Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.”   – Hippocrates


It’s a New Year… So Welcome to Our New Residents, Faculty and Staff…

It may be hot outside, but it’s a super cool time of year! Because it’s time to welcome to campus 162 new residents – the largest incoming group ever! In fact, our Graduate Medical Education Office expanded orientation from four to five days this year just to make sure everybody had time to get the info they need to get off to a terrific start at our medical school and Health System! This fabulous group, who will be training in 44 different programs – yes, we went up by two (radiation oncology and a reinstatement of forensic psychiatry training) – comes to us from 24 different countries, Candice Henderson, the new Manager of our residency program tells us. As we set out on this glorious new academic year, please let us all give a warm ‘Southern welcome’ to our new staff and faculty as well and help them with any orientation or onboarding needs. We are delighted to welcome you all to ‘the MCG Family’ and hope you will find us and Augusta a great place to be!

Congratulations to a Long-Successful Residency Program…

Here’s some more great news on the residency front! The psychology residency we have in partnership with the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center has received federal support from the Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA. While that is obviously great news any time, this is the fifth consecutive funding cycle we have received this incredible support and – drumroll here – ours is one of only four programs nationally to have funding since the grant program’s inception in 2002. Truly terrific and our hats are off to Dr. Alex Mabe, the Director, and his outstanding colleague and Co-Director, Dr. Lorraine Braswell at the VA. Our already strong partners at East Central Regional Hospital are essential to this as well. This year, that relationship has enabled us to add a special emphasis program in forensic psychology, a great parallel to what’s happening with the forensic psychiatry fellowship starting again as well. Dr. Mabe tells us they also plan to grow from nine to 10 psychology residents next year! Please know that a true interdisciplinary approach to care is always a major emphasis of this program and so is serving the underserved, which is just terrific. Our congratulations to our many partners in this important endeavor.

And to Efforts to Help Educate the Next Generation…

OK, one more psychology note. Our Dr. Kim Halbur, probably best known for her day job as Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs, is also a psychologist. And, she is helping her future colleagues be great practitioners by figuring out the best way to approach their practice and their patients. It’s called theoretical orientation and Dr. Halbur just had the third edition of her textbook, “Developing Your Theoretical Orientation in Counseling and Psychotherapy,” published. It’s her fourth book altogether!! Thanks Dr. Halbur for being such an advocate and leader for colleagues and patients alike. This kind of work is clearly in keeping with what we are all privileged to do here: educate the next generation!

With Terrific Continuity and Skill…

Just one more residency note! Dr. Julie Dahl-Smith is the new Director of our Family Medicine Residency Program. She’s already managed the department’s Osteopathic Residency Program for more than a dozen years, and she’ll have the help of Dr. Jacqueline DuBose as Associate Director in this new job. Talk about a dynamic duo! This is big news for a program that has been under the same great leadership since 1982. (BTW: that is the same year we first established our psychology residency). That mainstay has been Dr. Paul Forney, who will keep his steady hand in training and mentoring residents in our fabulous Family Medicine Center and keep on keeping on as the department Vice Chair. How is that for remarkable continuity!

And Even Some Help from that Next Generation…

We hope you all had a safe and happy July 4 last week and also that you remember that when we last talked, we talked about medical school admissions and our upcoming summit on this super important function. We hope as well that some of you marked your calendars for that July 16 event on our campus to learn more and lend your insight. Well guess what? One of our incredible third-year students, Nora Zeidan, is the ONLY medical student in the country to be part of a national committee looking at how medical schools do student interviews. The bottom line of this Association of American Medical Colleges Holistic Review Project is to optimize diversity and selection of the absolute best students. We like that and know that Nora is a terrific representative for students everywhere. Congratulations Nora and thank you for already making a difference in your chosen profession.

By Setting Terrific Examples…

Here’s another awesome example of making a difference. Hopefully, most of you have heard about our ECMO program? We started this back in 1985, the first in the Southeast to offer it and one of the nation’s first programs. It’s a true lifesaver for critically ill children because it takes over the work of the heart and lungs for a period of days or even weeks, until the child can recover from what ails them. While most of us don’t think about it, the heart beating and us breathing takes a ton of endless energy and sometimes, really sick children just don’t have it. Well our ECMO program has won the prestigious ELSO – Extracorporeal Life Support Organization – Award for Excellence in Life Support for an unprecedented fifth time. Can I get an: Awesome! It was Dr. Bill Kanto, then chief of neonatology, and Dr. Charlie Howell who made these first bold moves to offer ECMO to children so many years ago. Today we congratulate and thank them, as well as our incredible neonatologists and pediatric surgeons, Neonatal ECMO Coordinator Linda Wise, and the entire Neonatal ICU team for providing such terrific care to the sickest of our young patients. What a team and what a purpose. Seriously great.

Such as Great Citizenship…

Before we sign off today, we also have to tell you just one more way we are making a difference in children’s lives (and what a great place that is to start!). Our Dr. Erhard Bieberich, is a biochemist who studies some pretty complicated stuff like how during development cells get and stay where they need to be. Like so many of you, he is one of those individuals who just really loves what he does. So he and his friend, Shishir Chokshi, a GRU alum who owns Tire City Potters downtown, were talking as friends do and decided to meld their love for their work in a weeklong cool camp for kids. This week, the kids have been learning fun things about microorganisms , like the bacteria we find in the soil, our food, and us. We have to insert a fun fact here: Actinobacteria contributes to the workability and consistency of clay and also happens to be a source for antibiotics that fight bad bacteria that hang out in soil! Talk about multitasking! The super fun for kids comes when Mr. Chokshi and his volunteers help them turn a favorite microbe into a clay work of art. Too awesome. Check out the cute stories here: http://bit.ly/1mGIehb and here: http://bit.ly/1mGI8pG. Ji-Na Kong, a third-year graduate student at GRU, and Kara Hardin, a STAR student at GRU and undergraduate student at Georgia Tech, helped out with this too fun educational effort. Way to go everyone!

Upcoming Events

July 16 – MCG Alumni Association New Student Welcome Dinner, 6 pm, Harvest Moon Café, Rome.

July 18 – MCG Alumni Association, a mentoring dinner for our students who are from Savannah, 6 p.m., Savannah Golf Club.

July 25 – MCG Alumni Association, New Student Welcome Dinner, 6 pm, Savannah Golf Club, Savannah.

Aug. 4 – MCG Alumni Association Freshman Brunch, 10:30 am, The Augusta Marriott.

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

Aug. 28 – MCG Alumni Association, Athens Regional Reception, 6 pm, at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Ellison.

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

Sept. 6 – MCG Foundation 60th Anniversary Celebration in conjunction with the Alumni Association’s Augusta Regional Reception, 6 pm, Augusta Marriott.

Sept. 7 – MCG Alumni Association Board Meeting, 9:30 a.m., GRU Health Sciences Campus.

Oct. 2 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Valdosta, 6 pm, Valdosta Country Club.

Oct. 7 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception in Savannah, 6 pm, Savannah Golf Club.

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

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

Feb. 24 – MCG Alumni Association Planning Committee, Nominating Committee, Board Meeting and Regional Event, starting at 2:30 pm, Idle Hour Country Club, Macon.

March 5 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception, 6 pm, Northeast History Museum, Gainesville.

April 17 – Raft Debate, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association, 6 pm, Lee Auditorium.

April 23-26 – Alumni Weekend.

May 4 – MCG Graduation Dinner, 6:30, location to be determined.

May 7 – Hooding Ceremony, 2 pm, Bell Auditorium.

May 8 – Graduation, 2 p.m., Civic Center.


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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.