“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”

~Harold S. Geneen


March 25, 2011


Site Visitors and Surveyors all around us …

Whew … as you all know, we are in the midst of accreditation surveys on all fronts of our organization. Last week we went through the vigorous triennial survey in our medical center from the Joint Commission. Our sincerest thanks to all of you who put your time and effort into making this survey such a success. Compliments and comments we received from the surveyors – “engaging”, “integration”, “teamwork” – occurred as they reviewed our programs and commended us on many excellent practices. The preliminary results indicate few direct findings and indirect findings. All of these are opportunities for us to further improve our care. The surveyors remarked “Remarkably few findings for an organization of your size and complexity”. We have 45 days to provide evidence of compliance with the direct findings and 60 days with the indirect findings. All of the findings are correctable and we will be providing evidence of continued compliance. Keep up the good work and we’ll have these taken care of well within the allotted time frame. Last week we highlighted the leadership of several key people in preparing us for this survey. Today, we would like to acknowledge and thank ALL of you for your leadership – a TJC survey is an excellent indicator of the ‘health’ of a healthcare system …… it is an important yardstick of how well health care clinicians ‘team up’. We ‘teamed-up’ very well. Thank you.

Although it was less visible than the TJC survey, we want to let you know that also on campus last week was the site visitors for the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP). We were already one of the first academic centers to be accredited and we have been accredited for the last three years. The AAHRPP accredits research organizations that provide comprehensive protections to research subjects. The surveyors met and held interviews with many of our researchers and administrative leaders to help understand the roles, responsibilities, and interactions among the researchers as well as components of our organization and our relationship with the Human Research Protection Program. Our thanks go to our colleagues in the Office of Human Research Protection for all their hard work and support prior to and during the site visit. It seemed like this survey too went very well, though we will receive formal notification in a few weeks … more on this later.

On our radar now is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation site visit that is coming up next week. Have you QEP’d? SACS requires a Quality Enhance Plan (QEP). Our QEP topic Cultural Competency – led to the name of our QEP -Healthy Perspectives: Better Health Care through Better Understanding. We will be rolling out the QEP after the site visit and will target first-year students whose careers will involve patient care. Online instructions, small group settings and other ways of encouraging students to respect and consider cultural difference when treating patients will be deployed. The SACS surveyors will be at the GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership and the Southwest Georgia campus on this coming Monday. They will be in Augusta Tuesday through Thursday. We want to thank our colleagues who have served on the committees and dedicated their time, effort, ideas, and plans to the reaccreditation process. We are optimistic that this survey will be a successful one as well. However, we still need your help and involvement and we ask that you check out the website and video at so that you are fully prepared for this survey …. One more hurdle to jump next week. Hopefully there will be no more surveys for a while! Thank you for your leadership and support.

New Appointment …

One great aspect of the SACS review is that is has helped us focus more on our institutional commitment to cultural competency and ensuring that we have the leadership and resources in place to develop our competency. Accordingly, please join us in congratulating Dr. W. Kent Guion on his recent appointment of Associate Provost for Multicultural Affairs at GHSU. Dr. Guion has been in the capacity of Interim Dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences. We are looking forward to the teamwork of the MCG Office of Diversity Affairs and Dr. Guion’s office as we move forward with the cultural competency of the institution. He will lead the institution in the QEP effort of cultural competency. Congratulations Dr. Guion on this very important appointment.

National leadership nomination

Dr. Alvin Head, Chair of Anesthesiology has been nominated and endorsed as a premier nominee for our American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees. Dr. Head is a leader among his peers at the state, national and international levels. This is an opportunity and honor also for GHSU and we anticipate learning more from Dr. Head’s leadership. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Head on this prestigious nomination.

Educational leaders …

Teaching is a core mission of all of our departments. This Dean’s Diary we will focus on the department of Neurosurgery. We were delighted to hear that Dr. Cargill Alleyne, Chair of Neurosurgery has been nominated by our medical students for an Exemplary Teaching Award. Dr. Alleyne was nominated in 2009 as well. This is an excellent testament to Dr. Alleyne’s commitment and dedication to our medical students. Congratulations on this well-deserved nomination.

Also we note that Dr. Cole Giller, Professor of Neurosurgery has received the Educator of the Year award from the graduating class of 2011. Congratulations from all of us, Dr. Giller. Of course we recognize that there is lots of faculty who are gifted and committed educators. Teaching our students is such a great part of what we do. Great teachers produce great students …. Great students become great doctors…..

Match Facts …

As we all know March 17 was the National Match Day for our senior medical students. Our graduating seniors found out where they are doing their residency. We have now had the opportunity to evaluate our students’ placement in the context of national trends and we thought it would be helpful to share national (AAMC derived) data with you all. As you can appreciate, match results can be a global indicator of career interests among U.S. medical school seniors. Some interesting trends noted from this year to include: Dermatology, Orthopedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Thoracic and Vascular Surgery were the most competitive fields for applicants. At least 90% of these positions were filled by U.S. medical school seniors; Emergency Medicine grew 7% with U.S. medical school senior filling 1,268 of the 1,607 first-year positions available; and Anesthesiology offered 44 more positions and matched 45 more U.S. seniors filling 671 of the 841 positions offered. Slightly more than 94% of U.S. medical school seniors matched to a first-year residency position with 81% matching to one of their top three choices. For the second year in a row, U.S. medical school seniors will train as family medicine residents with these matches increasing by 11%. This is an encouraging trend, especially with respect to primary care physician shortages nationally. We hope that his broader, national perspective on match results is helpful to you.

Keys to the front door …

On March 31, the keys to the former Navy Supply Corps School in Athens will be turned over to UGA President Michael Adams. The deed to the property will be officially signed over as well. This is the future home of the GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership where classes will begin in the fall of 2012. This will be a fabulous learning environment. Dr. Arnett Mace and others are to be congratulated for their leadership in securing this prized facility.

Volunteerism – Global Health and Humanitarian Summit ….


GHSU is partnering with the International Medical Volunteerism group this year and is sponsoring the Global Health and Humanitarian Summit April 1-3 on the Emory University campus. This is a free event and is way to recruit volunteers and resources who are already involved in volunteerism. There will be speakers, exhibitors, and performers from people from all over the world including China, South Korea, Brazil and other countries, as well as chance to network with global volunteers. Dr. Bill Guest, Assistant Dean of Curriculum for our SW Georgia campus attended the conference last year and is taking a group of students from the SW campus this year. We can’t wait to hear how this year’s conference is.

Heart and Sole …

We would like to thank everyone that participated in the 5th Annual Heart and Sole 5K run that raised money for the CMC. This year there were 943 runners that participated in the “5 on 5” (5th year the event took place, 5 kilometer run, held on March 5th). The run was started by Stacey Haskins in memory of her niece, Bowen McElreth, to help other children with heart conditions. Several of our pediatric faculty including Drs. Bill Strong, Tony Pearson-Shaver, and Ken Murdison have been key supporters of this highly successful annual event. This year the runners participated in honor of Emerson May who is battling a heart condition. Our hearts go out to the families this event honors and helps and to those who give of themselves … their time and their money for this event. We can’t possibly say thank you enough.

Living Longer … Fewer Deaths …

The Center for Disease Control recently released a preliminary report with some facts that are worth sharing. For babies born in 2009, the estimated life span is 78 years and 2 months which is at an all-time high above 78 years. U.S. life expectancy has been increasing since the 1940s with some years being steady and others actually going lower. Other highlights from the report include there were 36,000 fewer deaths in 2009 along with the infant mortality rate decreasing 3% which is a record low of 6.42 deaths per 1,000 births. Although 2009 was the year the swine flu pandemic hit, flu/pneumonia death rates dropped nearly 5%. Death rates decreased for 10 of the 15 leading causes of death to include heart disease, cancer, stroke, accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, homicide and influenza and pneumonia. Females continue to live longer than males with an average life expectancy of 80.5 years compared to 75.5 years for men. These statistics of course are very relevant to national healthcare reform and our delivery of care.

EHR Update … June is not too far off…

An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is another key component of healthcare reform on the ground. As you know we are continuing to ready ourselves for the implementation of the EHR in June. The physician leaders, coordinator, and IT continue to meet, discuss, tweak, and turn the EHR to get it right. Based on input from our providers and the work team, build of the system is continuing to near completion. System testing begins next week and will continue through May 23. Development of the training materials along with a plan for training of the pilot sites is beginning. Training will begin with the pilot sites in mid-May with the big-bang go-live clinics to follow through the end of June. However, Ophthalmology has run into a bit of a snag as there is not a module with our vendor that will be ready to work in Ophthalmology. Yet that didn’t slow anyone down and our colleagues are working on an innovative solution. We want to thank everyone in Ophthalmology and Information Technology for their innovative thinking and for their collaboration along with their “stick – to – it –iveness”. This is another ‘team effort’ and we will really need all your support as we roll out this key incentive. We are also interested in ‘naming’ our EHR, which to date has been called ‘the Cerner project’ … We need to get beyond that and ‘own’ our new EHR … so put your ‘thinking caps’ on and shoot us some names … more on this later…

Added to our list … Please check your calendars …

We thought it would be beneficial to keep the “upcoming events” list on the Dean’s Diary and add to it as events are scheduled and take off those that we have attended. These are important events that you as a faculty member, staff, resident or student may have interest in and should be attending. If you have any questions regarding any of these events, please give my office a call.

Education Day – March 25

SACS Accreditation – March 28-31

Homecoming – April 15-17

MCG Hooding – May 4

GHSU Graduation – May 5

MCG State of the School – May 13

President’s Inauguration – May 20


By the way, this past Tuesday March 22 was ‘Doctors’ Day’. We hope you had a chance to tell our doctors how much they are appreciated and valued … not just on Doctors’ Day, but all year around.


Thank you for all you do.