The best and most beautiful things

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
Helen Keller


Northwest Campus ….Strong Start


We were anticipating a really great time cutting the ribbon on our newest regional campus, the Northwest Campus based in Rome, and boy did Tuesday deliver. Way more than 100 folks showed up for this official celebration as well as about 40 members of the Health Occupation Student Association at Rome High School who served as delightful docents for the day. You could feel the excitement in the balmy air and we are so very grateful for it. Student Anne Staigle told the crowd that Rome has really opened its arms to her and her classmates. She noted 2006 MCG Graduate Dr. Ryan Stanger, as an excellent example. The anesthesiologist first met the students when they showed up in the operating room. Now he has shared not only his third-year medical school experiences with them but also his home where they now eat dinner once a month. We say: Stupendous Dr. Stanger.  The supportive crowd included Dr. Don Campbell from Georgia-based Wellstar Health System which will be starting some much-needed residency programs next year in this part of the state. This is another important piece of the puzzle of providing more doctors for our state and is part of the University System of Georgia’s initiative to do just that: get more hospitals in our state interested in graduate medical education. We send our hearty thanks again to Northwest Georgia and Rome for joining in and our kudos to Dr. Leonard Reeves and Vicki Wiles for their leadership and hosting skills. One more note on the ribbon cutting. We simply can’t talk about Rome again without mentioning the leadership of Dr. Paul Ferguson, retired CEO of the famous Harbin Clinic, and Willis Potts, former Chair of the Board of Regents, who were and are a force behind our newest campus.  And finally, Anne also shared her insight later in the day at a regional alumni gathering hosted by Dr. Joe Birch. Dr. Dan Hanks talked about the importance of the recent Dr. Harrison gift to the legacy of MCG. We second and third that emotion! Rome really does rock.  Check it out:



White Coat Wow …. Lively Lineup


A huge follow up ‘wow’ as well on the White Coat Ceremony.  There is just something uplifting about students slipping on those iconic short white coats and beaming with the knowledge that they are future physicians. Dr. Barbara Schuster poignantly reminded us all of the impact that patients have on physicians. Ever-smiling Dr. Stanley Nahman made us all just feel good period. Students Josh Bell and Christina Elstad took the stage as shining examples of the future of medicine. There were a couple of new twists this year that came off spectacularly, including 10 students at a time simultaneously donning their white coats. What lineups those were!  There was real pride and excitement from parents and friends who filled the Bell Auditorium. Just prior to the big event, the Parents and Partners Program gave those families and friends even more insight into their loved one’s chosen profession – and the incredible individuals they will be learning from. Special thanks to Drs. Janet Munroe, Scott Richardson, Vaughn McCall, Lee Merchen and David Hess for being their usual, exceptional selves in giving their Ted-like talks. Hats off as well to Dr. Kim Halbur and the incredible (and still new) Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs. Our thanks as well to Dr. Paul Wallach and our entire educational team. They made us all proud. What a day; what talent; and what a medical school!  Check out the Phil Jones photo of the Class of 2017 here: and more white coat fun here:



Fab Food and Fun… Great Cause


We had mentioned stopping by the Alumni Barbecue and A Day for GRU Celebration to grab a bite after the White Coat Ceremony so we decided to take our own advice. Awesome!  Great food and fun and fabulous fireworks at our beautiful Summerville Campus.  This glorious night was just part of an annual campaign that raises money from our faculty, staff and community for our faculty, staff and community. Talk about a personal investment!  Much work went into this successful initiative that began in late August. Our hats are off to Phil Wahl, Chair of the ASU Foundation, as well as Wes Zamzow, Susan Barcus and the entire advancement team.


Great Golf … More Great Causes


The recent Yancey Mental Health Golf Tournament was another fun fundraiser benefitting local affiliates of Mental Health America, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. All great causes and a beautiful event on the banks of the Savannah River. Talk about another win-win!


Doing Good … Doing Well


We also had the great privilege recently to participate in discussions about collaborating with Christ Community Health Services in Augusta to provide primary care to a diverse group of citizens from our hometown.  This group provides affordable, quality care for the uninsured and underserved at two locations, including one just down the road on D’Antignac Street and another a couple of blocks over on Telfair. What a terrific mission and what terrific individuals make it happen. A particular thanks to co-founder Dr. Robert Campbell and Executive Director Jeff Drake for making sure these services are available in our community. We are proud to be their new partners.


Commanding College … Nursing


Speaking of those we proudly call partners, our colleague Dean Lucy Marion recently gave a stirring update on the very exciting developments in what is now Georgia’s flagship nursing school. The College of Nursing, which has long been a leader in important initiatives like the clinical nurse leader degree program, has certainly been a leader as well in integrating and synergizing the capabilities of our university. Did you also know that, like our medical school, the nursing school has a distributed model of education that includes more than 100 sites in Georgia, 14 sites in South Carolina and includes strong educational partnerships with a diverse group that includes Columbus State University and Emory Health System. Did you also know that College of Nursing now has a total enrollment of nearly 800 students – more than half are graduate students – and may well reach 1,000 by 2020 if current exciting and significant growth continues. Here’s wishing continued incredible success for Dean Marion and the faculty, staff and students of the College of Nursing. We are certainly proud to call you our partners. Job incredibly well done!


Dr. Satcher Speaks … Leadership Lessons


We hope many of you were among the crowd that gathered to hear Dr. David Satcher when he spoke on our campus this week as part of the College of Allied Health Sciences Dean’s Research Seminar Series. The former U.S. Surgeon General, who has been a tireless advocate for issues such as mental health and mental retardation and youth violence prevention, reminded us that, “In order to eliminate disparities in health, we need leaders who care enough, know enough, will do enough, and are persistent enough.”  We also proudly second his emotion. What a great American!



Albany Alums … Great Gathering


Speaking of great gatherings, the recent Alumni Association Regional Reception in Albany was absolutely another one. Dr. Bill Fricks was our gracious host. Dr. Sam Richwine, our faithful and fun Alumni Association President, provided insight on the importance of the group to the medical school. Student Melanie Barnard shared her appreciation for the medical education provided by local physicians – most of whom are our alums!  Dr. Paul Wallach caught us all up on the exciting happenings at Georgia’s public medical school. And, Dr. Neal Weintraub, who grew up in Albany and joined our faculty in May, happily shared tales of the great MCG graduates down that way who cared for him and his family. These are always such fun and, truthfully, inspiring events that serve as reminders of the impact and importance of our medical school.


Fantastic Faculty … Being Heard


And finally this week, we just have to make a happy public note of the fact that attendance at the MCG Faculty Senate meetings is looking pretty good so far this year! We thank our faculty for taking time to participate in this important leadership gathering for our medical school. Please mark those calendars for noon Nov. 22 for the next meeting and our thanks again to Dr. Jatinder Bhatia for leading this important group.




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,

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.

Oct. 29 – Student flu shots, Game Room, University Village Housing Complex, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

Nov. 4-8 – Human Research Academy, comprehensive research training for investigators, coordinators and research team members involved in human research. Register here:

and select here to preview the course agenda.


Nov. 14 President 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. 15 – Annual memorial service for body donors, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

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.

Ongoing – The GRU Cancer Center is offering a two-step tobacco cessation service for all Georgia Regents University & Health System students and employees who need help quitting tobacco use. Step 1: Initial Visit and Health Assessment. Make an appointment by calling 706-721-6744 or on-line at (click on “Request Appointment”). Step 2: Tobacco Cessation Classes, one-hour group sessions for six weeks, provide tools and support to help you quit tobacco. Cessation classes are held on the Summerville and Health Sciences campuses. For more information, visit


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


Enjoy the weekend.