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Legacy of

LEADERSHIP A look at some of our alumni, faculty and administrators and their leadership contributions to medicine



VOL. 4

NO. 1

EDICINE M A Publication of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University

Medical College of Georgia Medicine is produced bi-annually by the Georgia Health Sciences University Division of Communications and Marketing with financial support from the Medical College of Georgia at GHSU. GHSU President Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. Medical College of Georgia Dean Peter F. Buckley, M.D. Interim Vice President for Communications and Marketing Sheila O’Neal

on the COVER

Legacy of Leadership Our “wall of fame” is full of physicians who have excelled in leadership roles


Director of University Communications Jack Evans Editor Damon Cline Art Direction/Layout P.J. Hayes Design Photographer Phil Jones


Writers Toni Baker Damon Cline Christine Hurley Deriso Jennifer Scott Stacey Hudson

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©2011 Georgia Health Sciences University

Medical College of Georgia Medicine welcomes letters to the editor and submissions to the Viewpoints column. Typed essays (approximately 750 words) on health care issues should be submitted to: Damon Cline, Editor GHSU, FI-1044 Augusta, GA 30912 706-721-4706 phone 800-328-6057 fax


News at a Glance Student Spotlight Paul Mayor


The Chair



38 42 44

Dr. Bruce V. MacFadyen Drs. E. Dan DeLoach and LaMar S. McGinnis

Gift Planning Class Notes Alumni in Focus

Dr. Donald E. Baxter

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” —JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

From the Dean at MCG Peter F. Buckley, M.D.

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20 26 40

Lewis Manuscript Published A GHSU history book is available in hardback more than 50 years after it was written

From Camper to Clinician MedWAR racers practice wilderness medicine

Serendipity Native Irishman Peter Buckley never thought he’d stay in U.S., much less become Dean

A Brighter Day Grant allows students to give hope to mentally ill homeless

Homecoming 2011 Scenes from the MCG festivities

It’s a great time for leadership at GHSU


pring is a wonderful time to be at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University. The campus is in bloom, the weather is mild and students are bounding with energy and anticipation. But it’s not just the season that makes our university and medical college a great place to be right now. We are in the early days of a new and exciting era in leadership, an era that promises to transform the institution into one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers and top-50 research universities. GHSU President Ricardo Azziz’s focus on leadership and workforce development will help us attract and retain the best minds at MCG and foster a culture of effectiveness, accountability and excellence. I was deeply honored in February when Dr. Azziz decided to name me MCG Dean after serving as an interim. After having the pleasure of working with him and his inspiring leadership team over the past several months, I can unequivocally assure you we are united and, as a team, committed to making one of the nation’s first and finest medical colleges even better.

We are not, however, working in a vacuum. Leadership is a team sport, and we are consistently reminded by our collective achievements that MCG’s greatest asset is its people. Together, we unite to train tomorrow’s leaders today. It is fitting, then, that we have chosen this edition of Georgia Medicine to spotlight some of the MCG alumni, faculty and administrators who have answered the call to leadership over the years. I hope you enjoy reading their stories, as well as learning about some of the new developments on our campus. As your new Dean, I want you to know that you can count on me to represent your interests, so please don’t hesitate to let me know what’s on your mind. In turn, I will be counting on the support of alumni, faculty and friends to help make our medical college – and the entire GHSU enterprise – a premier institution renowned for its educational quality, clinical excellence and research prowess. Let’s lead the way together and make every season here a little brighter. Q

News at a glance

University name changes, medical school remains MCG Q On Feb. 1 the university officially adopted the name Georgia Health Sciences University and applied the Medical College of Georgia name exclusively to the medical school. President Ricardo Azziz said the GHSU name better reflects the scope of its modern-day mission and better positions it to achieve its overall goal: To become a leading academic health center and top-50 research university while transforming the institution and the region into a health care and biomedical research destination. MCG is now applied only to the entity formerly known as the School of Medicine, which was chartered in 1828 as the Medical Academy of Georgia. The name change also allows the university’s other four units, also previously referred to as “schools” to be designated “colleges” – the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of

Dental Medicine, the College of Graduate Studies and the College of Nursing. The university has undergone five previous name changes in its 183-year history and had been called MCG continuously since 1950, the year the University System of Georgia declared the institution an autonomous university. Changing the university’s name has been discussed off and on since the early 1980s. The idea was revisited recently when a survey of faculty and administrators at health sciences institutions across the country showed roughly half had never heard of MCG, and of those who had, only a third thought it was a health sciences university. Most respondents believed it to be a stand-alone medical school. The survey, conducted by Kennesaw State University’s A.L. Burruss Institute for Public Service and Research, showed that overall only 18 percent of respondents knew MCG was a comprehensive health sciences university. O

Learn More: for more background on the decision to change names as well as the history of the university’s various names during the past 183 years.


Spring 11

Former AAMC advisor to oversee GHSU clinical operations

Timeline pushed back on Education Commons building

Q A health care executive with

Q The 190,000-square-foot Education Commons building – which will feature stateof-the-art instructional facilities and serve as the new home for the medical college – is on temporary hold after failing to secure funding during the recent legislative session. Though the $101 million project was included in the fiscal year 2012 bond package recommended by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, it was not included in Gov. Nathan Deal’s recommendations nor added by legislators in the House or Senate before the session ended, resulting in a delay of at least one year. GHSU officials had hoped the five-story facility, which would be connected via elevated walkway to the new College of Dental Medicine building on the university’s south campus, would be constructed by 2017 to help expand medical school enrollment to 300 as part of a long-range plan to address the state’s physician shortage. Georgia is currently in the bottom 10 percent of physicians per capita. The Georgia Legislature pledged $9 million in the 2009 budget to plan and design the facility. Atlanta architectural firm HOK was selected to design the building and Gleeds Worldwide, another Atlanta-based firm, was hired as program manager. At least $25 million of the project, the secondlargest capital expenditure in university history, will need to come from private sources. O

more than 30 years of operating and consulting experience has been selected to lead Georgia Health Sciences University’s clinical enterprise. David S. Hefner, the Senior Advisor of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, has been appointed Executive Vice President, Clinical Affairs at GHSU and its health system. He has been serving part time while completing and transferring his responsibilities at the AAMC. He becomes full time in the newly created EVP position July 1. “We concluded David is the ideal candidate to lead our clinical enterprise toward becoming a world-class health system. He has had extensive experience in leading large, integrated medical centers, all of which have achieved best-in-class stature in a number of key metrics,” GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said. “I am confident that he will bring patient care quality and safety innovations, business expertise, cross-collaborations across the spectrum of research, education and patient care, and creative leadership to the position.” Hefner will also become the chief executive of the health system and the Physicians Practice Group. He will also work with the GHSU Provost and Deans to integrate research, teaching and patient-care activities to an even higher degree. “I have known David for several years – he is a wonderful colleague and an inspiring leader,” MCG Dean Peter Buckley said. Hefner has held progressively responsible health care positions during the past three decades, including President of the University of Chicago Medical Center and Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Texas at Austin and his master’s degree in public health administration at Brigham Young University. O

Architectural rendering of the Education Commons building

GEORGIA Medicine


Hobbs named Alumni Association President Q Dr. Joseph Hobbs, a 1974 MCG graduate and Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine, was installed as President of the School of Medicine Alumni Association during Homecoming festivities in April. He replaces Dr. W. Scott Bohlke, a family practice physician from Bulloch County and 1992 graduate. Hobbs, who earned his undergraduate degree at Mercer University, joined the MCG faculty after completing his residency at MCG in family medicine. He holds the Joseph W. Tollison, M.D., Distinguished Chair. The Augusta native recently completed terms as Board Member of the Council on Graduate Medical Education and as Past Treasurer of the American Board of Family Medicine, the secondlargest medical specialty board in the United States. He is also former President of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the national advocacy organization that helps develop and disseminate primary care education and research resources. Hobbs, as a current faculty member, said he is in a unique position to more actively engage alumni in transformational activities occurring at GHSU and within MCG. “I’d like to see the association align new activities to those that are priorities for the university’s success through projects such as scholarships, philanthropy and advocacy, while maintaining the relevance of activities to association membership and leadership,” he said. Hobbs said he plans to launch a membership drive to boost association ranks, emphasizing resident physicians training at the university – many of whom go on to practice in Georgia communities – as well as MCG faculty members and the college’s community-based teachers. “We do a great job with our M.D. graduates, but we haven’t provided a lot of effort engaging our residents, fellows and nonMCG trained faculty. There are many untapped opportunities to build an ongoing relationship with these important members of the MCG community,” said Hobbs, a member of the association since graduation and a board member for several years. He said he will work with the association’s President-Elect, Dr. Henry D. Cline, a radiation oncologist from Atlanta, to ensure initiatives developed during his year reflect the board’s views and provide a seamless transition to the following year. Hobbs said the association may consider a name change now that the School of Medicine has been redesignated as the Medical College of Georgia. Hobbs recently completed the Bishop Leadership Program, a one-year fellowship that prepares senior academic physicians and educators for careers in top academic medicine posts. The Augusta native and his wife, Janice, a retired public school teacher, have three children. O


Spring 11

QGHSU has recently welcomed

the following individuals to its management team: Dr. Mark W. Hamrick, bone biologist and Professor in GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia and College of Graduate Studies, has been named Interim Vice President for Research. Hamrick is a grant reviewer for several national associations and foundations and his research in improving bone strength and wound healing is funded by the U.S. Department of the Army and the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Charles G. Howell, Chief of the Section of Pediatric Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery at GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia, has been named surgery department Chairman. Howell, a 1973 GHSU graduate and faculty member for more than 30 years, has served as Interim Chairman since November. Dr. Sheldon Ellis Litwin, Director of Cardiovascular Imaging at the University of Utah, has been named Chief of Cardiology in GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia Department of Medicine. He specializes in general cardiology, and cardiac imaging. He researches obesity and weight loss on the heart. Dr. Leonard Daniel Reeves, a family physician from Rome, Ga., and former Assistant Director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Floyd Medical Center, has been named Assistant Dean of Northwest Georgia Clinical Campus in Rome. O

Webb named Regents Professor Q Dr. Clinton Webb, Chairman of the Department of Physiology and Herbert S. Kupperman Chair of Cardiovascular Disease, has been named a Regents Professor by the University System of Georgia. A Regents Professorship represents the highest academic status bestowed by the University System of Georgia. Webb, a faculty member since 1999, is also a Professor of surgery, physiology and graduate studies. He was principal investigator on an $11 million National Institutes of Health Program Project grant investigating the relationship between pro-inflammatory mediators called cytokines and high blood pressure, as well as an NIH grant exploring a novel pathway to treat erectile dysfunction. “Dr. Webb is an accomplished researcher and educator,” said Dr. Gretchen Caughman, Interim Provost, in a nomination letter to the Board of Regents. “He is an outstanding scientist and mentor. His leadership capabilities have been noted by a number of national organizations and his commitment to mentoring has led to success stories for a number of junior faculty.” O GHSU Southeast clinical campus, the St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System in Savannah

Southeast clinical campus ahead of schedule Q In July, seven MCG students will be the first group to spend most of their third year living and learning in Southeast Georgia. The campus, based at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System in Savannah and Brunswick’s Southeast Georgia Health System, will eventually have 20 students living in the area full-time, in addition to the students who transition through the region one clinical rotation at a time. “The university is making good progress toward establishing a regional clinical campus in southeast Georgia,” said Dr. Ruth-Marie Fincher, MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Medicine. “Clerkship sites have been established for the seven core areas – obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, psychiatry, pediatrics, family medicine, internal medicine and neurology – and this group of students will spend the majority of their third year in the region.” Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus Dean Dr. Kathryn Martin said students have been doing four- to six-week clinical rotations at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System in Savannah since 2007 and Brunswick’s Southeast Georgia Health System since last year. The campus will transition to full residential status in 2012. “The early interest in the campus has been exciting,” Martin said. “These students, I call them the Southeast Seven, came to us and said, ‘We want to help you.’ They recognize the richness of the opportunities for learning in Southeast Georgia. It’s a wonderful thing.” Students’ first day of rotations in the region will begin July 5 and continue for 48 weeks. Dr. Martin said they will have the opportunity to learn from more than 150 volunteer clinical throughout southeast Georgia – a number that continues to grow. The clinical and four-year campuses are part of an overall plan to increase MCG class size from 190 to 300 students by 2020 to help meet the state’s future physician needs. The plan also includes the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany – a residential campus since last July – as well as the four-year GHSU/University of Georgia Medical Partnership in Athens, which started classes in August with 40 students. Another clinical campus in Rome was announced in November with plans to be operational by 2013. O

GEORGIA Medicine


MCG Faculty Senate honors faculty, retirees Q Dr. Laura Mulloy, the Glover/Mealing Eminent Scholar Chair in Immunology at Georgia Health Sciences University, has received the 2011 GHSU Medical College of Georgia Outstanding Faculty Award. Mulloy, who has served as Faculty Senate President since 2009, was among those honored at the annual MCG Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony in April. She is also MCG’s Vice Chairwoman of Clinical Affairs and Faculty Development and Professor and Chief of the Section of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplant Medicine. On faculty since 1990, she served as Interim Chairwoman of the Department of Medicine from 2007-08 and created a mentoring program for junior faculty to encourage academic and research pursuits. Her duties on the senate will be assumed by incoming President Dr. Ronald W. Lewis, Professor of Surgery and Physiology, Allied Health Sciences and Graduate Studies.

Q Dr. Lois T. Ellison, Medical Historian in Residence, Provost Emeritus and Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Medicine and Surgery, received the Medical College of Georgia’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her nearly seven-decade affiliation with MCG began when she enrolled in medical school in 1943. She joined the faculty in 1951 after completing a cardiopulmonary physiology fellowship. Ellison has published 73 journal articles and has made numerous presentations on post- and preoperative studies. She and her late husband, Dr. Robert G. Ellison, were awarded the Vessel of Life Award, the university’s highest honor, in 2005. O

National recognition for patient-centered care Q MCG’s Department of Family Medicine has been

recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home. The patient-centered medical home seeks to improve the quality and efficiency of care by promoting partnerships between patients and their clinicians, with treatment coordinated by clinician-led care teams that provide care while coordinating treatment across a health care system. MCG’s Family Medicine Center is one of only three practice sites, and the only academic site, in Georgia to be recognized. O


Spring 11

Other award presentations included: Z Outstanding Basic Science Research: Dr. Krishnan Dhandapani, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Assistant Professor of Graduate Studies, and Dr. Dorothy Tuan-Lo, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Graduate Studies Z Outstanding Clinical Science Research: Dr. Anand Jillella, Professor and Chief of the Section of Hematology/ Oncology Z Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty: Dr. Ryan Harris, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Graduate Studies, and Dr. Lee Ann Merchen, Assistant Professor and Chief of the Section of Generala Internal Medicine Z Outstanding Young Basic Science Faculty: Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology/Toxicology and Graduate Studies

CLASS EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR Z Class of 2014: Dr. Vadivel Ganapathy, Chairman and Regents Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Professor of Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Surgery and Graduate Studies. Z Class of 2013: Dr. John Fisher, Professor of Medicine Z Class of 2012: Dr. Walter J. Moore, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Veterans Affairs, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Rheumatology Z Class of 2011: Dr. Cole Giller, Professor of Neurosurgery DEPARTMENT AWARDS Z Outstanding Clinical Science Teaching Department (Class of 2011): Pediatrics

DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AWARDS Z Basic Science Teaching: Dr. Puttur Prasad, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Associate Professor of Graduate Studies; and Dr. Diane Turnbull, Associate Professor of Pathology Z Clinical Science Teacher: Dr. Paul Dainer, Associate Professor of Medicine; and Michael Rivner, Charbonnier Professor of Neurology Z Patient Care: Dr. Tony PearsonShaver, Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Section of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine Z Institutional Service: Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Professor and J.W. Tollison, M.D. Distinguished Chairman of Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Primary Care and Community Affairs; and Dr. Peter Rissing, Sydenstricker Chairman and Professor of Medicine, and Chief of the Section of Infectious Disease, for institutional service.

Z Outstanding Basic Science Teaching Department (Class of 2013): Medicine RESIDENT/CLINICAL FACULTY AWARDS Z Resident of the Year: Dr. Jennifer Malcom, Department of Family Medicine Z Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award: Dr. W. Thomas Jenkins, a private-practice obstetrician/ gynecologist from Gainesville, Ga. RETIREMENTS Z Dr. Rashid Akhtar, Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Medicine, and College of Graduate Studies, 1975-2010 Z Dr. Jerry Allison, Department of Radiology and Colleges of Allied Health Sciences and Graduate Studies, 19782011 Z Dr. Mohammed Behzadian, Vascular Biology Center, 1985-2010


Ricardo Azziz:



from our President and CEO

What has surprised me? The loyalty and dedication of GHSU employees (Editor’s Note: The following excerpts were taken from President Azziz’s April 11 blog post.)

Q I’ve

talked a lot about transformation since beginning

my tenure as GHSU President last July. And change is certainly required for us to fulfill our goal of becoming a leading academic health center and top-50 research institution while transforming the institution and region into a health care and biomedical research destination. But some things about our enterprise shouldn’t change. I’ve often been asked what has surprised me the most since beginning my presidency, and the same answer always springs to mind: the loyalty and dedication of GHSU staff and faculty. I have been impressed and humbled by the unwavering commitment of each and every member of the GHSU community to the advancement of our university, not for selfish reasons, but for the sake of those we serve: our students, our patients, our community and our state. Our employees don’t just know our mission; they live it. They seem to intuitively understand that a

job at GHSU isn’t just a job; it is a calling. It is an opportunity to serve others in a profoundly meaningful way. Whether we are finding new cures in a laboratory, treating patients at the bedside, educating the next generation of health care professionals or serving in many other crucial roles, each and every one of us is making the world a better place. How many “jobs” offer that kind of fulfillment? It is impossible to approach a job as just a job when you know, for instance, that a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease is unfolding in a lab just down the hall, that future leaders in health care are being educated in a lecture hall nearby or that a critically ill child is being nursed back to health right across the street. GHSU employees consider it a privilege to play a role in such efforts. And I, in turn, am privileged to witness their dedication day in and day out. Their loyalty and commitment have survived countless tests. Economic woes have been the order of the day for several years now, and

Follow his blog at:

our employees have sacrificed greatly in response. The university itself has seen many twists and turns in recent years, and the GHSU community has weathered each and every one of them with grace and resilience. Speaking of weather, we endured two crippling snowstorms this winter, along with a harrowing thunderstorm just last week, and our staff ensured that we kept operating as smoothly and efficiently as ever. Regardless of the challenges at hand, GHSU employees don’t just survive . . . they thrive. I do believe that our greatest strength in these difficult and disconcerting times is and continues to be our staff and faculty, who give their all every day for the greater good. Yes, more challenges lie ahead, and yes, much will continue to be asked of us. But never for a second doubt that they are up to the challenge. And never for a second doubt my gratitude. That’s one thing that will never change. O GEORGIA Medicine


7KH0HGLFDO&ROOHJHRI*HRUJLD¶VULFKKLVWRU\LV¿OOHG with individuals  whose  contributions  to  medicine                 H[WHQGZHOOEH\RQGWKHFRQ¿QHVRIWKHLUSUDFWLFH

Legacy of


Here are a few stories of alumni, faculty and administrators who stepped into leadership roles to improve the state of medicine and the

1of 2

communities they serve.



Spring 11


A Surgeon’s   Surgeon Dr. LaMar S. McGinnis Jr.


hen asked how he reached the upper echelon of his profession, Dr. LaMar S. McGinnis Jr. has a simple answer.

“I never played golf,” he says with a smile. Joking aside, those who know the 80-yearold surgeon know he’s dedicated the bulk of his life to professional service and improving the quality of health care at a national level. His recent term as President of the American College of Surgeons, the world’s largest surgical society, was a crowning achievement for the longtime Atlanta resident and 1954 Medical College of Georgia graduate. McGinnis, who practiced as a general and oncologic surgeon at DeKalb Surgical Associates until his retirement in 2005, has served in numerous leadership roles with the 77,000-member ACS since being named a Fellow in 1962, including Governor-at-Large on its Board of Governors from 1985-1991. McGinnis has served the American Medical Association at the national level as treasurer (2000-2003), secretary of its Surgical Caucus (2003-2004) and chairman of the ACS delegation to the AMA (1994-2006). If those distinctions weren’t enough, he also served as president of the American Cancer Society in 1994, an organization he has been affiliated with for more than 25 years. He continues to donate his time to the organization in his retirement years by serving as a Senior Medical Advisor for the Department of Research and Cancer Control Science. “My life has been all medicine,” said McGinnis, who had numerous staff and administrative appointments at Atlanta-area hospitals. “I decided to retire from the practice when I was 72, but I didn’t want to stop doing things relative to medicine. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of opportunities.”

Part of his duties during his year as the 90th President of the American College of Surgeons included visiting surgical societies and colleges around the world with his McGinnis upon graduation wife, Julia, to talk in 1954 about surgical quality and safety. During his travels, he found that many countries are facing the same health care issues as the United States, though they may deal with problems in different ways. “They even have liability issues in China,” said McGinnis, a Texas native who grew up in Georgia. “Not only can surgeons there get sued, we learned that some still follow the old Chinese tradition where if they feel wronged by a surgeon, they’ll find him in a public place and cause him to kneel and shout invectives at him. And then in some instances they may stab him.” McGinnis, who completed surgical residencies at the University of Texas Medical Center in Galveston, Texas, and Bellevue Hospital in New York, considered pediatrics as a career after studying under Dr. Harry O’Rear, an MCG Professor of Pediatrics who later became Dean and the university’s third President. “I really liked the way he taught; it was always stimulating,” said McGinnis, a Clinical Professor of Surgery at Emory University. “He would challenge you with problems and send you off to find the answers. I really ate that up.”

McGinnis’ enthusiasm for pediatrics lasted until his first rotation in surgery. “I liked the directness of it,” he said of surgery. “You make a diagnosis, you do something and you see the result in a short period of time. You don’t have to wait and wait, so there’s never any doubt in your mind.” Since leaving MCG, McGinnis has given back to the school in more ways than one. He served as the MCG Alumni Association President in 1982 (the same year he was President of the Georgia Surgical Society), MCG Foundation President in 1983 and Keynote Speaker at the MCG Hooding Ceremony in 1998. And he saw his son Scott (now Chief of Radiation Oncology at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.) graduate from his alma mater in 1989. More recently, McGinnis has agreed to assist Georgia Health Sciences University’s Advancement and Community Relations department in developing a statewide network to boost philanthropy, one of GHSU President Ricardo Azziz’s major initiatives. McGinnis believes a physician’s responsibility to patients is not confined to the clinic, and he hopes future generations answer the call to be active outside the walls of their practices. “We can represent our patients and our profession in many venues – county commissions, school boards, city councils, medical societies and associations – and have an enormous impact on life in our communities,” he said. “I mean, you can’t just go home and watch TV. At least I hope you won’t.”

“My life has been all medicine.”

GEORGIA Medicine



 The  Governor   Dr. Lamartine Griffin Hardman


Gov. Lamartine greets Charles Lindberg in Atlanta in 1927, shortly after the aviator’s historic transatlantic flight.

he legacy of Dr. Lamartine Griffin Hardman (1856-1937), Georgia Governor from 1927-31, is vast and varied.

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Spring 11


Lamartine Hardman, 19, upon graduation from MCG

Hardman was born in 1856 in Harmony Grove (now Commerce, Ga.) to Dr. William Benjamin Johnson, a physician and Baptist minister, and Susan Elizabeth Colquitt Hardman, whose family produced four Governors in Georgia and Texas. After graduating from MCG (then the Medical Department of the University of Georgia) in 1876, he trained at Bellevue Hospital in New York, then pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the New York Polyclinic and Guy Hospital in London, from which he received a second degree in 1890. He returned to Commerce in 1899 and established the Hardman Sanatorium with his brother, William B. Hardman. It served patients throughout northeast Georgia until 1945. Hardman’s research interests included forays into the field of modern anesthesia, including a tincture of Indian hemp that he used in animal experiments.

Hardman’s entrepreneurial ventures into cotton mills and farmlands turned him into one of Georgia’s largest land owners. His record of public service began in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1902 and the Georgia Senate in 1907. Among the legislation he introduced was an act establishing the State Board of Health. He lost races for Governor in 1914 and 1916, but finally succeeded in 1926 at age 70. His ambitious agenda during the Great Depression era reorganized state government and created a central board to oversee higher education (now the University System of Georgia Board of Regents). Hardman’s descendants have worked hard to honor and perpetuate his legacy; son Lamartine, Jr. served on the advisory board of then-MCG President William Moretz, while grandson Dr. John Hardman is an MCG graduate and Director of the Carter Center, the non-profit public policy center founded by Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.

Dr. John Hardman (‘68), grandson of Dr. Lamartine Hardman

The Teacher  and  the  Adminstrator


he men most responsible for making Emory University one of the nation’s premier heart centers are MCG graduates – Drs. J. Willis Hurst (’44) and Charles R. Hatcher Jr. (’54).


Dr. J. Willis Hurst

Dr. Charles R. Hatcher Jr.

Hurst, now in his sixth decade at the university’s School of Medicine, is largely responsible for building its cardiology program and is widely recognized as one of the most respected medical educators of his time. Hatcher, who retired as Emory’s Vice President for Health Affairs, Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center and CEO of the Emory University System of Health Care, is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and was instrumental in turning the university into a major research institution during the 1980s and ’90s. The two Georgia natives – Hurst of Carrollton, Hatcher of Attapulgus – are each distinguished in their own regards. Hurst served as President of three medical associations, was the personal cardiologist for President Lyndon B. Johnson and author of The Heart, a textbook considered to be the “bible” of cardiology. Hatcher performed Georgia’s first tetralogy of Fallot (“blue baby”) operation as well as its first double- and triple-valve replacement surgeries and coronary artery bypass-graft surgery. His leadership also helped create the Rollins School of Public Health, the state’s first public health school, in 1990. Hurst graduated first in his class at MCG and was an intern and first-year resident under Virgil P. Sydenstricker, MCG’s longtime Chairman of the Department of Medicine, at University Hospital until 1946. He completed his cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston under Dr. Paul White, considered the father of academic cardiology in the U.S. before joining the

Emory faculty in 1950. He served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1957 to 1986 but continues to teach, write and consult in the Division of Cardiology. His recognitions include the Master Teacher Award of the American College of Cardiology and the Distinguished Teacher Award from the American College of Physicians as well as the American Heart Association’s Gold Heart and Herrick Awards. Hatcher, whose MCG roommate was Dr. LaMar S. McGinnis (see A Surgeon’s Surgeon, Page 9), did his internship at Johns Hopkins in 1955, where the introduction of the heartlung bypass machine enabled heart surgeons to open the heart itself. Hopkins wanted to keep him on the faculty, but he decided to head back south to Atlanta, where he opened an office at The Emory Clinic in 1962. His uncanny leadership abilities led to a string of advancements through the institution, as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1971, Emory Clinic Director in 1976 and Vice President for Health Affairs – the top health sciences position – in 1984. Now retired, Hatcher continues to serve Emory on its Board of Trustees and as a senior consultant to the President. In his honor, Emory created the Dr. Charles R. Hatcher Jr., Award to honor health sciences faculty who exemplify excellence in public health through their lifetime of work.

“bible” of cardiology GEORGIA Medicine


49 Presidents

From MCG to MAG: The Presidents

Councilman, Mayor,  Soldier   Dr. Lewis DeSaussure Ford


ince the Medical Association of Georgia’s founding 162 years ago, nearly a third of its presidents have been affiliated with GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia as alumni, faculty or both. The first, Dr. Lewis DeSaussure Ford (180183), was also an MCG founding father. The New York-trained physician who taught at MCG for 50 years was elected President of MAG at its first meeting in Macon, Ga., on March 20, 1849. The 50th, Dr. Sandra B. Reed (’87), will assume office in October. Ford, who was considered an expert on epidemic diseases and public health, also had a record of public service. In addition to serving as President of the Board of Health of Augusta, he served on the Augusta City Council and was elected Mayor in 1846. He fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War despite being 60 years old at the time. A resolution from MCG faculty upon his death stated “...he will long be remembered as one of the founders of medical science in our State.... an early cultivator of correct methods of medical reasoning, the founding of a sound medical philosophy not only in his own State but through the entire South.”

1801-1883 12

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Lewis D. Ford Alexander Means Louis Alexander Dugas Francis S. Colley H. F. Campbell Gamaliel W. Holmes Willis Foreman Westmoreland DeSaussure Ford Joseph A. Eve Eugene A. Foster Amos G. Whitehead James S. Todd James B. Morgan Thomas D. Coleman William W. Pilcher Eugene E. Murphey Edward T. Coleman John W. Daniel Sr. William A. Mulherin George Young Moore George Albert Traylor Grady N. Coker Sr. Cleveland Thompson Sr. Ralph H. Chaney Alpheus M. Phillips Sr. William F. Reavis Peter Burum Wright Milford B. Hatcher Fred H. Simonton Thomas W. Goodwin James G. McDaniel Walter E. Brown Sr. Charles Emory Bohler John Rhodes Haverty David A. Wells Robert E. Perry Jr. Milton I. Johnson Jr. Joseph P. Bailey Jr. William C. Collins Cyler D. Garner Roy W. Vandiver Bob G. Lanier Alva L. Mayes Jr. John Ed Fowler Joy A. Maxey S. William Clark III Jack M. Chapman Jr. E. Dan DeLoach Sandra B. Reed

< < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < < <

Augusta, 1849-50* Oxford, 1852-53 and 1866-67* Augusta, 1855-56 and 1868-69* Monroe, 1859-60, Class of 1847 Augusta, 1870-71, Class of 1842* Rome, 1872-73, Class of 1849 Atlanta, 1873-74, Class of 1855 Augusta, 1874-75, Class of 1856* Augusta, 1879-80* Augusta, 1884-85, Class of 1872* Waynesboro, 1887-88, Class of 1866 Atlanta, 1888-89, Class of 1857 Augusta, 1897-98, Class of 1886 Augusta, 1908-09* Warrenton, 1912-13, Class of 1893 Augusta, 1917-18, Class of 1898* Graymont, 1920-21, Class of 1888 Savannah, 1923-24, Class of 1896 Augusta, 1927-28* Cuthbert, 1930-31, Class of 1888 Augusta, 1937-38, Class of 1904* Canton, 1938-39, Class of 1920 Millen, 1944-46, Class of 1909 Augusta, 1946-47* Macon, 1950-51, Class of 1928 Waycross, 1951-52, Class of 1940 Augusta 1954-55, Class of 1920* Macon, 1960-61, Class of 1935 Chickamauga, 1961-62, Class of 1929 Augusta, 1962-63, Class of 1930* Atlanta, 1964-65, Class of 1927 Savannah, 1966-67, Class of 1930 Brooklet, 1973-74, Class of 1954 Atlanta, 1974-75, Class of 1953 Dalton, 1975-76, Class of 1949 Brunswick, 1977, Class of 1944 Macon, 1977-78, Class of 1960 Augusta, 1988-89, Class of 1955* Atlanta, 1990-91, Class of 1962 Gordon, 1991-92, Class of 1960 Decatur, 1993-94, Class of 1959 Atlanta, 1994-95, Class of 1962 Macon, 1995-96, Class of 1956 Clayton, 1999-2000, Class of 1962 Atlanta, 2000-01, Class of 1984 Waycross, 2006-2007, Class of 1979 Gainesville, 2007-08, Class of 1988 Savannah, 2010-11, Class of 1973 Thomasville, 2011-12, Class of 1987

* denotes faculty Sources: Medical Association of Georgia; GHSU Medical Historian in Residence; GHSU Alumni Affairs

Education Overseer    Dr. Darrell G. Kirch


ew of the 151 U.S. and Canadian medical schools that Dr. Darrell G. Kirch represents as President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges are as familiar to him as the Medical College of Georgia, where he served as Dean from 1994-2000.


The Colorado-born physician, educator and scientist’s career spans all aspects of academic medicine, from his start as acting Scientific Director of the National Institute of Mental Health to the top position at the AAMC, where he oversees policy and advocacy issues for all accredited medical schools and nearly 400 teaching hospitals and health systems. Kirch, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, was Dean of the College of Medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University before joining the AAMC in 2006. He is a noted authority on the organization and management of academic medical centers and is credited with revitalizing Penn State’s clinical and research activity.

First AMA preside

The AMA  Connection    


CG’s early faculty played a major role in establishing the American Medical Association. One of those faculty members, Dr. Paul Fitzsimmons Eve, served as one of the organization’s first Presidents. In the early 19th century, rivalry between medical schools and inconsistency in curricula prompted medical educators to begin discussing the formation of a national standards organization. MCG faculty proposed a convention of medical school delegates as early as 1835, but other schools along the east coast opposed the plan. However, the concept of a national medical association caught on with a young doctor in western New York named Nathan S. Davis. Davis’ lobbying efforts through the New York Medical Society in the 1840s generated enough support from other state associations, and in 1847 his resolution to create the AMA was approved by delegates from 16 states, including Georgia. Dr. Eve, cousin of MCG co-founder Dr. Joseph Adams Eve, was named President of the AMA in 1857, seven years after moving from Georgia to Tennessee. Dr. Henry F. Campbell, an 1842 MCG graduate and faculty member who also co-founded the Jackson Street Hospital and Surgical Infirmary in Augusta, served as President 1885. MCG Dean G. Lombard Kelly served with the organization in 1944 when he took a six-month leave of absence to become Executive Secretary of its new Council of Medical Services and Public Relations.

Dr. Paul Fitzsimmons Eve

Dr. Joseph Adams Eve

Dr. Henry F. Campbell

Dr. G. Lombard Kelly GEORGIA Medicine


Partners in  Service Dr. and Mrs. E. Dan DeLoach



hen Dr. E. Dan DeLoach (’73) was sworn in as president of the Medical Association of Georgia in October, it was just the latest achievement in a decades-long career marked by service to the profession. Deloach and wife Cam Below taken from the 1972 GHSU yearbook

The plastic surgeon has been involved in health care policy and management since he was bitten by the leadership bug more than two decades ago, when he agreed to become Chief of Staff at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah. “Before that, I had never given much thought to playing a leadership role,” DeLoach said. “Like most physicians, I was very content to go to my office and see patients and go to the operating room and solve their problems. It wasn’t until later that I began to realize that as a physician, we can impact only so many people in a day. “However, if you’re in a leadership role, you have an impact that’s multiplied hundreds or thousands of times by the impact that you can have on other physicians. That’s what has stimulated me to become more active in the leadership role of medicine.” His role as President of the Medical Association of Georgia, the 162-year-old advocacy organization known as MAG, has him overseeing the strategic health care vision for the group’s 6,000 physician members and 9 million Georgians. The group works closely with 58 county medical societies as well as other state medical associations and the American Medical Association.

The south Georgia native said the primary goal during his one-year term with MAG is to educate physicians on the new federal health care law, which he believes is neither financially sustainable nor improves the patient-physician relationship. “It will literally take years to fully understand the effects of this 2,500-page law,” he said. His work with MAG and the Savannahbased Georgia Medical Society led to the creation of the Growing Healthy program used to teach children in 23 Savannah-

Chatham County public schools healthier lifestyles. DeLoach, a co-founder of the Southeastern Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic, regularly travels to Guatemala and Nicaragua with his wife, Cam, a 1972 College of Nursing graduate, to perform

Deloach is sworn in as president of the Medical Association of Georgia

“This is where the action 14

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n is.”

A Doctor  in  the  House


hen Dr. Donald R. Thomas (’59) of Dalton, Ga., decided to retire from the Georgia Senate last year, it left the prospect that the Georgia General Assembly would start 2011 without a practicing physician among its ranks. That changed, however, when Dr. Ben L. Watson (’85) won his bid for the Georgia House of Representatives District 163 seat.


Dr. Donald R. Thomas

Dr. Ben L. Watson



charity surgeries and educate Central American surgeons through their faithbased, non-profit organization John 3:16 Medical Ministries. “You would never know how involved they are or what they do because they never talk about it,” said Mary Hussey, an employee at Savannah Plastic Surgery, the practice DeLoach and a colleague founded in 1980. “We have only found out by the grateful people they have helped.” The DeLoaches’ generosity has also been extended to their alma mater. The couple have opened their home to facilitate class reunion events and the “Dinner with 12 Strangers” alumni mentoring program. Cam, a member of the “shining stars” of 1972, the last group of nursing students hand-picked by former Dean E. Louise Grant before her retirement, was instrumental in starting the first class endowment in the College of Nursing. Additionally, Dr. DeLoach has served as President of the School of Medicine Alumni Association, Chairman of the MCG Foundation and current Trustee for the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation. Physician education remains an important part of his life; he is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery for both his alma mater and Mercer University School of Medicine. Reflecting on his own education, DeLoach volunteered to be part of the “Sweet 16” group of students to undergo an experimental curriculum when MCG increased the class size from 120 to 136 in 1970. “After a great deal of soul-searching and consternation, I said, ‘What do physicians do if we don’t experiment and expand our horizons and our thoughts?’ ” he said. He and the other 15 students spent two years under mentorship by Dr. William H. Chew Jr. before rejoining the main group for third-year clinical rotations. “I had surgery as my first rotation, and it was like, this is it. This is for me. This is where the action is,” he said. “This is where you cure people and heal people. I never wanted to deviate from that experience.”

“That was part of my decision to run,” Watson said. “I was surprised to find out there was only one physician, and when I called him he said he was retiring.” The Savannah Republican said he believes civic service is simply an extension of his profession. “Public service goes hand in hand with what we do as physician. We are public servants. We take care of people in need,” he said. The 51-year-old internist with certifications in geriatrics is a founding partner in South Coast Medical Group. He and his wife Bernice, a public school teacher in the Savannah-Chatham County public school system, have three children. Watson, whose brother-in-law is U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), said the state legislature needs representatives with health care experience. “From the government takeover of medicine coming out of Washington to the budget crisis in Atlanta…those debating the issue have little practical experience in the field,” he told the Savannah Morning News during his campaign. Before his retirement last year, Thomas, a lifelong resident of Whitfield County, served five terms representing Senate District 54. He began his political career in 1972 with election to the Whitfield County School Board, serving as Chairman from 1974 to 1984. The Republican served as Chairman of the Health and Humans Services Committee, Secretary of the Education and Youth Committee and as a member of the Appropriations, Ethics and Rules committees. He serves as a family physician in the Dalton area with the Whitfield Medical Professional Association. He and his wife, Emma Jean, have eight children and 17 grandchildren.

GEORGIA Medicine


Babies to  the  Beltway    Dr. Phil Gingrey


ew in the U.S. Congress are as in tune with how health care policy affects physicians as Dr. Phil Gingrey, a 1969 MCG grad who has delivered more than 5,200 babies during his 26 years in obstetrics and gynecology.


The Augusta native has represented Georgia’s 11th congressional district in Washington since his election in 2002. Prior to that, he served two years in the Georgia Senate and three terms as Chairman of the Marietta city school board. Gingrey, a Republican, currently serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is Chairman of the GOP Doctors Caucus. During his previous terms in Congress, he served on the Armed Services Committee, the Rules Committee, the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Science and Technology Committee. He and his wife, Billie, reside in Marietta, Ga., and have four children and 10 grandchildren.


here has been a doctor on the school board in the west Georgia town of Carrollton for 54 years, thanks to an alumnus and the father of an alumnus.



in community affairs.” 16

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Dr. James C. Pope (’69) is in the middle of his seventh consecutive term on the Carrollton Board of Education. The hometown native was first elected in 1983 after the founding partner of his practice, Dr. Thomas Reeve Jr., stepped down from the seat he had held since 1957. “I told him I was going to go for it when he stepped down,” Pope said. Reeve’s son, Thomas III, is a 1982 MCG graduate and partner in Pope’s Carrollton Surgical Group. Pope, who served as Chairman of the board from 19952008, was elected President of the Georgia School Boards Association in 2009 and is currently President of the Georgia Surgical Society. He traces his interest in service back to his days as an MCG student, when he heard a talk that MCG pathology professor Dr. J. Robert Teabeaut II gave at his fraternity house. “He said that many times doctors are often the most educated people in a community and should be active in community affairs,” Pope said.



long-forgotten manuscript

chronicling the history of the Medical College of Georgia has been published by Georgia Health Sciences University nearly a half century after it was written. The Medical College of Georgia from 1829-1963: Chronicle of an Institution was written by S. Joseph Lewis Jr. in the 1960s. After Lewis’ S. Joseph Lewis Jr. death in 1969, the partially edited manuscript languished for many years until it was unearthed in 2002 in the attic of a 1943 MCG alumnus. Medical Historian in Residence Dr. Lois T. Ellison and Historical Research Coordinator Sarah Braswell spent several years carefully readying the manuscript for publication, electing to make minimal text edits other than minor corrections to dates and names. Lewis, a history major and son of a faculty member, embarked on writing the chronological history of MCG in 1963 with the support of President Harry B. O’Rear. “I can only image how honored and appreciative Mr. Lewis would be to see his manuscript finally published more than forty years after his death,” Ellison wrote in the foreward. “I am convinced he considered this his life’s contribution. The quality and contents of his work exemplified the highest of standards.” The 499-page book, 350 pages of which is the original Lewis manuscript, is available through the GHSU Bookstore at 800-721-3582 or O

Dr. Bernard Maria, Chairman of Pediatrics, asks Medical Historian in Residence Dr. Lois T. Ellison to autograph copies of the Lewis book.

Written by

S. Joseph Le

wis Jr.

with contrib utions from

Lois Taylor

Ellison, M.D .

THE OTHER BOOKS In chronological terms, S. Joseph Lewis Jr.’s history book is the second written account of MCG history. The first was written by Dr. William Dr. William Henry Goodrich Henry Goodrich, an alum and MCG Dean from 1923-31. His The History of the Medical Department of the University of Georgia was published in 1928 to coincide with the university’s centennial. It featured biographical sketches and essays of early faculty members and others instrumental to the founding of the institution. Lewis’ book, which was unfinished when he died in 1969, was a more formal history, relying on archival material such as minutes from meetings and articles in the Southern Medical and Surgical Journal. The last written history, though second to be published, was Dr. Phinizy Spalding’s The History of the Medical College of Georgia. Though the book was marked by many delays – it was published in 1987 almost a full decade after work began – it is considered a valuable account of institutional history from 1828-1986.

GEORGIA Medicine



CAMPER to  Clinician MedWAR competitors win race, save lives BY STACEY HUDSON

The patient was unconscious. The medical team had found him after he had been missing for several days from his campsite. They were waiting for a helicopter to evacuate him when the unthinkable happened:

The chopper crashed. “What started out as a very simple plan ended up being markedly complex,” said Dr. Michael Caudell, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Medical Director for Wilderness Medicine and Survival Medicine in the GHSU Center of Operational Medicine. Helping students, residents and practicing physicians deal with the variables in a situation like this is the purpose of MedWar, an orienteering race begun by Caudell and former GHSU Professor of Emergency Medicine David Ledrick in 2001. The annual race, which has since been expanded to nine states and Canada, combines adventure racing with wilderness medicine to test academic and practical knowledge. In Augusta, teams of four run, canoe and bicycle through a course at Fort Gordon, stopping at stations for medical exercises. Organizers hit them with anything related to wilderness medicine – fractures, cuts, infections, animal attacks, exposure to elements,


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food and water contamination, lightning strikes and even avalanches. Anything that can occur in the wilderness is fair game. Rachel Nix, a second-year medical student who helped organize this year’s race on April 16, remembers a year when racers had to perform an emergency cricotomy using pig tracheas. A first-year medical student may have had no previous exposure to surgical techniques, so mistakes can abound. “It’s exciting because whether you’re racing or volunteering, you’re going to learn a lot. The attendings are wonderful about teaching – it’s what they love to do. Even if you don’t necessarily know what to do when you approach a medical situation, you’ll be instructed in a respectful way. And it’s great to get outside, and in a learning situation that is hands-on, rather than in the classroom,” she said. For example, racers evaluating a missing camper have a number of decisions to make. Upon “finding”


him, they can construct a litter (an impromptu stretcher) or wait for the rescue chopper’s long spine board. They can carry him up the hill to the clearing, or wait until he can be winched. Each decision has immediate consequences that affect the fictional patient and the ability of team members to finish the grueling race. “They’ve got to figure out what’s going on. If they do get through the scenario and do it properly, that’s great. But if not, we immediately give them feedback,” Caudell said. There is more than one way to approach a situation, and the intractability of wilderness medicine often inspires innovation and improvisation that teaches something new to the volunteers and experienced medical professionals who oversee it. “You think you know what the best options are, but then you see someone stabilize a c-spine (in a way) that I never would have thought of,” Caudell said. Nix said they try to make the medical scenarios as fun as possible – but it’s best when the participant playing the role of the injured person is a good actor. In fact, organizers sometimes give a “Drama Queen” award for acting. The muscled military members playing very confused victims of altitude sickness were good for a few laughs. And during one race, a participant portraying a trauma-induced psychological break

was so annoying to the “rescuers” that some of the teams opted to tie him down. While amusing, Caudell said that the scenarios serve a medical purpose as well. “They had to figure out how to take care of this person who is losing it,” Caudell said. The lifelong lessons ingrained by practical experience are precisely what the creators intended. Three students used Caudell’s and Ledrick’s first orienteering experience at Wildwood Park in Columbia County as a research project on innovations in education and presented it to the Society of Academic Medicine. When Ledrick returned to his native Ohio, he began one there, while Caudell continued here. The project continued to grow, so the pair formed a nonprofit, North American Educational Adventure Racing, to oversee the direction and quality of the races. The local planners run the races as they desire, but submit the medical scenarios to the directors for approval. Some races host as many as 50 teams. “This stuff is really fun, but there’s a reason that I organize it but don’t race it. It’s challenging. Start training now,” Nix said. Caudell and Ledrick recently returned from competing in a MedWar in Park City, Utah, that was raced entirely on snowshoes. The directors knew who they were, but kept it quiet. Their team beat most of the younger teams that competed. Q

Learn more: QDepartment of Emergency Medicine Office of Wilderness Medicine: QMedWAR Home Page:



Serendipity D BY DAMON CLINE

r. Peter F. Buckley didn’t intend to become an American citizen when he came to the United States to study under the nation’s top schizophrenia researchers in Ohio two decades ago. The Irish-born psychiatrist also had no idea he would eventually move south to Georgia Health Sciences University to resurrect the Medical College of Georgia’s struggling psychiatry department.

Dr. Peter F. Buckley poses in front of the portraits of the Deans who have served before him.


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Opportunity, mentorship and hard work led Buckley to Dean role

And he certainly didn’t envision he would someday hold the title of MCG Dean. “I just thought I’d be here for three years and go back; it’s a very common thing for people in Ireland to do,” Buckley recalled of his early days at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. “My wife and I were seesawing back and forth, but the longer we stayed, the more we realized how well this country suited us.” It’s a good thing he stayed. Had he returned to Ireland, MCG’s Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior would look much different today, as would East Central Regional Hospital, the state behavioral health facility once targeted for closure. Buckley’s keen eye for spotting hidden opportunities and adept organizationaldevelopment skills have served him well during the past decade at MCG, where he has met each challenge head on.

Coming to America The journey into academic medicine that led Buckley to MCG started in his hometown of Dublin, where he earned a medical degree from the University College Dublin School of Medicine. The youngest of five children says he wasn’t steered toward medicine by his parents, both of whom were physicians, but he acknowledges there was a family influence. Buckley’s grandfather, for example, was a medical school Dean and his uncle (who came to America in the 1960s) is Medical Director at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. “I was immersed in medicine and it seemed like it would be a natural next step for me if I could make the grade,” he said. “It just didn’t seem like I was going to do anything else.” His decision to specialize in psychiatry stemmed from his fascination with schizophrenia, the disease that would become his career-long research focal point. “I was just struck by the human tragedy of schizophrenia,” Buckley said. “It seemed incredibly important and incredibly exciting to be a part of; so it wasn’t just that I wanted to go into psychiatry, it was that I wanted to specialize in schizophrenia.” continued GEORGIA Medicine


Like many young clinicians in his native country, Buckley sought to build his career by searching for advanced training opportunities in England and the United States. While doing a research fellowship in Dublin in 1991, he had an opportunity to attend a schizophrenia research meeting in Arizona organized by Dr. Charles Schulz, then-Chairman of Psychiatry at Case Western. Buckley, who had been eyeing a residency in London, instead applied for a junior faculty position at the Ohio university upon meeting Schulz. Landing the job in 1992 proved to be fortuitous. Case Western’s program, which had just won renewal of a National Institutes of Health Center Grant, was in the national spotlight thanks to a six-page Time magazine cover story that featured Schulz, Dr. Herbert Meltzer and other top schizophrenia investigators. “To go to this place that the spotlight of America was just shining on was incredibly energizing,” Buckley said. “There was a cadre of international investigators all focused on schizophrenia. In a way, it was exactly what I had been looking for.” Meltzer, now Vanderbilt University’s Bixler/ Johnson/Mays Professor of Psychiatry, is credited with establishing the second-generation antipsychotic drug clozapine as a first-line therapy for patients with treatment-resistant

Buckley with wife Leonie and sons Brian (left) and John


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“Peter has a predilection and an intrinsic skill for administration at a higher level.” –DR. HERBERT MELTZER VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

schizophrenia. At Case Western, Buckley helped him study clozapine’s usefulness in patients with substance-abuse problems (roughly half of schizophrenics use illicit drugs). “He had excellent clinical skills and he wrote very well,” said Meltzer, Director of Vanderbilt’s schizophrenia program. “The work we published has held up very well and is still being utilized today.” In the mid-1990s, Buckley was tapped to serve as Medical Director of the state’s struggling psychiatric hospital in Cleveland through a partnership between Case Western and the Ohio Department of Mental Health. Though young and foreign-born, no one questioned whether Buckley was ready for the task. “Peter has a predilection and an intrinsic skill for administration at a higher level,” Meltzer said. “He showed very quickly he was able to stand on his own two feet.”

The state mental health facilities, whose operations had been so poor they were subject to a federal court order, had undergone a metamorphosis by the end of the decade, earning Joint Commission accreditation with commendation (including 13 “best practices” acknowledgements) and earning the “Best Psychiatric Hospital” designation in Ohio. By then, Buckley had risen to the position of Vice Chairman of Psychiatry at Case Western and was raising two young sons with his wife, Leonie, whom he met at a college dance while they were students in Dublin. Thoughts of returning to their home country began to fade as they and their Cleveland-born sons settled into American life. The couple had also become American citizens, which Buckley describes as “a wonderful opportunity and a very special moment in our lives.” It wouldn’t be long, however, before Buckley found himself at another crossroads.

Big Decisions As Case Western’s psychiatry program was rising in prominence, MCG’s was hitting rock bottom: The university’s former Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and another senior faculty member were convicted of defrauding the institution of more than $10 million in research funds and sentenced to prison terms. By the time a search for a full-time replacement was launched in 1999, the threeyear leadership void left the department in shambles. Buckley threw his hat in the ring because he thought he could help turn the department around. An added bonus was that the Dean at the time, Dr. Darrell G. Kirch (now CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges), was a schizophrenia researcher who Buckley admired and thought would make a great mentor.

Buckley acknowledges rebuilding the department wasn’t easy, but doesn’t characterize it as difficult. “To say it was difficult makes it sound like it was a burden. It was invigorating, actually,” he said. “I was drawn to the people here. There were many good people who stayed and wanted to make something happen. The institution was ready to get behind us and try to repair the damage, so it was very invigorating. The help we received from our entire community was remarkable.” Just as he was growing into his new role at MCG, he received an invitation to apply for the Chairman position in his alma mater’s Department of Psychiatry. Having just relocated to Augusta, Buckley was somewhat ambivalent about the opportunity, but he was being courted heavily and he went through the recruitment process. When the university offered him the job in 2001 – in the midst of Ireland’s economic boom no less – Buckley had some soul searching to do. “It wasn’t just any old job,” he said. “It was the best academic psychiatry job Ireland had to offer, and they were pumping money into research like never before.” continued

GEORGIA Medicine


He said he ultimately decided to stay for three reasons: He didn’t want to uproot his family (Leonie fell in love with Augusta and sons John and Brian were growing up as “all American boys”); the couple was forming lifelong friendships; and he realized America offered more opportunity for schizophrenia research collaboration and academic psychiatry funding. Staying at MCG enabled him to play the quarterback role on a team in desperate need of direction. Within a few years, the department that was once an embarrassment was becoming one of the strongest in the medical school. The stats speak for themselves: From 1999-2009, the department’s clinical activity rose 203 percent; departmental reserves rose 879 percent; and where there were once unfilled psychiatry residency slots, it now attracts top-quality residents to both psychiatry and psychology programs, the latter of which is one of only 20 federally funded programs in the country. Buckley’s efforts in turning around Cleveland’s psychiatric hospitals and MCG’s psychiatry department were recognized nationally in 2004 when he was awarded the American Psychiatry

At a Glance


Born: June 19, 1962, Dublin, Ireland Family: Wife Leonie; sons John and Brian; two Great Danes, Ollie and Macushla

Hobbies: Boating, travel Education: OMB Bch BAO: University College Dublin School of Medicine, 1986 OInternship: Neurology, oncology, neurosurgery and hepatobiliary surgery; St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, 1986-87 OResidency, Research Fellowship: Psychiatry, St. John of God Psychiatric Services, Dublin, 1987-1992

Professional training: OAssociation of American Medical Colleges OCouncil of Deans Fellowship, 2007-08 OExecutive Leadership Program, 2007 OHarvard School of Public Health +Program for Chiefs of Clinical Services, 2002 OCase Western Reserve University

+Mental Health Leadership Program, 1997


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Association’s Psychiatric Administration and Management Award. The honors are nice, but Buckley said he’s not motivated by the challenge of improving organizations and changing chaotic cultures into functional ones. “I believe in hard work and I’m highly motivated by attaining success,” he said. The department’s 2007 move from cramped offices to a home in the fully renovated Stoney Building was seen as an affirmation of its turnaround. But it was the department’s acceptance as a community resource that proved the stigmas of the past had been erased. Its partnership with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities to manage the clinical operations at the East Georgia Regional Hospital and Gracewood State School and Hospital, both located in Augusta, was similar to the deal Buckley worked out in Ohio more than a decade earlier. The arrangement, now in its second year, remains a win-win: the university’s students and residents get access to a new patient population,

Select highlights from Dr. Buckley’s CV

Appointments: OGeorgia Health Sciences University +Dean, Medical College of Georgia +Interim Dean, School of Medicine/Medical College of Georgia, 2010-11 +Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, 2000-10 +Senior Associate Dean for Leadership Development, 2007-10 +Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Radiology 2000-present +Clinical Services Chief of Behavioral Health, MCGHealth, 2000-10 OCharlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center +Attending psychiatrist, 2001-2006 OCase Western Reserve University +Vice Chairman, Department of Psychiatry 1999-2000 +Professor of Psychiatry, 2000 +Associate Professor of Psychiatry 1996-2000 +Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, 1992-96 ONorthcoast Behavioral Healthcare System +Medical Director and Vice President for Clinical Affairs, 1995-2000

OWestern Reserve Psychiatric Hospital

+Medical Director, 1994-95 +Consultant Psychiatrist, 1993-94

Publications: O340 original articles, book chapters and abstracts. OSenior author of a postgraduate textbook

of psychiatry OAuthored or edited 12 books on schizophrenia

and related topics in psychiatry

Achievements: OFellow, American Psychiatric Association, 2007 OPsychiatrist of the Year, Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, 2006 OFellow, Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2006 OAdministrative Psychiatry Award, American

Psychiatric Association, 2004 OBest Doctors in America, 2002-present

and the state gets top-notch management of its facilities and evidence-based treatments for patients in its system. Dr. Frank Shelp, the Department Commissioner, has said the partnership has brought “stability to our clinical workforce and a new level of accountability, quality and consistency” to the Augusta facilities.

At the Helm Buckley’s leadership experience and reputation for building bridges made him President Ricardo Azziz’s top choice to fill in for former Dean D. Douglas Miller, who stepped down from the position in the fall. In February, having excelled in the interim role and a comprehensive vetting and evaluation, Azziz appointed Buckley as the permanent Dean. “Peter has the vision and the leadership skill to build on the strong reputation of our Medical College,” Azziz said. “In his more than decade of service to the university and the state, he has helped build and restructure programs to maximize their effectiveness and mentored individuals to optimize their job satisfaction and performance. I am very pleased to name him Dean.” In fact, the position was something Buckley had trained for under Miller’s administration through the AAMC’s exclusive leadership development program, the Council of Deans Fellowship. And Buckley’s Senior Associate Dean title made him the school’s point man for leadership development and faculty retention. “The mentorship I’ve had, including the support of many senior colleagues and friends over the past 20 years, has prepared me for this leadership challenge,” Buckley said. “It also fits in with my aspirations to build a team in a more integrated framework. This is an exciting and invigorating time with our new president on board and all the positive changes going on.” Buckley’s top priority as Dean is making sure the medical college is in step with the institution’s Enterprise-wide Strategic Planning (ESP) initiative, a process that will generate a roadmap to guide educational, clinical and research efforts at GHSU during the next three to five years. Buckley was one of two GHSU leaders tapped by Azziz to head the initiative (Joe Thornton, MCGHealth Assistant Vice President of Ambulatory Care Finance, being the other). His other top goal is to improve the school’s reputation in its own back yard. “I believe we are the university’s ambassadors

From 1999-2009, the department’s clinical activity rose 203 percent; departmental reserves rose 879 percent; it now attracts top-quality residents to both psychiatry and psychology programs, the latter of which is one of only 20 federally funded programs in the country. in Augusta and that we are also partners in the community,” said Buckley, whose warm, witty and affable personality is in stark contrast to the stodgy academician stereotype. “We need to be more visible in the community.” When Buckley was asked, for example, to speak to an Augusta-area Rotary Club, he chose to talk about the community benefits of the school’s mental health partnership with the state. He could just as easily given a selfaggrandizing lecture flouting his expertise as a leading schizophrenia researcher. Though he recently stepped down as editorin-chief of the Journal of Dual Diagnosis, the quarterly research journal he founded in 2004, Buckley hasn’t severely curtailed his clinical and research activities while taking on his new administrative responsibilities. He is still the editor of the journal Clinical Schizophrenia & Related Psychoses, co-editor of the Mosby Yearbook of Psychiatry, associate editor of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, and is currently a member of the editorial boards of 10 other psychiatric journals. He also has several active research projects. “I’m collaborating with some of the top experts across the country on key federally funded grants, I continue to see patients and, this afternoon, I will be lecturing to our residents,” Buckley said. “So I believe in leading by example. My personal philosophy is not to ask somebody to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself.” Meltzer said Buckley is one of those rare leaders who excel equally in all three academic medicine missions. “In that sense, he is a complete package,” he said. “I have no doubts about his abilities as a dean.” Q

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A BRIGHTER Students get grant to screen

Augusta’s homeless for mental illness


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He asks to be called by the Biblical name Enoch. Before his mental illness, the 57-yearold and was gainfully employed in a management position. He also had a wife and a home. Medical student James Gable When Dr. Adriana chats with a homeless man. Foster and a group of Medical College of Georgia students found him at the Augusta Rescue Mission, he was cutting his pills in half to keep from running out. “They took time and let me tell them what I thought they needed to know,” Enoch said. “It’s beneficial to me. And they are going to try and get me my medicine.”

The intervention by Foster and the students is just one of many that have occurred during the past year thanks to funding from the American Psychiatric Foundation. The grant, which was recently approved for a second year, allows the students to screen Augusta’s homeless for mental illness and help direct them to treatment. Second-year medical students Luke Smith, James Gable and Diana Murro work with the homeless at the Salvation Army, Garden City Rescue Mission and the Augusta Rescue Mission. Students spend late Monday afternoons at the shelter to help fill a health-care gap in a city with nearly 3,000 homeless as they learn to be better doctors and citizens. “We are kind of like the middle link in a chain that hooks people who need psychiatric services up with people who provide those services,” Smith said.


Enoch said the students really seemed to care. “They did good. They were professional,” he said. “A lot of people when they interview you, it’s like something they do and they are ready to go home and play with the kids and eat.” For students, the experience provides a unique opportunity to hone their clinical skills and better understand a marginalized population. “We want to help identify the need in Augusta but also we are trying to educate our peers and classmates about the problem,” Gable said. “A lot of times in medical school we are so involved in our own little world and we kind of don’t look outside. So we let people know the problem exists and provide them with an opportunity to make it better.”

Medical student Christine Ibilibor works with Dr. Adriana Foster (center) to help screen the homeless for mental illness at the Salvation Army.

Their volunteer work in Augusta helps supplement Serenity Behavioral Health Systems’ PATH outreach program, a federal program that supports three counselors to work with the homeless. The early statistics the students are collecting help raise awareness of the need. Of the 106 prescreened shelter residents they surveyed from October 2009-March 2010, 82 percent screened positive for symptoms such as delusions, suicide attempts and depression. The students secured mental health appointments for about half those people and more than 60 percent kept their appointments, assisted by free transportation the students secured through American Psychiatric Foundation Helping Hands funding. They presented their findings at the recent National Outreach Scholarship Conference in Raleigh, N.C., and at the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research. They will produce several other scholarly publications/presentations as the work continues. “The numbers speak to the amount of disability that can result from mental illness,” said Foster, an MCG psychiatrist who treats patients at MCG and Serenity and directs the psychiatry clerkship for medical students. “A lot of times homelessness can stem from being mentally ill and not being treated.” Understanding mental illness and how

to break down barriers to treatment is important for these future doctors, she said. “We try to involve students in mental health whether or not they decide to specialize in it. Primary care providers see about 95 percent of the first presentations of mental illness and probably 90 to 95 percent of cases of depression are treated by them.” Lessons learned are immediately invaluable to the students and not limited to mental health. “Going out there and talking to people at the shelter takes initiative, self control, educating yourself about how to understand the environment, approach people, your own safety,” Foster said. Third-year student Philip Neiheisel, who has met former college professors, firefighters and piano tuners in his hours at the shelters, also learned that homelessness can come quickly out of nowhere. Enoch, for example, went fairly quickly from leading a normal life to spending his nights in the woods in a sleeping bag. “You think about people who are homeless and you think it’s a long spiral of drugs and things or maybe some bad decisions early in life,” Neiheisel said during a visit to the Augusta Rescue Mission. “Sometimes it is, but what seems more common is that you are doing just fine, you have your life together, then you have a bad stroke of luck and end up here.” Q

GEORGIA Medicine


Student Spotlight

Student fosters public policy advocacy for future physicians

Speaking out


For most of his formative years, fourth-year medical student Paul Mayor thought he’d follow in his brother’s footsteps and become a lawyer. But it was while he was working for a lawyer that he figured out he’d rather be a doctor.


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“I actually worked for a medical malpractice lawyer for two years while I was in high school,” he said laughing. With a nurse for a mother and an engineer for a father, research and science had always interested him. As a child, he made frequent trips to the office with his mother.

“I saw attending medical school as an opportunity to bring my love of science and my desire to help and communicate with people together,” Mayor said. In his second year at MCG, he said he had found multiple opportunities for service. In fact, it was a service project that helped him figure out what specialty he’d like to pursue. “My grandparents are Cuban and I majored in Spanish during college, so I was a natural fit to work in a community clinic that catered to Hispanic women. I saw so many women there that couldn’t communicate with their English-speaking caregivers.” Mayor, who spoke their language fluently, was there to explain the process of gynecological medical exams, and

“There are not a lot of physicians in Washington making decisions for us, so involvement…in the decision making process (makes us) better advocates for our profession.”



at a glance

he found his calling in obstetrics and gynecology – a specialty he says combines his love of primary care and surgery. “Primary care is an opportunity to stay in touch with patients and the surgery aspect of it gives me a chance to get some time in the operating room, which I also really enjoy.” “Staying in touch” is also part of another role Mayor plays – Vice Speaker of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section Governing Council, a position he was elected to last summer. A member of the AMA since his freshman year of medical school, Mayor sees the association as a better way to stay “in touch” with his chosen profession. “It doesn’t’ matter what profession you’re in, professional development groups are a way to learn about what’s going on,” he said. “Physicians get busy with patients and tend to complain about some of the things going on in health care, especially on a national level, but they typically don’t do anything about it. There are not a lot of physicians in Washington making decisions for us, so involvement in groups like the AMA is a way for us to be involved in the decision making process – to be better advocates for our profession.”

As Vice Speaker, he is one of seven members of the association’s student governing council and will be responsible for planning student programming at the association’s national meetings. He also will work with the speaker to guide student members through the parliamentary process of passing resolutions on the section’s future actions. The association, the largest of physicians and medical students in the United States, works to promote the art and science of medicine for the betterment of the public health and to advance the interests of physicians and their patients. Students involved in the association are also involved in developing community service projects across the country and have opportunities to hone their professional skills at national conferences. “There are plenty of professional development opportunities,” he said. “At the meetings they offer workshops on interviewing skills, how to find the best residency programs and more.” Paul also serves as a regional Delegate in the association’s House of Delegates and has been a voting member of the association – one of just 21 students with that position – for the past two years. “I think it’s important to stay involved and have a say in what’s going on with our profession and with health care policy on a national level,” he said. “It’s something I hope to carry on to my career. When I interview for my residencies, one of the things I’m asking is how they feel about organized medicine – do they value it – because I want to be able to stay involved.” Q

Year: Fourth Hometown: Macon, Ga. Undergraduate: University of Georgia; double-major in microbiology and Spanish Family: Parents, George and Carolyn; three brothers Extracurricular: Vice Speaker of the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section Governing Council, 2010-11 Hobbies: Running, travel, cooking, reading, music Future plans: Pursuing match for residency in obstetrics and gynecology

Medical Student Section The AMA Medical Student Section Governing Council is elected annually by the organization’s assembly to direct the programs and activities of the section at a national level. The council consists of eight members from medical schools nationwide, each of whom serves a one-year term: Chair, Vice Chair, Delegate, Alternate Delegate, At-Large Officer, Speaker, Vice Speaker and Chair-Elect/Immediate Past Chair. Region 4 covers student chapters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Tennessee.

GEORGIA Medicine





MacFadyen gets big marks on minimally invasive surgery

A closer look at people behind the endowment

Dr. Bruce V. MacFadyen 30

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f someone said Dr. Bruce V. MacFadyen is really good at “getting under your skin,” he would take it as a compliment. As one who has specialized in the practice and teaching of endoscopic surgery for the better part of his career, “under the skin” is precisely where he does his best work. The Philadelphia native, who served as Chairman of the Medical College of Georgia’s Department of Surgery from 2004 until last fall, is a leading expert in therapeutic endoscopy and minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgery. His recruitment from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston was a strategic move to strengthen MCG’s minimally invasive surgery and endoscopic services. MacFadyen’s colleagues say that is exactly what has happened. “He is most definitely a leader in endoscopic approaches and he has used that expertise to grow the program in a very balanced way,” said Dr. David Lind, Chief of Surgical Oncology, whom MacFadyen recruited six years ago. “He’s a superb clinician and educator.” MacFadyen, who recently stepped down as Moretz/ Mansberger Distinguished Chairman, says that improving the university’s surgical simulation training is one of his proudest accomplishments since joining the institution in 2002. “This is one of the best simulation programs on the East Coast,” MacFadyen said. “This is one of the best centers I’ve seen in many, many places.” The Virtual Education and Simulation Laboratory enables surgical residents to practice upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and colonoscopies before performing actual procedures on a patient, allowing them to safely hone skills such as placing chest tubes and central lines, closing incisions, repairing bowel injuries and creating bowel and vascular anastomoses. MacFadyen believes MCG’s surgical simulation training, though advanced compared to many academic health centers, is just the tip of the iceberg. “Surgical simulation really should be at the level that we train pilots at,” he said. “Pilots spend many hours in the simulator before ever stepping into the cockpit. I think that simulation is the way to go.”

Dr. MacFadyen examines a patient in the surgery clinic while nurse Ruthie Rogers and third-year medical student John Neiner observe.

The simulation center has grown to the point where it will soon be seeking accreditation from the American College of Surgeon Education Institute, said Dr. Michael Edwards, another MacFadyen recruit. “Our surgical simulation center and skills curriculum have improved significantly over the past four years,” Edwards said.

Moretz/Mansberger Distinguished Chairman in Surgery

On the cutting edge Surgical simulation did not exist, and minimally invasive surgery was considered a novelty, when MacFadyen began his career in academic medicine. In fact, the fiber optics that make modern endoscopy possible was an emerging technology when he graduated from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital (now Drexel University College of Medicine) in 1968. After completing his general surgery training in Pennsylvania, MacFadyen joined the fledgling Department of Surgery at the then-new University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Among those early recruits was Dr. Stanley Dudrick, one of the pioneers of feeding patients with gastrointestinal tract impairments intravenously. MacFadyen worked as investigator in Dudrick’s lab and helped research some of the

Dr. William Moretz

Dr. Arlie Mansberger Jr.

MORETZ/MANSBERGER The chair was established through donations by multiple donors, including patients, surgical faculty and alumni, to honor Drs. William Moretz and Arlie Mansberger Jr. Dr. Moretz served for nearly 30 years as a professor, surgeon, researcher and department chair as well as president of MCG from 1972-83. Dr. Mansberger, Chair Emeritus and Professor Emeritus, joined MCG in 1973 and helped it create one of the nation’s premier shock-trauma services.

GEORGIA Medicine


AT A GLANCE DR. BRUCE V. MACFADYEN JR. Born: Nov. 4, 1942, Pennsylvania Family: Wife Rosemary; four children Education: OB.S., Wheaton College, 1964 OM.D., Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, 1968 OInternship, Residency, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania 1968-72 OResidency, The Hermann Hospital, The University of Texas

Medical School, Houston, 1972-74 OClinical Fellowship, American Cancer Society, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1975-78 OTraining in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio, 1986 OTraining in Biliary Tract Endoscopy, University of Western Ontario, Canada, 1987-88

Positions at MCG: OProfessor of Surgery; Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery April 2002-July 2004; Nov. 2010-present OInterim Chairman, Department of Surgery

Feb. 2004-July 2004 OChairman, Department of Surgery

July 2004-Nov. 2010

Trivia: OFather was an obstetrician-gynecologist; uncle was a general surgeon. OServed as co-editor of the Journal of Surgical Endoscopy

since 1998 and recently edited Laparoscopic Surgery of the Abdomen, a textbook for general surgeons. OWon the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons’ Distinguished Service Award (2006) and Jeffery L. Ponsky Master Educator Award (2009); named to Castle Connolly’s America’s Top Doctors list (2001-2010).

specialized therapies known today as total parenteral nutrition and hyperalimentation. At that time, traditional, “open” surgeries were the norm for nearly all procedures. But advancements in flexible endososcopic instrumentation in the 1970s enabled surgeons, particularly Europeans, to expand laparoscopic techniques beyond simple tubal ligations and polypectomies. Recognizing laparoscopy wasn’t a passing fad, MacFadyen joined the growing number of Americans interested in learning minimally-invasive surgery. In 1986 he took a sabbatical to study under Dr. Jeffrey L. Ponsky, co-founder of the percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy procedure, at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. MacFadyen didn’t understand the full potential of minimally invasive surgery, however, until he presented a paper at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons in 1989 on Percutaneous Cholecystectomy and Lithotripsy of Gallstones – the process of going through a patient’s liver to remove gallstones crushed by high-energy shock waves. He was surprised to meet a French surgeon who had leapfrogged his procedure entirely by removing not only the gallstones but the entire gallbladder laparoscopically.

“HE EXHIBITS A GREAT DEAL OF PATIENCE AND PERSEVERANCE WHEN TEACHING ON THE WARDS OR IN THE OPERATING ROOM. IN SHORT, HE IS THE MODEL OF THE IDEAL SURGICAL EDUCATOR.” –DR. JAMES BITTNER “I said this makes much more sense than what I’m doing,” MacFadyen said of the technique now used in 80 percent of all gallbladder removals. Surgeons now laparoscopically perform liver and colon resections, as well as remove kidneys, spleens and other abdominal organs using “single port” laparoscopy, which relies on a single incision in the navel instead of the usual three to five abdominal incisions used in standard procedures. MacFadyen said the next surgical frontier will likely be natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, a procedure known as NOTES, in which endoscopes are passed though natural orifices, such as the mouth,


Spring 11

urethra or anus, and then into the abdomen through an internal incision. The technique leaves no external scars and is said to result in faster recovery times, fewer wound infections and better post-surgical diaphragm function. “Right now people are really interested in doing single-port laparoscopy, but I think that’s just a transition to this NOTES surgery,” he said.

Meet the new Chairman

Teaching at home and abroad In developed nations, minimally invasive surgery has replaced open surgery in nearly all cases outside emergency rooms. In developing countries, however, surgeons barely have the training and equipment to adequately perform moderate procedures. MacFadyen is working to change that in one of the world’s least-developed regions: sub-Saharan Africa. He has been involved with the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons since its inception in 1996. The non-denominational Christian group organizes trips for volunteer physicians to train Africans using an American-style surgical curriculum adapted to Third World realities. “We’re training Africans in Africa to take care of Africans with their own equipment,” MacFadyen said. The organization, whose goal is to train 100 surgeons by 2020, obligates trainees to remain in their home nations, where the need is greatest. In Malawi, for example, there is one surgeon for every 1.5 million people. “A lot of the (African) surgeons leave and go to Western Europe or the U.S., where they’re not needed,” MacFadyen said. “I saw some patients in Cameroon recently and some of these people had major medical problems. They came by bus and it took them two days to get there.” MacFadyen’s understudies and colleagues say his volunteer teaching in Africa is indicative of the passion he brings to the university on a daily basis. “He exhibits a great deal of patience and perseverance when teaching on the wards or in the operating room,” said Dr. James Bittner, a fifth-year surgical resident. “In short, he is the best model of the ideal surgical educator.” Now that he has fewer administrative duties, MacFadyen says he plans on devoting more time to his African mission trips and researching the next paradigm shift in surgery, which he believes will involve nanotechnology. “I think we’re going to get to the cellular level; I’m not sure how, but it’s going to be on a cellular level,” he said. “I believe we’ll have instruments and techniques to deliver, say, tumor destruction or something like that. That would be something I’d love to see.” Q

(Editor’s Note: Learn more about Dr. Howell in the Fall 2011 edition of Georgia Medicine.)

DR. CHARLES G. HOWELL Dr. Charles G. Howell, Chief of the Section of Pediatric Surgery and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery, was recently named Chairman of the department. The 1973 graduate of MCG has been a faculty member for more than 30 years and has led the pediatric surgery program since 1993. He is Co-Director and Surgeon-in-Chief of GHSU’S Children’s Medical Center and Medical Director of its operating room. He co-directs the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, program for children in respiratory failure at the children’s hospital and helped found the program which is one of the first in the nation. His clinical interests include surgery of the newborn, thoracic surgery, trauma and laparoscopic surgery. Research interests include gastroesophageal reflux, diaphragmatic hernias and ECMO. “Dr. Howell is a strong leader, educator and surgeon as well as a tireless advocate for some of our most vulnerable patients,” MCG Dean Dr. Peter F. Buckley said. “He has great knowledge and passion for this university and its Department of Surgery.”

GEORGIA Medicine



Generations: Alumni reflect on careers, future trends Drs. E. Dan DeLoach and LaMar S. McGinnis

Georgia Medicine Editor Damon Cline had a chance to sit down with Drs. LaMar S. McGinnis (’54) and E. Dan DeLoach (’73) before a dinner meeting in Atlanta at the Cherokee Town and Country Club to talk about their careers in medicine and their thoughts on the future. Georgia Medicine:  I’m  always  curious  about   KRZSK\VLFLDQVPDGHWKHLUGHFLVLRQWRJR LQWRPHGLFLQH&DQ\RXWHOOPH\RXUHDUOLHVW recollections  about  what  made  you  want  to   become  a  doctor? LaMar McGinnis: I was always pretty good in science. I remember specifically when I was 10 or 11 having a conversation in the car with my father in Waco, Texas, where I grew up. We were at a stoplight next to the old Coca-Cola plant and he asked me what I thought I’d like to do. I said I’d like to be a scientist. He said, ‘Well, your mother would like you to be a doctor.’ And that was it. I never looked back. It was easy because I was focused in that direction. I never had a second thought.

Dr. E. Dan DeLoach

Dan DeLoach: Well, my story is almost as simple. From the time I had any recollection – around age 4 or 5 – I always knew I wanted to be a physician. Just like you, it happened at a very early age. That’s the direction I was pointed in, and nothing detracted me from that vision. LM: It’s fortunate when you can make that decision early in life, because some people never do. DD: Yes, we were fortunate.


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Dr. LaMar S. McGinnis

GM:  Some  would  also  say  you  were  also  fortunate WREHLQPHGLFLQHDWWKHWLPH\RXGLG,KHDUVRPH SHRSOHUHIHUWRLWDVWKHÂłJROGHQDJH´RIPHGLFLQH LM: Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no question we lived in the golden age. When you look at all the discoveries and advances in technology that have occurred since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve graduated, it has been phenomenal. We doubled the life span in the last century. Carl Drucker, a Nobel laureate economist from the University of Chicago, said that was the greatest accomplishment of the 20th century. DD: I think a lot of that had to do with the control of infectious diseases. LM: Certainly, public health and infectious disease control played a major role, but it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until the post-World War II era that you could really do all the surgery that we can do today. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t until then that most surgeons could enter all the cavities, have anesthesia and blood transfusions. However, the things that will happen in this century will make us look trivial. DD: Oh, absolutely. LM: When I first came to Atlanta to practice, I was doing clinical research at Georgia Baptist Hospital (now Atlanta Medical Center) and I would look at records from the 40s and think they were just awful. Then I thought, I hope 50 years from now people are not going to be reviewing my charts with a similar impression. So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always practiced medicine with that in mind; that somebody is going to be looking over my work. GM:  Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m  sure  youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve  seen  your  share  of  trends  over WKH\HDUV LM: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been in surgery long enough to see a lot of things come and go â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the hot topics. At one time, one of the greatest and most exciting things you could do in surgery was study gastric physiology because peptic ulcer was such a problem. We did complex operations for ulcers, but it was virtually all taken away when it was discovered that H. pylori infection caused ulcer disease. So some of those operations that were hot at one time, just went away.

DD: I think the way we look back at those procedures and say how trivial or unnecessary they were, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure future physicians will look back at what we do now and say the same thing. Look at how many people we made into gastric cripples because of the Bilroth I and Bilroth II gastrectomies. People look at that now and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;what at terrible way to treat that disease,â&#x20AC;? because now we have medications. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only seen the tip of that. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeing so many diseases that now can be treated medically, not surgically. The field of general surgery is actually shrinking. The evolution of surgery has been nothing short of marvelous and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to continue. The accomplishments we have made will be dwarfed by the next generation. LM: Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re now in an era of molecular biology and nanotechnology. The sciences are converging so that chemistry and engineering are having a tremendous impact on medicine. The thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so humbling about all this is that as we learn more, we realize how much we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve come to the conclusion that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll never know it all. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s incremental. We just keep doing the best we can. *02QWKHWRSLFRIGRLQJJRRGZRUNGR\RXWKLQN WKHFRPPLWPHQW\RXQJHUSK\VLFLDQVKDYHIRUWKH SURIHVVLRQKDVFKDQJHG",WVHHPVDVWKRXJKKDYLQJ DZRUNOLIHEDODQFHLVEHFRPLQJLQFUHDVLQJO\ LPSRUWDQWWRWKHP DD: Dr. McGinnis and I are old-school physicians. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not like the new, young guys who want to do eight-hour or 10hour shifts and go home. Our dedication was, and is, solely to the patient. If it took 10 hours or 20 hours or 30 hours, you stayed there until the patient was taken care of properly and appropriately. LM: The concept of how you spend your life has changed. I appreciate that the younger generation wants to spend more time with their family, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good. But the issue of having a wider responsibility outside of your practice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a civic responsibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is something I actually addressed in my (American College of Surgeons) presidential address. Fortunately, there are a number of physicians stepping up to this leadership role. DD: I think civic responsibility is important because medicine right now is facing unprecedented changes that GEORGIA Medicine


are going to be potentially bad for patients, bad for physicians and bad for hospitals. These new guidelines are going to flow directly to outcomes as to how our patients do or do not do. *0<RXÂśUHREYLRXVO\WDONLQJDERXWWKHIHGHUDO health  care  reform  legislation? DD: Yes. I think medicine is under attack from a variety of sources, but the newest source is this health care reform bill. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, unfortunately, the most dangerous source weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re facing. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do something to change this, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to have a major impact on access and the quality of care our patients receive. This is the time to step forward â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as physicians, the true experts â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and make our voices heard about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best for our patients. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voices will never be heard. I think the way to do that is by being members of alumni associations and medical associations and taking a leadership role in these organizations to help direct this conversation between our congress, our leaders and our patients. We are the leaders and intermediaries for our patients. If we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak up for them, no one will. LM: I think Dan and I are really saying the same thing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; civic responsibility. Physicians need to be in all these venues where a voice has impact. Physicians need to speak out and keep the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interests foremost. *0'U0F*LQQLV,ÂśPFXULRXVWRKHDU\RXU SHUVSHFWLYHRQKHDOWKFDUHUHIRUPVLQFH\RXZHUH SUDFWLFLQJEHIRUHWKHFUHDWLRQRI0HGLFDUHDQG 0HGLFDLG LM: I have become a student of health care reform during the past five or six years. Furtive attempts for health care reform have been going on nationally and internationally for 150 years, extending back to the time of Virchow in Germany. Attempts have been going on in this country since Teddy Roosevelt. He was the first to push it forward. Then came Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and others. Never have health care providers been invited to participate fully in evolving a plan. I remember when Medicare came in. Before Medicare, we really paid little attention to our fees. Medicare came in and set values for fees, and physicians began to focus on fees and this has persisted. Now, it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make a difference what your fee is because youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to be paid it anyway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the insurance companies are deciding that. When I was in practice, I was overjoyed with Medicare because they were the best and most dependable payor for our practice. DD: Unfortunately, what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen in Medicare and Medicaid â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as state and federal budgets have continued to tighten â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is that reimbursements have been going


Spring 11

down, down, down. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now at a point, according to multiple AMA studies, that the reimbursement for both Medicare and Medicaid is well below the cost of providing the care. So basically, physicians are subsidizing care for patients on Medicare and Medicaid with patients who can afford to pay. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Robin Hood scenario where youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re taking from one bucket and putting it into another to keep your door open and take care of these folks on Medicare and Medicaid, who otherwise, may have great difficulty getting the care they need. GM:  And  when  you  add  in  30  million  more   XQLQVXUHGSHRSOHWRWKHV\VWHPÂŤ DD: Forty million. And itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to cost any more money? And weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to put in 160 different commissions, committees and panels? The whole thing is just built on smoke and mirrors. It canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t possibly sustain itself. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to collapse. LM: My practice accepted Medicaid â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which is basically charity work â&#x20AC;&#x201C; because I decided thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m obligated to do. We understood we would bill and that often we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get paid, or we would only get paid a small portion. However, there comes a point where this becomes highly impractical. Who knows how itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to play out. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re faced with this SGR (Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate) systemâ&#x20AC;Ś DD: â&#x20AC;ŚWhich is very badly broken. LM: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s totally broken. It was broken from its inception, and it remains broken. The Democrats acted as if they wanted to fix it. The Republicans will not fix it because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to spend any more money â&#x20AC;&#x201C; on anything. Our (the ACS) major focus has been on quality and safety. We have documented how increased quality and safety decreases the cost of care, so it has been disappointing that the focus of reform has been mainly on insurance and on things other than quality and safety. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how this is going to play out, but I do know that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s likely to affect access to care, because we have enormous physician shortages across the board. The big focus in this country at present is on primary care, but there is a profound shortage of general surgeons, which is the primary care of surgery. Since 1988 weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been producing 1,000 surgeons a year. During this same time, the population has grown, aged and needs more care. However, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re turning out the same numbers or even less because the government has capped residency programs at about 1,000 surgeons a year. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a recent survey of 8,000 surgeons that shows 35 percent between the ages of 50 and 55 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the prime years of a practice â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are burning out and likely to retire. So you have an aging workforce and a burned-out

workforce. As an elderly person needing care, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m worried about that. *0:KDWDERXWLPSRUWLQJSK\VLFLDQVIURPRWKHU countries?  It  seems  an  increasing  number  of   $PHULFDÂśVSK\VLFLDQVDUHIRUHLJQERUQ LM: Twenty-five percent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 25 percent of practicing physicians are foreign graduates. Only 15 percent of surgeons are foreign graduates, but more would like to come, of course. The problem is thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a brain drain on those countries, many of which are developing nations. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not proper for us to take these people away from their native countries. *0:KDWDUH\RXURSLQLRQVRQWKHIXWXUHUROHRI WKHSK\VLFLDQLQWKLVWHDPEDVHGPRGHORIPHGLFLQH weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re  moving  toward? DD: Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a giant outpouring of paraprofessionals, such as the nurse practitioners and the doctors of nursing sciences, that are basically attempting to compete with physicians in the arena of patient care. That just makes the challenge for the physician even greater as we are forced to transition from the primary provider to the secondary provider. This layer of nurses and PAs are seeing the patient first and starting the course of treatment. However, when the wheels fall off and the patient condition starts going down, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to suddenly be dumped into our laps. *06R\RXGRQÂśWPLQGDWHDPEDVHGDSSURDFK \RXMXVWZDQWWRVHHWKDWÂŤ DD: That the physician is in charge. LM: In the waning moments of this discussion, Dan and I may diverge a bit. I do see a significant place for these people, the nurse practitioners, the PAs and other allied health professionals. We will not be able to deliver care to the public without them. DD: And I agree with that, but what Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m concerned about is the physician being replaced by them. LM: I have enormous confidence in what is evolving in nursing and allied health. I think medicine would be illadvised to oppose this expansion because physicians are not going to be able to meet the demand for all types of primary care. There needs to be a major change in the way we deliver care. Other health professionals are competent and well trained to deliver many types of primary care. We should be letting the doctors, who have this enormous education, work at a different level. Primary Care providers cannot just keep working 9-to- 4, four and a half days a week â&#x20AC;&#x201C; care has to be provided 24 hours a day around the clock. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to be done by a doc in a box. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have to rely on other health professionals more than we have in the past.

DD: I agree that we are going to need them. The problem I have is â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean to sound denigrating â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is that you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. Yes, immunizations can be given by nurses. Colds and things of that nature can be evaluated by nurses. But what happens when a kid rolls in with the early stages of meningococcal meningitis? Is the nurse practitioner going to be seasoned enough to pick up on that? *0/HWÂśVVKLIWJHDUVDELWDQGHQGRQDWRSLFZKHUH \RXSUREDEO\VKDUHPRUHFRPPRQJURXQGÂą\RXU DOPDPDWHU)URPDQDOXPQLSHUVSHFWLYHZKDW ZRXOG\RXOLNHWRVHHDW0&*" LM: We need to be a leader in teaching â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to me, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the basic thing. Teaching is deficient in virtually every university now because all the emphasis is on research. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the money comes from. DD: But teaching is something that, in its past, MCG excelled at. LM: Oh, when I think of the people that were there when I was thereâ&#x20AC;Śthey were legendary. DD: Absolutely. They were legendary nationally. LM: Sydenstricker, Hamilton, Ellisonâ&#x20AC;ŚI mean you just go on and on. DD: When I was a medical student, it was no secret that MCG turned out some of the best clinicians in the country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; maybe the best. You could take an MCG grad and put him next to a UVA or Harvard grad and we could run rings around those guys. They didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the clinical experience and the clinical teaching and training that we had. GM:  Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve  had  a  chance  to  see  some  of  the  changes WKDWKDYHEHHQPDGHE\WKHQHZDGPLQLVWUDWLRQ How  bullish  are  you  on  the  future  of  the  school? LM: I think that we have never had more opportunity than we have right now, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like to see that opportunity pay off. I look at the University of Virginia, (the University of North Carolina) Chapel Hill â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those are the kinds of state schools that we should emulate. DD: Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re right, LaMar; the opportunity now is the biggest and best it has ever been. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of energy right now and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very excited about it. LM: Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m more excited now than I have been in many years. I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re both going to be looking for great things to happen at MCG. We are the state school, responsible for the health of Georgians.  Q

GEORGIA Medicine


“We are  coming  together  for  the  greater  good  of  this   DFDGHPLFKHDOWKFHQWHUDQGWKHSHRSOHZHVHUYH´ –President Ricardo Azziz

GHSU unites with foundations, improves development opportunities COURTESY MCG FOUNDATION


eorgia Health Sciences University has always been grateful for the philanthropic contributions of its stakeholders, but those contributions are becoming even more valued as other funding sources – namely state allocations – become scarce. Improving philanthropic relationships is one of the major tenets of GHSU’s goal of becoming a top-50 research university under President Ricardo Azziz’s administration. “Philanthropy is a form of investment,” Azziz said. “And we believe that the state’s only freestanding academic health center is a worthy investment.” Two recent developments have improved GHSU’s ability to better serve donors and create new opportunities for philanthropy – its new partnership with its two foundations and the consolidation of its university and health system development offices.

Foundation dispute settled In November, GHSU announced it had resolved a two-year dispute with the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, and that it would work collaboratively with the organization and the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation, which it created in 2008. Under the agreement, the MCG Foundation will focus on medical school philanthropy while the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation will focus on the university’s four other colleges – Allied Health Sciences, Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies and Nursing – and the health system. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with Dr. Azziz, and laud him for his work to bring the MCG Foundation back into the fold,” said Dr. James Osborne, President and CEO of the MCG Foundation.

Medical students Charles Grigsby (from left) and Ashley Foster and dental students Jayne Kelly and Andrew Shoemaker are recipients of MCG Foundation Merit Scholarships

The MCG Foundation was founded in 1954 to support the medical school. At $120 million in assets, it is the third-largest public university foundation in Georgia and manages more than $100 million in endowments, including 49 endowed chairs, departmental funds and student scholarships. “We are all coming together for the greater good of this academic health center and the people we serve,” Azziz said. “We stand united. Our differences have been resolved, and the state of Georgia is the beneficiary. Much still has to be worked out, but we are moving forward positively for the good of the university.” The multiple foundation model, used successfully by other universities and health systems, allows each foundation to focus its efforts on specific groups and provides donors more choices and better flexibility to give in a manner that best reflects their interests and passions. At the event announcing the new partnership, Clayton P. Boardman III, Chairman of the Georgia

WHY GIVE? GHSU Enterprise Operating Costs Q Total Costs Q State Appropriations

$161.6 million

$1.04 billion Dr. Ricardo Azziz President, GHSU


Spring 11

Dr. William Mayher III Chairman, MCG Foundation

Clay Boardman Chairman, Georgia Health Sciences Foundation

Health Sciences Foundation, cited “the vast potential that lies before us as a unified body.” Dr. William E. Mayher III, Chairman of the MCG Foundation, concurred. “You will never find a group more loyal to its alma mater than medical alumni — and many of those alumni are represented on our board,” he said. “Our singular focus is the betterment of GHSU.” In a show of support for the new partnership, Dr. Peter Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at GHSU, has pledged a percentage of his salary on an ongoing basis while President Azziz has agreed to do the same for the Georgia Health Sciences University.

Improved development structure Working with donors and the foundations is the newly organized department of University Advancement and Community Relations, which will represent both the university and its health system in a more nimble and responsive manner. “We have placed an emphasis on building our research and support services, allowing us to streamline and increase the efficiencies of our operation,” said Betty Meehan, the department’s Interim Vice President. “Our major gifts officers and alumni/special events staff are now centralized and working more strategically to advance the institutional priorities. With their combined experience and knowledge, they are positioned better than ever to respond to your needs and engage you in the life of our university.” Q


Q: I’m thinking about making a gift to Georgia Health Sciences University, but I don’t know where to start. Who should I call? A: The best place to start is by calling the GHSU Advancement office toll free at 800-869-1113. Staff members can talk to you about the opportunities and direct you to the appropriate development officer.

GIFT planning

We’re planning for the future. Are you? Our institution continues to grow and change, yet our plan is the same as it has always been:

Tony Duva Associate Vice President for Gift Planning

to continue to build a grand future for your medical school, the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Q: I already have a relationship with a development officer. Am I going to get a new one? A: Not necessarily. The consolidation of the university and health system operations resulted in some personnel changes, so the officer you worked with in the past may no longer be there. Donors with relationships to existing university personnel will not be reassigned to other staff members, and many new philanthropy opportunities for the university and health system can be handled through existing relationships.

Q: What happened to my donations during the period when GHSU and the MCG Foundation were in legal dispute? A: Donor funds were properly managed and allocated according to donor intent, just as they were prior to the dispute.

Q: With two different foundations supporting the university, which one should I give to? A: Foundations primarily hold and invest funds and then distribute them according to donor intent, so you are free to give to either foundation and be assured your contribution will benefit the university in the manner you wish. However, each foundation has selected an area of focus; the MCG Foundation focuses on medical school philanthropy, while the Georgia Health Sciences Foundation focuses on the other colleges and the health system.

Your support is at the heart of that future. Planned gifts—those designated to MCG through bequests, estate percentages, contingent gifts, trusts or a memorial gift—are of utmost importance to the life of a university. Unrestricted planned gifts from members of the classes of the 1930s, 1940s and beyond helped ensure our growth in the 1980s and 1990s, including expansion of our facilities and new degree programs. Restricted planned gifts— those designated for a specific cause—ensured the continuation of numerous scholarships and the endowment of chairs, all vital to the education of your fellow alumni, our next generation of health care providers. Planned gifts now will help ensure our medical college’s growth over the next decade and beyond. Change is a constant—new buildings must be raised, classrooms must expand, new faculty must be recruited, and innovative programs must begin. Our vision is that we will become a leading academic health center and top-50 research university, while transforming the institution and the region

into a health care and biomedical research destination. As we move toward this goal, it is your passion for what we do and for what we will continue to do that gives us the momentum to drive toward this vision. As our state’s medical school, the Medical College of Georgia may have had a number of changes since your time here walking these halls, but we are still your medical school. Like you, we continue to take enormous pride in the education we provide to future physicians, in our faculty and scientists making exciting breakthroughs in research, and in the quality of our services and clinical programs. So as you plan for your future, we encourage you to plan with us. Along with you, we look forward to even bigger and brighter undertakings in the future. Q

For information on making a gift contact Tony Duva at 1-800-869-1113, 706-721-1939 or GEORGIA Medicine


HOMECOMING 2011 Terry and Dr. Cecil Whitaker (’62) Dr. Hank Moseley Jr. (’76) holds granddaughter, Katherine Cudnik, daughter of Jonathan Cudnik (’11), at the President’s Cookout.

Dr. Joseph Hobbs (left) was elected President of the School of Medicine Alumni Association, taking over from past President Dr. Scott Bohlke (right).

Dr. John Darden (’71) and wife Sally greet Dr. Edmond Griffin (’71) and wife Georgia

Dr. Roston Williamson Jr. (’51) and wife Patricia (left) chat with Dr. Roy Witherington (’53)


Spring 11

Dr. Robert P. Castleberry (’71 ), a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, received the MCG Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Senior Scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. He was Director of the university’s Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology until 1997.

Dr. Peter Buckley and wife Leonie (right) welcome alumni to the Dean’s Reception.

Pioneers of  the  past...Wisdom  of  the  present...Leaders  of  the  future...

Many Minds, One Mission

Dr. William Edgar Mayher III (’64), a neurosurgeon, received MCG’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for Loyalty. Mayher served as Chief of Staff at Palmyra Medical Centers in Albany, where he is former Chairman of the Board and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. Mayher is Chairman of the MCG Foundation.

Dora Mayes, wife of Dr. Alva Mayes (’56), and Dr. Norman Smith (’71) and wife Gloria

GHSU President Ricardo Azziz greets Dr. B. Lamar Pilcher (’61) as Dr. James V. Rawson, Chairman of Radiology, looks on.

GEORGIA Medicine


Class Notes

Awards? Professional Honors? Special Activities?



Dr. Allyn Cleon Johnson

Dr. H. Brian Balfour ’71 has joined The Central Florida Cancer Institute as a radiation oncologist practicing at the institute’s offices in Davenport and Lake Wales, Fla.

’78 a urologist with Davenport, Iowa-based Urological Associates, has been included on a list of 106 physician leaders who have made significant contributions to the ambulatory surgical care industry by Becker’s ASC Review, a trade journal for ambulatory surgery centers.

Dr. James Sikes

Dr. Eddie Allen

’52 was recently profiled by The Gainesville Times for his 53 years of practice in Gainesville, Ga. As a medical student, Johnson participated in pioneering hypertension research. He has practiced internal medicine and cardiology since 1956.

1960s Dr. Milton Irvin Jonson

’60 of Macon, Ga., was recognized by the American Medical Association for his 50-year anniversary of graduating from medical school. Johnson has served as President of the Medical Association of Georgia, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and Bibb County Medical Society.

Dr. Drayton Sanders


of Macon, Ga., recently completed his bachelor’s degree. The retired physician, who was accepted to medical school in 1958, did not earn his undergraduate degree at Mercer University because of two courses taken at another college during his freshman year that did not count toward graduation.

Dr. Patton P. Smith

’62 of Forsyth, Ga., recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the Bibb County Medical Society. Smith, a retired family physician, practiced in Forsyth for 43 years. He served on the boards of the Monroe County Hospital and Community Health Works.

Dr. William E. Silver


of Atlanta received the Physician’s Award for Community Service from the Medical Association of Georgia for outstanding service outside the regular scope of practice. The plastic surgeon is a board member of the Atlanta Women’s Fund “Face to Face” program, which helps abused women recover from their injuries. He has also performed corrective surgeries for children in Mexico and Vietnam through Rotary International’s “Thousand Smiles Foundation.”

Dr. William “Billy” E. Mayher III


of Albany, Ga., was recently named to the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Board by former Gov. Sonny Purdue. The retired neurosurgeon is former Chief of Staff of the Palmyra Medical Centers in Albany and is Chairman of the MCG Foundation.

Dr. David Harvey

’65 of Warner Robins, Ga., has been named District Health Director for the North Central Health District, which covers 13 counties including Houston, Peach and Bibb. Harvey recently retired from his private pediatrics practice in Warner Robins.

Dr. James F. Gowen

’68 of Brunswick, Ga., was honored by Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus of GHSU for his contributions to educating future physicians for Georgia.

Dr. Phil Gingrey ’69 of Marietta, Ga., served as a panelist on the “Social Justice and the Health Care Bill” discussion at the 54th annual convention of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women. Gingrey practiced obstetrics for 26 years before winning election to Congress in 2002 as the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 11th District.


Spring 11

Dr. William C. Mobley

’71 has joined River Crest Hospital in San Angelo, Texas, as a staff psychiatrist treating adolescents and adults. He previously served as the chief psychiatrist at San Angelo State School.

Dr. Jack Tidwell


recently merged his business, Tidwell Cancer Treatment Center, with Columbus Regional Healthcare in Columbus, Ga. The radiation oncologist founded the center in the early 1990s. He and his staff will continue to provide direct patient care at the center.

Dr. David A. Driggers

’72 has been appointed Director of Medical Education in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wyoming. Driggers is also a retired Colonel of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

Dr. Albert Marrero

’72 was honored by Ventura County Behavioral Health in Santa Paula, Calif., for 35 years of service as a psychiatrist with the county system.

Dr. John A. Mitas II

’73 has been awarded Mastership in the American College of Physicians, the organization’s highest recognition. Mitas served as the college’s Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Executive Vice President from 2002-09. Now retired, he serves as a Special Advisor to the CEO.

Dr. Rodney Smith

’73 of Gainesville, Ga., was appointed to the bank advisory board of the Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia. The family physician is a founding member of The Longstreet Clinic practice group.

Dr. James C. Blackwell

’74 has been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame of the University of West Georgia, where he was a standout pitcher on the 1965 team and class Valedictorian in 1966. He practices internal medicine in Dalton, Ga.

Dr. E. Dan DeLoach

’74 of Savannah, Ga., was elected the 2010-11 President of the Medical Association of Georgia. DeLoach is a plastic surgeon and a past Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association President.

Dr. David H. Johnson

’76 has joined Austin, Texas-based Mirna Therapeutics Inc. as a Scientific Advisor in oncology. He previously held positions at Vanderbilt University and is the current Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

Dr. Irving Pike

’78 of Virginia Beach, Va., was selected one of the 75 best gastroenterologists in America by Becker’s ASC Review, a trade journal for ambulatory surgery centers. Pike is President of Gastroenterology Consultants in Virginia Beach.

’79 joined the staff of Ty Cobb Healthcare System in Hartwell, Ga. He was previously with Gastroenterology Associates in Gainesville, Ga.

Dr. Mark Mitchell Jones

’79 of Atlanta discussed ear reconstruction for microtia patients at the University of Virginia Medical Center Lipscomb Lecture. The plastic surgeon also spoke at The 21st Annual Cleft Lip and Palate Symposium sponsored by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Dr. Stephen Moore

’79 joined the staff of Ty Cobb Healthcare System in Hartwell, Ga. He was previously with Gastroenterology Associates in Gainesville, Ga.

1980s Dr. Greg L. Jones

’80 of Statesboro, Ga., joined the staff of Willingway Hospital, a privately owned 40-bed alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility in Statesboro. The family medicine physician was formerly Director of Medical Services at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Dr. William C. Lindsay ’81 has been named a Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society. He practices cardiac electrophysiology in Knoxville, Tenn., at Mercy Medical Center West, where he is Medical Director of the Cardiac EP and Pacing Lab. He is adjunct faculty at the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Gerard Holmes ’83 has been named Medical Director for Pediatrix Cardiology Associates of New Mexico, where is also Director of Echocardiography. He was previously Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. He has practiced pediatric cardiology in New Mexico for 16 years. Dr. Ben Watson

’85 of Isle of Hope, Ga., was recently elected to the Georgia General Assembly representing District 163. Dr. Watson is a native of Twin City, Ga.

1990s Dr. Wade Gebara

’93 medical director of Berkshire Medical Center’s Radiation Oncology Department, received the staff’s Most Patient-Centered Physician award for 2010. Gebara joined the Pittsfield, Mass.-based community hospital in 2001.

Dr. Tiku Bhutwala ’95 has joined the medical staff of Parkridge Health System in Chattanooga, Tenn. The internal medicine specialist previously practiced at Battlefield Internal Medicine in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

We would love to hear what’s new with you. Contact Damon Cline, editor, at 706-721-4706 or e-mail

Dr. Terri Jones

’95 has joined the medical staff of Parkridge Health System in Chattanooga, Tenn. The internal medicine specialist previously practiced at Battlefield Internal Medicine in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Drs. Russell and Ronald Dandy ’97 of Savannah, Ga., were recently profiled by the Savannah Morning News in honor of their continuing their family’s tradition of eye care at Chatham Eye Associates. Russell is married to Dr. Zorana SiffordDandy, an obstetrician, and Ronald is married to Dr. Regina Buckley-Dandy, a family practice physician. Dr. Kevin Trapnell


of Gainesville, Ga., received recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Diabetes Association for providing quality care to his patients with diabetes. He is a family medicine physician with Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Cumming.

Dr. Joanne Rossman, ’98 a hematologist-oncologist, has joined the Southeast Cancer Network, an Alabama-based network of cancer care centers in urban and rural markets. Dr. Stephen A. Chitty


of St. Simons Island, Ga., was recently honored by Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus of GHSU for his contributions to educating future physicians for Georgia.

2000s Dr. Scott Colquhoun,

’00 an orthopedic surgeon with Wilmington Health in Wilmington, N.C., recently opened an additional office in Brunswick Forest, N.C.

Dr. Gordon Thomas Fahey

’00 joined The Lodi Memorial Community Clinic in Lodi, Calif., as a general surgeon. Dr. Fahey completed an internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Darlene Lobel,

’00 Chief of Neurosurgery for Northeast Georgia Physicians Group, discussed deep brain stimulation at the Northwest Georgia Parkinson’s Disease Association’s fifth annual Southeastern Parkinson Disease Conference in Atlanta. The procedure helps patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia regain control.

Dr. J.P. Gleason,

Dr. Mark Ghegan ’03 of Charleston, S.C., joined Charleston Ear, Nose and Throat Associates, working out of the West Ashley and Mount Pleasant offices. Previously, he was an ENT physician and surgeon in Atlanta. Dr. Nirav Dhruva, ’04 an oncologist/hematologist, recently joined the Athens office of the Georgia Cancer Specialists, a private cancer practice with offices in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Dr. Derron Spikes ’04 has opened Allure, a plastic and reconstructive surgery practice at the Tifton Physicians Center in Tifton, Ga. Spikes is a Tifton native. Dr. James L. Taylor ’05 of Gainesville, Ga., has joined The Longstreet Clinic as an inpatient physician. He recently completed an internal medicine internship, residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at the University of Iowa.. Dr. Jonathan Tolentino

’06 of Cincinnati has been appointed to the Asian Advisory Council by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Tolentino is a pediatrician at the University of Cincinnati Hospital and at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Dr. James Murphey ’06 has joined the staff of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group in Cleveland, Ga., after recently completing residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn. Dr. Ralph “Wynn” Crowe ’07 of Elberton, Ga., has joined the staff of Elbert Memorial Hospital as a family medicine practitioner after recently completing his residency in family medicine at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C. Dr. Malcolm Floyd ’07 of Americus, Ga., has opened Phoebe Sumter Family Medicine Associates in Americus after recently finishing his residency at Phoebe Putney Hospital. Floyd is a native of Albany, Ga.


’01 a pediatrician, has joined Children’s Medical Associates at The Veranda in Albany, Ga.

We’d like to hear from you

Dr. Kayln Lane

Have a question or concern?


has joined Athens Behavioral Medicine as a psychiatrist. She is one of only five physicians in the state to be awarded board certification by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in child and adolescent psychiatry, adult general psychiatry and forensic psychiatry.

Dr. Brad Bushnell


of Rome, Ga., published “The Management of Venomous Snakebite Injury to the Extremities” in The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Changed addresses lately? Want to learn more about participating in alumni programs? Contact: Scott Henson Executive Director, Alumni Affairs 706-721-4416

Obituaries Dr. Jack Larkin Austin ’41 died Jan. 14 at age 96. The Griffin, Ga., native trained at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Emory University. He served as the U.S. Army Medical Corps’ Commanding Officer of 303rd Station Hospital in London during World War II. He was a member of Theta Kappa Psi medical fraternity and numerous medical societies including the Medical Association of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Ophthalmology. Austin was also a member of First United Methodist Church and the Elks Club. Survivors include his wife, Vera Yvonne Stimson Austin, of Griffin; one son, one daughter, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a sister. Dr. Harold George Jarrell Sr. ’49 died Aug. 21 at age 84. Jarrell was the first resident of a partnership between Macon General Hospital and GHSU. He served in Japan as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps during the Korean War. After his service, Jarrell established ObGyn Associates of Columbia. He was honored by St. Francis Hospital in 2008 with the Dr. Clarence C. Butler Service and Leadership Award. Survivors include wife Corinne Betts Jarrell; two daughters, one son, seven grandchildren, one sister and one brother. Dr. Robert M. DeLaney ’50 died March 3 at age 86. The Morristown, N.J., native earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Texas before serving in the U.S. Army from 1943-45, where he was awarded the Purple Heart; two Bronze Stars; and Combat Medical Badge for his service in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he completing his medical degree and post-graduate training, DeLaney moved to Texas and had private practices in Lubbock, Gatesville and Marble Falls. He also served as Medical Director of Scott & White Clinic in Moody, Texas. Survivors include his wife, Mary; six children; and four grandchildren. Dr. John M. Miller ’56 died Nov. 23 at age 82. The Lakeland, Ga., native interned at the University of Tennessee John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and received residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at GHSU. He practiced obstetrics and gynecology from 1960 until his retirement in 1998 at Valdosta, Ga.’s Pineview General Hospital, now known as South Georgia Medical Center. He served in several leadership roles at the hospital including Chief of Staff. He was a member of Valdosta’s First United Methodist Church. Survivors include his wife, Patricia; two daughters, a son and five grandchildren. Dr. John Terrance Woods III ’71 died Aug. 7 at age 64. The Wilmington, Del., native served in the U.S. Army and graduated from the Army Flight Service School. He was a member of Rex Fraternity, the American Roentgen Ray Society and Georgia Radiological Society. Woods also was a member of First Baptist Church of Rome, the Nine O’Clock Cotillion and numerous local medical societies. Survivors include his wife, Christina Burk Woods; one son, one daughter and one grandson.

GEORGIA Medicine


Alumni in focus


Healing Hands


Alum strides through life with adventure, conviction

Baxter, No. 50, playing for the Mercer Bears in 1964

Baxter with Mercer roomate Sam Oni in 1993


Spring 11


r. Donald E. Baxter remembers the President of Mercer University calling him into his office one day to tell him that Baxter’s dorm room had been the target of several bomb threats. The President reassured him that he didn’t take the threats seriously. Baxter pondered the irony – ‘Well, as long as you’re not worried’ – before replying, “If you get any more of those calls, would you let me know?” At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Baxter is a strapping guy and accomplished athlete. But he knew his size wouldn’t protect him against a bomb. He also knew it was a chance he was willing to take. The bomb threats were aimed at his roommate, Sam Oni, who enrolled at Mercer in 1963 as the Macon, Ga. university’s first black student. When Baxter learned of his roommate’s ethnicity, he signed on for the front-row view of history with a mixture of disarming nonchalance – he could get along with just about anybody, he figured – and quiet conviction. His commitment to civil rights was born one summer, several years earlier, when he’d met Martin Luther King Jr. at church in Atlanta. “The minute I saw him, I knew the significance and how special he was,” Baxter says. “He was in the middle of everything.” The meeting was brief, but Baxter would never forget it. He followed King’s lead and demonstrated his conviction in subtle ways. For instance, when Oni was barred from the entrance of Macon’s

Dr. Donald E. Baxter ’69

Tattnall Square Baptist Church – the very church whose missionaries had converted him to Christianity in Nigeria – Baxter took him to Vineville Baptist Church, where they were reluctantly accepted.

Bomb Threats and Basketball “I was very, very nervous going to that church with him,” Baxter acknowledges. But their admission gave Oni hope that the Tattnall Square church might accept him after all. He returned but again was barred from the entrance. He preached a brief sermon outside the church in front of the news cameras that were capturing the event. Oni left peacefully but called the rejection “faith-shattering.” The experience was sobering for Baxter, too, in no small part because the bomb threats followed the roommates to church as well. “My mother told me I was gonna keep on until I got

myself killed,” Baxter says. “But I thought it was the right thing to do, so I did it.” Bomb threats nothwithstanding, Baxter eked out a good bit of fun at Mercer, distinguishing himself both academically and athletically. He was a full-fledged star on the basketball team, sharing honors with, among others, football great Dick Butkus when he received a 1990 National Collegiate Athletic Association Silver Anniversary Award, given annually to six distinguished former student athletes on the 25th anniversary of their graduation. Baxter loved the sport but figured his basketball days were over when he moved on to the next step of a well-planned trajectory: medical school. But upon enrolling in the Medical College of Georgia, classmate Clark Deriso suggested that they start a city league team. Baxter resisted at first: medical school plus basketball? Deriso was kidding … right?

No. And he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Before Baxter knew it, he and Deriso were cobbling together a team of MCG students, pitting themselves against city teams in the region. “Those were four of the most fun years of my life,” Baxter recalls. “We played about two games a week, and because we were so busy, our games doubled as practices. I remember one time I scored 52 points in one game. And we didn’t have a three-point line in those days.” He laughs that the feat required no small dose of bravado. “You gotta hog the ball and hope they’ll keep throwing it to you,” he says with a grin. Baxter had fun off the court, as well. He was in the Greenblatt Library one day when he met the beautiful young woman who would become his wife. Frances Pilcher Baxter remembers it well: “My sister was in nursing school, and I went to

Baxter in his Houston, Texas office in 1995

GEORGIA Medicine


Dr. Donald E. Baxter ’69 the library to pick her up,” she says. “It was one of the few days in Augusta when it snowed. When I got there, she introduced me to Don. He had a lot of energy. I felt like he was . . . different.”

The Baxter family in 1983: Frances (from left), James, Marian and Donald

Burgers and Marigolds Baxter was smitten enough to squeeze some dates into his increasingly hectic schedule. They married during his second year of medical school, moving into campus apartments for married students. Three brothers-in-law and their wives lived in the same complex, and the couples socialized often by grilling burgers and playing cards. “Sometimes we’d buy takeout, but we didn’t have any money, so whatever we could afford, we’d go get,” Baxter recalls. His wife, who taught school and worked in the library to support the couple while her husband completed medical school, concurs that they were, literally, dirt poor. “There was no grass in our yard, only dirt,” she says with a light laugh. “My mother felt so sorry for us, she sent someone to plant grass and marigolds.” The couple agrees that those were some of the best years of their lives, with Baxter noting during a recent homecoming visit to campus, “It brings back good memories to me.” Baxter admits that his active schedule occasionally stretched him to the limit. He laughs that a particularly tough professor dogs his dreams to this day. “Sometimes I have a nightmare that I’m gonna have a test with Dr. (Robert) Teabeaut and I’m not prepared. You’d think it would be out of my system by now.” But Baxter prevailed, as have many family members who also earned degrees at the university. “My granddaughter, Emma, has MCG descendants dating back to 1840,” he says proudly. “My family really enjoys medicine. That’s the common denominator. We are very indebted to MCG … extremely indebted.” After graduating, Baxter combined his love of medicine and sports by specializing in orthopedic surgery, hanging his shingle in Houston in 1969. His patients have included, among others, professional football and basketball players, ballerinas and Olympians.


Spring 11

Olympians and Country Music Stars One of them, Joaquim Cruz, came to Baxter penniless early in his running career with a serious foot injury. Baxter’s wife recalls, “There was a track outside of his office and Don said. ‘Let me watch you run.’ He went on to operate

– he spent hours in a cadaver lab on weekends trying to isolate a nerve in the foot that causes a lot of his patients pain – and he got that young man back on his feet. Don paid the hospital bill himself.” She recalls her pride when her husband watched Cruz win a race shortly thereafter,


Baxter’s granddaughter Emma (from left), wife Frances and daughter Marian in 2002

threading his way through a sea of photographers after crossing the finish line to go straight to him. “My foot didn’t hurt!” he told his surgeon. Cruz went on to win a 1984 Olympic Gold Medal for an 800-millimeter race. The nerve Dr. Baxter isolated is now dubbed “Baxter’s nerve” in medical circles.

“He really cares about his patients,” his wife says. “He’s always been that way.” Another famous patient is country music legend Willie Nelson. The two have been friends for decades. “Willie’s a great guy,” Baxter says. “He’s got a great sense of humor, he’s creative … he’s just special.” Baxter was on Nelson’s tour bus recently when he asked him to sing him a song. As Nelson accommodated him by softly crooning “Healing Hands of Time” in his unmistakable tenor voice, Baxter noted that no song could have been more apt. As charmed as his life may seem, Baxter harbors huge heartache: his son, James, died of a brain tumor six years ago at age 39. His wife struggles to put their grief in words. “The hardest thing was seeing him suffer so much,” she says softly. “I would say his diagnosis stopped all of us in our tracks. And then to lose him . . . you never get over it. It’s been six years, and I think it was year five when I said, ‘I’m gonna be here. I might as well try to have a life.’ I try to keep going, which I think is what James would have wanted.”

Grief and Joy Her husband tries to focus on his son’s living rather than his dying. “He was so brilliant and so funny,” Baxter reflects. Like his wife, he has willed himself to keep going. Just as the hands of time healed that long-ago slap in the face to roommate Oni on the steps of Tattnall Square Baptist Church (Oni, who remains friends with Baxter to this day, now visits the church to standing ovations), the hands of time are assuaging Baxter’s grief. He pours all of his affection into his family, including daughter Marian and granddaughter Emma. He can’t help wondering if little Emma will be the next family member to “fall in love with medicine.” If so, he’s ready to make a not-so-subtle plug for his alma mater. Says Baxter, “I just think it’s the best medical school I could imagine.” Q

Baxter’s Nerve

Anatomy of 1st branch of lateral plantar nerve known as Baxter’s nerve

Baxter-Pilcher GHSU Alumni To what do the Baxters attribute their family’s prolific representation in the healing arts? “My family has had doctors forever,” says Frances Pilcher Baxter. “No one has ever said or implied that we have to have doctors in the family, so I don’t know how it happens, except maybe that it’s familiar. We grew up after school riding our bicycles to the hospital my father built in Louisville, Ga. I’d walk in and see if there were any babies. It kind of felt like home.” GHSU alumni in the family include: Nursing: Medicine: 1959: Mary E. Pilcher 1914: Dr. John Lewis 1971: Elizabeth Pilcher Gunby 1916: Dr. John J. Pilcher Sr. 1976: Janet R. Pilcher 1943: Dr. Jim Pilcher 1950: Dr. George Pilcher 1952: Dr. John Pilcher Jr. 1968: Dr. Charles May 1970: Dr. Jim Pilcher Jr. 1970: Dr. Bob Gunby (also past President of the Texas Medical Association) 1978: Dr. George Pilcher Jr. 2009: Dr. Mary Frances Pilcher

GEORGIA Medicine


Can you help? It’s a snap! Send us your photographs. GHSU is creating a pictorial directory that will serve as a timeless memento of your alma mater. We need your help. Please take a moment to compile your GHSU-related photographs and submit them for possible inclusion in the directory. The photos can be formal or informal, silly or cerebral, reflecting on- or off-campus activities.

EMAIL digital photos to:


prints to:

Christine Deriso, FI-1040, Georgia Health Sciences University Augusta GA 30912 All prints will be returned promptly in the condition in which they were received. Be sure to include your contact information.

Smile! You’ve just contributed to GHSU’s historical archives. 48

Spring 11

By the Numbers 802 727 354 448

Students Students who are Georgia residents Female students Male students


2006 Fa 06

2007 Fa 07


2008 Fa 08


2009 Fa 09


2010 Fa 10


Alumni Association members


230 190



Fa 06 2006

Fa 07 2007

Fa 08 2008

Fa 09 2009







Fa 10 2010


10 2006 '05-06

2007 '06-07

2008 '07-08

2009 '08-09

2010 '09-10

2006 Fa 06

2007 Fa 07

2008 Fa 08

2009 Fa 09

Dean Peter F. Buckley Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Ruth-Marie E. Fincher

Alumni residing in Georgia


Degrees Conferred 184

Under-represented minority students



Full-time instructional faculty

New Enrollees

Applicants 2,036

456 11.9% 1,422 54.5%

Spring 2011

2010 Fa 10

GHSU-UGA Medical Partnership Campus Dean Barbara Schuster Senior Associate Deans John D. Catravas Joseph Hobbs William Kanto Walter J. Moore Anthony L. Mulloy Associate Deans Andrew T. Albritton Linda Boyd Cheryl Dickson Kimberly Halbur Kathleen M. McKie Shelley Nuss Marsha O’Connor W. Scott Richardson Terrence E. Steyer Andria Thomas Christopher White Geoffrey H. Young Assistant Deans William A. Guest Kathryn Martin Leonard Reeves T. Wayne Rentz Jr. Director of Operations Joel Covar

Sources: GHSU Division of Communications and Marketing and MCG Dean’s Office

MEDICAL COLLEGE OF GEORGIA Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


MCG Deanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office 1120 15th Street Augusta, Georgia 30912 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

www . g e o rg i a h e a l t h . e d u / s o m / g e o rg i a m e d i c i n e

Match Day 2011 The 174 fourth-year medical students at MCG joined more than 30,000 other students across the nation on March 18 to participate in what the National Resident Matching Program in Washington, D.C., called the largest Match Day ever.

AUGUSTA, GA Permit No. 210

Georgia Medicine, Spring 2011  

Spring is a wonderful time to be at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University. The campus is in bloom, the weathe...

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