“If you can’t feed 100 people, then feed just one.”

-Mother Teresa 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Our Student National Medical Association…
No question that our students are amazing academically and personally. It was more than a dozen years ago that our always busy students were in an Essentials of Clinical Medicine class talking about ethical dilemmas and one very real one stuck with them and characteristically drove them to action.  Students like then-freshman Jamie Ingram were struggling with troubling statistics like the reality that only 30 percent of patients needing a bone marrow transplant find a donor within their own family. The vast majority must wait, and search a registry for a suitable match. Those percentages have not changed, and the Health Resources and Services Administration tells us that each year more than 20,000 people are diagnosed with a life-threatening condition for which a bone morrow or umbilical cord blood transplant is their best option. These cells from others will make healthy new blood cells for patients. Donating them is one fine definition of sharing. So our students started a bone marrow registry drive.

Hosts a Bone Marrow Registry Drive… Oct. 3-7…
Our Student National Medical Association now takes the lead on this truly life-saving initiative, and we could not be more proud. You know this group also leads other inspirational initiatives such as Igniting the Dream of Medicine, to help inspire and support other young people who want to be physicians. We thank our students for their inspirational leadership, particularly SNMA President and second-year student Ijeoma Okoye and classmate Sandra Tadros, the group’s community service chair who has done a tremendous job pulling this event together. The event is set for this Monday through Friday, Oct. 3-7, from noon to 2 p.m. each day in the main front lobby of our Harrison Commons. We really like this phrase that they have used to promote the event: You could be someone’s cure to blood cancer. Indeed, and thank you all so very much again. You can also still help with the event since our students are still looking for volunteers for the bone marrow drive. Please reach out to Sandra at stadros@augusta.edu and please see join.bethematch.org/?GA.

And a food-raising campaign… The entire month of October
With October and fall upon us (can you believe it) our Student National Medical Association is also leading a food drive in conjunction with the It’s Spooky To Be Hungry campaign, sponsored by the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Throughout this month, they are encouraging some “healthy” competition between our 13 academic houses to see which one can collect the most food for others. Stuff like non-perishable canned fruits, meats and veggies – no glass, baby food or baby formula, please – is definitely needed. What else can we say other than helping ensure the essentials for others is definitely in the recipe for making the best physicians ever. With this kind of competition, everyone truly is a winner. By the way, if you want to slip in a little something, Sandra is leaving an extra bin in the first-floor lobby of the Harrison Commons or you can leave a little something at one of academic house homes on the second and third floors!

Medical Scholars Research Day was a super success…
A short follow up to another amazing effort by our students that we mentioned last week. Medical Scholars Research Day, where our students told the tale of their research efforts, was truly another great day for our students and the faculty who support them in this and so many important academic endeavors. The publication of their collective summer of science brought to mind a comprehensive medical journal, with super info showing, for example, how dysfunction of our cell powerhouses, or mitochondria, appears to contribute to peripheral artery disease, which can make the act of walking painful. Class of 2019 members at our Partnership campus Billie Odom and Travis Anderson took on this problem that affects about 12 percent of adults. They had the great support of Dr. Jonathan Murrow, campus associate dean for research, at the Athens campus and Jared Brizendine, a research assistant up that fine way along with UGA faculty member Dr. Kevin McCully. Talk about a meeting of the minds! Check out the terrific story on research day by Tom Corwin at The Augusta Chronicle.

Dr. Bruce Janiak honored… As an emergency medicine trailblazer
Speaking of our super faculty, did you know that our Dr. Bruce Janiak, professor of emergency medicine at our medical school, was the first emergency medicine resident in the country in 1970? This graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine completed a rotating internship at the medical school’s teaching hospital followed by two years of family practice with a certificate in emergency medicine. That training combo was originally approved by the American Medical Association and retroactively approved as the nation’s first emergency medicine residency program after the American Board of Emergency Medicine became a member of the American Board of Medical Specialties. How is that for a legacy. As with our medical school and so many of you, there is always more!  The University of Toledo Medical Center has an Emergency Medicine Wall of Honor for such trailblazers and, guess what? Dr. Janiak is now on that wall. Our Dr. Janiak was also lauded for early and major contributions in telemedicine. He is a past president of both the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He first came to us from The Toledo Hospital in Ohio back in 2002.

Dr. Leonard Reeves elected to Board of The American Academy of Family Physicians…
We are pretty sure there is not an official wall for this honor but let’s have a definite drumroll please. Our Dr. Leonard Reeves, the smooth radio and television star of north Georgia who also happens to be our campus associate dean for the Northwest Campus based in remarkable Rome, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the 120,000-member American Academy of Family Physicians. Talk about being on medicine’s front line. Our Dr. Reeves is a past president and current board of directors member of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and that great group’s delegate to the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates. This Rome native has been practicing family medicine for nearly a quarter of a century. He’s also long been a community contributor to his hometown, including current service as president of the board of Faith and Deeds Community Health Clinic, where he runs a diabetic education and treatment group. He also has held leadership roles with the Greater Rome Area Chamber of Commerce and more. Not sure how he has time for hobbies, but rumor has it one of them is restoring old Mustangs. Check out some health info from him here.

Pink pumpkin party tomorrow… Raises money for mammograms
Finally today, in case you had even a subfractional doubt about the community commitment of you, our faculty, staff, residents and students, we wanted to share just one more powerful piece of evidence! Our Dr. Kim Loomer, associate dean for student and multicultural affairs, and her husband Joe are co-chairs of tomorrow’s Pink Pumpkin Party for Breast Cancer Awareness. This beautiful event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of our fabulous Harrison Commons will bring great fun to those who attend – with pumpkin decorating and carving, face painting and more – for the very amazing ultimate purpose of providing free mammograms to hopefully 100 women who need them. Dr. Loomer and her family and friends are still fighting the breast cancer battle themselves and for them to already be thinking about others is just, well, great. Check out the Pink Pumpkin Party and the Pink Pumpkin giving page for more information.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 5 – Purple Light Nights, kickoff of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 6 p.m., at the Teardrop in front of the amphitheater on the Summerville Campus. Donations of new items such as toiletries and clothing are being collected throughout the month at sites on both Augusta campus locations. See jagwire.augusta.edu/archives/37532.

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, 2:30 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.

Have a cool(er) weekend!

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