Excellence is within reach

“Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.”

–  John W. Gardner


Great Visit … Great Future

We were talking a couple of weeks back about our great partners and great regional campus based in Albany. We would like to look to the northwest corner of our state this week and give kudos to State Representatives Katie Dempsey and Eddie Lumsden who recently came calling, along with Karyn Nixon from the GRU Office of Government Relations and Community Affairs, on our newest campus in Rome.  We do appreciate Reps. Dempsey and Lumsden for taking time to see yet another way their district and the state’s public medical school contribute to the wellbeing and general greatness of our state. Associate Dean Leonard Reeves was, as always, a gracious host. We are looking forward to the official grand opening of this beautiful new campus on the Georgia Highlands College campus Oct. 15.


Another Great Visit … Full Steam Ahead

A Substantive Change Committee from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges was at our main campuses in Augusta this week. SACSCOC is the regional accreditor of colleges for the southern states and its committee came to see us in follow up to its Board of Trustees approval of the consolidation back in December and to check in on our regional campus network as well. Our visitors had the opportunity to meet with several of our students, associate deans, and clerkship directors at each of the regional campuses both in person as well as via videoconference. Obviously this was a hugely important visit and we are so proud to report that it went exceedingly well. In fact, there were “no recommendations” which is a terrific thing! The committee, which finished up today, noted that our consolidation was going well and that we had good teams in place to ensure success. Committee members particularly liked what they learned about our regional campuses and the opportunities for interprofessional learning. In fact, team leader Dr. Carol Z. Garrison commented on the amazing number of opportunities for our entire institution and the importance the regional campuses have already played in establishing a true statewide footprint for our university. We agree! Great news and really great work on the part of so many individuals and groups particularly Drs. Azziz, Caughman, Cibirka and Rychly as well as Beth Brigdon, Mickey Williford and the entire Institutional Effectiveness team. Many thanks to Drs. Albritton and Martin for coordinating and leading these discussions regarding our campuses. Job well done!


Student Leadership …Even Better Days Ahead

Our American Medical Student Association chapter is cohosting the Empowering Future Physicians Conference 2013 in Atlanta with Morehouse School of Medicine. The Oct. 18-20 event will be held on the Morehouse campus and is a terrific networking and learning opportunity for our students. We appreciate our students for helping make it happen! Diverse topics range from street medicine to the social health movement and speakers include some of our fine faculty like Dr. Walter Moore and Denise Kornegay.  Learn more at:http://www.amsa.org/AMSA/Homepage/Events/AMSAConferences/Atlanta.aspx.


Academic Awesome… AOA Results

Speaking of great students and faculty, the latest AOA election results are in. Students elected as members of this prestigious national honor medical society include Joshua A. Bell, Lauren E. Burtz, Harris L. Carmichael, Jessica K. Crabbe, Carolyn M. Cutler, Fred T. Finney, Elizabeth G. Gardner, Scott B. Gilleland, Seema B. Jabbar, Chelsea M. Jones, Jennifer C. LaBarge, Thao-Vy N. Le, Katherine A. Morgan, Sara E. Morris, Benjamin J. Mullenbach, Andrew K. Ostrowski, Chelsea J. Pyle, Allison S. Rogers, Daniel Tanenbaum, Michael T. Wildes, Hunter C. Wilson and Bryce T. Wyatt. Residents elected include Dr. Toby Anderton in orthopedics and Drs. Varun Bhalla and Benjamin Keyser in surgery. New faculty members include Dr. Kelvin Moses, and 1979 MCG alum Dr. Spurgeon Clark III, an ophthalmologist, also was elected. We are very proud of the academic excellence of these students  as well as Drs. Moses and Clark. We also appreciate the longtime commitment of Dr. Clarence Joe to the Alpha of Georgia Chapter. Congratulations to all.


Signs of Sequestration …. More Evidence of Fabulous Faculty

An insightful national glimpse of the impact sequestration is having on research and researchers can be found here:http://money.cnn.com/2013/09/03/news/economy/science-budget-cuts/index.html. We all live with the new reality that the National Institutes of Health today funds less grants than it did a decade ago. However we should take great pride that our NIH funding is actually up slightly from last year. This is hardly luck, rather another true testament to the dedication of our faculty and research staff who are improving their odds by applying for even more grants!!


What Works … Employees Evaluate

Speaking of national insight, here’s another piece that’s worth a look, http://chronicle.com/article/Great-Colleges-To-Work-For/140369/#id=big-table. It’s the Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2013 Great Colleges to Work For survey which recognizes job practices that we as employees appreciate most. These are things like clear communication, even when the news is bad; career-advancing workshops; and a clear direction for the future.


Optimally Prepared … More Great National News

We also talked a couple of weeks back about the B.S./M.D. program new this fall at our university for students who want to optimally prepare for medical school as undergrads. That program got a pretty high-profile mention recently with a story in U.S. News and World Report, see http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-medical-schools/articles/2013/08/26/pipeline-programs-help-get-undergrads-to-medical-school. More great news by any definition.


Cultural Self-Awareness … Gaining Insight … Freshman First 

This year our freshmen are among the first students on the Health Sciences Campus to take Healthy Perspectives, a cultural competency course managed by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The new online course is a graduation requirement for all freshmen on this campus. Its focus is to build cultural self-awareness and improve communication skills with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes. The course is divided into six, 30-minute modules, completed weekly over the beginning of the semester, so students should already be immersed in it. This course provides absolutely relevant information for us all in our truly global society. In fact, a portion of this training already is taken by faculty and staff. To learn more, visit http://www.gru.edu/diversity/hp/ or call 706-721-9265.


What’s in a Name … Hospitalist 

As a parting note, please know that our Emergency Medicine department is now officially the Department of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalist Services to reflect the department’s responsibility for this important function for our hospitals.


Upcoming Events…

Sept. 12 – GRU’s 3rd Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit will be held at the Salvation Kroc Center from 9:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. The summit’s theme is Challenge Your Perspective with Gary Guller, a world-renowned mountaineer and author of Make Others Greater, serving as the keynote speaker for the summit’s dinner at 6:30 p.m. To learn more, go to the event page– http://www.gru.edu/diversity/summit/.

Sept. 12 – GRU Educational Innovation Institute Health Sciences Education Grand Rounds, co-sponsored by the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Student and Faculty Perceptions of Class Attendance, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., EC 1210.

Sept. 13 – Mark your calendars at noon for the first MCG Faculty Senate meeting for the 2014 academic year. The event will be held in the Lee Auditorium.

Sept. 14 – GRU Day of Service provides another opportunity for GRU and Health System employees, students, and their families to serve the local community. This year’s Day of Service will be much like last year’s, with many of the same groups returning. Organizers are creating two-hour blocks of volunteer time to ensure everyone has a chance to get involved. To sign up, click here. Sept. 12 is the deadline for registering.

Sept. 17-18 – Please join the GRU Research Community at the Innovation Summit at the Kroc Center. To learn more, follow this link http://www.gru.edu/oic/is13/.

Sept. 26-27 – The Southern Translational Education and Research (STAR) Conference 2013 will be held at the Augusta Marriott. Investigators in the field of clinical and translational science are invited to submit abstracts to be considered by Aug. 30th. Please contact Kim McKenzie at kmckenzie@rx.uga.edu and visit the website, www.rxugace.com/starfor more information.

Oct. 2 – GRU EII Health Sciences Education Grand Rounds, co-sponsored by the College of Allied Health Sciences, Developing Interprofessional Sexual Health Competencies: Why We Should Care, noon-1 p.m., EC 1222.

Oct. 10– The MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception will be held at 6 p.m. at the Doublegate Country Club in Albany, Ga. http://binged.it/13RH1Yb.

Oct. 12 – The White Coat ceremony will be held at the Bell Auditorium at 3 p.m. with the reception immediately following at the Old Medical College building. Please check this event page on our MCG Facebook to follow details–http://on.fb.me/15N7Tfi.

Oct. 15 – Join in the grand opening of the Northwest Campus based in Rome at noon at the James D. Maddox Heritage Hall at Georgia Highlands College, 415 E. Third Avenue at Glenn Milner Blvd. in Rome. Follow this link for a map:http://binged.it/1cer6er and http://on.fb.me/14o75gA for the event page.

Oct. 15 –  The MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception will be held in Rome, Ga. at 6 p.m. at the Coosa Country Club http://binged.it/13RGSEa.

Oct. 26 – The MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception will be held in Augusta, Ga. at 6 p.m. at the Augusta Country Club.

Oct. 27 – The MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Alumni Center on the GRU Campus.

Nov. 15 – GRU EII Health Sciences Education Grand Rounds, co-sponsored by the Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, Critical Thinking: Teaching and Measuring, noon-1 p.m., GC 5002.

Check out our MCG Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/grumcg and Twitter page as well #Follow.


Enjoy the weekend!