Comfort always

Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always”

– Hippocrates– 

May 10, 2013


Dear Colleagues and Friends:

Historic Hooding… Esteemed Milestone Event… Building on our Successes

I do solemnly swear by whatever I hold most sacred, that I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just and generous to its members… The Hippocratic Oath resounded throughout the Bell Auditorium yesterday as 193 of our students took this solemn and sacred oath of our profession during our Hooding Ceremony. Surely our forefathers could hear us at the Old Medical College just down the way. What an elegant cap to put on four years of hard work by our students as well as our incredible faculty! It was truly a day for pure pride as well as great promise for the next generation of physicians. What a terrific and truly inspirational speaker was Dr. Otis W. Brawley, CMO of the American Cancer Society. He reminded all of us of so many important life lessons such as remembering where we came from and that we did not get where we are alone. Senior Nadia Nabavi beautifully delivered her Spoken Word, Keep Calm and Move On, a poignant tale of just how she and her classmates got where they are.  As if the event itself weren’t celebration enough, Class President Ronnie Zeidan and his classmates announced a gracious gift that will support the incredible community projects of our students for years to come. This certainly builds upon the momentum and legacy of the recent transformational gift of the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison (’48). Our students and their contributions truly make Augusta a better place and they will make the profession of medicine better as well. Our thanks to you and our best to each of you today and always. To share the moments, check out — well as some great Hooding stories at–  &

Alumni Weekend…Memories Recollected and Made…

Our former students, who are now our incredible alumni, also had a recent joyous gathering to relive their days at MCG and catch up on these days. There were excellent, well-attended events, from the President’s Cookout, class reunions, a presentation by Cleveland Clinic CEO Delos Cosgrove and the first-ever Signature Event with Bob and Lee Woodruff. A Scholarship Breakfast brought together recipients and gracious donors. Another highlight was honoring MCG’s 2013 distinguished alumni Drs. Murray (’67) and Sandra (’68) Freedman, Distinguished Alumni for Loyalty, and Dr. Harvey Levy (’60), Distinguished Alumnus for Professional Achievement, as well as the installation of the new Alumni Association president, Dr. Sam Richwine (’77). Thank you to our Alumni Affairs and Special Events team for putting together this incredible package and many thanks to our alumni for coming back to see us. You are always welcome.


MCG State of the College Address… Coming Together…Looking Very Good … Building on our Momentum

Many thanks again to each of you who attended the 2013 MCG State of the College Address. What a great showing of support for and pride in your medical school to have a truly packed house. This is such a great opportunity to highlight the tremendous contributions of our faculty, staff, and students. And there is so much to highlight, including the first real-time updates from our regional campuses. Speaking of regional campuses, we were privileged to honor Gary Colberg, CEO of our hospital partner in Brunswick, the Southeast Georgia Health System, for his exceptional support of medical education and our own Dr. Anand Jillella for his exemplary care, compassion and professionalism. It was a true celebration of so much work by so many and a certain reminder that together we are strong, we are awesome, we ARE the Medical College of Georgia. To read more about the address and awardees see  – and and go here to watch it–

Congratulations… Dr. Varghese George…National Leadership

Our Dr. Varghese George is now on the Editorial Board of Genetic Epidemiology, the official journal of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society. This five-year appointment is a fantastic opportunity as Dr. George assists peer reviews and acts as an ambassador for the journal to help it be well recognized in the larger quantitative genetics research community. It is wonderful to have our faculty taking a leadership role in these types of journals. Way to go Dr. George. Please take a look at the May issue of Genetic Epidemiology—


Great MCG Representation…SAS Global Forum…

Speaking of biostatistics, Maribeth Johnson and Dr. Jennifer Waller recently participated in the SAS Global Forum 2013 Conference in San Francisco. In fact, they helped organize the conference! This annual event is for SAS software users to exchange ideas and explore the many ways of using SAS software for statistical analysis. Ms. Johnson co-chaired the Hands-On Workshop section and Dr. Waller co-chaired the Poster and Video Presentation session.  Furthermore, Ms. Johnson and Dr. Waller co-presented “Chi-Square and T-tests Using SAS®: Performance and Interpretation” in the Statistics and Data Analysis section and Dr. Waller presented a Hands-On Workshop “How to Use ARRAYs and DO Loops: Do I DO OVER or Do I DO I?” This was a very useful conference and we are happy to have such skilled professionals in the field of statistics. They are a critical component of a great research university (and medical school).    

Georgia Regents Medical Center… Getting the Word Out…

Congratulations to Dr. Bill Kanto and his team for their continued perseverance in communicating to all health care professionals at GRMC through the Medical Letter. This effort to communicate important quality checks/ core measures and introduce new hospital policies as well as new employees has truly been a great one that benefits us all. If you see it in your email, be sure to have a look at it! This is a great tool for bringing GRMC health care professionals together. Take a look–

Invigorating Lectureship…

Yesterday, the tenth Virendra B. Mahesh Lectureship was held on the Health Sciences Campus. Dr. Mahesh, a pioneer in steroid biochemistry and reproductive biology, helped establish GRU’s Ph.D. program in 1965. The event always brings in outstanding and distinguished leaders in endocrinology! The guest lecturer was Dr. Kathleen Morgan, Professor and Chair of the Health Sciences Department at Boston University. Her seminar, “Cytoskeletal Biology, Aortic Stiffness and Cardiovascular Disease: A Connection?” was well-received. This was a great lectureship and it is very gratifying to have the chance to host lectureships like this here at MCG.

Muy fantástico … Undergraduate Celebración…

This past Sunday, we had the opportunity to interact with GRU’s newly accepted students at the Summerville Campus for a Cinco de Mayo Celebration. It was a great event and there were hundreds in attendance. These students will be making their final decision about where to pursue their education in the next few weeks, and the event was put on to familiarize them with financial aid, student activities, and university life and encourage these highly-qualified students to choose us. Congratulations to Dr. Roman Cibirka and the entire team. You made us proud … showing prospective students all the opportunities that lie ahead for them at our new university.

Student Scholarships advance our Primary Care… Great Partnership

We are tremendously blessed to have such great opportunities and honors for our faculty and medical students. Recently, 8 senior medical students/future family medicine residents were collectively awarded $25,000 from the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Education Foundation’s Dr. David Sowell Faculty Endowment.  Honorees and where they’ll complete family medicine training include, Carolyn Anne Curtis, Marshall University School of Medicine, West Virginia; Michelle Camille Forrester, Medical Center of Columbus, Ga.; Zhihua “Bobby” He, AnMed Health, Anderson, S.C.;  Kaitlyn Rebecca Ike, Ventura County Medical Center, California; Gordy Leon, Medical Center of Central Georgia, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Ga.; Jedidiah  Colter Litsey, Trident Medical Center, Charleston, S.C; Joe Henry Livingston IV, Floyd Medical Center, Rome, Ga.; and Tiera Alisa Williams, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany, Ga. This is a fantastic gift and we are happy for those students who received it and happy as well that they have chosen a primary care specialty that is so sorely needed in our state and nation.

Upcoming Events…

May 13 – The Office of Diversity Affairs is set to host a special presentation by Dr. Geoffrey Young (one of our own!), Senior Director for Student Affairs and Programs for the Association of American Medical Colleges. The presentation, Student Mental Health, will be held at 12:15 p.m. in room EC 1211 in the Health Sciences Building on the Health Sciences Campus. Lunch will be provided. RSVP should have gone to Angela Scott at by May 6.

May 16 – The GR Medical Associates Membership meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni Center. Refreshments will be served at 5 p.m. before the meeting and the agenda and committee reports will be distributed prior to the meeting.

May 24 – Summit on Global Health, hosted by the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology, is set for May 24-27, Montego Bay, Jamaica. See

June 13 – MCG Chair Investiture Ceremony, starts at 5 p.m. in the Lee Auditorium.

Have you checked out our new MCG Facebook page at We also have a Twitter page as well#Follow.

Enjoy the weekend!