And so with the sunshine

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald


June 21, 2013



Dear Colleagues and Friends:


Heartwarming Gathering… Investiture Ceremony…Recognizing our ‘Best of the Best’

Thanks to all who attended the inspirational 2013 Investiture Ceremony, a wonderful gathering to recognize our ROCK STAR Endowed Chairs and Regents’ Professors from the past year as well as our retiring faculty who have been honored with Emeritus Professor status. A special thanks to Jeanette Balotin for putting together this event to honor these faculty members who truly epitomize our medical school’s quality and commitment to excellence. We are super proud of them all! If you would like to see photos of the event, go here–


New Faculty Breakfast… Welcoming our New Colleagues…

Last week, Dr. Ron Lewis and I had the pleasure of joining our new faculty for a continental breakfast. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about them, hear how they’re settling into Augusta and also to learn more about why they chose us for the next stage of their career. We have a truly diverse group of people from all over the world bringing a wide range of talent to us. We welcome them to our medical school. Thanks to all who helped put this event together!


Speaking of Talent… Service and Leadership

The MCG Faculty Senate wrapped up its meetings for the fiscal year this month and we would be absolutely remiss if we did not duly note the incredible service of Dr. Ron Lewis as President. His diligence and humor have been invaluable in leading and inspiring real changes for our faculty.  Dr. Jatinder Bhatia takes on this leadership role when meetings resume Sept. 13. We hope you will make a note to join us then and to thank Dr. Lewis for his leadership when you see him.


Faculty Development… Southeast Campus Event… Reaching Out to Our Community

Southeast Campus leadership and others recently gathered at the state’s brand new Jekyll Island Convention Center for a faculty development workshop for our clinical faculty, clerkship directors and physician office managers. Fifty eight educators participated from all the regional campuses and Augusta, the VA hospital in Dublin, Robins Air Force Base and Winn Army Hospital. Speakers included Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Dr. John B. Molidor from Michigan State University, Dr. Ravi I. Jayakaran from the Medical Assistance Programs International, as well as our very own Dr. Mark G. Hanly, a long-time educator who gave an interesting talk on the role of the medical examiner/pathologist in public health. Many thanks to Dr. Wayne Rentz who did a remarkable job pulling the event together. And, many, many thanks to the community physicians, practices and hospitals who are essential to MCG and to physician education in our state.


Summer SEEP… Inspiring Future Medical Students from Our Community…

We now have 59 high school and college students spending a big part of their summer on our campus as participants in the annual SEEP and pre-matriculation programs. The programs run through July 19. These students are engaging in the new longitudinal health disparities curriculum, learning about key health concerns including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition to their time here on campus, they are also participating in service learning within the Harrisburg Community. You can take a peek at the Harrisburg visit here –  We hope this great program will help inspire more talented students to become physicians and help further diversify the state’s physician workforce to better reflect our fabulously diverse population.  Speaking of Harrisburg and more great news, Dr. Kim Halbur recently received a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to keep the Harrisburg Veggie Truck stocked and rolling, as part of our students’ service to our Augusta community. Way to go times two!


Belgian Consul General in Atlanta…Exploring Student Exchange Possibilities… Global Opportunities for Our Students

We were delighted to have Geneviève Verbeek, Belgium’s Consul General in Atlanta, visit MCG to meet with many around our college, including Dr. David Fulton, Dr. Stephen Black, Dr. Robert W. Caldwell, Dr. David Stepp, and Dr. Richard Venema. She also met with Dr. Paul Wallach to explore the possibility of a student exchange program. During this meeting, Consul General Verbeek expressed her wish to expand medical, graduate and postdoctoral student exchanges with Belgian universities. We are very interested in this as well as other international student exchanges. Many thanks to Dr. Rudolf Lucas, a Belgian native, who organized this fantastic visit!


Quality Measurement… Items to Consider…

Recently the AAMC’s Tony Mazzaschi shared an invigorating Health Affairs blog post from Dr. Robert Berenson from the Urban Institute titled, Seven Policy Recommendations To Improve Quality Measurement.  It reflects on the work of Dr. Berenson along with Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Harlan Krumholz and Yale’s Dr. Peter Pronovost to assess the current state of performance measurement in health care and make recommendations for improving quality measurement to benefit the public, the health care system and the providers and institutions working to do the right thing for patients.   It’s definitely worth a look and some thought —


More Strategic Exchanges… Planning in Full Swing

Our strategic planning is in full swing with a strong steering committee under the leadership of Dr. Jack Yu and Dr. Barbara Robinson with the remarkable facilitation of Dr. Anthony Robinson from the Hull College of Business. They are in the process of developing a SWOT analysis. Stay tuned for updates.


Reaching Out… Ryan White Team Truly Goes Mobile…

Today, the Ryan White Outreach Team rightly showed off its new mobile HIV testing unit. While our team has always served the community, this enables team members to take a comfortable environment for conversation and testing wherever they go. This unit results from more than a year’s worth of planning and work by the Ryan White Outreach Team. Many thanks to the Ryan White team members for their ongoing commitment to our community and our best wishes as they expand their reach thanks to the new mobile unit.


Upcoming Events… 


June 28 – Join your colleagues for a TRANSFORMATIONAL Milestone Celebration Dessert Drop-in, hosted by David Hefner and Mark Hamrick from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. in the Terrace Dining (Magnolia Room) on the Health Sciences Campus.


Sept. 13 – Mark your calendars for noon and the first MCG Faculty Senate meeting for the 2014 academic year.


Check out our MCG Facebook page at and Twitter page as well #Follow.


Enjoy the first official weekend of summer 2013!