Veterans Day


“Veterans Day is a time of solemn reflection for every American, and it is also a time to show gratitude for all who have given of themselves to defend our nation and the values we hold so dearly. I salute all veterans and families everywhere on this day.”

-Jack Tilley


A Day to Reflect … A Reason to Act


Veterans Day means so much to so many of us. It’s the day that marks the end of “The Great War,” World War I, although most of the fighting had thankfully stopped months before. For some of us, it is yet another day to remember how much we love and respect our mother, father, sister, brother, child, friend or neighbor who served or serves in the military. For others, it is a poignant reminder of countless individuals we will never know who did or do the same. It is a day of great emotion and great pride. And we are proud to share that this day also inspired student Laura Zeidan to put together a weeklong program to help all GRU students – and others – learn more about the health needs of our active duty personnel, our veterans and their families. She’s had some great help, including Dr. Kim Halbur and Dr. Walter Moore, a decorated Army veteran. Our Dr. Moore along with Drs. Chris White, Ines Berger and Janis Coffin, who also each have distinguished military service, will do what they do so well: help educate and inspire students. Several colleagues from Eisenhower Army Medical Center will join them and the week will culminate with a drive to collect hygiene items for our veterans who somehow are homeless. Laura just returned from presenting this terrific plan, which is being held in conjunction with AAMC’s effort to support the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, at the AAMC meeting in Philadelphia. She also received a grant from the AAMC to support her project. We are very proud of Laura for taking up this noble cause and proud as well as to once again join in a salute and a thank you to our military, our veterans and their families. Find out more about next week here:


Shining Stars…. Student Service


Speaking of service, we are mega-proud to also share that the efforts of our students at the Medical Partnership campus to serve the Athens community while they learn has received a Shining Star Award from the AAMC’s Group on Regional Medical Campuses. Stars indeed! This incredible program has students partnering with community service agencies to learn more about those agencies and who they serve then formulating and executing plans to do even more. Their foci have been issues that are critical to every community: smoking, depression, physical inactivity, human papilloma virus and on and on. Certainly this is a terrific way for our students to learn as it provides so many invaluable life lessons. It also helps reinforce what many already are: people who make it their life’s work to care for others. We thank and congratulate Dr. Laurel Murrow, our faculty leader, as well as our medical students. This award is also a resounding endorsement of our Georgia Regents University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership!


GRA Support …. Taking on Cardiovascular Disease


Speaking of partnerships that take on societal needs, we also are so thrilled to share that the Georgia Research Alliance has joined our colleagues in the MCG Foundation to jointly support a new GRA Eminent Scholar position in association with the Herbert S. Kupperman, M.D. Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Science. This terrific partnership in the battle against our state and nation’s major killer is simply great news and we so appreciate the support of both these awesome organizations.  The GRA was founded in 1990 to expand research and commercialization capacity at Georgia’s universities and to foster development of the new companies that will inevitably result and they have been terrific partners in doing just that for our state and our university. Dr. Kupperman was a 1946 graduate of our medical school and an extremely distinguished physician. Our newest GRA scholar is Dr. Neal L. Weintraub, who joined our faculty this May. This cardiologist, federally-funded physician-scientist, and biotech entrepreneur, also is Associate Director of our Vascular Biology Center. This is simply another win-win for our medical school and for the fight against cardiovascular disease.  Our congratulations, of course, to Dr. Weintraub.


Best Advocates … Best Friends


And speaking of our fab Foundation, it recently held a Board Meeting and Retreat as did our Alumni Association. We talked first thing today about how our armed forces look out for our country. Well these two groups also are topnotch at looking out for the state’s medical school. Anytime they gather it is with respect, enthusiasm, and frankly love for their medical school and that never ceases to be uplifting and a little humbling to the many of us who are privileged to watch after their school. At the alumni meeting, Junior Class President Lael Reinstatler – always an awesome representative of our medical school – praised the new Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs and the benefits of the new pass-fail system. Senior Tricia Brands told us how excited and nervous her classmates are about residency interviews and how just plain excited they are about AAMC President Darrell Kirch – and former MCG Dean – being their Hooding speaker. Super Sam Richwine reminded everyone that we should always see our students as future alums. Meanwhile, less than 100 miles away, the Foundation retreat offered up some awesome advice on philanthropy, much of it courtesy of Curt Simic, former President of the Indiana University Foundation, which flourished under his leadership. It was simply a great opportunity for everyone gathered to enhance their understanding and collaboration. Way to go all. Your medical school simply cannot thank you all enough for your support.


Honor Society …. Source of Pride


One more resounding note of pride since we are on a roll: the Fall Induction Ceremony of the Alpha of Georgia Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society also was just a terrific event. It was inspiring to hear our colleagues read the Declaration of Geneva where they promised to give an honorable profession its due. For Dr. Terrence J. Cook to discuss true honor exemplified in the Richmond County Medical Society’s outreach efforts to the uninsured and indigent citizens of Richmond and Columbia counties through Project Access. To hear the names of our students, residents, faculty and alums who were being inducted. In fact, let’s hear them again! New student members include Joshua A. Bell, Lauren E. Burtz, Harris L. Carmichael, Jessica K. Crabbe, Carolyn M. Cutler, Fred T. Finney, Elizabeth Grier Gardner, Scott B. Gilleland, Seema B. Jabbar, Chelsea M. Jones, Jennifer C. LaBarge, Thao-Vy N. Le, Katherine A. Morgan, Sara Elizabeth Morris, Benjamin J. Mullenbach, Andrew K. Ostrowski, Chelsea J. Pyle, Allison S. Rogers, Daniel Tanenbaum, Michael T. Wildes, Hunter C. Wilson, Bryce T. Wyatt and, at the Athens campus, Justin K. Brooten, Chelsea Chandler, Peter S. Karempelis and Nitya M. Nair. Residents inducted included Dr. Toby Anderton in orthopaedics, and, as Dr. Charlie Howell so proudly noted, three general surgery residents, Drs. Varun Bhalla, Benjamin Keyser, and Emmanouil Palaios.  Faculty member Dr. Kelvin Moses and 1979 graduate Dr. Spurgeon William Clark III completed this stellar lineup. We simply must give a hearty public thank you to Dr. Clarence Joe for his tireless commitment to this group, to our students and to continued excellence in medicine. Congratulations all!



Keeping Current… Lucky to Have Librarians


Next is a subject we should be chastised for not talking enough about: our librarians. Raise your hand if you knew there were health care/medical librarians? So maybe we all need to visit a library – or maybe just show up at morning rounds – to learn more about these professionals who have been around since the early 1970s and, in this fast-paced world with new findings flooding our inboxes, continue to play an incredibly important role in helping us all keep up and take optimal care of patients. In fact, a recent JAMA piece, see, highlighted just what a great job libraries and librarians are doing at meeting the constantly evolving needs of health care providers and patients. Like most of us, they are also doing a whole lot more with less as increases in library funding haven’t come close to keeping pace with the escalating cost of journal subscriptions, for example. At our library, Lindsay Blake and Kathy Davies are truly integrated into the patient care teams for adults and children, attending morning report and rounds with pediatrics or family medicine inpatient teams four times a week. They actively collaborate to provide patient care information, including helping find answers to questions that come up after morning report.  These MCG liaison librarians are also embedded in the first- and second-year medical school curriculum, working closely with our students in the Essentials of Clinical Medicine courses. At the Athens campus, medical librarian Julie K. Gaines is a remarkable leader in an environment that fosters new opportunities for a librarian to be integrated in all four years of the medical school curriculum.  Beyond the traditional roles of a librarian, Ms. Gaines is integral to teaching students how to most effectively search evidence-based medicine topics and appraise the medical literature, skills they must have to be effective physicians. She has partnered with some of the third-year clerkships in Athens to teach students how to use mobile technology to find evidence-based resources for the care of their patients.  She also works closely with physicians and educators to study how the use of mobile technology, specifically iPads, impacts the teaching and learning of medical students. We say awesome and thank you!


Awesome Oversight … Clinical Research


Another mega-important group to our college and university that we simply don’t recognize enough is our institutional review boards, which work super hard to ensure that our clinical research is well executed. While clinical research is clearly how medicine moves forward, it is hugely essential that it is exhaustingly reviewed to ensure that it is safe and potentially beneficial to patients. We wanted to thank Dr. Josѐ Vazquez, who just joined our faculty a few months back, for taking on the important responsibility of chairing the non-cancer, biomedical institutional review board. Dr. Vazquez is an established physician-scientist with great expertise in systemic fungal infections and bacterial infections and an enormous track record in basic and clinical research. We also want to thank Dr. Richard Sattin for his years of service as Chair of this important group. Our best to you both!


Thinking about a Super Summer…. Learn to Teach


With winter still in front of us, it may be hard to think about next summer but this is a great opportunity we wanted to put on out there. The Governor’s Teaching Fellows summer symposium program is two-weeks of total immersion in techniques to improve teaching, student engagement, and assessment as well as completion of a pedagogical project that will help higher education faculty develop their teaching skills. This mission is very much in keeping with our own Educational Innovation Institute! This program is jointly sponsored by University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education and Center for Teaching and Learning. Participants receive a stipend for each day of full participation and meals and lodging are provided. Check it out at: Full-time faculty interested should send a letter of intent that includes the pedagogical project you want to work on, as well as your current curriculum vitae, a one-to-two page philosophy of teaching, and a memo of support from your department chair and dean to Kristin Casaletto ( by Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. A committee of former GTF fellows will review applications and the GRU Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence will work with nominees to complete the process. We say: Go for it!


Rave Reviews … Fabulous Care

And finally this week, we have one more exceedingly happy note to share. You know how you always hear: Be careful what you ask for… Well, we do ask our patients after they have gone home, just how we did. While there is always a lot of great feedback, as you might imagine, we thought it particularly noteworthy that in the most recent set of surveys, Dr. Jeffrey Donohoe and his team in pediatric urology got numerous rave reviews. Moms and dads commended the caring, personable approach and generally exceptional care. We say awesome, one more time this week, and thank Dr. Donohoe and his team for their exceptional care of patients and families. Patient care is a big part of why we are here and we are always grateful to hear that we are doing it so well!



November 11 – Open enrollment starts for GRU faculty and staff.

November 13- President Ricardo Azziz’s update on the university’s progress and vision to the Board of Regents, at 10 a.m. (tentative time), will be simulcast in the Auditoria Center, Room BC1400, on the Health Sciences Campus and University Hall, Room UH 329, on the 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.

Jan. 28 – President Ricardo Azziz’s State of the Georgia Regents University & Health System Enterprise Address, Maxwell Performing Arts Theater, Summerville Campus. More details coming.

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

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

April 24-27 – The 2014 Alumni Weekend including the MCG Class Reunions & Alumni Banquet.


May 1 – Annual State of the Medical College of Georgia 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 beautiful weekend that’s in the forecast!