To accomplish great things, we must not only act

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Anatole France

Strategic Plan … Solid Future


Okay, planning may not sound like the most exciting thing we do but we just have to share with you that as we have been gathering great minds together to plot the future course of the state’s public medical school, it’s actually been pretty awesome. We have quite a committee that is leading this important strategic planning task, headed by Drs. Barbara Robinson and Jack Yu, along with the incredible Dr. Anthony Robinson of the Hull College, who is a true expert in strategic planning. We also, of course, appreciate the leadership of Jeanette Balotin and her team, on this major initiative for our school. Over the months we have been working, this has become a truly cohesive team that includes great representatives from our community, like Al Dallas from Mayor Copenhaver’s office, and Rev. Dr. Charles E. Goodman Jr. from Tabernacle Baptist Church.  They have set six priorities for MCG and key tactics to get them done. Then late last week, a group, that included MCG college and student leaders, gathered, so fittingly, at the Old Medical College of Georgia Building down on Telfair (that’s our original home, for those who don’t know), to provide their invaluable input. It was actually very cool to see these dynamic, talented  individuals pulling tables together and putting their heads together to help map out the best course for our college. We also were fortunate to have as our guest speaker Dr. William T. Mallon from the Association of American Medical Colleges, who inspired and entertained us all with common sense notions like it’s important not to spend more time planning than doing and that there are always going to be tradeoffs. More to come on this but we promise that this critical conversation about the future of our medical school is passionate, purposeful and will indeed help us get where we want to be!


185 and Proud … Solid and Soaring


So we’ve mentioned a few million times that one of the things we already are is 185 years old!! That’s right, we are old and proud to say it. Of course another way to put it is that we are one of the nation’s first medical schools!  Dec. 20 (next week!!) marks the anniversary of the Georgia Legislature passing the charter that established the Medical Academy of Georgia as the first medical school in Georgia.  A tiny handful of faculty, led by Drs. Milton Antony and his pupil, Dr. Joseph Adams Eve, gathered up seven students in two borrowed rooms in the old Augusta City Hospital and the rest, as they say, is some pretty sweet history that paved the way for an even more glorious future. To mark this auspicious day, you will find ads running this Sunday in newspapers in Augusta, of course, as well as our other campus homes in Athens, Savannah, Brunswick, Albany, and Rome, as well as Atlanta. We hope you will take a moment to check them out and to think, just a bit, of the amazing individuals who got us where we are. Think as well, of the amazing individuals – note that this includes you – who are now taking us even further. Speaking of amazing individuals, we appreciate so much the help on this project of our colleagues in Communications and Marketing, David Brond, Cathleen Caldwell, and Heather Young.


Chamber of Awesome … Bountiful Businesses  


We actually had more than a few minutes just this week to talk with some of our key community leaders about our storied past and fabulous future. It was the occasion of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Economic Luncheon where they give out the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which this year went to MAU President Randy Hatcher!  Did you know that his dad actually founded the company back in 1973 with only $500. Remer Brinson and Sue Parr were incredible hosts for this really fun gathering. Our incredible colleague, Dr. Marc Miller, was also part of the program and was, as usual, a truly exceptional representative of our university and great business to boot. It was just a terrific opportunity that we appreciate so much. Check out more about the meeting here, We are truly priviliged to live in an awesome city and to have such remarkable support.


Healthy Augusta … Powerful Priorities


Like any great relationship, support of our city is something we reciprocate and our university’s recent announcement  of its plans to partner with local organizations to help make everyone healthier is another terrific example. Healthy Augusta initiative will increase opportunities for physical activity, a healthy diet, and a smoke-free environment for the citizens of our community. In fact, a meeting was held today – who says Friday the 13th is unlucky! – to determine how best to move forward with these awesome goals. In fact, the Institute of Public and Preventive Health will provide grants to fund Healthy Augusta Community-Academic Partnerships, which are research projects that encourage participation between the people living and working in the area and our academic community. Sounds like a plan. And the priorities are definitely in order with health disparities at the top of the list.  Our thanks to Drs. Mark Hamrick and Selina Smith for their leadership here. It sounds like another great and truly beneficial opportunity.


New Friends … Great Colleagues


Speaking of reaching out, our arms were slightly longer here, but we told you in late October about our six physician colleagues from China’s Jiangsu Province spending several weeks with us. We are happy to report that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to exchange ideas and cultures and that our new friends are now safely back home. In fact, our new-found friends at the International Exchange of Jiangsu Health Department are ready to do it all again in the new year. This actually turned out to be a terrific learning opportunity for us all and we are super glad that our visitors enjoyed it.


International Reach … For Children


More news from China! Our Dr. Jatinder Bhatia has been appointed a Guest Professor at Northwest Women and Children’s Hospital in Xi’an, China. You see, this renowned neonatologist and nutrition expert, is helping the hospital with plans for a new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and other newborn services as it constructs new facilities for children and for moms. Last year Dr. Bhatia was appointed an Honorary Professor of Zhengzhou Children’s Hospital in Zhengzhou City, China, and has served as an honorary consultant to the Division of Neonatology at The Philippine Children’s Medical Center for more than 15 years. Did we mention he is also President of our Faculty Senate this year!! We say awesome on all accounts and thank him for his steadfast commitment to children and to MCG.


Medieval Medicine … Valuable Lessons


Speaking of a historical perspective and some serious outreach, we also got some awesome feedback  recently from the four corners of the world about the Diseases, Disability and Medicine in Early Medieval Europe workshop that was held for the first time right here.  The conference attracted some of the top minds on the early ideas and terminology around disability, which continue to have real relevance today as we all work to remove the physical and mental barriers disease and injury can produce. No doubt the broader issue of medical humanities is yet another area of growth and synergy  for our colleges and schools and the workshop a chance to find even more great colleagues across the globe to pursue that and more. Our congratulations to Dr. Wendy Turner and to the Division of Continuing Education for making it happen.

It’s Official … Great Go Ahead

We told you back in September that the site visit to our university by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges went well and now the final report has found GRU totally compliant with the accrediting body’s selected 39 Principles of Accreditation. Let’s hear one for the home team!!  As President Azziz said, much has been done here in relatively short order and that, once again, speaks volumes about the incredible individuals who work across our nine colleges and schools and volumes as well about what promises to be a remarkable future.  Way to go!

Serious Rocking on the Radio … For Kids


Another bit of great news as we part this week. Last week, we mentioned tuning in to the fabulous annual Children’s Hospital of Georgia Radiothon. Well a lot of folks certainly did cause more than $185,000 was raised for this awesome cause. We absolutely must thank again our community, Augusta radio stations 104.3 WBBQ FM and 96.3 KISS FM and, of course, our volunteers for their time, support and compassion. Talk about the reason for the season!



Today is the last day of class until the new year!

Jan. 16 – Alumni Association meeting in Columbus, 6 p.m., at the home of Dr. and Mrs. George McCluskey, Class of 1984.


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, noon, Summerville Campus.

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

March 6 – MCG Faculty Senate meeting and Awards Ceremony, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

March 13 – GRU University Senate Spring Assembly and Faculty Awards, 5-7:30 p.m., Alumni Center, Health Sciences Campus, Ballrooms A, B and C.

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.

May 8 – Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium, with Dr. Darrell G. Kirch, President of the Association of American Medical Colleges, as guest speaker.

May 9 – GRU Graduation, James Brown Arena.

June 12 – Investiture Ceremony, 5 p.m., location to be determined.

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.


Looks like we have another wet and wonderful weekend ahead. Enjoy!