Skillful leaders

“Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

– Harry Truman

May 17, 2013

Dear Colleagues and Friends,


Our Legislators Speak… USG Chancellor Lays out Exciting Vision

We’ve had a string of incredible weeks and this one was as well!  At the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s Post-Legislative Breakfast our lawmakers had a strong message for us: our university is a key economic engine for the region which they will support. Lawmakers, including Senators Bill Jackson and Jesse Stone, and Representatives Tom McCall, Ben Harbin, Barbara Sims, and Barry Fleming, expressed their commitment to education and workforce development. The legislators also expressed support for legislation to counter “pill mill” drug abuse, a scourge on our society and our profession.  The keynote for the meeting, USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby, thanked the legislators for putting such a premium on education. More globally, Chancellor Huckaby is committed to positive change and advancing the USG’s strategic development to benefit our state. He noted that the state system for colleges and universities will move from volume-based to performance-based funding – which truly rewards hard work – and his excitement about the new GRU as a state research university. Chancellor Huckaby also encouraged all present to get behind our new university, which has such potential for our region and our state. Great news, great synergy, great momentum! Thanks to Columbia County leadership for hosting such a great event.


Growing GME… Great for Georgia… We Appreciate the Support and Opportunity

Speaking of our USG leadership and state legislators, they – as well as our alums and our community – continue to show their commitment to educating the next generation of doctors. We have that beautiful new J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons under construction, we have ongoing enthusiasm and support for a distributed model of education that has our students living and learning all over the state, and our state is moving full steam ahead with a plan to add more residency positions across Georgia by making state dollars available to help hospitals make their first foray into graduate medical education. GME is a vital component of real physician growth; $1.2 million was appropriated last year for this noble cause and over $2 million this year. This year’s focus is on finding more hospitals and from what we hear there is continued interest. Our own Dr. Shelly Nuss is keeping the USG up to date on the activity. Our USG GME team is also expanding to include leaders from other medical schools in Georgia. Welcome Aboard! This is exciting stuff!  It’s great to have such support on so many fronts.


A Fabulous Fit… Doing What you do Best…

On a more global note, during the Board of Regents meeting this week, USG Chief Academic Officer Dr. Houston Davis gave an overview of work by the Academic Affairs Committee to ensure the best fit and function for each public college and university. This helps is so many ways, including reducing expensive redundancy and clarifying roles. Our university’s role was highlighted as the state’s ONLY dedicated health sciences university with the ONLY public medical college. What a role and what an honor we have.  Speaking of playing to everyone’s strength, the USG approved this week, establishment of a campus of East Georgia State College, a two-year institution based in Swainsboro, at GRU. This campus will serve as an important point of entry for students who are not yet ready to come to a research university but want to get ready. This is an opportune partnership and strategic thinking by the USG as well as the leadership of our two institutions. Learn more at


Ready in an Emergency… Residents Have Great Showing… So does a Life-Saving Tourniquet

Speaking of the best, Dr. Richard Schwartz shares with us that, once again, 34 of our 35 emergency medicine residents scored above the 50th percentile in the nation on their in-service exam and 11 scored ABOVE the 90th percentile.  The test, given by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, evaluates resident knowledge and is an excellent predictor of future success on certification exams.  Those scoring the highest include Drs. Adam Hoover, Joe Williams, Dan McCall, Charlie Moore, Will Arnett, Evan Cameron, Jed Ballard, Dan McCollum, Dylan Arnold, Anuj Jani and Thomas White. Way to go residents, faculty, and staff in Emergency Medicine!


Another huge point of pride in Emergency Medicine occurred recently when an abdominal aortic tourniquet, developed by Schwartz and Birmingham Emergency Medicine Physician John Croushorn, to prevent soldiers from bleeding out in the field – and trauma patients from bleeding out on our streets – was used for the first time in Afghanistan to save the life of an Afghan soldier. He had both legs blown off by an improvised explosive device and was clearly dying until a physician used the inflatable device to stop the seemingly unstoppable bleeding.  You can read more about the device here,, which received a Popular Science Inventions Award last year, Certainly ALL the notables above remind each of us why we are here and the incredible role we are privileged to play.


AAMC Conference… in Savannah… Partners in Medical Education

We recently co-hosted the AAMC’s SGEA/SGSA/OSR Regional Meeting in Savannah with Emory University School of Medicine and Mercer University School of Medicine. This was a truly wonderful meeting as we had a record number of registrants with 420 of our friends and colleagues from 22 states in the region representing 41 of 48 member schools. Congratulations to Dr. Andria Thomas, Paul Wallach and many others for their leadership in putting together this major conference. Many thanks to Dr. Geoffrey Young, our former associate dean who is nowSenior Director of Student Affairs and Programs for the AAMC, as well as AAMC Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Mark Nivet, who provided two very enlightening plenary sessions on Medical Student Wellness and Cultural Competence. For more information about the meeting abstracts go to—


Enhancing Teaching Atmosphere… More from Geoffrey Young…

Recently we also were so happy to welcome Dr. Young back to our campus as he gave a conference on Creating a Caring Culture. The conference focused on enhancing our commitment to wellness and environment as we educate our students and it was wonderful to have Dr. Young’s insight. He helped us to see that although our education environment is a great one, we still need to work with our residents and faculty to ensure medical student education remains a top priority.


Fantastic Presentation… PGY1-Medicine Resident…

Congratulations to Dr. Avirup Guha, an internal medicine resident, who gave a fantastic presentation in Denver this month at the Heart Rhythm Society’s Annual Scientific Sessions on “Evaluation of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Infection Outcomes From a Large End- Stage Renal Disease Database.” This is a huge accomplishment for Dr. Guha to share this national and international platform. Many thanks to the other authors of this study, Drs. William Maddox, Rhonda Colombo, Stanley Nahman, Jr., Kristina Kintziger, Mufaddal Kheda, and Robert Sorrentino. To learn more about the Heart Rhythm Society go here —


Wonderful honor…American College of Radiology… Congratulations to our Alumnus

We learn from the Rome News-Tribune that Dr. Joseph John Burch, a 1985 MCG alumnus and diagnostic radiologist from Rome, Ga. was inducted as a fellow into the American College of Radiology at the college’s annual meeting during the earlier part of May in Washington, D.C. This is a fantastic honor for Dr. Burch as he joins more than 34,000 radiologists from around the nation with this honor. We are proud of all of our alumni and their professional and personal honors such as these. We are proud as well of the support that they give their alma mater. Speaking of which, Dr. Burch will be part of next year’s fourth-year elective in Radiology at our Northwest Campus —passing along the fine teaching and sharing tradition of MCG! To read more about the fellowship go here– and to read the article in the Rome News-Tribune go here–


Great Community Event… Patient Empowerment…

The MCG Nephrology Section in conjunction with the National Kidney Foundation of Georgia hosted a patient empowerment workshop for patients with chronic kidney disease at the Kroc Center. Our very fit Mayor Deke Copenhaver addressed participants about the importance of taking an active role in their own health and well-being. There were over 150 participants in attendance! A big high five to the MCG Nephrology Section for helping make this happen.


Upcoming Events…


May 23 – Interested in learning more about interacting with the media? Please come out to join the Office of Communications and Marketing for a noontime Brown Bag Workshop in the Terrace Dining Magnolia Room on the Health Sciences campus. There will be snacks, drinks, prizes, and giveaways. To register, please contact Aubrey Hinkson at Also, if you are in need of any logos and help on how to use them go to or contact your MCG logo representative, Patricia Johnson for questions.


May 24 – Summit on Global Health, hosted by the Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology, 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!