“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”

-Nelson Mandela

 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Children are no doubt our future…

On some of the best of days, great simply grows. That said, we are delighted to share with you great news this week that another amazing individual, who has requested to remain anonymous, has given $1.4 million to help fund pediatric cancer research, our child life program and more at our children’s hospital and cancer center. We hear from the donor that s/he was inspired by the children, their fight and by previous generosity, such as that of the CSRA community foundation fund Press On, which announced last September a $2.5 million gift to fund translational pediatric cancer research and innovative treatment alternatives for children with cancer who come to us for care.

We appreciate your investment…

Did you know the Press On fund was founded by Stephen and Erin Chance while their son Patrick was fighting a rare cancer? What an overwhelming multiplier effect comes from such revelations and from the pure good that continues to arise from them. Certainly it is hard to imagine more poignant reasons to give or more gracious donors. To this donor, we send our heartfelt gratitude and our hope that with such remarkable partners we will continue to take great strides on behalf of children. Amazing.

In their total well-being…

While we do talk often about research, we don’t speak often enough about our child life program, which started nearly 30 years ago to help children and their families better manage the myriad of stress that comes from medical conditions and hospitalization. No doubt our Children’s Hospital of Georgia and all who work there offer a safe and warm environment to children and families. We are so pleased and proud that child life is integral to that. So today, we salute our child life specialists, including Manager Kim Allen along with Katie Caputo, Mandy Lee, Macie Meeks, Stephanie Grayson and Maggie Kail. Did you also know that we/they also help train the next generation of child specialists through a joint program with our colleagues at the University of Georgia? Simply outstanding and thank you.

We really like how you care for families too…

He came to us in 1982 as an assistant professor after medical school and family medicine residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine followed by four years of service in the U.S. Army. Just this June, 34 years later, Dr. Paul D. Forney bid us adieu. We are happy to share with you that one of his well-deserved parting honors was being named 2016 Georgia Family Physician of the Year by the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He was selected for the academy’s top honor for his compassion and direct involvement in so many things that affect quality of life in our state. This much-honored educator was also recognized by the academy for being a great role model and compassionate advisor. We could not have said it better ourselves!

With the contributions you make…

Dr. Forney was director of our family medicine residency program for 32 of his 34 years with us, vice chair of his department since 1995, a former President of the Georgia Academy, and just a general all-around nice, accomplished individual with a tremendous commitment to that next generation and his adopted medical school. It is also noteworthy that in 2003 Dr. Forney also became the first Ollie O. McGahee Jr. MD Chair in Family Medicine, one of our amazing endowed chairs established by The Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Educational Foundation. Please join us in congratulating him. Also please join us for a brief memory lane sidebar by checking out this 1989 story featuring him on page 6 of The Beeper, the employee newspaper from back in the day. This is particularly cool because it’s when he was named president elect of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. Also, if you will look closely on that same page, you will see a brief piece on our first official child life coordinator. Great memories that transformed to great realities!

To our community and state….

Dr. Forney was just one of several outstanding recent retirees at our medical school who were honored at the June Investiture Ceremony. This prestigious Emeritus lineup also included Dr. Jim Carroll, Dr. Andy Mellor, Gene Murdock Jr., Dr. Stewart Shevitz, Jim Corley, Dr. William K. Dolen, Dr. Pamela J. Fall, Dr. Vernon A. Barnes, Dr. Mike Rivner and Dr. Tony Mulloy. The history, the accomplishments, the significance of all these individuals is definitely breathtaking and we salute them all for their service and commitment. Please check out more about our honorees.

And well beyond…

We wind down this warm holiday week on yet another source of great PRIDE. On Monday we welcome to our campus from across the country nine new mentees and five of their mentors in the Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health Related Research.  This program, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, aims to better prepare young investigators to pursue their dreams, as well as new treatments and ideally cures for disease. Next week marks the beginning of the first of two summer institutes for this mega-engaged group of mentees and mentors. The mentees who will be with us come from places like Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and Yale and mentors from the likes of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the University of Michigan. Mentees also have a winter visit with their mentors and an annual trek to the NHLBI in Bethesda.

How could we have anything but PRIDE

The PRIDE program at our institution is led by Dr. Betty Pace, Interim Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Francis J. Tedesco Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology- another endowed chair in our MCG Foundation that honors our former president and his and wife Luann’s own journey with their daughter Jennifer who battled childhood cancer. Our PRIDE program appropriately focuses on functional and translational genomics of blood disorders- a long and strong focus of research. More globally, this important program for thosefrom backgrounds under-represented in biomedical sciences and those with disabilities also focuses on heart, lung and sleep disorders. We welcome this great group to our medical school and university and thank those here, particularly, Dr. Pace, for their commitment to the success of the next generation. More…

 

Upcoming Events

Aug. 1 – Freshman Reception, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association, 5 p.m., J. Harold Harrison Education Commons.

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

Aug. 15 – Career Development 101 for Early-Career Research Investigators, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Room 108 of the Greenblatt Library. The event will highlight research related resources, provide networking opportunities and career development skills. Contact Dr. Lisa Middleton by July 15 to attend. Sponsored by the Georgia Cancer Center, Educational Innovation Institute, Office of Leadership Development and Office of the Senior VP for Research.

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.

Sept. 1 – MCG Alumni Association Athens Regional Reception, home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Ellison, 6 p.m.

Sept. 14 – Career Development 101 for Clinical and Teaching Faculty, 1:15-4:30 p.m., Room GB 1120D in the beautiful Harrison Education Commons. Participants will learn more about teaching strategies to promote learning in clinical and other settings, identifying campus resources related to scholarship and research; and describing a timeline for promotion and expectations for tenure and non-tenure tracks. Cosponsored by the MCG Office of Faculty Development and the AU Educational Innovation Institute. RSVP…

Sept. 17 – Alumni Association 125th Anniversary Celebration, Marriott Augusta, 6 p.m. cocktails, 7 p.m. dinner.

Sept. 24 – Augusta University Day of Service.

Sept. 26 – Medical Student Research Symposium, noon to 2 p.m., Harrison Commons.

Sept. 26 – Student/Resident Research Symposium, 5-7 p.m., second floor of Russell Hall, Augusta University – University of Georgia Medical Partnership.

Sept. 27 and 29  – Recognition of Dr. Hervey Cleckley, the famed former MCG psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. The showing of “The Three Faces of Eve,” 5:30 p.m., Sept. 27, Harrison Commons, GB-1110; Lecture, “Dr. Hervey Cleckley: The Medical College of Georgia’s Renaissance Man,” with Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29, Harrison Commons, GB-1100.

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

Oct. 13 – Alumni Association Savannah Regional Reception, Savannah Golf Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 18 – Reception and plaque presentation honoring the family of Bowdre and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, who’s generous gift marked the inception of MCG’s very first endowment, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Commons.

Oct. 25– Alumni Association Rome Regional Reception. Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

 

Have a great weekend and remember to stay hydrated!

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