“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Making Matches … And Careers
Next Friday is a seriously super day at our medical school as well as those across the country. It’s Match Day and at the strike of Noon EDT, our students will learn where they will be pursuing their graduate medical education. This year is particularly awesome since the first group of our students at the Partnership campus in Athens will be participating in this momentous Match. This is such a huge deal in the professional and personal lives of our students and their families. As always, we wish them the absolute best and remind them that they are the absolute best. Did you know that last year, 186 of our students obtained residency positions at 86 programs in 36 states? Talk about spreading the word of the incredible docs that we are privileged to educate! A big ‘awesome’ is definitely in order. This theme this year is Childhood Dreams and we definitely hope that our students are living out theirs.
Please join in the huge fun in the Lee Auditorium or you can watch it live here http://www.gru.edu/stream/. Join in the MCG match day social fun on http://bit.ly/MCGMatch2014. Also live tweeting will be going on using the hashtags #MATCH2014 and #MCGMatchDay on the MCG Twitter page, https://twitter.com/GRU_MCG. You’ve got lots of options so please join us some kind of way!
When Hearts Fail … Maybe Stem Cells Can Help
Since we are celebrating milestones, this is another neat one. A team from our electrophysiology lab, led by Dr. Adam Berman, recently joined a national clinical trial that team members hope will give hope to patients with congestive heart failure who have run out of options. It’s a really cool technique where they take stem cells out of the bone marrow of the patient, send them off to Aastrom Biosciences, which has developed technology to exponentially multiply the number of those cells, then Dr. Berman injects the cells back into weak points in their heart. The hope is the cells will help the heart recover, maybe even generate new blood vessels and tissue. Our patient was the very first in Georgia and we are super proud of our team and hospital for making these cutting edge therapies available to our patients. Dr. Berman shared that it has been a terrific learning opportunity for him to work closely with some colleagues that are out of his usual group, including Dr. Vamsi Kota in hematology/oncology, who is retrieving the stem cells from study participants. Drs. Jonathan Murro and Kent Nilsson at our Partnership campus in Athens also are helping recruit patients for the study. This whole deal gets an ‘awesome’ on so many levels and a ‘way to go’ to an ever-expanding team. Check out this super story by WJBF-TV’s Jennie Montgomery on this innovative study at http://bit.ly/wjbfStemCell.
Or When the Rhythm is Bad … Maybe this New Defibrillator Will
One more heartening milestone! A team led by Dr. Robert Sorrentino also was recently the first in our area and second in Georgia to use a new implantable defibrillator that, like pacemakers, can be placed under the skin. Amazingly this defibrillator can do its job without actually touching the heart. As you may know, defibrillators deliver an electric stimulation to the heart to correct a potentially life threatening heart rhythm. Also, the docs can use anatomical landmarks, instead of lots of X-rays, to figure out where to put this new device. Dr. Sorrentino says this device is a great option for a lot of active individuals. We say: Terrific! You can check out Tom Corwin’s great story on this in The Augusta Chronicle at http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/health/2014-03-07/new-defibrillator-offers-patients-options.
Our Students … Reaching Out to Our Alums
Speaking of important connections, a shout-out to the great group of students who have already volunteered their time to help out during the upcoming MCG Spring Phonathon! They will be calling alums who are scheduled to have their class reunions during the April 25-27 Alumni Weekend to encourage them to come back to see us! We so hope they will. Like our students today, our alumni are simply the best; making awesome contributions to their beloved profession and maintaining an abiding love for their medical school. Classes celebrating reunions this year are 1954, 1964, 1969, 1974, 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, and 2004. Our stellar student lineup so far includes Tom Hardy, Amina Farooq, Victoria Vaughn, John Shapiro, Robert Liebman, Kathleen Menezes, and Kelli Wheeler. We so hope other students will join them for food, fun and kinship with our alums. You can check it out here: http://giving.gru.edu/MCGphonathon or reach out to Jennifer Russ in Advancement at email@example.com or 706-721-6215.
Marvelous Macon … More Awesome Alums
We were privileged to visit recently with many of our awesome alums at a Regional Reception in Macon. This was a particularly eventful gathering because Dr. Bill Brooks and his dear wife Veronica were wrapping up 13 years hosting this regional get-together. What terrific hosts and supporters they have been! We are so pleased to share as well that Dr. Billy Jarrard and his terrific wife, Cynthia, have taken up this super important role. We also are happy to share that Dr. Jarrard reports a renewed excitement for educating the next generation, especially when he looks at the age of so many of us already out there! BTW, son William is with us now as a part of that next generation!!
Public Health … Is Everybody’s Issue
Here’s another recent and important gathering where our medical school also had an awesome presence. The Georgia Public Health Association held its 85th Annual Meeting earlier this week with our very own Dr. Kathryn Martin presiding as President and Dr. Paul Wallach giving the keynote. This is quite a group with more than 1,100 members including students and faculty from the nine schools and programs of public health in Georgia as well as membership from our state’s 159 county boards of health, state office personnel, and the 18 district health offices. Dr. Martin tells us that this year the group has its eye on building healthier communities and it’s hard to argue with that. To help that along, we are building a stronger emphasis on public health into our medical school curriculum. In fact, in his talk to the auspicious group, Dr. Wallach gave a historical timeline reflecting public health successes like the polio vaccination as well as sharing the unfortunate reality that, despite 100 years of effort, public health doesn’t have the presence it merits in medical education. We say: Leaders such as Drs. Wallach and Martin, along with the support and knowledge of groups such as the GPHA, will get this done and help us all ultimately embrace a healthier life. Much more to come as these important curriculum changes move forward.
Not Smoking … Equals Better Public and Personal Health
While we are speaking of public health, we simply have to bring up that we all know that there isn’t much worse for us than smoking. In fact, the CDC tells us that cigarette smoking is THE leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., yet better than 18 percent of American adults still partake. We are pleased to share that the Cancer Center has sponsored the SMILE video competition to give all employees and students the opportunity to use their creative talents to hopefully help whittle that percentage. Please take a minute to look at the creativity of some of our folks here http://gru.edu/tobaccofree/video-vote.php and vote for your favorite by March 19, National Kick Butts Day. We say: We continue to be amazed by the diverse talents of those we work with and that these butts definitely need kicking!!
Share What You Know … With the World
Finally today, if you have a video of a professional nature on a variety of topics that you want to share with the world, consider reaching out to Caleb Rule, the university’s social media coordinator, who has created a YouTube site for just that. Check out www.youtube.com/GRUProfessionalEd and you likely will already see some familiar faces! Our Emergency Medicine Department already has this site rocking. You can reach out to Caleb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 http://news.gru.edu/archives/11489.
March 24 – The Office of Diversity & Inclusion, MCG Office of Student & Multicultural Affairs, College of Nursing and Lamba Alliance at GRU present the 3rd Annual LGBTQ Health Awareness Week, which includes a Patient-Provider Panel and Community Resource Fair on Monday, March 24 at noon in CL-1101 (Hamilton Wing) and a presentation titled, “Diversity vs. Inclusion in Academia and in Practice” by Laura Hein, PhD, MSN, RN from the University of South Carolina on Tuesday, March 25 at noon in EC-1222 (Allied Health Building). Additional events are scheduled for Wednesday through Friday. For more information, visit tiny.cc/GRUCO4H.
March 29 – The 14th annual Southeast Medical Wilderness Adventure Race (MedWAR) at Fort Gordon. For more information visit http://www.medwar.org/southeast/ and https://www.facebook.com/medwar.southeast.
April 3-4 – Composite State Board of Medical Examiners 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 –History of Health Sciences Lecture Series talk by Bill Andrews, Interim Chair and Program Director of the GRU Department of Medical Illustration on “The Gravid Uterus,” noon-1 p.m. in the Greenblatt Library’s Historical Collections and Archives Room. A copy of the rare book donated by MCG Alum Dr. Leslie Wilkes is on display.
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, http://grualumni.com/alumniweekend.
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., 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 www.grhealth.org (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 http://gru.edu/cancer/tobaccofree/.
Check out our MCG Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/grumcg and Twitter page as well.
Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!!