Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”                          -Khalil Gibran

Heating Things Up … Can be Very Cool

A happy and truly warm Friday to you all. We so hope everyone fared OK during our area’s second major bout with frozen precipitation in as many months and that we are all done with this for a long while! Because, as you all know, it’s time to warm things up in Augusta! And, here’s one terrific way our medical school is doing just that. It’s called “Igniting the Dream of Medicine,” and it’s happening right here in our beautiful city tomorrow. Several hundred high school and college students who are thinking just maybe they want to become physicians will gather at the Health Sciences Building where they will gain a ton of insight from students and faculty that may just help them decide whether to do it and how to do it well!  This awesome program was the brainchild of Senior LaShon Sturgis about three years ago. She was President of the Student National Medical Association and thought this kind of information-filled, easily accessible program might just help, particularly students underrepresented in medicine who don’t already have strong physician mentors available to them. Sophomore Kojo Dadzie, the current SNMA President, has these important reigns this year, along with the terrific help of LaShon, our Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs, and so many other wonderful students and faculty. We welcome these young people to our campus tomorrow, salute their interest in the awesome field of medicine, and promise them they won’t find better mentors, information, or medical education anywhere. Great job all. Learn more here

Top of the Top … Better than Best 

And here’s what we are talking about. Last year’s incredible $66 million gift by our 1948 graduate, the late Dr. J. Harold Harrison, to his alma mater for student scholarship and faculty endowed chairs is, of course, at the top of our forever list, not just for fundraising but for incredible commitment to making our medical school and future generations of physicians even better. We shared back in December that his remarkable gift had made the top 10 gifts from individuals to hospitals or health organizations for 2013, see Well, now The Chronicle of Philanthropy puts Dr. Harrison among the top 50 charitable donors in 2013 to a wide variety of causes. We say: Awesome. (We missed saying that last week!!). The list was topped by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and Texas real estate and energy mogul George Mitchell. Our Dr. Harrison and his wife Sue were among 42 donors who gave $50 million or more. In fact, they had already given his medical school $10 million and use of his prestigious name for the J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons. Wow. This really continues to be an incredibly uplifting story and we continue to be more than eternally thankful for their generosity and commitment to MCG. Check out more here: and here

Making a Case … And Winning One

Okay, since we are on a roll and talking about the fabulous J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons, which will be opening this fall, we also want to give a shout out to our university’s Office of Advancement. The office won an award for the case statement produced to help raise dollars for this important new academic home for our medical school and for state-of-the-art interprofessional health sciences education. The Award of Excellence for fundraising writing was announced earlier this month at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District III – which represents the Southeast – Conference. Our congratulations and thanks to our colleagues.

Academically Awesome … Socially Sound

We’ve got to give an incredible high five to one more student this week.  MD/PhD student Irene Falk is among 40 of our nation’s “most academically brilliant and socially committed young people” to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship for her awesomeness. We understand that Irene is the first Gates Cambridge Scholar from our institution and that she and the other 39 members of this impressive cohort were selected from a total field of 800 applicants. Her group represents 22 private and 13 public institutions and 21 states. We just have to say awesome here again. Irene, who has completed two years of medical school, now will be doing her graduate work at the University of Cambridge looking at better therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, then coming back to us to finish up medical school. We simply could not be more proud of her and appreciative of the generosity of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which made this incredible learning opportunity possible for Irene and so many more brilliant young people. This is absolutely a great way to invest in the future of our dear land. With folks like Irene and the Gates and Harrison families how can we be anything but the best??!  Definitely more to come on this!

True Masters … In a Life-Changing Game

Speaking of generosity and commitment to a better land, how about this week’s news that our university will receive $6 million from the Masters Tournament to help fund a new cancer research building as well as a camp for children with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. The gift was announced Tuesday by the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, which promotes and manages the tournament’s philanthropic efforts throughout our 13-county area. So the Masters, which, as we all know, brings incredible prestige and notoriety to our beautiful city, will now help us find better ways to treat cancer and help children dealing with physical and mental adversity have some serious fun. Seriously this is just great, great news for us from an organization with a clearly enduring commitment to local nonprofits. As we said on Valentine’s Day, the wonderful news we are privileged to share is amazingly inspirational as are the wonderful individuals and collective efforts behind it.

Music on the Mind … Beauty in the Heart

Valentine’s Day in fact was a terrific day for our medical school. We had the privilege of hosting a super-fun alumni gathering in Atlanta that included the incredible insight and music of Dr. Richard Kogan. You may know that he is a gifted psychiatrist and concert pianist – how is that for multitasking – and he beautifully wraps the two together, revealing the mental health struggles of famous composers while playing the beautiful music they made possible. What a great message this sends of triumph over adversity and of the incredible potential in each of us. He’s certainly a living testament: He’s a graduate of Juilliard School of Music and Harvard Medical School and is college and artistic director of the Weill Cornell Music and Medicine Program. A truly great time was had by all and the sweet music was definitely good for the body and soul.

Successful Closure … Important Start

Here’s more news that’s good for the soul and the future of our state. Commissioner Frank Berry of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities recently shared that the Department of Justice’s oversight of our state’s public mental health care system has been brought to successful closure. The Department of Justice investigation began nearly seven years ago with painfully difficult reports of preventable risk and harm to some patients at the state’s psychiatric hospitals. While there is still much work to do, much good has come out of this endeavor, including a partnership between our university and medical school and East Central Regional Hospital that has helped bolster the care provided to patients and the educational efforts of our institution. This is a testament to real progress in the care of people with serious mental illness and we are delighted to partner with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and East Central Regional Hospital to make it happen. Of particular note is the exceptional commitment of hospital administrator Nan Lewis and her team.

Hitting Stroke …. Where it Counts

One more bit of seriously heartening news before we part this week. Our medical school had a super showing at the recent American Heart Association International Stroke Conference, which is the major stroke conference. Drs. Susan Fagan and Adviye Ergul, two of our strong lineup of stroke researchers, had 10 abstracts presented from just their labs! They took graduate students Maha Coucha, Sherif Hafez, and Sahar Soliman; Postdocs Mohammed Abdelsaid, Tauheed Ishrat, and Weiguo Li; as well as undergrad Jessica Kaczmarek who has been working with Dr. Ergul. However these guys weren’t just along for the ride, they presented posters and gave talks as well. We like such a terrific showing of support against the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Another “way to go” is absolutely in order!



Feb. 22 – Igniting the Dream, a one-day conference for high school or college undergraduates interested in a career in medicine., see


Feb. 24 – Dr. Bill Thompson, Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Co-Chair of the Healthy People 2020 Health-Related Quality of Life component,  will discuss “Assessing the Impact of Behavioral Risk Factors on HRQOL Using Large Nationally Representative Data Sources,” from noon-2 p.m., Room 130, Auditoria Center. Lunch will be served. Visit for more info.


Feb. 25 – Dr. Paulo Costa, Director of Advanced Analytics at Cisco, will discuss “Using Analytics to Drive Innovation,” at 3 p.m. in room 170 of the University Hall on the Summerville Campus. The talk is part of the Hull College of Business’ Innovation in Management Speaker Series.


Feb. 27 –EII Health Sciences Education Grand Rounds, Using Mobile, Video Analysis Technology to Record and Evaluate Student Interviews: A Pilot Study, Dr. Marlene Rosenkoetter, Department of Biobehavioral Nursing,  and Dr. Deborah Smith, Department of Physiological and Technological Nursing, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., EC 1210.

Feb. 28 – 2014 GRU Augusta Half Marathon and 10K, cosponsored by the Augusta Sports Council. Starts at 8 a.m. Find out more here:

March 3 – President Ricardo Azziz’s State of Georgia Regents University and Georgia Regents Health System presentation, noon, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre on the Summerville Campus. A live webcast will be offered in room EC-1218 of the Health Sciences Building. A limited number of boxed lunches will be available at the conclusion of the speech.. Shuttles will pick up at two locations on the Health Sciences Campus: outside the old College of Dental Medicine building on Laney Walker beginning at 10 a.m. and the north entrance of the Annex beginning at 10:15 a.m. Both shuttles will run on a 30-minute rotation 


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

March 7 – EII Health Science Education Grand Rounds, Passing on the Fundamentals of Patient Care to a Tech-Saturated Generation of Learners, Dr. John Richard Pittman Jr., Visiting Professor, Emory University, 8-9 a.m., BT 1810.

March 8 – The American Heart Association’s Heart Walk gets underway at 8 a.m. at the North Augusta Greenway. Get some friends and family together for some a fun, healthy activity and raise money to take on the country’s number one killer. This one really hits close to home since MCG  ranks 7th nationally in AHA funding and 1st in Georgia.  Learn more here:

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.

March 17 – Dr. Satish K. Tripathi, the 15th President of the University at Buffalo, kicks off the 2014 Presidential Lecture Series at noon, Lee Auditorium, Health Sciences Campus.  


March 21 – Match Day, noon, Lee Auditorium.


March 21 – Nobel Prize winner Dr. Andrew V. Schully is the keynote speaker for GRU’s 30th Annual Graduate Research Day. Dr. Schully, an endocrinologist, will present at 12:30 p.m. in Room 1222 of the Health Sciences Building. For more info, visit


March 29 – The 14tth annual Southeast Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) at Fort Gordon. For more information visit and

April 3-4 – Composite Sate Board for Medical Educational quarterly board meeting will be held on the Southeast Campus, Savannah.

April 17 – EII Health Sciences Education Grand Rounds, Teaching Laparoscopic Skills through Validated Measures, Dr. Kelli Braun, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, noon-1 p.m., HB 4010.

April 18 – MCG Alumni Association Raft Debate, 5-7 p.m., location to be determined.

April 24-27 – The 2014 Alumni Weekend including the MCG Class Reunions & Alumni Banquet. Actor and Writer Ben Stein and Fast Company magazine founding Editor William “Bill” Taylor are the keynote speakers. For more info visit,


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.  Reception follows at the Old Medical College Building.

May 9 – GRU Graduation, James Brown Arena.

June 12 – Investiture Ceremony, 5-6:30 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.


Enjoy your weekend!