“I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity.”

– Declaration of Geneva

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

You always REACH out…
Thought we would take you down memory lane for just a moment. Do you all remember when we first started talking about how Dr. David Hess and his terrific team had developed an Internet-based stroke assessment and treatment system? Well it was like the early 2000s when Dr. Hess and his colleagues reported that the system they developed called REACH meant that stroke patients in rural communities could get just as good care and treatment by a neurologist via REACH as those of us fortunate enough to live among a bunch of super stroke specialists! We began sharing our neurologists with other Georgia communities via REACH in 2003. Today REACH and they are working round-the-clock in 26 Georgia communities, one South Carolina community and, from what we hear … more are on the way. Did we mention they also take care of patients here? Awesome. We bring this up now because, well it is always such a great source of pride for our medical school and hospital, but also because this great team recently gave tPA to the 1,000th patient via this system. Wow.

To all you can help…
Think if you would for just a moment, about all the lives improved and maybe even saved by this. You know, as we said just last week, you all give us so much to be proud about as amazing individuals and teams who are absolutely making a difference.  The first patient we saw and treated via REACH with the clot buster tPA was in marvelous McDuffie County and the 1,000th was with our colleagues in Aiken. You likely know tPA was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 and today remains the only FDA-approved treatment for ischemic stroke, which is, by far, the most common type of stroke. Unfortunately, the dearth of stroke specialists and the tight-timeframe for tPA delivery mean 20 years later, most patients still don’t get tPA, although we must note that extraordinary efforts like REACH are slowly edging up the percentage who do. We thank the MCG team here, which also includes Drs. Jeffrey Switzer, Askiel Bruno, Fenwick Nichols and Ned Pruitt with help from their emergency medicine colleague Dr. Hartmut Gross for taking geography out of the equation for patients and for working to ensure optimal stroke recovery. Have we mentioned they are doing a ton of research to find more solutions! Thank you.

You constantly seek and find…
Since we are talking cool clinical research, we wanted to note that later this very afternoon ice cream sundaes are on tap from 2-4 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium lobby to celebrate Clinical Research Day. No doubt folks such as Dr. Hess and the entire stroke team lineup are great examples of the many extra miles our physicians take to move knowledge forward. Thanks to our Senior VP for Research, Dr. Mike Diamond, for making this celebration of such happen. By the by, this is also a great networking opportunity so please come have some smart fun! Will there be sprinkles with that? How is this for a cherry on top? Front page this a.m. a great story by Tom Corwin about some innovative clinical studies going on right here by our Dr. Vaughn McCall.

Even better ways to help…
You know how we do love to get on a roll. Well you may also know that our Department of Medicine also absolutely knows how to do clinical research right! That is no easy row to hoe when physicians are already super busy seeing patients and just keeping current with whatever somebody else already found new in their specialty. And, at our nation’s medical schools and essential volunteer teaching sites, there is that little extra duty called educating students and residents! To help bolster clinical research, the department in 2014 established an internally funded Translational Research Program that ensures support for essential basics like designing and executing trials, never mind fostering more collaboration. Program members, like so many of you, are just seriously committed to the success of others and of our medical school. Key movers in this group, like Dr. Stan Nahman, the department’s director of translational research, and Dr. Matthew Diamond, another busy nephrologist and clinical investigator, along with essential biostatistics colleagues such as Chair Dr. Varghese George and Dr. Frances Yang, recently published an insightful piece on the program’s first 15 months of operation in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. Bottom line: this program, modeled after a large, successful Vanderbilt institute, is working super effectively and efficiently and we applaud everyone’s significant effort. You probably know the department has had a research track in its residency program since like 2009. Just super.

You excel…
You know just a bit earlier this month we were celebrating our graduate and longtime faculty member Dr. Clarence Joe getting the well-deserved Distinguished Alumnus for Loyalty recognition from our equally fabulous Alumni Association. Well, one of his many wonderful contributions is being councilor of the Alpha of Georgia Chapter of the honor medical society Alpha Omega Alpha. We absolutely wanted to share the stellar line up of spring inductees to that prestigious society with you today. New student members are Jason Bowman, Ryan Cone, Kerrie Grunnet, Leslie Peard, Brent Cone, Kevin Heard, Samuel Payne, Kelsey Porter and Kelli Wheeler from our Augusta campus and Laura Kent, Donald Vickers and Andrew Dicks from our awesome Athens campus.

You lead…
Pediatric resident Dr. Scott Darby and urology resident Dr. Joe Fox also were inducted along with faculty members Drs. John Morgan, Tony Mulloy and Jim Rawson (neurology, medicine and radiology respectively!). Alumni inductees included another recent Alumni Association honoree for Professional Achievement, 1968 graduate Dr. Charles Rice; 1967 graduate, Dr. William Brooks, a family medicine physician in marvelous Macon; Dr. Charles Bradley, a 1962 graduate and ophthalmologist in the very great Gainesville; and Dr. Robert Wynn, a cardiothoracic surgeon in super Savannah and 1965 graduate. Our volunteer clinical faculty award went to our Dr. Buffi Boyd, an urologist also from Savannah who just finished up a terrific term as Alumni Association president. This 1999 graduate absolutely always gives her all. Looks like this whole group does. Congratulations.

You absolutely rock…
We leave you today with some amazing moving and still sights and sounds of our Hooding ceremony last week, see the photos and video. Our sincere thanks to freelance photographer Anthony Carlie and AU’s very own senior video producer Tim Johnson for doing such justice to a truly great day. We totally agree with our incredible hooding speaker, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, who said: Live your dream; change the world! The great news is, you absolutely do.

Upcoming Events

May 26 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

June 16 – Investiture Ceremony, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Aug. 12 – New date for the State of the College address, noon, Lee Auditorium!

Nov. 4 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Nov. 5 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.

Please make it a fun weekend!

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