“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Off to a great start…

Happy new year (just in case you haven’t heard that yet)! We can’t think of better colleagues than each of you with whom to start this brand new year of promise and opportunity. One of the many reasons is that you never fail to make the most of both and here is yet another awesome example of how. Our community is privileged to be the home of Fort Gordon, which means so many wonderful things. Chief among them is that individuals who have committed themselves to serving our country and ensuring our safety live and work among us. Our medical school has many relationships with Fort Gordon, particularly our colleagues at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Did you know that one of those relationships includes a true partnership in educating the next generation of emergency medicine physicians for the Army? That’s right, six of the 13 residents we have in each of the three years of emergency medicine training are our active duty Army colleagues, some straight out of medical school, others already experienced in war. That’s pretty wonderful but, it’s just part of what we wanted to share!

 

In this… our 187th year…

You see our emergency medicine docs here are absolute innovators in, well a lot of stuff, but at the moment we are talking ultrasound. While it may not be a window to the soul, ultrasound absolutely is a non-invasive, quick way to peer inside our body. A terrific team here, led by Dr. Matt Lyon, have been not only leaders in using what’s called point of care ultrasonography, but also in educating physicians around the globe on how to make optimal use of this portable technology. Technological advances have enabled smaller and smaller machines with better and better image quality in the last handful of years, which has really set this approach on fire in scenarios from emergency rooms to war zones. These days find family medicine physicians absolutely among those using this technology more and more. Well this week, family medicine physicians from Fort Gordon, as well as a few of our own, took a terrific course led by our emergency medicine clinical ultrasound team. How great is it to be of service to those who serve! And, did you know we have an emergency ultrasound fellowship!  We hope you also know that we are incorporating ultrasound use into all four years of medical school!  Please check out more about this week’s course here http://bit.ly/1SCcVnB.

 

Great people doing great things…

While we haven’t yet taken our ultrasound course, it’s plenty easy for us to see that your hearts and minds are absolutely solid. Here’s one more terrific example that ties back to our Emergency Medicine department. You know that department also has an International Medicine Fellowship to help prepare physicians for challenging and rewarding fieldwork around our globe, most times, in places and for people who need it the most. Well during the holiday season a team of docs and fellows from our medical school along with colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Monica Gross, a fourth-year doctor of pharmacy student at the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy’s campus right here in Augusta, spent two weeks providing free care to the people of Gambia. It was the team’s first trip to the small West African country but team leader Dr. Ted Kuhn shared with the local newspaper that similar journeys have been made to about 40 countries across the world in recent years. Our team members this trip also included international medicine fellows Dr. Christopher ‘Barrett’ Jones and Dr. Lindsay Moore; emergency medicine resident Dr. Deb Holtzclaw; emergency medicine faculty members Dr. Taylor Haston, Dr. Jim Wilde and Dr. Hartmut Gross; and Dr. Ted Kuhn’s terrific wife and retired MCG faculty member Dr. Sharon Kuhn.  This is yet another one of those times when what else do you need to say except: Great people doing great work, that is you and you are the Medical College of Georgia! Please see http://observer.gm/georgia-regents-university-doctors-offer-free-medical-service-in-gambia/.

 

The Absolute Best Colleagues… Who Share our Commitment to Improving Health

Can you believe it was better than two years ago when we were talking about theAccreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education coming to call on our Medical Partnership campus and St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens as work was progressing to establish that beautiful city’s first medical residency program. Well the ACGME will be back next month for its two-year institutional review. As we’ve proudly noted, the internal medicine residency there, which hits directly on Georgia’s need for primary care docs, started this past summer. Our absolute congratulations to Dr. Pete Yunyongying, program director of the new program, and our Dr. Shelley Nuss, campus associate dean for GME, for their leadership and success in this hugely important endeavor. Just terrific. In fact, this absolutely on-target University System of Georgia initiative to increase residency training across our expansive state is rocking all over. Ben Robinson, executive director of health workforce development for the USG, provided an exciting update recently and the bottom line is, drumroll please, by 2020, eight new teaching hospitals in Georgia should be well on their way to offering more than 400 primary care residency positions. How is that for great news in this new year. We absolutely applaud Ben as well for his commitment to ringing in better health for Georgia.

 

You are a medical school… that is great today

No doubt this kind of magic doesn’t just happen. You have to have a plan! And our medical school absolutely has one as well that is also setting a course for an amazing future. We told you right before Thanksgiving about the follow-up Strategic Plan Leadership Retreat. It really was super fun and inspiring. For those of you who were not there, we wanted to share that you can get at least a taste of the action herehttp://www.gru.edu/mcg/plan/. We want to thank our Webmaster Eric Odom for getting this – and a lot more cool stuff about our medical school (i.e., you) – out there for the world to see. Please check it out!

 

With a vision for an even more awesome… tomorrow

Speaking of our future, this is the month of our accreditation site visit from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. This all-important visit takes place Jan. 24-27. We had over 170 people involved in our mock survey in early December and will absolutely need all hands on deck for the actual visit.  Please know how important it is that each of you – in your usual role as super stewards of our school – is prepared to discuss with our surveyors how we do daily business as well as our organizational activities and priorities. Our site team likely will want to address important issues such as, just what is our strategic plan? What are we doing to advance a more diverse workforce in our faculty, as well as our residents and students?  How do we mentor faculty?  Those of us directly involved in meetings with the LCME surveyors, absolutely need to be knowledgeable, clear and succinct in our replies to questions – always remembering that we are being evaluated on the quality, sufficiency, and processes related to medical-student learning. Finally, we hope you will take great pride – and corresponding enthusiasm – in the telling of our story. We have a great school because of you.  Thank you for your leadership and, again, we look forward to this opportunity.

 

And a refreshed face… to show the world

You might have thought the period of serious gift giving is behind us for a bit but Jan. 21 you all with be getting some cool new giveaways like pens, note pads, car decals and lanyards delivered to your office doors as our university rolls out its new marks and brand. There will also be invitations to a bunch of campus events related to the Augusta University brand launch. We have gotten an early peak and we think/hope you are going to like what you see. Our new MCG logo should also be in hand right about that same time so similar MCG items will be available for order after that. More to come on this but we want to thank Dr. Karla Leeper, EVP for strategic communication and chief marketing officer; Jack Evans, VP for communications; and Aubrey Hinkson, marketing director, for their leadership role in this important and ongoing effort.

 

Epilogue…

And finally today, we say farewell to the 20th dean of our medical school. Dr. Fairfield Goodale definitely had a presence. He was kind and funny, brilliant and insightful, sophisticated in the very best kind of way. He flew a P-51 Mustang fighter in 50 combat missions over France and Germany during World War II as a member of the U.S. Air Force and we are told his experience in the liberation at one of Germany’s largest concentration camps, Buchenwald, greatly influenced his decision to become a physician. He would graduate from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, train as a pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, write hundreds of research papers, many of which were on the still- topical issue of dietary fat and atherosclerosis. He was a medical education innovator and leader, an early proponent of problem-based, small-group learning. He came to us as dean in 1976 from the Medical College of Virginia, where he was chair of pathology and would leave in 1984 to become dean of Bowman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest School of Medicine). He died Dec. 27 peacefully at his home in Duxbury, Massachusetts, with Mary Margaret, his wife of 70 years, and his four children by his side. Our best to them and our thanks to him.

 

Upcoming Events

 

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.

Jan. 15 – Martin Luther King Day celebration at Augusta University with keynote speaker Civil Rights Activist Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, noon, Maxwell Theatre, Summerville Campus.

Jan. 22 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 24-27 – LCME Site visit

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

Feb. 11 – Augusta University Day at the Capitol.

Feb. 18 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting and Awards Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 25 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, Macon, Idle Hour Country Club, 3:30 p.m., Regional reception, 6 p.m.

March 4 – The Alan Roberts Memorial Lecture, noon-1 p.m., Lee Auditorium, Kathy Kinlaw, Director of Emory University’s Program on Health Science and Ethics.

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

March 18 – Match Day, location TBD!

March 25 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

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, Harrison Education Commons.

April 29 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

April 29-May 1 – Alumni Weekend. On April 29, Department of Neurosurgery 60thanniversary lunch and CME, noon-4 p.m., BI3079; MCG Dean’s Reception, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Education Commons followed by MCG Alumni Association Banquet, 6:30 p.m., also at the Harrison Education Commons. April 30, MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m., Harrison Education Commons; President’s Cookout, noon-2 p.m., at president’s home, Twin Gables, 920 Milledge Road; MCG Class Reunions, starting at 6:30 at the Augusta Marriott for Classes of 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2006. May 1, MCG Emeritus Club Breakfast, Augusta University Alumni Center on 15th St., 9:30 a.m.; Memorial Service, 10:30 a.m., Alumni Center.

May 6 – Dean’s State of the College Address, noon, Lee Auditorium.

May 12 – Hooding 2016, Keynote speaker, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, President, Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, 2 p.m.

May 13 – Graduation, 2 p.m., Civic Center.

Have a terrific weekend!

 

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