I attribute my success to this …

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”

-Florence Nightingale

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Celebrating With Class…

Can you believe that another academic year is behind us; that just yesterday, the 179th graduating class of Georgia’s public medical school took the Hippocratic Oath. We know that there is nothing like hearing those words from our students, nothing like remembering how it felt ourselves to promise aloud loyalty, honor, and aid in the fight against disease and for patients. Michael Schecter, class president at our Partnership campus in Athens, reminded his classmates of the converging paths that brought them together and the lasting bonds they have built. Lael Reinstatler, Class President at our home base, reminded all to cherish family and friends, since we do nothing alone. No doubt, Lael. They say it takes a village. Our village is our state and we wouldn’t have it – couldn’t do it – any other way. Our endless gratitude and congratulations to all.

And With Nursing Colleagues…

Essentially every day and week we celebrate some terrific group or individual. In fact, please don’t forget Mother’s Day this very Sunday! But this week is Nurses Week and we wanted to join the celebration of nurses and the inestimable contributions they make to patients, to families, to our health and well-being. We have 1,333 nurses working for patients and families at our hospitals and clinics. Wow. No doubt, we could not operate a hospital or clinic without them and – again – who would even consider trying. Rather we choose to thank them again for their service and commitment and for being such essential colleagues. The world – our world – is definitely a better place because of nurses.

Our Mutual Endeavors… For a Healthier World

No doubt our esteemed colleagues are in demand! In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tell us that registered nursing is the top occupation in terms of the largest job growth from 2008-18 with projections that more 581,500 new RN jobs alone will be created through 2018! That definitely merits another ‘wow’. Isn’t it terrific that our College of Nursing is helping educate the next generation? Our nursing college has a huge variety of offerings in this profession like –  RN to BSN; BSN; clinical nurse leader – one of the first in the country and still the only one in Georgia; a doctor of nursing practice program, which just turned 10; a Ph.D. in nursing; a master of science in nursing anesthesia; and a post-masters certificate program in things like gerontology and acute care. As we speak, they, like us, are graduating more than 200 students. Simply awesome. Kudos to Dr. Lucy Marion, her team, and all new graduates.

Finding Gold… Right Here in Augusta

While we are on a role of immeasurable contributions, here’s an individual definitely worth noting. In this case, the multi-talented Dr. Jack Yu, a recipient of this year’s Golden Pen Award from our university’s Employee Advisory Council. This award recognizes those among us who have reached a significant level of achievement and excellence in their careers and in their contributions to our university. This amazing craniofacial surgeon, researcher, educator, and leader has been with us since 1994. In his nomination, he was described as “the most altruistic and enthusiastic person anyone could ever meet,” one who sacrifices themselves to benefit others. What else is there to say but a mega- congratulations and thank you?

And Real Gems… Across our State

Speaking of service, we talked a lot last week and some most weeks about our amazing alums. We wanted to note this week two more who are absolutely the definition of service. In a really neat transition of leadership, former Congressman and 1969 MCG graduate, Dr. Phil Gingrey, was recently appointed to the board of our Health System to fill a big spot left by Dr. J. Roy Rowland, a former congressman and a 1952 MCG graduate, who had served on the board five years.  How awesome is that? We so appreciate their contributions to medicine, to our nation’s government, to their medical school, and to its hospitals and clinics. That’s some serious impact.

Sharing Passion and Compassion… With the World

She is an epidemiologist who studies international health and how to help countries build capacity for disease surveillance and response. Her studies had her headed to Nepal this month and then true tragedy struck in the horrific form of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. So Dr. Jessica Schwind’s mission expanded as did her resolve. She is taking with her tents, blankets, water purification tablets and systems, antibiotics, anything that can be carried, and can help. She leaves tomorrow and our best wishes and thanks go with her. See http://bit.ly/1zCdN4J. You all are truly inspiring.

With Our Home…

Here’s a taste of what’s to come. Several of our students are working with colleagues from the Institute of Public and Preventive Health, our hospital dietary services, and campus’ Sodexo food services to help people eat healthier. They call it “TEACH – The Eating and Cooking Healthy – Kitchen,” and it includes easy access to healthy recipes that they actually prepare and eat with patients. They hope it will provide patients personalized suggestions on dietary changes to help them manage chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Students will gain a better understanding of their community and how to counsel patients on behavioral change and healthy eating. Another win-win. Second-year students Alex Pan, Jennifer Chae, and Jeffrey Ahn got the idea after hearing a presentation at the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association National Conference by a family medicine resident about the kitchen he established while a student at Tulane. More healthy inspiration.

And With Our Children…

We leave you today with another of those tough-to-hear-about issues but also the great news that we are taking it on. Our Dr. Shaoyong Su, a genetic epidemiologist in the GPI, has shown that children who experience multiple traumatic events, awful things such as emotional and sexual abuse, already have higher blood pressure as young adults than their peers. This very difficult early life scenario appears to put these young people at lifelong increased risk of things like hypertension and heart disease and more. Of course, like so many of you, Dr. Su wants to help. In fact, he just received another National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant of $1.3 million to explore further how these adverse events impact gene regulation and so cardiovascular health. More valiant efforts. Learn more here http://bit.ly/1DSDQA3.


Upcoming Events

Today – Graduation, 2 p.m., James Brown Arena.

May 13 – Celebrate a great year of research with the Senior VP for Research Administration, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Fat Man’s Mill Café, Enterprise Mill Courtyard, RSVP to dwalden@gru.edu.

May 14 – MCG Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., large classroom, Harrison Commons.

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.

Nov. 13 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

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

Happy graduation!

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