July 13, 2018

Dear Medical College of Georgia Friends,

158 new residents are here in 48 training programs
Please let me start today by welcoming our newest group of residents – 158 individuals training in 48 specialties – to the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University Health. We have an additional 18 residents who are staying with us for more training, including those who did a preliminary year before starting a program like ophthalmology, and others who are starting fellowships in areas like hematology/oncology and cardiology. In total, we have 535 residents doing their specialty training with us at this moment. We are glad you are with us. It was 1888 when we started our residency program.

Dr. Hudson named chair of Department of Pediatrics
Our students and residents go on to do so many great things that affect the health and wellbeing of many. Some of them even become department chairs at their medical school. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Valera Hudson, a 1985 MCG graduate who also did her pediatrics training with us before completing a pediatric pulmonology fellowship at theUniversity of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. She came back to us, helped establish the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, has served as chief of that division for nearly a decade and also has served as vice chair of the department. All that and a lot of other accomplishments – along with her sheer enthusiasm – make it sound like Dr. Hudson is a logical choice for the job – and she is. But what really sealed the deal for me is not only the work she did as interim chair, but the resounding support she had from faculty, many of whom didn’t just think she was doing a great job but took the time to reach out to me about why she should get the job. My thanks to them and to Dr. Hudson. Together we are making great strides on behalf of children. BTW, Dr. Hudson also earned her undergraduate degree at Augusta University.

Dr. Chris White retires (again) but continues to lend a hand
Dr. Chris White may not be an MCG graduate, but we are more than happy to claim this longtime educator and pediatric infectious disease physician as ours. Dr. White, a graduate of both West Point and the University of Virginia Medical School, who completed his postgraduate training at William Beaumont Army Medical Center and Tripler Army Medical Center, had a stellar 20-year career in the U.S. Army Medical Corps before he came to MCG in 1994. He is a natural educator who has been a member of and chaired the Student Education Committee of the Department of Pediatrics, has been a longtime member of our Curriculum Oversight Committee and has been a real leader in our successful effort to expand our educational effort across Georgia as a member of the Undergraduate Medical Education Expansion Team. Like so many of yours, his to-do and done lists really do go on and on. He technically retired and was granted emeritus status in 2012. But, fortunately for us, he has kept up his work as an educator and physician since, at least part-time. Well he retired this time, officially effective July 1, but guess what? Because his departure would leave Dr. Chitra Mani alone in pediatric infectious diseases, he is going continue to help her cover this important service for children as needed. No wonder he received nearly a dozen honors in his years of service to our country. Thank you Dr. White for your service to our country and to our MCG.

Dr. Stepleman named first director of faculty success
One of our many goals at MCG is to continue to make it a place top faculty want to come and to stay. While we are fortunate to have committed individuals like Drs. White and Hudson, we also are challenged at times by losing people we want to keep to the lure of other medical schools and opportunities. That’s why Dr. Vaughn McCall, recently named executive vice dean, has created the new position of Director of Faculty Success with a focus on the mentoring, promotion and retention of faculty. Dr. Lara Stepleman, a psychologist who has served as director of the Educational Innovation Institute here since April 2017 and co-director since 2010, has taken the job.  She joined the faculty in 2001 after finishing up her postdoctoral fellowship at MCG in behavioral medicine/HIV. She understands both the highs and lows of being an educator, service provider and researcher here, and will work diligently to ensure that we do a better job in enabling faculty to thrive in all three areas. That will include working to improve any broken – or at least injured – processes. We want to nurture the talent, enthusiasm and success of MCG faculty and I believe this will help do that.

MCG student group are finalists in AMA global health competition
Looking out for each other and the world is part of the DNA of MCG and the gene expression shows up early. Megha Kalia, Sehar Ali, Emily Myers and Zulqar Islam are second-year students who lead MCG’s global health interest group for those with a truly broad perspective on health. They also are participating in the American Medical Association’s Global Health Challenge to win a trip abroad to work alongside Timmy Global Health in Ecuador, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic and help provide health services to underserved populations there. To win this great opportunity, pre-med, medical students and residents, as well as allied health sciences students across the country were invited to share an example of the importance of empathy in working with patients and to explain how empathy would apply to experiences treating patients abroad.  See our team’s great response here. They were among 10 finalists selected to create a video illustrating what they shared. The five teams that get the most votes for their video will move on to the final selection process. Please help our students help meet the Global Health Challenge by voting for them when you watch their video. 

The first Georgia Cyber Center building made its debut this week
In the world of looking out for cyber health, our University also is emerging as a leader and this week’s opening of the Hull McKnight Building of the Georgia Cyber Center down on the river was a definite concrete example. This building, which bears the names of Augusta philanthropists Jim Hull – who also chairs the University System of Georgia Board of Regents – and William D. McKnight, is the first of two buildings to open in the 332,000 square foot, $100 million complex. Occupants will include our university, Augusta Technical College, the U.S. Army, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Defense and related private sector businesses. That will enable great collaboration right there to address education and innovation in cyber security. It will enable great synergy as well with the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon. As always, we appreciate the confidence of state leaders and the University System of Georgia in the present and future of our university as well as MCG.

Dr. Arlie R. Mansberger Jr, Surgery Chair Emeritus, passes
Finally today, we remember a true classic. Dr. Arlie Mansberger was brilliant, focused, accomplished and kind. He was what a physician and educator and innovator and human should be. Including his time on active duty and the reserves, he served in our military for 27 years. He went to medical school and did his training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he would join the faculty and help start the first shock unit in our nation. He would come to MCG in 1973 as chair and help build a super department with other colorful, dutiful leaders. He would touch the lives of at least 150 residents. He would help our hospital and medical school go from a place without a true emergency room to home of the first Level 1 trauma center designated by the state. He would serve as surgery chair for 18 years and keep on educating our students and residents for another decade. He was editor of The American Surgeon, a governor of the American College of Surgeons, vice chair of the American Board of Surgery, president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress. He was awesome, and we thank Dr. Mansberger for gracing us with his presence. See here.


Upcoming Events

July 19 – MCG Alumni Association welcome dinner in Rome for students at the Northwest Campus.

July 27 – MCG Alumni Association welcome dinner for students at the Southeast Campus in Savannah.

July 30 – MCG Class of 2022 Freshman Reception, 5 p.m., Harrison Commons, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association.

August 1 – First day of class for new students. Freshman Lunch, noon, AU/UGA Medical Partnership campus, Athens, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association.

(New date!) Sept. 21 – State of the College address, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Sept. 23 – MCG Alumni Association Board meeting, 9:30 a.m., Harrison Commons.

Oct. 6 – White Coat Ceremony, 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium.

Oct. 10 – Georgia Cancer Center expansion opening. More details to come.

Oct. 11 – MCG Alumni Association Rome Regional Reception, 6 p.m., Coosa Country Club.

Nov. 9 – The annual Memorial Service for Body Donors will be held at 1 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium. Donors’ families and friends are the honored guests. The service is conducted jointly by the students, faculty and chaplains from the Medical College of Georgia and its Athens campus, the AU/UGA Medical Partnership, the Dental College of Georgia, the Colleges of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and The Graduate School.

Dec. 7 – AU Alumni Holiday Drop-in, 6-8 p.m., Maxwell Alumni House, Summerville Campus.

2019 Events

Jan. 24 – AU All Alumni Savannah Reception, 6 p.m., Chatham Club.

Feb. 19 – MCG Alumni Association Board meeting, 3:30 p.m., and Macon Regional Reception, 6 p.m., both at the Idle Hour Country Club.

March 7 – MCG Alumni Association Gainesville Regional Reception, 6 p.m., Northeast Georgia History Center.

April 26-28 – Alumni Weekend, Dean’s Reception, 6 p.m., April 26, Harrison Commons.

May 9 – Hooding ceremony.