Celebrating Commitment, Talent, and Our Achievements
October 29, 2010


Dear Colleagues and Friends:

This week has been a remarkable week of recognition. It began with the Employee and Faculty Service Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday honoring our employees and faculty for their years of service. It was such an invigorating experience to be in a room with over 6,900 years of talent and experience at MCG. Please join me in congratulating our stellar employees for their dedicated service and commitment to the SOM and MCG – 20 years of service : Andy Albritton, Scott Barman, Lynn Coule, Sandra Helman, Rita Jerath, Iqbal Kahn, Christian Lemmon, William Lutin, Anna Mammen, Doris McCool, David Munn, William Phillips, Kimberly Smith, Lynda Stone, Gale Wilhelm, Sandra Young-Mayes – 25 years of service : Ali Behzadian, Darrell Brann, Carol Hardy, Joann Higdon, Teresa Horne, Anthony Murro, Brenda Padgett, Louis Parrish, Kathy Radford, Shirley Redd, Valerie Smith, Cindy Tuttle, Donna Wall, Patricia Walling, Bobbie Wilcox, Shawn Zeigler – 30 years of service : Doris Cawley, Pam Plunkett, John Wilson. Our appreciation and thanks goes also to those not named – that is, all the employees and faculty who show their commitment to the school and institution on a daily basis. We greatly value your talent and your enduring commitment.

Also on Tuesday, the Georgia Senate Committee on vulnerable adults met in the Alumni Center. The committee was formed last year to study the needs of Georgians considered vulnerable because of age, serious and persistent mental illness, degenerative brain disorders and developmental or physical disabilities as well as those in need of emergent placement because of abuse or neglect. Several of us had the pleasure to attend the meeting with Dr. Azziz as he welcomed the committee to MCG. Dr. Azziz gave a compelling presentation that outlined the mission and vision for GHSU and our commitment to our community. The Georgia Senate committee with its deliberations is a great stride forward in meeting the needs of those Georgians who may not have the means to get help. Several faculty gave excellent testimonies of those in our community who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. Our thanks to our colleagues for their formative remarks. We also extend our appreciation to Ms. Julie Kerlin, Vice President for Governmental Relations, for hosting this event.

We are delighted to let you know that Dr. Bo Cheves, an alumnus from our MCG Medical Associates was named the best in Lake Oconee by more than 7,000 readers of Lake Oconee Living. Many of the physicians providing care with MCG Medical Associates are faculty members at MCG. Congratulations to Drs. Cheves.

Congratulations also goes to another MCG graduate – Dr. Dan DeLoach. He was sworn in recently as President of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG). Dr. DeLoach is a 1973 graduate and practices in Savannah. Dr. DeLoach is a great alumnus and statewide leader. This year will be a challenging one for MAG with the new national health care law. Dr. DeLoach is looking forward to the challenge. He will do great things.

As Dr. Azziz mentioned in his Presidential communication yesterday, we had a real presence at the Georgia Life Sciences Summit. In addition to Dr. Azziz’s stellar presentation at the plenary session, Dr. Rojiani was also one of the speakers in another session on statewide cancer networks. Dr. Azziz proudly represented the interests of MCG and of Augusta to a packed audience as he made the strategic observation that there are lots of excellent developments and cutting-edge research also occurring outside of Atlanta. We also had the very impressive contributions of our colleagues that accounted for 35 of the 130 poster presentations. We are delighted that MCG colleagues were honored in 3 of the 5 poster awards that were recognized for their excellence – Congratulations to Rania Khashaba, Moataz Elkasrawy, and Nino Kvirkvelia and to all their collaborators at MCG. Job well done!

“The work is worth the while”. 100 years ago the South’s first dedicated children’s hospital opened its doors here in Augusta. We are 100 year old kids. If you made it over to the CMC lobby today, then you were part of the fantastic Centennial Celebration of our children’s hospital. The Augusta Children’s Chorale was music to our ears … what a talented group of young people. Dr. Azziz, Mrs. McVicker, Dr. Maria, Dr. Howell and Mr. Mumford all spoke of the great accomplishments of the children’s hospital, of the dedication and commitment of our staff and of the patient family center care model brought about with the guidance of Ms. Sodomka. Dr. Ellison was heard on the video giving us the history of the children’s hospital. Mayor Copenhaver and Mayor Johnson of Savannah both spoke of the CMC as being a great resource to Georgia as well as now being in the forefront of the Healthy Augusta initiative as well as the Healthy Savannah initiative. What better place to start than with our children! Representatives Murphy and Simms presented Governor Perdue’s proclamation to Dr. Azziz for our CMC. As you know, the Children’s Medical Center has grown into a full-fledged children’s medical center focusing on patient family centered care. Please join us in continuing to advance one of the top children’s medical centers in the U.S. Congratulations CMC.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Charles Howell on his appointment as Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery effective November 1. We look forward to Charlie’s leadership and collaboration. Dr. Bruce MacFayden will be stepping down as Chair to focus more on his patients, research, global community leadership, and of course his grandchildren. We thank Bruce for his leadership and great contributions to the Department of Surgery. We would also like to recognize Bruce and his wife Rosemary for their world-wide missionary work and the good works that they accomplish. Their efforts are truly inspirational.

I would like to conclude this week’s ‘Dean’s Diary’ with a reminder of several events to place on your calendar, if you haven’t already:

On November 5 at 1 pm in the Natalie and Lansing B. Lee auditorium, the MCG Students will honor individuals who have donated their body to health sciences education at the annual Body Donor ceremony. Body donation is essential to medical, dental, and allied health sciences education. Please join us in this ceremony.

November 5 begins the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) annual meeting in Washington DC. We have great representation from MCG attending the meeting. At this year’s meeting, one of the topics will be the results from the AAMC Readiness 4 Reform Tool survey that each college was asked to participate in. This will give us great insight as to how we rank among the other medical colleges in our health care reform preparedness. Also on November 8, we are hosting a reception at the annual meeting to welcome and introduce Dr. Azziz as our president. If you are attending the meeting or will be in Washington on other business or pleasure, please contact the Dean’s office to get the details on the reception. We would love to have you there.

Registration begins on November 8 for the VDI sponsored Vision Science Course. The course will be January 4 – May 2, 2011. Dr. Manuela Bartoli is the course director and the VDI faculty will teach the course. Please see the website for more details regarding this exciting course.


Have you picked up your tickets yet for the Enterprise Wide Family Celebration at Fort Discovery on November 12 from 5:30 – 8 pm? If not, please pick them up. The event is free and there will be a brief program, live entertainment, play time, and of course, great barbeque. We look forward to seeing you at the at the Friday night celebration. The ESP steering committee presented their final recommendations to Dr. Azziz on Tuesday and these recommendations will now be rolled out. To review the plan, please visit:


Last but not least, whether you will be taking children ‘trick or treating’ or giving out treats from your home, have a safe and fun Halloween.

Many thanks for all you do every day.