Caring for someone else

“The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.” Carson McCullers

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

We Welcome… New Faculty

Please join in welcoming Dr. Julie A. Kurek, a movement disorders specialist, to our already amazing faculty and staff in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Kurek is board certified in neurology and psychiatry, completed medical school at New York Medical College, neurology residency at Columbia-New York Presbyterian Hospital, and her movement disorders fellowship at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York. She has particular expertise in deep brain stimulation, which uses high-frequency stimulation to inhibit overactive areas of the brain that cause the uncontrolled movement that occurs in Parkinson’s and other maladies. She is working closely with Neurosurgeon Cole Giller to make this treatment available to our patients. Did you know that another dynamic duo, Neurosurgeon Joseph Smith and Neurologist Kapil Sethi, first brought this to our institution in the 1990s! Great teams then, now, and always.

At Our Home Base… And Beyond

Did you know that we also have great MCG neurologists helping treat patients in Aiken, S.C., as well as the Savannah area of our terrific state? This started in the summer of 2013 when we began using the REACH telestroke network, developed right here, that enables our docs to rapidly and remotely examine stroke patients in those areas. As the relationships developed with Aiken Regional Medical Centers and our educational partner St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospitals in Savannah, we now have neurologists on site helping care for a variety of neurological problems. We have one doc in Aiken and should be adding a seventh neurologist to serve the Savannah region this summer. Just terrific. We thank this innovative department, led by Dr. David Hess, for exceptional service to patients. BTW, REACH is now 13 years old and used worldwide to improve stroke care!

We Celebrate their Talent… On Many Different Stages

We told you this was coming and next week it’s here! TedxAugusta is set for next Friday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Imperial Theater on Broad Street downtown. Connections is the theme and the familiar voices and faces will include our Dr. Jim Rawson speaking, passionately we are sure, about Virtual Communities and Social Media. Other familiar voices from our campus include Dr. Chris McKinney, Summerville Campus Student Amanda Dojack, Dr. Samir Khleif and Steven Uhles. If you can’t make it to the actual event, have no fear because the talks will be available at TEDxAugusta YouTube,, and TEDx Playlist starting in March. Did you know that TED is actually about 30 years old and now a worldwide network for spreading ideas with short, powerful talks on a huge range of topics. Typically great listening.

Our Colleagues… In Augusta

Speaking of great information on compelling topics, Leadership Augusta recently held its Health Care Day for its Class of 2015. You will note some familiar faces in this group as well,  We have such an amazing health care community in Augusta and this was a terrific showing of that group, which shared information on relevant topics such as our aging population as well as a sort of status report on health care today by Augusta physician Dr. Charles Shaefer Jr., a 1979 alum, and GRU’s Dr. Selina Smith. We were privileged to work with University Health Care System CEO Jim Davis to provide part of the overview of community health and the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Seriously great things happen when we work together.

And Well Beyond…

We wanted to also share that our colleague Jim Davis was recently named to the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Hospital Association.  Check out the entire list here and you will see some other great colleagues including Don McKenna at St. Mary’s Health Care System in Athens, John Quinlivan at Redmond Regional Medical Center, and James Matney at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Terrific group. Mr. Davis also is on the Board of the not-for-profit health care organization, VHA Georgia, and the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals. His commitment to our community further shows in his work with groups such as the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce and Augusta Tomorrow. We thank him for his efforts on all fronts, including his commitment to an even stronger partnership with Georgia’s public medical school in educating the next generation of physicians.

And Your Contributions… To an Absolutely Better World

And finally today, we have shared a fair amount in the past few years about our Department of Emergency Medicine’s commitment to our community and to the worldwide community as well with initiatives in disaster medicine, working with the FBI, and so much more. This week, our Dr. Andy Pennardt was sharing his vast expertise in the Ukraine at the international conference, The Development, Standardization, and Implementation of Tactical Medicine in Ukraine. Dr. Pennardt gave the keynote address, recommending that this large, Eastern European country use the U.S. military’s Tactical Combat Casualty Care guidelines, which the 20-plus year Army veteran helped develop, as a basis for their country’s best practices guidelines. He also provided help on how to implement and validate their evolving system and develop a great prehospital system to boot.  No doubt Dr. Pennardt’s work will be a lifesaver for Ukrainians as it has been for Americans. We salute your contributions to protecting soldiers.

Upcoming Events

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.

Feb. 28 – Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference, all-day event for local high school students on campus, sponsored by the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs

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 great weekend.