awards’ dinner next week for his implementation of the longitudinal, integrated curriculum at the Northwest Campus, a newer medical education model with a super strong patient emphasis that’s geared to instill empathy and produce more primary care physicians. While we weren’t the first to use it, Dr. Reeves said we “put our own spin on it.” No doubt. Our dental college colleague, Dr. Stephen Hsu, also will be honored for his green tea studies and startup company. Congratulations.

We Wouldn’t/Couldn’t Forget… Dr. Fincher Here’s another great honor. Dr. Rhee Fincher, our Vice Dean Emeritus, in fact she was our first Vice Dean, and an absolute star on the educational stage, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Association of American Colleges for the current year. She served a previous term in 2011 and received the AAMC’s top teaching honor in 2012, the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education, just a few months after retiring from us. She has been President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, served on the Executive Board of the National Board of Medical Examiners, and on and on. Back home, she took care of a lot of important basics, like helping conceive and develop the statewide regional network that has our students living and learning in places such as Rome. A truly amazing educator and individual.

Or Dr. Moores… Who has been here FIFTY years Ok, one more awesome. As we head into the first month of the new year, we have on our minds a terrific physician you may have seen around these parts for oh, a half century. Seriously, our Dr. Russell Moores came to us from the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California, in 1965, and though he has dabbled with retirement a time or two, he has never really left us. Wow. Dr. Moores is a relentless foe of cancer and advocate for students, residents, and patients and a terrific historian as well. And guess what? His son is also on our team.  Dr. Duane Moores, also an oncologist, in beautiful Brunswick, is one of our graduates and a clinical faculty member at our Southwest Campus. How is that for a family tradition committed to the present and future of medicine? Remarkable.

We Celebrate… The Amazing Success of our Athens Colleauges Well, maybe two more super notables. We have so many great partners. We told you that last February an internal medicine residency program had been approved in Athens at St. Mary’s Health Care System in partnership with our Athens campus. We wanted to share that there were 1,300 applications from across the country for these 10 new slots that will start in July. Wonderful news. And more to come as other hospitals in our state, including Athens Regional Medical Center, work diligently to expand their role in educating the next generation. Their great effort is supported by incredible folks such as our Drs. Shelley Nuss and Walter Moore, experts in the complex world of graduate medical education, and, of course, by the innovative effort by our University System of Georgia and state to bring more hospitals onboard. Great job all.

And Applaud the Hard Work… Of Our Scientists Most of us want to make sure we have plenty of gas and food, right? Well our Dr. Nilkantha Sen has found that in brain injuries and some brain diseases, too much of the wrong kind of gas means our brain cells may get too little of the right kind of food. Bottom line: that appears to be one way inflammation contributes to learning and memory loss in these situations as it points to a new potential point of intervention. Dr. Sen’s interesting work generated a lot of interest across our world. Check out just a couple of hits here and here

We Appreciate the Support…

As we start wrapping up today, we ask that you think about those many days that you head home after a long, albeit inspiring, day at our medical school and head out the door in the dark to the parking lot. Please alter that scenario by calling our Division of Public Safety at 706-721-2911 so they can give you an escort to make sure even that short journey is a safe one. That was the message our Police Chief Bill McBride had for our students (and really all of us) at a terrific town hall meeting this week held by our Office of Student and Multicultural Affaris in the beautiful J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons. Care for more high-tech safety?

And Protection We Receive… From Public Safety… Chief McBride tells us to download the Rave Alert campus safety app on your smart phone. Your GRU email address will automatically link you to our public safety as well as our local 911.  This app is pretty handy because you can tell it you are walking somewhere and how long it should take and our public safety will call you back and/or come find you if you don’t let them know you have arrived in that timeframe. Or, if something comes up, you can quickly hit a panic button that will immediately connect you to them or to our city’s 911 service. When that panic function is activated our police can find you (but they can’t track you when it isn’t). Please always err on the side of safety. You are invaluable to many!

Auxilliary Services, Enrollment and Student Services… and Finance Our thanks to Karl Munschy, Mark Poisel, and Lee Fruitticher for also taking part in this terrific town hall and, particularly Mr. Munschy who bravely (and safely) took questions about parking problems as well as plans for improved shuttle routes that should hit the streets January 26. As we said last week, it really does take a village, to do pretty much anything, and our university is at least a medium-sized one with a remarkable diversity of talent and skill.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 22 – History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series, held in conjunction with the exhibit, Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons, with a panel discussion featuring our Drs. Cargill Alleyne and Robyn Hatley, noon-1 p.m., Historical Collections and Archives Room (AB-225, Greenblatt Library). Bring your lunch and enjoy!

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.

April 28 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

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, 2-4 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.

May 14 – MCG Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony, 5 p.m., location to be determined.

June 25 – MCG Investiture Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., location to be determined.

July 14 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Oct. 27 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Jan. 12 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Have a terrific, long weekend.