“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

-Albert Schweitzer

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

First Annual Conquer Chiari Walk in our city… Set for tomorrow
We talk often about how you all routinely go above and beyond in pretty much anything/everything you do. That and you are part and parcel of what makes our medical school such an amazing place most days. This Saturday is a great example. As many of us are having that second cup of coffee, our Amanda Heath, a patient care tech on 5 West of our hospital, will be leading Augusta’s first-ever Conquer Chiari Walk in Augusta. Chiari malformations are essentially structural problems in the part of our brain that controls balance. Babies can be born with it and we adults can experience it as well from spinal injury or infection. Either way it can leave patients obviously with balance problems as well as muscle weakness, neck pain, numbness in the arms or leg and more. Babies can even have trouble swallowing.  The Conquer Chiari Walk has been an awareness and fundraising mainstay across the country since 2008 and Ms. Heath, who has worked with us for a decade, has taken the initiative to bring it to Augusta. Thank you, Ms. Heath.

Our Dr. Ian Heger will talk at the walk… About taking care of these patients
Alongside Ms. Heath will be our Dr. Ian Heger, pediatric neurosurgeon, who will share his insight about this disease, with the super group gathered tomorrow morning at the Evans Towne Center Park, see Conquer Chiari Walk – Augusta, GA. Increasingly, patients and families are seeking out his help for this rare condition. And Dr. Heger is helping lead the further development of a center of care for these patients who may need surgery, pain treatment, physical therapy and more. As we talked about last week and so often, this true team of professionals at our medical school and hospitals will help ensure patients get optimal care and recovery. There’s no doubt that this is what commitment and leadership are about and we absolutely thank both these fine individuals for theirs. This could be a great family outing by the way with the cooler temps arriving and assorted fun including face painting, a splash pad and music!

Oct. 1 is the 6th Annual Golf Tournament for… Prostate Cancer Awareness
Meet Kim Maddox, residency program coordinator in our Section of Urology. This 18-year employee is putting together the section’s 6th Annual Golf Tournament for Prostate Cancer Awareness set for Oct. 1 at the Gordon Lakes Golf Club. Like the new Chiari walk in Augusta, this established event brings together like-minded individuals for fun and to support a super-important cause. In a city famous for golf, this tournament also helps raise awareness about prostate cancer – which affects 1 in 7 men in their lifetime – as it raises dollars to support our urology residency program. Like your extra efforts, this one will enable our residents to, for important example, participate in more research meetings that will further inspire and direct their training and their future. We so appreciate the leadership of Ms. Maddox in this effort and, of course, that of our Section Chief Dr. Martha Terris. If you decide you want to play and/or help, you can reach Ms. Maddox at kimaddox@augusta.edu.

More outreach efforts in the works for this important, common cancer 
You know September is prostate cancer awareness month and Dr. Terris recently shared some interesting and concerning insight. The reality that this disease is often diagnosed in older men, and may present as a slowly progressing disease that likely will never take their life, has created something of a sense of complacency where it is definitely not due. She also tells us that, much as with breast cancer in women, particularly when prostate cancer is diagnosed in younger men, it can be aggressive and deadly. Dr. Sherita King, a 2008 graduate of our medical school who also completed her urology residency with us and is now coming back to us as a faculty member after completing a sexual medicine fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, will be greatly expanding our community outreach to ensure that the message gets told that men need regular prostate examinations. We welcome Dr. King back home and look forward to hearing more on all these important fronts.

Another amazing team shines the light on suicide… Sept. 25 
While many of the key individuals behind this important event may not technically be ours, one definitely is and we would be more than happy to also take credit for the rest of this amazing group. They are collectively called Natalie’s Light and they shine needed attention on suicide awareness and prevention. Dr. Leslie Ann Lesoon, a physician assistant in our Department of Neurosurgery, is definitely a powerful force here for an initiative named after her only child. The Second Augusta Out of the Darkness Walk will be held Sunday, Sept. 25, at 3 p.m. at the tow path on the Augusta Canal. Please visit natalieslight.org to learn more.

Dr. Lara Stepleman wins… The 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Award
Here’s yet another amazing individual looking out for us all. Dr. Lara Stepleman is a psychologist who has spearheaded a federally funded community program to help African-American women better protect themselves from HIV. She volunteers as director of psychological services for the student-run Equality Clinic and is an active clinic board member. She helped spearhead our community’s first LGBTQ+ community health needs assessment. She is a mentor for our students doing summer research – and most likely any time they run across her. She is, drumroll please, our university’s 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Award Winner! No doubt. Hopefully many of you had the terrific opportunity to participate in this sixth annual summit where Dr. Stepleman was honored and where so much insight and food for thought was shared on a wide-range of related issues from helping veterans transition to using the power of us to help those struggling with great disappointment, overcome it. Did you know that for the third time, our university was recognized with a Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine? We thank Dr. Quincy J. Byrdsong, chief diversity officer, for his leadership and each of you for being such terrific individuals and teams. We are truly better together.

And our war hero Dr. Richard Jadick has moved his visit to Oct. 27
And finally today, we told you last Friday that war hero Dr. Richard Jadick would be here this Friday as the Russell A. Blanchard Distinguished Lecturer in Ethics for the Hull Business College. Well those plans changed after press time. But the good news is that you now have more time to schedule to attend what we feel sure will be an inspiring talk. Dr. Jadick now will be speaking at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Jaguar Student Activity Center Ballroom on the Summerville Campus, see the event page for more details. You still may see this amazing individual around these parts this Friday since we understand he decided to keep this date on his calendar as well for catching up with friends and former colleagues. We absolutely welcome Dr. Jadick any day!

Upcoming Events

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

(Before) Sept. 23 – The performing arts are returning to the Health Sciences Campus with a series of Noon Arts concerts. Students, staff, faculty and retiree performers are being recruited for the next Noon Arts concert Wednesday, Oct. 5. Please contact Tricia Perea at tperea@augusta.edu before Sept. 23.

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. 18 – A Service for the Healing of the Mind and Spirit, 7 p.m., St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church, 1420 Monte Sano Ave., a communitywide event for those whose lives have been touched by mental illness, sponsored by the Coalition for Mental and Spiritual Health Ministries and the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Augusta.

Oct. 20 – MCG Faculty Senate Meeting, noon, Lee Auditorium.

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.

Enjoy the last weekend of the Summer of 2016!


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