“Children are one third of our population and all of our future.”

-Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Dr. Zheng Dong honored as Charbonnier Chair…
Last week we talked about the Oct. 18 event honoring the legacy of Bowdre Phinizy and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, whose generous gift to our medical school marked the inception of MCG’s very first endowment. This week we are super pleased to share the newest appointment to the Charbonnier chairs this fine family helped make possible. Our Dr. Zheng Dong, cellular biologist, is yet another excellent example of the staying and doing power of each of you and our medical school. Earlier this summer, Dr. Dong was making headlines for his federally funded work trying to protect the kidneys from damage by the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Now he’s making headlines again. Dr. Dong, who came to us in 2003 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, was recently named our very first Leon Henri Charbonnier Endowed Chair in Cellular Biology and Anatomy. He’s been a full professor since 2007 and Regents’ Professor since 2011. Of course, he is a national player, a chartered member of the National Institutes of Health Pathobiology of Kidney Disease Study Section, an editorial board member for journals like Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Kidney International and well, just a ton more. Like so many of you, he also happens to be a super nice individual. Please join in a well-deserved congratulations to Dr. Dong.

The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration… Is set for noon Sunday 
One of the many traditions that the waning summer brings is our annual Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebration. This annual, televised perspective on the caregivers, patients and families of our Children’s Hospital of Georgia is no doubt a lump-in-the-throat inspirational event that reminds, even the toughest among us, of just how awesome it is to be part of a place whose mission includes meeting the health care needs of children. While every story shared is no doubt a treasure, we are so pleased that a great story that graced the cover of our fall/winter issue of our MCG Medicine magazine last year will be shared during our telethon as well. It so exemplifies you all at your best. Our Dr. Robyn Hatley put Ellyn Strother on ECMO – a high-tech life support – when she was a dying newborn. Flash forward 20 years and that baby, now an aspiring physician, came back to shadow with Dr. Hatley last summer. Talk about the circle of life. Check out the great story here and here.

But our commitment to children is yearlong, statewide and beyond…
Did you know we see approximately 100,000 pediatric patients annually between inpatients, outpatients and our emergency department? Did you know our faculty who take care of children regularly travel to see them closer to where they live? People like Dr. Les Betrand, our director of pediatric orthopaedics, travels to places like Dublin and Waycross. And, Dr. Luis Ortiz, chief of pediatric nephrology, travels to Albany, Athens, Valdosta and more. How about that for helping take care of our great state and its best asset. In keeping with that tireless commitment to the next generation, we have nearly 50 pediatric residents along with more than a dozen fellows in subspecialties like pediatric cardiology, neonatology and pediatric emergency medicine, never mind folks studying specialties like child neurology and child and adolescent psychiatry. Did you know that 16 percent of our Class of 2016 matched in pediatrics?

We ask you for your continued support of children’s care… 
You get the idea. This is one child-friendly place and that, my friends and colleagues, is hard to beat. So, permit us to thank you all again for your commitment to children and families. And, please take a few moments to check out Sunday’s celebration in person in the children’s hospital lobby or broadcast live from noon-6 p.m. on WAGT-TV right here in Augusta, GA. We know that all of you already give more than 100 percent of yourselves every day, but if you can find a way to also give to this amazing effort for children, please do. That is definitely an investment with high returns.

And thank the community for theirs…
Like yours, the community’s efforts on behalf of the well-being of children also is inspirational and has been since the telethon started 31 years ago at our children’s hospital. Great places like Publix, Bi-Lo, Walmart/Sam’s, Costco, IHOP, Dairy Queen and Kroger do their own internal fundraising annually, share their enthusiasm with their customers and absolutely help us tell this important story. There are even grassroots initiatives by children for children like the Raiders of the Loose Change Program where McBean Elementary School students sell bracelets to their friends and family and donate the money to our CHOG. We hear the 2nd grade class sold the most bracelets this year, so some of those students will present their check for $3,400 Sunday. Much like talking about children, we can never say enough about the community support of our medical school and university.

Our 2014 graduate takes a leadership role at the Summer Olympics…
Speaking of strong and steady heads and hearts, we just know that you had your heads wrapped up in the Summer Olympics at least some over recent weeks. Well guess what! Your medical school had at least – we are betting there were more – one stellar representative down that way. Dr. David Attaway is a 2014 graduate of our school who is now an emergency medicine resident at Brooklyn’s largest hospital, Maimonides Medical Center. Dr. Attaway was the director of the emergency section of Polyclinic, the command center for all the Olympic village’s medical posts. How is that for great.  You just never know where our medical school will show up and make an impact. Our thanks and congratulations go out to Dr. Attaway. Check out more here. Have we mentioned lately to also please check out the new and improved alumni website!

Students at Paine College and our medical school are partnering for success…
Since we already are on a strong, steady and helpful hands roll, let’s wrap up today on that awesome note. The still-new Minority Association of Premedical Students of our neighbors, Paine College, also is helping the next generation of physicians and other health care providers succeed. And they have some powerful partners in our chapter of the Student National Medical Association. In fact, MAPS is an  undergraduate chapter of our decades-old chapter of the SNMA, and our amazing students helped establish and charter this important new group both at Paine and our Summerville Campus. It’s great to see early that kind of synergy and support that all of you here are so famous for never losing. Great piece in The Augusta Chronicle this week on MAPS that included our Dr. LaShon Sturgis, a former SNMA president who is now an emergency medicine resident here mentoring SNMA and MAPS students. Check it out here. Once again, it’s hard to argue with commitment and success and who would want to!

Upcoming Events

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

Sept. 8 – Augusta University 6th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, Marriott Convention Center. Register here.

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 to EDI@augusta.edu.

Sept. 17 – Alumni Association 125th Anniversary Celebration, Marriott Augusta, 6 p.m. reception, 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-1110, reception follows in the Harrison Commons lobby.

Sept. 30 – Ice cream social for medical students and residents, noon-1:30 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Oct. 1 – The 2nd annual Pink Pumpkin Party, a family and community event by the Georgia Cancer Center to raise breast cancer awareness and education and honor survivors. Check out the Pink Pumpkin Party and the Pink Pumpkin giving page for more information.
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 Bowdre Phinizy and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, whose generous gift in honor of Meta’s father, Leon Henri Charbonnier, 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.

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.

Have a terrific weekend.

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