“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”

-Margaret Fuller


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Helping the World… Deal with Disaster

We are so pleased to share that this week, the National Disaster Life Support Foundation, based right here at your medical school, signed an agreement to teach standardized courses that will help maximize disaster support throughout China. Those courses help ensure that ,when horrible things like the tragic Tianjin warehouse explosions of last week happen, all first responders – from policemen to paramedics – are working optimally together to ensure the best possible outcomes for victims. The courses are an outgrowth of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, when it became clear that responding agencies are often trained differently. Dr. Richard Schwartz, chair of our Department of Emergency Medicine, along with colleagues at University of Georgia, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the University of Texas at Houston’s School of Public Health introduced the program in 1999. Since then, it has grown to include 90 domestic training sites, courses have been taught in 49 states and in more than 20 foreign countries, including places like Mexico, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia…and now, China. Did you know China has more than four times the population of the United States, about 1.36 billion folks compared with our 319 million, although the land size is slightly smaller?

One Community and Nation at a Time…

We’ve talked often over the years about the amazing contributions these courses have made in trying to bring order to some of our world’s most horrific scenarios by optimizing teamwork. Over those years, more than 120,000 first-responders have been trained and a growing number of health professional schools have added the program to their curriculum like we have – both during medical school and in emergency medicine residencies. Talk about an impact. Dr. Schwartz, you and your fine colleagues should absolutely be proud. One of our Chinese visitors here this week to sign the official agreement to support teaching of these disaster preparedness courses in her country, probably said it better than we can. Dr. Tang “Toni” Lujia told us that these courses are important all over the world and that she and others in China are looking forward to learning from us. We say thank you and welcome to our new friends. Check out http://bit.ly/1hqkQGa.

Ensuring that Blood is Here… When Others Need It

Greatness at our medical school happens because of your willingness to always go the extra mile(s). Certainly that commitment includes our students and we are pleased to also share this week that our second-year students are stepping up in a big way for our blood bank and for our patients. They’ve organized a “Bleed for Your Team” blood drive that puts them in competition with their colleagues – both students and faculty – from the College of Dental Medicine over who can donate the most units during the month of September. There’s a yet to be determined prize (but we hear it’ll be good) for the winning team. The drive will kick off in the Harrison Commons Sept. 1 and donations will be taken that day and the next. The blood bank will be taking donations in the College of Dental Medicine Sept. 15-16. Donations can also be made at the blood bank’s home on the first floor of the adult hospital anytime during the month. Just don’t forget to tell them you’re on team MCG! One of our second-year students, Sadie Mason, who helped organize this effort, tells us that she and her classmates hope the effort will encourage more regular blood donations. That in itself is quite a prize. Did we mention that all the donated blood stays right here? Terrific.

Being Great Educators… And Citizens

No doubt we are pleased to call lots of serious high achievers our colleagues, including folks such as Dr. Natasha Savage. First we are pleased to share that she is a 2007 graduate of our medical school. Dr. Savage also completed her pathology residency with us, during which she was lauded for both academic and research excellence and served as chief resident, before completing a hematopathology fellowship at Stanford.  She came back to us in 2012 and, like you, has continued to be super productive and award winning ever since! This year alone she has already received a “Caught in the Act of Great Teaching Award” from the university’s Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence and was elected to the national honor medical society AOA two months later. She also made the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s Top 40 under 40 list and became chair of our Faculty Senate Student Affairs Committee. Talk about our alumni looking out for our students. What a great example Dr. Savage helps set for this and so much more. We thank you for your service.

At the Top of Your Game…

We also are pleased to congratulate and thank our Dr. Shvetank Agarwal, a cardiac anesthesiologist who has been selected as a fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography. ASE is a professional organization of physicians, cardiovascular sonographers, nurses and scientists involved with using ultrasound to image the heart and cardiovascular system. Our Dr. Agarwal completed his anesthesiology residency at Wayne State, an anesthesiology research fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and a cardiac anesthesiology fellowship at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, before coming to us three years ago, like Dr. Savage. He was selected an ASE fellow because of his proficiency and dedication to cardiovascular ultrasound. No doubt. He’s already been a great contributor to our medical school, our hospital and the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, where he chairs both the Anesthesia Quality Council and Cost Containment and New Product Committee. So glad he is with us!

Setting an Even Higher Bar… For the Future

As you all know so well, the mission of our medical school includes taking on the maladies that plague our state and nation. Our Drs. David Stepp and David Fulton are another great team trying to break up the not-so-great pairing of obesity and cardiovascular disease. We all know obesity and cardiovascular disease are major health care concerns and that they are linked. In fact, one of the worst consequences of obesity is cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, our scientists are learning that even without losing fat, adding more muscle to the equation seems to improve things. A new $2.2 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is helping them learn even more with the inevitable goal, of course, of helping us stay healthy. Check it out here http://bit.ly/1HWLNWQ and herehttp://bit.ly/1K6VKHe.

And Always Looking Out for Children… And Families

Finally today, we want to encourage each of you to take at least a few moments this very Sunday for our patients, families and amazing health care teams at our children’s hospital. Please come join us in the children’s hospital lobby where the 30th annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration will be broadcast live from noon to 6 p.m. Or, just turn on WRDW-TV Sunday afternoon to see again the miracles so many of you make happen, to hear and see tales of young lives that are forever changed. You may even want to join the many individuals and organizations making a donation to our Children’s Hospital of Georgia at giving.gru.edu/telethon. We thank once again the amazing professionals among us who have committed themselves to the health of children as well as the children and families who let us serve them. We also thank our colleagues at WRDW-TV for also going many extra miles to make this annual – and always amazing – event happen. Check out this terrific piece on young Avery Stoll by Channel 12’s Meredith Anderson, http://bit.ly/1JnOOqw.


Upcoming Events

Aug. 22 – The Richmond County Medical Society Leadership Program, Essential Tools for 21st Century Physicians, The Snelling Center at Edgar’s Grill in Augusta, Registration begins at 8 a.m., conference last from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. To register please visit, http://cmetracker.net/MCG/Login?formname=RegLoginLive&eventID=119772. Accredited for up to 4.75 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Registration after Aug. 1 is $35, onsite is $50.

Aug. 23 – 30th Annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration, broadcast live on WRDW-TV from noon to 6 p.m. from the lobby of our Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

Aug. 24 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222 Health Sciences Campus.

Aug. 26 – Dr. Kim E. LeBlanc presenting “Current Trends in Clinical Skills Training and Evaluation” from Noon-1:00PM in GB 3301.  Dr. LeBlanc is the executive director of the clinical skills evaluation collaboration (CSEC) which administers the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination.

Sept. 9 – The Education Innovation Institute hosts Career Development 101, 1:15-4:30PM in the Greenblatt Library, Room AB 108, on the Health Sciences Campus, for faculty with primarily clinical and teaching responsibilities. This faculty orientation event offers practical suggestions and resources on teaching, promotion and research.  RSVP to EDI@GRU.eduby Aug. 26. Participation fulfills the Preparing to Teach expectation for teaching faculty.

Sept 9 – The university’s Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, “Connecting Awareness to Action,” 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. Keynote speaker CNN Commentator Marc Lamont will discuss “Building Community in an Hours of Chaos: Progress in the Age of Obama.” For a complete schedule and registration visit gru.edu/diversity/summit/.

Sept. 11 – The GRU Faculty Club hosts the academic year’s first after-hours social gathering at 5:30 p.m., Mi Rancho Mexican Restaurant, 3064 Washington Road.

Sept. 12 – GRU Day of Service, http://calendar.gru.edu/event/day-of-service-2015.

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.

Sept. 14 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

Sept. 15 – EII in collaboration with the GRU Cancer Center hosts, Career Development 101 for Early Career Investigators, 8:00AM – 12:30PM in Cancer Research Building, Room CN 1102, on the Health Sciences Campus.  The primary goals are to orient early career investigators to the multiple, research-related resources on campus, provide practical career development strategies, and foster connections among research faculty.   RSVP to Lisa Middleton by Aug. 26.

Sept. 17 – University Senate Fall Assembly/New Faculty Welcome, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Alumni Center Ballrooms, Health Sciences Campus.

Sept. 21 – Medical Scholars Research Symposium, Harrison Commons, 11 a.m.

Oct. 5 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

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

Oct. 8, 9 – Patient- and Family-Centered Care Annual Conference with keynote Allison Massari, an in-demand speaker, entrepreneur, executive coach, and interdisciplinary artist. The conference will be held from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 9 in the Lee Auditorium. For more information call 706-721-7322, email pfcc@gru.edu and to register go to http://www.grhealth.org/patient-family-centered-care/9th-annual-pfcc-conference-2015.  For live streaming, please visit: http://www.gru.edu/stream/.

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. 15 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Savannah, Home of Dr. and Mrs. Melvin and Roberta Kamine-Haysman, 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. 2 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

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

Dec. 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

Jan. 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus. 

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

Feb. 1 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

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

March 7 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., JSAC Ballroom, Summerville Campus.

March 18 – Match Day, location TBD!

April 11 – University Senate Meeting, 5:30-7:30 p.m., EC-1222, Health Sciences Campus.

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 good weekend.

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