Course of action

“A leader, once convinced that a particular course of action is the right one,
must be undaunted when the going gets tough.”
~Ronald Reagan


February 11, 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

This week I had the delightful opportunity to meet with our students. We had an excellent discussion about how to include our students more in our institutional activities. Our students are a cornerstone of our institution and we don’t want to forget that. One of the ways is to include them is in the distribution and in the contents of the Dean’s Diary. We can also be kept up-to-date on the many cool things that our students do. So we begin this week with …

Student News …

We are particularly proud of the community service activities of our medical students and the good work of our student chapter of the AMA/AMSA. We are pleased to announce and support their fundraising dinner to aid the relief efforts following the Pakistan Floods. A fund-raising evening has been planned by our students and will be full of music, poetry, and reflections by MCG students in addition to a delicious South Asian cuisine. Our thanks to Mr. Ronnie Zeiden, Mr. Abeer Memon, and their colleagues for their leadership. The dinner is being held on February 19, 2010 from 6-9 p.m. at the America’s Best Value Inn at 3023 Washington Road. Tickets are $40.00 each. Please contact Abeer Memon ( to RSVP, donate or if you would like to sponsor the event in any way. Please lend your support to this worthy cause.

Denise Kornegay, Director of the Area Health Education Centers at GHSU is all about educating our students. It is common among high school students to ‘want’ to do something or ‘want’ to be a doctor, nurse, physical therapist or dentist, but not know how to go about it. Our students come from all grade levels, all forms of education and all walks of life. We are in the business of educating our students. So to cut down on some confusion, GHSU is hosting a four-workshop series, Simplifying the Health Professions, at local high schools in the coming months. The workshops will feature GHSU faculty members and are open to all area parents, students, and teachers and … they’re free. For more information, please call the Area Health Education Center office at 706-721-8331.

We also want to say a special thank you to Denise, Dr. Iqbal Khan, Dr. Joseph Cannon, Ms. Darra Ballance, and Ms. Aimee Hartle for volunteering their time to judge science fair projects at CT Walker Magnet School. We are encouraging our faculty, staff, and students to make relationships and create bonds within our community. This is a perfect example of GHSU making a contribution.

We also reported in a previous Dean’s Diary that our GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership was in discussions to begin a student-run clinic at Mercy Health Center. We are excited to report that the first clinic was February 2. These student-run clinics will be every first and third Wednesday of the month. These clinics will be exceptional learning tools for the students and will provide hands-on experience that they need in the educational track. This is a great opportunity and Drs. Schuster, Steyer, Nuss, Richardson, Dickson, (and I’m sure several others…) are to be congratulated for getting this up and running.

Our 2nd year students spent the past weekend with the 3rd year medical students at our Southwest Georgia campus in Albany. There were 26 second-year students who took part in the visit and tour of the campus. Dr. Bill Guest, Assistant Dean, Southwest Georgia and Dr. Doug Patten, Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs at Phoebe Putney hospital were there to answer questions, show the students around, and promote our SW Georgia campus. Our partners at Phoebe were as welcoming as they were inspiring and our students were excited by what they saw and heard. Thanks to all our 3rd students who were ambassadors for GHSU and to Dr. Guest and Dr. Patten for their excellent leadership and guidance to our students.

Continuing with Quality of Care … Including Some National News

We know that technological advances are another key way to bring about improvements in quality. We have already highlighted some of these – especially the implementation of our EHR platform – in previous Dean’s Diaries and our clinical information system continues with similar improvements and upgrades. This week we are happy to report that the rollout to the Radiologists for Powerscribe will begin within a few weeks. This is another step in having a completely integrated clinical information system. This will put our radiologists fully-functional from home with this new dictation system which is great news for our colleagues and good for the care of our patients. We thank all our radiologists for their tireless support of our system and of the upgrades and changes that came along.

We wanted to draw your attention to an interesting recent publication in the British Medical Journal that cited that implementation of a safety checklist program as a measure to monitor and improve safety and quality has the effect of reducing patient deaths in Michigan hospitals by 10 percent, in addition to nearly eliminating bloodstream infections in health care facilities that embraced this prevention effort. Of course, it wasn’t just the checklist alone; it was this heightened monitoring along with a training program that attempts to change the culture in hospitals – including encouraging staff to speak up if patient-safety rules aren’t followed. Habits and proper procedures are embraced and followed and change occurs… This is also very pertinent to the success of our own quality campaign.

We are pleased to observe that the Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced the creation of a new office to develop patient-centered models of care for veterans. This, as you know, is an aspect of quality care that GHSU is already well known for. This new VA initiative will be organized around four regional teams, made up of patient-centered care consultants, who will be responsible for facilitating the culture change for patient-centered care. As this initiative rolls out in our region, there may well be more opportunities to jointly enhance patient and family centered care between our local VA and GHSU.

Educational Excellence … Spreading the Word…

The GHSU Education Discovery Institute (EDI) has established a monthly discussion group to encourage a lively exchange of ideas around current topics in health professions education and educational research. This is open to us all – so please consider it if you can – it is conveniently held at noon on the 2nd Wednesday of each month in the Dogwood room in the Terrace Dining hall. . We are also pleased that the EDI is increasing its regional presence and this year GHSU will have twelve peer-reviewed education related presentations at the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA) conference in Houston in April. SGEA serves as ais the regional forumsegment of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Educational Affairs. It is the key for discussing the concerns of theforum for presenting and discussing innovations, challenges, and research in medical education profession, ; it is a key serving as a resource for medical educators. , and acting in an advisory capacity to the Group on Educational Affairs (GEA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). We are especially pleased that many presenters have an active relationship with the EDI though the Academy of Medical Educators, the EDI Educational Research Fellows Program, EDI Summer Student Research Grant Program or as educational research colleagues. Please join us in congratulating all the GHSU faculty, residents and students for their efforts and for the enhanced momentum of scholarship in education.

Recognizing Good Work …


MCG Faculty Senate annually recognizes faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the school in their particular field. The MCG Faculty Senate Recognition Committee solicits nominations for the following awards: Basic Science Teaching, Clinical Science Teaching, Basic Science Research, Clinical Science Research, Patient Care, Institutional Service, Outstanding Young Basic Science Faculty (5 yrs or less service), Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty (5 yrs of less service), and School of Medicine Outstanding Faculty Award. The faculty awards will be presented at the School of Medicine Faculty Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 14, 2011, at 5 pm in the Lansing Lee (Large) Auditorium with a reception to follow. It’s always a free event. Please consider nominating a worthy faculty member. You may even nominate a candidate for more than one category. However, the March 4 deadline is fast approaching.

Additionally, the Medical College of Georgia Research Institute (MCGRI) will honor the top GHSU scientists at the University Faculty Senate and MCG Research Institute Spring assembly to be held on April 27, 2011. The research/scientist awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Distinguished Research Award, the Emerging Scientist Award, and the Mahesh Award. Please contact Debbie Kalliokoski at 706-721- 6900 for more information regarding nomination information if you are interested in nominating one of our leading researchers for these awards.

Nice job Deborah …

We are also honored that The American Diabetes Association has selected Deborah Young-Hyman, PhD, to be featured in the next issue of Forefront Magazine, which is a publication highlighting important research discoveries to the Research Foundation and prospective major donors. Dr. Young-Hyman was one of twelve individuals who were chosen whose work we feel would make for interesting topics in the upcoming issue. Please congratulate Dr. Young-Hyman when you see her next.

And now for some fun …

The MCG Arts Council will hold its spring concert on Tuesday February 15 in the Lee Auditoria Center from noon – 1 pm. Lunch is available to the first 150 people and the program is being hosted by the Arts Council and the College of Allied Health. There are some very talented performers lining up to take the stage. We welcome our community families, friends, and colleagues to spend your lunch hour enjoying a wonderful spring performance. Please see for the location of the Lee Auditoria Center. Visitor parking is available in the parking deck on 15th Street. We hope to see you there!

Best Wishes,