Without tradition

“Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Without innovation, it is a corpse.”

– Winston Churchill

 White Coats… Hallmark Happening 

We’re getting close to the annual, awesome White Coat Ceremony!  This great day for the Class of 2017 is set for 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Bell Auditorium. A reception follows at the Old Medical College Building.  This is simply a wonderful tradition for students, families and frankly all of us, as our students don the hallmark short white jackets they will wear throughout medical school.  This year we are starting the celebrating with a new tradition: our very first Parents and Partners Program from noon-2 p.m. This program will give parents and partners a taste of what medical school is about and the terrific individuals who will be helping educate students. Great idea! We are proud and privileged to welcome students and their families and look so forward to spending this additional time with them. Way to go Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs for making our white coat event even more significant for our students and families.  Speaking of which, those interested in more food and fun can start their visit the evening before by joining in the Alumni Barbecue and A Day for GRU Celebration from 5:30 – 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at the D. Douglas Barnard, Jr. Amphitheatre on our Summerville Campus. Find out more about this in our Events Section below. We hope you all will join in the ceremony and celebration.


Spreading the Word… the Next Generation 

Speaking of great events, our Admissions Office recently hosted a Pre-Health Advisors Conference to bring these important individuals from colleges across the state to our institution to talk face-to-face about what’s going on and positive changes we are continually making to our educational offerings. Remember recent information about exciting new dual-degree programs, enhanced student services and more? Our colleagues from other GRU health sciences schools also provided similar updates on their programs making it a true, one-stop shopping experience for our guests! There was great turnout and great information sharing with pre-health advisors who are our essential partners in ensuring Georgia students are ready for medical school. This type of event also affords those of us already here the opportunity to take a step back and give a resounding “wow” to the incredible individuals and initiatives that are the Medical College of Georgia. Awesome thinking and doing MCG Admissions Office!


Powerful Partnerships… Aligning Stars

The stars definitely aligned recently for the fourth Annual Southern Translational Education and Research Conference jointly sponsored by the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy and our medical school. What a terrific opportunity to highlight the collaborative research of these two strong institutions. There were more than 60 poster and platform presentations highlighting important translational research. Keynotes were given by UGA’s Dr. Phillip V Holmes and our Dr. Kris Dhandapani, who share an interest in the brain. Our Dr. Alexis Stranahan won the Young Investigator competition for her collaborative studies with Dr. Holmes, which show one way to improve the function of a stressed-out brain is with exercise! Let’s all go take that walk! Congratulations to Dr. Stranahan and Dr. Holmes as well as Dr. Fei Gao from UGA who won the postdoctoral fellow award, and postdoc runner up, UGA’s Dr. Ninu Polouse. Our congratulations as well to GRU student Cam McCarthy who won in the student category along with second-year medical student Dorothy Rodenbeck. Our special thanks goes to Dr. Susan Fagan, a terrific liaison between our two great institutions, for helping make this STaR.


Motivating Managers… Inspiring Individuals

To help ensure we stay great, Human Resources recently held a training session on how to motivate today’s employees. There was lots of common sense advice like: don’t just talk, listen, and how we all need to take at least one breath before reacting – or overreacting – to an issue or individual. With the whirlwind pace at which most of us live and work these days, it’s ever more important to pay attention, to recognize the awesome individual and team efforts and results, and to take, at least a moment, to laugh with each other. Great advice and great session. Our thanks and congratulations to Susan Norton and the entire HR Workforce Development Team as well as Susan James, who sponsored the session.


Core Mission… Education Advocates

A recent open house was held by the university’s Educational Innovation Institute, which exists  to help all of us with the all-important task of being great educators. As we know, that is the reason we exist and the heart of what we do at Georgia’s public medical school. EII recently threw open its doors to remind us that they are here to help. Indeed! You can find out more about the EII here http://www.gru.edu/colleges/medicine/discovery/edi/.  We thank Drs. Paul Wallach, Lara Stepleman, Ralph Gillies and so many more for being terrific advocates of education and EII. BTW, their new location is CB 2340.


Failing Heart… Strong Student

We started out this week talking about powerful partnerships and, of course, research and clinical care are essential partners to great education. So, as promised, we wanted to highlight more of the research projects produced by our students and shared at the recent Medical Scholars Research Day and Medical Partnership Student Research Symposium. From the Medical Partnership campus, Kirsten Kepple working with her advisor, Dr. Kent Nilsson and others took a look at the too common problem of heart failure and wanted to know more about declines patients experience beyond their clearly impaired heart function. They suspected there was also dysfunction in the energy powerhouses, or mitochondria, of the skeletal muscles. Study participants – both healthy people and those with heart failure – underwent forearm exercise four days a week for the first half of the eight-week study to look at the impact of training. The next four weeks they looked at what happened when the exercise stopped. With a non-invasive technique developed in the Department of Kinesiology at UGA, they were able to use infrared light to look at how well the mitochondria were working.  They appear to have found what they suspected: heart failure patients had less mitochondrial oxygen capacity in their muscle. They hope their findings not only help explain some of the related dysfunction seen in these patients, but will help us better assess and help future patients. We find that a great idea.


Great Thinking… Diversifying Drugs 

Here’s another great idea: using erectile dysfunction drugs to help prevent colon cancer.  It may sound a little odd but both situations have an enzyme called PKG in common.  In the case of our colon, Dr. Darren Browning found that type 2 PKG is important in protecting its natural protective barrier and in slowing down cell proliferation. An interesting tale much abbreviated, this means that the colon, which we regularly bombard with food, drink and worse, stays healthy. We really like the kind of innovative thinking that takes a drug we already have and finds yet another incredibly good use for it. The efforts just earned Dr. Browning a $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute. We say awesome and congratulations. Read more here http://news.gru.edu/archives/9919.


Medicine Magazine… Amazing Alum

We hope you will take a moment to check out the new edition of MCG Medicine magazine – it comes out twice a year – which features the incredible love and generosity of our late alum, Dr. J. Harold Harrison, for his alma mater and his profession. That and lots more reasons for us all to be proud can be found by visiting http://www.georgiahealth.edu/medicine/georgiamedicine/


Right Foot… Dynamic Direction

And, finally this week, our thanks to the Faculty Club and Faculty & Spouses Club for the recent Fall reception for new and returning faculty members and their spouses, partners or special guests. As predicted, it was a great turnout in a beautiful setting that, like the Pre-Health Advisors Conference, gave us just a moment to savor what we really have here: lots of talent and lots of great promise for the future. A special thanks to Terry McBride and Jackie Stephens for helping make the event so fabulous.


Upcoming Events

Oct. 9, 10 – GRU’s  2013 Annual Patient- and Family- Centered Care Conference will have the theme , I am the Patient Experience: What’s In It for Me, and will be held Oct. 9, 1-5 p.m. and Oct. 10, 8 a.m.–noon, in the Lee Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus. This year’s speaker is Jason Wolf, Executive Director of the Beryl Institute.

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. 10 – The GRHealth Special Premiere Advertising Event provides a sneak peak of GRHealth’s consumer advertising initiatives, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m., in the Lee Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus.

Oct. 11 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Oct. 11 – Dr.Lucy Marion, Dean of the College of Nursing, gives her annual State of the College Address, 1 p.m., Health Sciences Building, EC1210, Health Sciences Campus.

Oct. 11 – A Day for GRU Celebration and Alumni Association Barbecue for alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends. Fun, family-friendly evening including live entertainment, Sconyers Bar-B-Que, Kid Zone;  and fireworks to celebrate the end of this year’s A Day for GRU campaign,  5:30 – 9 p.m.,  D. Douglas Barnard, Jr. Amphitheatre,  Summerville Campus. For more information or tickets go to www.gru.edu/adayforgru.

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. 18-20 – The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) chapter is co-hosting the Empowering Future Physicians Conference 2013 with the Morehouse School of Medicine. Please check out this event link for more information, http://on.fb.me/15kgqHe.

Oct. 24 – GRU University Senate Fall Assembly and New Faculty Reception, 5-7:30 p.m., Alumni Center, Ballrooms A, B, C, Health Sciences Campus.

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 Ballroom on the GRU Campus.

Nov. 14 – Dr. Ricardo Azziz’s State of the Enterprise Address, noon, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Summerville 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.

Nov. 21 – ElI Career Development 101 for new faculty will be held noon-5:15 p.m. at the GRU Alumni Center.

Nov. 22 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium

Dec. 13 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 23 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 13 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting, noon, Lee Auditorium.

March 13 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium

May 1 – Annual State of the College Address, noon, Lee Auditorium.

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


Enjoy your weekend!