Nothing is impossible

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” ~ Winston Churchill

September 2, 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership … Reviewing Our Progress …

We were delighted to host the recent GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership Advisory Meeting with UGA. In reviewing programs to date, President Michael Adams and his senior leadership team all agreed that ours is an exciting and innovative strategic partnership. We reviewed early goals of the partnership including: operations, curriculum, faculty recruitment, GME, educational development and network integration. Collectively, we reaffirmed our commitment to the Medical Partnership as we move forward in assisting the state in developing the medical workforce it needs for the future.

Expanding Education Across the State … Advancing New Partnerships …

Recently, a team from MCG visited the Northwest Georgia Clinical Campus in Rome. We met with leadership from Floyd Medical Center, the Harbin Clinic and Redmond Regional Medical Center, who will kindly contribute facilities and personnel to help educate our students. Dr. Paul Ferguson, Regent Willis Potts, Mr. Al Hodges and the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce as well as our alumni leaders – Dr. Dan Hanks, Dr. Joseph Burch and Dr. Peter Gilbert – all affirmed the widespread community support to establish Rome as a medical education hub where our 3rd and 4th year students will learn through a “longitudinal integrated curriculum”. The program will focus on the students following their patients for a year instead of the traditional 8 week rotation. (Please see – A different way to learn Northwest Georgia Clinical will teach med students a little differently). We were impressed by a tour of Heritage Hall at USG’s Georgia Highlands College, which is providing office and classroom space.

We appreciate the leadership of Dr. Leonard Reeves, Ms. Vicki Wiles and the entire community in developing such an innovative approach.

Synchronicity Update …. Partnering With Our Physician Faculty …

We continue our collective efforts to refine and advance the functionality of the system. Taking on an issue at a time, our Physician Executives and technical teams are working diligently to implement solutions that will improve the work-flow problems. We applaud your continued to dedication and hard work you’ve put into this very important project. Please let us know ( of any other concerns you may have.

The Power of Partnership Toward Better Care …Joint Commission Stroke Recertification …

We all know the importance of Joint Commission certification. The stroke program at Georgia Health Sciences Health System was recently recertified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission … an exceptional recognition. Please join me in congratulating Dr. David Hess, our Neurology – Neurosurgery faculty and staff of the GHSU Primary Stroke Center for this excellent accomplishment.

GPI Faculty Receive Funding … A Dynamic Duo …

A dynamic husband and wife family duo in the GPI received notice of funding for their studies of genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Xiaoling Wang received a large international multicenter grant to study genetic factors underlying hypertension entitled “A Genome-Wide Methylation Study on Essential Hypertension” from NIH/NHLBI. Dr. Shaoyong Su received an R21 grant from NHLBI to explore epigenetic mechanisms underlying the link between depression and cardiovascular disease. Please congratulate our colleagues on these impressive NIH awards.

GHSU Surgery Residents … Winners …

As in years past, at the annual meeting of the Georgia Society of the American College, ‘friendly competition’ (the ‘Annual Surgical Olympics’ ) ensued between Mercer, Atlanta Medical Center, Emory, Morehouse and GHSU … and taking home first place were the GHSU surgical housestaff and surgery students. Also in the Resident Research competition, our very own, Dr. Varun (Bubby) Bhalla, 3rd year Surgery Resident presented his work on Hyperhomocysteinemia-induced Premature Delivery. Congratulations to all.

Mental Health Screenings May Identify High-Risk Students …

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, half of all cases of mental illness start by age 14, and about 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18. Support for screening teens is increasing along with recognition of the role mental-health checkups can play in improving adolescent health… TeenScreen provides free 10-minute computerized questionnaires for schools. As schools begin the new year in the fall, parents are often thinking of sports physicals, school supply lists, teachers and classes, but not mental health screenings. Routine mental health screening in high school can identify high risk students and help them get treatment. We are mindful that our Child and Adolescent Division of the Department of Psychiatry has outreach programs with several schools in our region. Untreated mental illnesses can lead to school failure, drug/alcohol abuse, violence or suicide. As the controversy continues, more schools and parents are becoming aware of the mental health screening and are supporting them.
Upcoming Events …

September 8, 2011 – Community Forum on Health Care – The Greater Augusta Healthcare Network will host a community forum Sept. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Richmond County Health Department Clinic on Laney-Walker Blvd and invites the community to attend and give their input on improving the health of the CSRA residents. Please plan to attend this important event and let your voice be heard.

September 15, 2011 – Career Development 101 Program

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

September 15, 2011 – New Faculty Reception

We are most grateful for the Richmond County Medical Society to be joining us as we welcome our new MCG faculty at the New Faculty Reception which 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 (

September 19, 2011 – Medical Scholars Research Day

Look for more details regarding this exciting event. The students that participated in the Summer Research Program will have an opportunity to present their research to their peers and others interested in scholarly work in medicine.

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

Family Day encompasses the entire GHSU Family. 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.

Today will begin the 3-day weekend known as ‘Labor Day Weekend’ with Monday falling as a holiday. No matter your plans this weekend, do take time for yourself, your family and friends and enjoy this one last ‘official’ weekend of summer.

Enjoy … and thank you for all you do.