Unity is strength

“Unity is strength … when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” ~ Mattie Stepanek


September 9, 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Partnerships Make All of Us Stronger …

We are extremely pleased and most appreciative to have recently reached an agreement with University Healthcare System for future training of residents and medical students. This partnership could not have come together without the exceptional leadership of Mr. Jim Davis, CEO of University Health Care System and Dr. Ricardo Azziz. We want to express our sincere appreciation for the work and collaboration of the task force, led by Dr. William Farr, CMO of University Health Care System, especially the insights of Dr. Barry Jenkins and Dr. Walter Moore. This partnership is not only great for our medical school and our two institutions, but also for our Augusta Community. It is also as part of our statewide efforts to tackle Georgia’s physician workforce shortage.

Transformative Partnerships …

The Transformation 2020 (T2020) initiative, chaired by both Dr. Joseph Hobbs and Mr. Joe Thornton is gathering momentum. T2020 is led by an executive level Steering Committee responsible for the overall direction and the Transformation Council responsible for the “substance” strategic planning. The website (http://www.georgiahealth.edu/transformation2020/) details the many activities going on and includes presentations and notifications to keep the communication a priority.

A Partner Gains a Leader …. One of Our Own …

We are very pleased to formally welcome to East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH) and our Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Vicky Spratlin as the new ECRH Clinical Director. Dr. Spratlin received her medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. With the partnership of GHSU and the Department of Mental Health and Development Disabilities in 2009, ECRH has added new faculty and opened a dedicated educational unit featuring an interdisciplinary approach to health sciences education. We are looking forward to continuing our partnership.

Addressing Key Questions About Cancer … A Call for Action …

The National Cancer Institute – in an effort to spur on transformative research initiatives – has listed 22 ‘Provocative Questions’ regarding cancer epidemiology, biology, treatment, and prevention. These fundamental questions (http://provocativequestions.nci.nih.gov/rfa) are meant to build on already substantial information. Examples include ‘Why do cancer survivors have a higher rate of second cancers? How does obesity contribute to cancer risk? Can we develop approaches to discriminate between “driver” and “passenger” epigenetic events that occur during tumor development?’ GHSU cancer researchers are also contributing fundamental knowledge. For example, Mr. Senthil Karunakaran, Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy and colleagues discovered a method of starving cancer cells that could provide new options for patients with breast cancer, particularly those who are resistant to standard therapies. Their paper appeared recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Staying Up On Progress and Public Expectations …

Conflicts of Interests have been discussed in previous Dean’s Diaries. Recently the Department of Health and Human Services issued the final rule on financial conflicts on interest in federally funding research. Institutions must now ensure public accessibility to information as well as appropriate training. NIH will require details about potential conflicts and the institution’s management plan. GHSU is proactive here and we will continue to pay close attention to this important issue.

A Biomedical Destination … A Note of Appreciation…

We recently received appreciation from a Georgia citizen helping to coordinate care for children from another country. Our citizen’s appreciation goes beyond just the doctors encountered here at GHSU but to the community as well … “All along the way, the people I have been in touch with have been kind, courteous, professional, and caring… a rare combination, but it seems to exist in great quantities in Augusta!” and “Thank you all so very much for what you have done for us – I know it was above and beyond what anyone should even imagine, much less expect!”

Upcoming Dates and Events …

September 15, 2011 – Career Development 101 Program

Looking to jumpstart your career in medical education? Please contact Ms. Cora Harper (charper@georgiahealth.edu) for more information regarding this great program.

September 15, 2011 – New Faculty Reception

With the Richmond County Medical Society, our New Faculty Reception will begin at 7:30 pm at the Enterprise Mill. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us on September 15. For more information contact Laurie Lane (llane@georgiahealth.edu).

September 23, 2011 – Grand Opening of the new College of Dental Medicine Building

The ribbon cutting is scheduled for 2 pm. Please join us as we ‘officially’ open the state-of-the-art building.

September 24, 2011 – GHSU Family Day and MCG White Coat Ceremony

Family Day encompasses the entire GHSU Family. MCG Family Day will begin in the Wellness Center and then move to the Lee Auditoria Center before lunch time. The MCG White Coat Ceremony will be held at 2:30 pm at Warren Baptist Church with a reception immediately following. We are looking forward to seeing our faculty and staff at this event.

September 28, 2011 – President’s Lecture Series

We encourage you to attend the next Presidential lecture where Dr. Eli Adashi, Professor of Medical Science and Immediate Past Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences from Brown University will speak. Please place a hold on your calendar for March 7 and April 24 as well. We look forward to seeing you there.

Finally …

This weekend, we will with you, remember exactly what we were doing ten years ago. We will no doubt read many thoughtful writings and see many poignant programs about a national tragedy which we will never forget. As always … America the Beautiful … Let Freedom Ring!