“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

-Carl G. Jung

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Holidays and Every Day… We Thank You for Your Service

We so hope everyone had a safe and flavorful July 4th holiday with family and with friends. In thinking about that holiday and the many we celebrate across the year, we wanted to take a moment to thank the amazing individuals at our medical school and hospitals who regularly work during those holidays, to ensure that, if something does happen, everyone’s family and friends get the exceptional medical care they deserve. Of course, for so many devoted individuals, that also includes lots of nights and weekends, not just holidays. We understand that, to some extent at least, this is the nature of our distinct privilege of caring for patients and educating the next generation. But we also understand that it is a great and gracious act by many of you to look after the rest of us. Thank you.

This Day… We Also Welcome President Keel

Our cause for celebration on this Independence Day lingered past the actual holiday this year. As we previewed last week, we now officially have a new President for our university. In fact, he will be with us July 20. As with many of you, Dr. Brooks Keel is coming home. Dr. Keel was born in Augusta, and graduated from both the fine institutions that merged in 2013 to form the university where we all work and which he now leads. One of the first things he said to us was: “I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.” We can’t either, Dr. Keel. Welcome home. Check out this great piece by Eric Johnson here https://greport.gru.edu/archives/17257.

We Celebrate As Well… A Decade of Medical Education… in Southwest Georgia…

Okay, it has actually been quite a stretch of celebrating for our medical school. On July 2 with a round of applause and a release of balloons, we kicked off the yearlong celebration of the 10th anniversary of our very first regional campus. The Southwest Campus is based in awesome Albany, and embraced by hospitals and communities throughout that part of our super state. Many of you likely know that our medical school has long had physicians across Georgia, many of whom are our amazing alums, who open their practices as powerful places for our students to learn. The regional campus network, which now spans our entire state, was a way to pull those invaluable individual efforts together into a cohesive plan to grow more physicians for our state. Our wonderful hospital partners at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital were among the first to raise their hands. We raise ours once again to salute them all.

And the Stellar Students… Who Give Us More Cause to Cheer…

Since it’s clear that our students also are awesome, this won’t surprise you. Part of the launch of the 10-year celebration of our first regional campus included the launch of a student-run Diabetes and You program, aimed at helping the community’s school-aged children and their parents learn more about how to avoid developing diabetes. This terrific and far too topical effort was the brainchild of brand-new fourth-years Sheaffer Sorrells, Koosh Desai, Nazish Haqqani, Joanne Boggs, Prianka Kandhal, Ben Harper, Huy Le, and Adam Haviland. Throughout the year, our students will be working with students in the Dougherty County School System through Phoebe’s Network of Trust, a grant-funded, in-school, interactive outreach program of our amazing hospital partners down that way. Their very first event last week included education on healthy eating and exercise. No doubt, some lessons were there for us all! The American Diabetes Association tells us that nearly 10 percent of the population has diabetes and it’s our seventh leading cause of death. A disturbing trend in more recent memory is children developing type 2 diabetes, which was long considered essentially an adult disease. We thank our students for their service and all of Southwest Georgia for its support. Let the celebrating continue!

We Laud As Well… Your Great Leadership…

Since we are on a regional campus roll, we have more great news to share. You may have noted back in May when we were talking about some of the good work of our Dr. Kathryn Martin that she is now our Associate Dean for Regional Campus Coordination. You all also likely know that she was the founding Campus Dean for our super Southeast Campus, based in Savannah and Brunswick and, any of you that know her also know she is one straight-talking but fun individual who absolutely cares about our students and our educational partners. Well with that transition, our Dr. Wayne Rentz, the first Assistant Dean for Curriculum – and a second-generation graduate of our medical school – is now the Southeast Campus Associate Dean. How is that for some strategic moves off the chessboard!  These moves will enable continuity of leadership and character and relationships and all the things that enable us to rock and roll. Our congratulations and thanks to both these fine faculty members.

The First Residents… At a Great New Training Program…

Looking toward northeast Georgia and our four-year campus in Athens in partnership with our University of Georgia colleagues, we also are pleased to share the names of the very first 10 internal medicine residents for the residency program operated jointly by the Athens campus and St. Mary’s Health Care System. We proudly welcome to this terrific new training program: Dr. Brian Brewer, one of our graduates; Dr. Heather Brody,  American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine; Dr. Narayana Gowda, American University of Antigua College of Medicine; Dr. Andrew Ke, Ross University School of Medicine; Dr. Soma Mandal, Albany Medical College; Dr. Tenzing Phanthok, University of the Caribbean School of Medicine; Dr. Akhil Rasim Reddy. St. George’s University School of Medicine; Dr. Sonia Suda, Tulane School of Medicine; Dr. Kyle Walker, Ross University School of Medicine; and Dr. Addison Zhang, American University of Antigua College of Medicine. We also congratulate and thank Don McKenna, St. Mary’s President and CEO; St. Mary’s CMO Dr. Bruce Middendorf; Dr. Pete Yunyongying, Medical Partnership Internal Medicine Program Director; and, of absolute course, Dr. Shelley Nuss, Medical Partnership Campus Dean for GME, and Interim Campus Dean, Dr. Lesley Petch Lee.

And Generations of Excellence… That Have Come Before

As we wrap up today, we find ourselves back where we started, talking about the talented and giving professionals and people that you are. You may have seen Dr. Bob Nesbit a few million times dashing around campus day and night. Our Dr. Nesbit originally came to us in 1974, and served as Chief of Vascular Surgery from 1994-2000, when he retired but soon came back as a Clinical Professor. A favorite among students, he oversees the immensely popular surgery interest group. He also serves as our Phase III committee chair, overseeing our third-year curriculum, and has been a valued member of the MCG Admissions Committee. This boundless wealth of energy, knowledge, and commitment will be moving into the chairman’s seat for Healthcare Georgia Foundation later this year. That foundation works to advance the health of all Georgians, just like the state’s public medical school – your medical school – and its mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities. Another great individual and great move for a great cause. Thank you Dr. Nesbit, for your service to your profession, your state, and its citizens.


Upcoming Events

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

Aug. 3 – Freshman Brunch, hosted by the MCG Alumni Association, 10:30 a.m., Augusta Marriott.

Aug. 5 – First day of class for the Class of 2019.

Aug. 21 – Professionalism Forum, 9 a.m.-noon, Christenberry Fieldhouse on Wrightsboro Road is an opportunity for all first-year students in the university’s professional programs to get together and learn more about professionalism in the health sciences. Sponsored by the GRU Division of Enrollment and Student Services.

Sept. 12 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Augusta, 6 p.m., Augusta Marriott.

Sept. 13 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Harrison Commons, 9:30 a.m.

Oct. 8 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Albany, Doublegate Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 10 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.

Oct. 13 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Rome, Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

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

Oct. 29 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Valdosta, Valdosta Country Club, 6 p.m.

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.

Feb. 25 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Macon, Idle Hour Country Club, 3:30 p.m.

April 15 – MCG Alumni Association sponsors the Raft Debate. More to come.

April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend

May 12 – Hooding 2016, location and time TBD.

Have a warm and wonderful weekend!

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