If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”   -John Quincy Adams


Our New Department Chair…

Many of you have likely seen Dr. Steffen Meiler beating a pretty steady path back and forth across Laney-Walker Boulevard between our hospital and research buildings since 2002. He is an anesthesiologist, actually he is an internist and critical care specialist as well, who also happens to be an avid educator and researcher. He also happens to be the new Chairman of our Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine! Can I get an “Awesome?!” Those of you who know him, know that he is one of those collected individuals on the outside who is hopping inside with ideas and energy. Like talking with him about the possibilities ahead with his new job, he calmly starts laying out plans for remote monitoring of our intensive care patients and e-learning by our residents. There are also some more familiar sounding plans like expanding fellowships – pediatrics and cardiovascular anesthesiology are what he’s looking at right now. He, like so many of you, is really excited about our medical school, his chosen profession, and giving his absolute best to our students and residents and, of course, our patients and families. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Meiler and in giving him your invaluable help in moving this terrific department forward. And speaking of dedicated and inspired individuals, please also help us give a round of thanks to Dr. Manuel Castresana for his incredible interim leadership over this past year. Wow, it really is terrific to be part of this amazing team that is Georgia’s public medical school! Check out more here: http://bit.ly/1sr1pAj.

 Our Growing MD/PhD Program…

We talked a while back about Dr. Nevin Lambert being the new Director of the MD/PhD program. Well, he tells us that this year is off to a great start with a total of 27 students- up from 22 last year! Awesome- and by the way, he also tells us that across the country, the physician-scientist pool is a little, well stagnant and aging. Kinda hard to think about physician-scientists stagnating and aging, especially when you know some of ours like Dr. Larry Layman, who just happens to be program Co-Director, and Dr. Satish Rao. But the stats show that the number of physician-scientists, who are absolutely at the frontline of providing great care and finding even better care, has been essentially unchanged for a decade. Well, they are sure not stagnant here. In fact, their education alone has them on the move! For deep background on our program, students do most of their PhD work after completing their first two years of medical school. Then, they complete their clinically intensive third and fourth years. Did you know that our students can complete the PhD part of their degree here or at UGA, Georgia Tech or Georgia State University? And, right this minute, a couple of our students are headed out even further. This year we also have Irene Falk, who secured a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, at Cambridge University, see: http://bit.ly/1m04d2y; and Brett Heimlich headed off to Africa for his studies. (More to come on this soon) Check out more about the MD/PhD program here: http://bit.ly/1m043rW. Very cool.

 Our Determined Dedicated Clinicians, Staff…

Speaking of Dr. Rao and the work he – and so many of you — do to improve the lives of others, we wanted to share that he is doing a study looking at the newest drug – and only the second one approved – for irritable bowel syndrome. You see, there are still some pretty important questions he wants to answer like just how linaclotide relieves the often severe stomach pain some of these patients experience. He tells us that we really don’t even understand why some of these patients have belly pain never mind how this drug helps them. But, he is going to find out and who knows what kind of cool and insightful info he will find in that pursuit. That is what defines so many remarkable individuals here. You don’t just take what others have shared, you always want to know more, and do better for patients and families. Truly invigorating.

 And Educators Living Out Their Dream… To Enable Better Health and Better Health Care…

We are also super proud to share that the dream of Drs. Christie Palladino and Lara Stepleman to have one terrific place where educators could go and find “tested” tests in the health sciences has won the 2014 Innovation in Medical Education Award from the Southern Group on Educational Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges! This award recognizes the kind of innovation and drive it takes to not just see something that needs doing in education, but to do it. This is seriously awesome so please join us in congratulating these two terrific educators who, like you, will not settle for less than awesome. Their DREAM – Directory and Repository of Educational Assessment Measures – became reality last year and really gives busy educators one place they know they can go to find tests that are good at assessing whether students are learning what they are trying to teach. They quite reasonably figured that if you could easily peruse reviews on a car you might buy, you should be able to do the same for these important benchmarks. So our incredible faculty collaborated with the AAMC and got it done! Again, we are super proud of them. We should also note here that our Dr. Palladino is leaving in August to teach science at Ridge Spring-Monetta High School, yet another dream of hers, and we are sure she will be terrific at that as well. Super, super job all. Check out the DREAM here: http://bit.ly/TaQYRr and here: http://bit.ly/1pnibNd.

 And Students Already Making Such a Difference…

Although the temps indicate it’s already arrived, summer officially starts tomorrow! And our students, who we already know are just awesome, are celebrating early with a ‘Mid-Summer Picnic’ this very Tuesday, June 24, from 4:30-7 pm at 1850 Broad Street- right across from the Kroc Center!! Too awesome. AJ Evans, Co-Vice President of Community Service for our Class of 2017 and Veggie Truck Market Manager, invites all of you to come on down and check it out! Hopefully most of you know that the Veggie Truck is actually on Broad Street at this time every Tuesday from March through October to help ensure our neighbors in the Harrisburg community have wholesome, home-grown healthy foods readily available. Augusta Locally Grown and Good Neighbor Ministries are our students’ fabulous partners in this effort. How terrific is that?! This Tuesday will be an even bigger celebration of good health with live music, corn hole, a cooking demonstration, blueberry bingo, the opportunity to meet a master gardener, great food and just so much more. We are super proud of our students always, but their ongoing efforts to make a real difference for others is frankly extra-inspiring. We hope you and your family can stop in and enjoy the food and fun.

Is Who You Are… And Evident as Your Stories Are Told

And finally today, we keep saying we think communication is important and we, fortunately, keephearing the same thing from many of you. So, we wanted to make sure you have seen the new and improved GReport, which has a bit more of a news edge and timely, global purpose to better ensure we all know more about what is happening at our university. There is traditional news, like Dr. Meiler being named Chairman, as well as nice feature photos, video, and shorter pieces about people and events, from personal achievements to community efforts. While it’s officially sent out twice a week, the website is regularly updated so you can pretty much always find new info. Check it out here: http://greport.gru.edu/. And, by the way, the print edition still comes to you twice a month. Congratulations to our colleagues in the Office of Communications and Marketing for making it happen.

 Upcoming Events

June 24 – “Hiring Without Backfiring” presented by Jeff Thompson, JD, is the last of a three-part management training series offered by Human Resources in collaboration with the General Counsel of GR Health Systems. Mr. Thompson is a partner with the Macon office of Constancy, Brooks & Smith, LLP. For questions about registration or more information, contact Wanda O’Brien, Senior Training Specialist at 706-721-4054.

June 26 – Healthy Augusta workshop, “Using 2014 County Health Rankings to Inspire Community Action in the CSRA,” Augusta-Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair Street, 1-4 pm Featured speaker, Stephanie G. Johnson, Community Coach, University of Wisconsin-Madison Population Health Institute. Register at http://bit.ly/1icV6Mu. The GRU Institute of Public and Preventive Health provides infrastructure support to Healthy Augusta, a community collaborative to improve health.

Aug. 6 – First day of class for our freshmen!

Sept. 6 – Please mark your calendars for the university’s Day of Service to the community.

Oct. 11 – White Coat Ceremony, 2 pm, Bell Auditorium.

Oct. 16 – Opening of the J. Harold Harrison MD Education Commons! More details to come.

Enjoy your weekend and the official first day of the summer of 2014!


About Staff

Augusta University Staff is a collection of talented writers, photographers, students and professionals; all working together to promote and support the amazing impacts and every day wins of Augusta University and the people that make up JagNation.