Georgia MEDICAL COLLEGE OF
EDICINE M VOL. 5 NO. 2
Traumatic Experience When Seconds Count, Trauma Team is Ready
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Georgia MEDICAL COLLEGE OF
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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.
on the COVER
Traumatic Experience When Seconds Count, Trauma Team is Ready
Medical College of Georgia Chief of Staff Jeanette Balotin Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing David Brond Editor Christine Hurley Deriso Photographer Phil Jones Writers Toni Baker Christine Hurley Deriso Paula Hinely Denise Parrish Jennifer Hilliard Scott
News at a Glance
From the President
Student Spotlight Puja Chebrolu
ÂŠ2012 Georgia Health Sciences University
42 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: Christine Hurley Deriso, Editor GHSU, AD-1108 Augusta, GA 30912 email@example.com 706-721-2124 phone
Faculty Spotlight Dr. Norman Chutkan
By the Numbers
From the Dean
A Lasting Legacy
Extending the Reach
Walking the Talk
Bundles of Joy
Invested in Excellence
MCG Physicians Included in List of Nation’s Best
Building to be Named After Alumnus
Regional Campuses Enable MCG to Canvass the State
Resolving the Conundrum of the Untested Test
Resident of the Year Excels in Bedside Manner
Rich Heritage, Dynamic Future
Ob/Gyn Career Delivers Success, Happiness for Distinguished Alum
Investiture Ceremony Honors Faculty Named to Chairs
Scenes from Graduation, Hooding and Beard Award Presentation
Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Service
Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
nyone at any time” are disconcerting words in the context of physical trauma. A fall, an automobile wreck, an assault can happen without warning and, most often, without a clear understanding of why. However, it is comforting to know that when tragedy occurs, there are people and institutions committed around the clock to giving each of us our best chance of surviving and moving forward with our lives. These are our nation’s trauma centers. Thirty years ago, Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center made this commitment. Our GHS Trauma Center is a source of pride for our college and university, our community and our state. While not a traditional revenue generator, trauma centers are economic drivers in the sense that companies often look for this life-sustaining resource when deciding where to locate. They also are critical to our economy in that trauma most typically strikes our youngest citizens—our future. We invite you to read about the great work that unfolds in our Trauma Center day in and day out in this edition of Medical College of Georgia Medicine. The magazine also features another terrific example of our university’s exceptionally caring
legacy: Dr. J. Harold Harrison, a pioneering vascular surgeon and 1948 MCG graduate. The late Dr. Harrison contributed immeasurably to the medical profession throughout his life and has also contributed generously to his alma mater with his family’s $10 million leadership gift for the J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons. This facility will provide state-ofthe-art teaching facilities for our college and a beautiful space to continue to grow our class size. You also will get an update on the regional campuses across our fine state, another resounding reminder of the huge commitment of alumni, hospitals and communities to the health of Georgians. Let me thank you all for your support and your insight as we move forward. Educating the next generation of physicians is a critical task that we simply cannot accomplish without you. Wishing you a beautiful and safe fall season. n
News at a glance Consolidation Update n The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has approved a mission statement for the university being created through the consolidation of Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University. The regents voted Jan. 10 to consolidate the universities and charged a 21-member Consolidation Working Group to oversee the process. The committee unanimously endorsed a draft of the mission after broad-based feedback from members of both universities before submitting it to the regents. The Regents on May
9 approved the mission: to provide leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care and service as a student-centered comprehensive research university and academic health center with a wide range of programs from learning assistance through postdoctoral studies. “It was important that the new mission reflect the true breadth and scope of the new comprehensive research university, which would include an aligned and integrated health system,” said GHSU President Ricardo Azziz, who will oversee the consolidated university. “Our focus
will remain on educational quality, excellence and success, but it is important that our mission reflect the new reality – that we will be a completely new comprehensive university.” The mission will become effective after accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, expected in January, after which the Board of Regents will formally approve the consolidation. (see New Name, New Era, page 5) l
Shot in the Arm n Nearly $4 million in funding from the University System of Georgia will promote GHSU research growth and public health initiatives. This is part of $72.5 million being provided to all 35 USG institutions to strengthen programs that serve students and help increase college completion rates. At GHSU, that translates into $3.1 million for the new Institute of Public and Preventive Health and $750,000 for graduate research assistantships. Gov. Nathan Deal’s fiscal year 2013 budget also includes $5 million to support GHSU’s initiative to become the state’s second National Cancer Institutedesignated Cancer Center; funding for the university’s J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons building, which will enable class sizes to increase; and support for the eventual development of 400 additional residency positions at hospitals throughout the state. Gov. Deal also approved the transfer of the Augusta Golf & Gardens Property to the university system, which will enable future growth in downtown Augusta upon GHSU’s consolidation with Augusta State University next year. l
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A group of volunteers from Therapy Dogs Inc. (both the two-legged and four-legged variety) visited the Greenblatt Library June 11 to provide smiles and stress relief to members of the MCG Class of 2014 as they studied for the first part of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Karen Daniel, whose son Peter is in the class, thought of the idea after reading about graduate schools using therapy dogs to help students relax. Daniel, of Savannah, Ga., has a 120-lb. bloodhound and correctly surmised her son wasn’t the only animal lover in the group. The students took the test before they began clinical rotations in July. Last year, the first-time pass rate for MCG students taking this portion of the exam was 99.5 percent.
Maria Appointed n Dr. Bernard L. Maria, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, has been appointed a Scientific Reviewer for the Neurofibromatosis Research Program for U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. Maria, a pediatric neuro-oncologist, serves on two Experimental Therapies and Diagnosis panels reviewing grant applications for drug and device development as well as targeted and gene therapies for neurofibromatosis, the most common genetic disorder affecting the nervous system. The Journal of Child Neurology lauded Maria, a member of its Editorial Board, in late 2011 for his leadership in improving knowledge and treatment of neurological diseases in children, including neurofibromatosis. In 2001, Maria initiated the annual Neurobiology of Disease in Children Symposium held in conjunction with the Child Neurology Society Annual Meeting. Maria, who holds the Ellington Charles Hawes Distinguished Chair in Pediatrics at MCG, is Senior Associate Editor for Child NeurologyMedlink Neurology. His research focuses on new treatment for therapy-resistant brain tumors in children. l
New Faces in Psychiatry n Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, formerly Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University Health Sciences, has joined the MCG Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior as Chair. His clinical and research interests include depression, electroconvulsive therapy, sleep disorders and depression. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute of Mental Health since 1995 and he has authored or co-authored 138 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 book chapters. Dr. Peter B. Rosenquist, formerly Professor in the Wake Forest Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, has joined McCall as Vice Chair. Rosenquist, who also serves as Director of Therapeutic Neurostimulation at the GHS Health System, directed Therapeutic Brain Stimulation, Electroconvulsive Therapy and the Neurobehavioral Clinic at Wake Forest. His expertise includes clinical neuropsychiatry and developmental and intellectual disabilities. He is a chief collaborator for McCall’s National Institutes of Health-supported studies in ECT and insomnia. Rosenquist is a graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine. “The Department of Psychiatry at GHSU is about to embark upon an exciting period of clinical and academic growth, and is poised to capitalize upon prior success,” McCall said. “I am fortunate to be able to join a department with a great history and look forward to being part of its future.” l
Affiliation Strengthened A strengthened academic affiliation between Georgia Health Sciences University and University Hospital has 32 medical residents doing a portion of their training at University Hospital this year, a figure that will double by 2014. University officials said the relationship will enhance the quality of medical resident education, enable more medical students to complete clinical rotations at University and eventually alleviate the physician shortage in state. The residents who will complete part of their training at University Hospital this year include 12 internal medicine residents, eight obstetrics and gynecology residents and 12 general surgery residents. “We are grateful to University Health Care System CEO Jim Davis and Chief Medical Officer Bill Farr for enabling this progress,” said GHSU President Ricardo Azziz.
Wallach Named Vice Dean
Smith Named Interim Dean
n Dr. Paul M. Wallach, an internist with 25 years of academic medicine experience, has been named the MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. Wallach joined MCG Aug. 1, coming from New York Medical College, where he served as Vice Dean for Medical Education. He previously served as Vice Dean for Educational Affairs at the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine and Vice President/ Founding Dean of Touro University College of Medicine. “Paul brings tremendous knowledge, insight and passion for medical education,” said Dean Peter F. Buckley. “Working with our outstanding leadership team and a faculty that is truly dedicated to students and medical education, he will enable our college to continue to shine as a provider of a firstclass education whose graduates do great things for our state and nation.” “What is amazing about the opportunity to come to MCG is it follows over two decades of great work by someone I hold in incredible esteem,” Wallach said of his recently retired predecessor, Dr. Ruth-Marie E. Fincher. Fincher and Wallach have been colleagues for 20 years in their national academic activities. Wallach is a member of the Executive Board of the National Board of Medical Examiners and Chair of the Board’s Advisory Committee for Medical School Programs. He also is the board’s representative to the Composite Committee for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. Wallach formerly chaired the USMLE Step 2 Committee, overseeing the portion of the physician exam focused on clinical knowledge and skill. He chairs the International Foundations of Medicine and is a site visitor for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical schools. He has authored more than 80 articles and abstracts. He received the University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award. l
n Dr. Sylvia Smith, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Ophthalmology and Graduate Studies, has been named Interim Dean of the GHSU College of Graduate Studies. She began her new duties July 1, replacing Dr. Edward Inscho, who had served as Interim Dean since 2010. Smith, a retinal cell biologist, also directs basic science research in the GHSU Vision Discovery Institute. She will serve as Interim Dean until the national search for permanent Dean, already underway, is complete. Inscho will focus on National Institutes of Health-funded research programs directed at understanding the mechanisms of salt and hypertension-induced kidney injury. Smith is a Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and is renowned for her research on retinal function, particularly in diabetes. In 2010, she was one of 54 women in North America selected as a Fellow in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program, the nation’s only indepth national course preparing senior female faculty for leadership positions at academic health centers. She received the GHSU Research Institute’s 2007 Mahesh Distinguished Research Award for significant and sustained contributions to research, sustained external funding and outstanding mentoring and leadership. Smith is an investigator on three National Institutes of Health grants totaling more than $3.2 million. l
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Simmons Selected Associate Dean n Dr. C. Granville Simmons, an established educator and pediatrician from southwest Georgia, has been named Campus Associate Dean for the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus of the Medical College of Georgia. “I am excited about the opportunity. I want to see the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus become the choice, particularly for students who want to practice primary care or rural medicine,” said Simmons, who formerly served as Chief Medical Information Officer for Tift Regional Medical Center. “It’s a great place to learn how things really are and to get to do them.” The campus, based at Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, enables third- and fourth-year medical students to live and learn alongside southwest Georgia physicians. The campus received residential status in 2010. Simmons, a 1973 MCG graduate, has practiced pediatrics in the area for nearly 40 years. He has served as Pediatric Clerkship Director for the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus since 2010 and as a pediatric preceptor for third-year students since 2005. Simmons founded his practice, Children’s Medical Center, PC, as a solo practitioner in 1983 and remains CEO of the group. See page 23 for more information about the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus. l
Georgia Regents University New Name, New Era
Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. President, Georgia Health Sciences University and CEO, Georgia Health Sciences Health System
Aug. 7 marked an important milestone in the consolidation of Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents selected a name on that date that reflects the true breadth and depth of Georgiaâ€™s new comprehensive university: Georgia Regents University. It is important that our name reflect not only who we are, but what we hope to become: a leader in quality teaching and education, with a broad array of academic programs ranging from the arts and humanities to sciences and mathematics to medical and allied health education. Consider just a few of our defining characteristics: n A $1 billion-plus enterprise with statewide and national reach n One of only four public comprehensive research institutions in the state n An aligned and integrated health system n Nine colleges with nearly 10,000 students, 1,000 full-time faculty and 5,000 staff members n More than 650 acres of campus with nearly 150 buildings n A growing intercollegiate athletics program Now that a name has been selected, our real mission continues in earnest: excellence in teaching, research and serviceâ€”branding ourselves as the next great American university, competing with peers across the nation. I am confident that our collective investment in the future of Georgia Regents University will be tremendousâ€”a higher-quality university for our community, a greater portfolio of offerings for our students and added collaborative opportunities for our faculty and staff. Georgia Regents University will contribute to the health of the local and state economies like never before. With the continued support of our campus communities, alumni and local citizens, we will move forward into the future and continue to build one of the best and most treasured resources of this nation. Thank you for your continued support. n
Fifteen MCG physicians are included in the prestigious list of Americaâ€™s Top Doctors, a national patient reference guide published by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. The book, now in its 11th edition, identifies the top 1 percent of physicians in the nation, helping patients find recognized specialists in any given medical field. GHSU physicians have made the list for more than a decade.
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MCG Physicians Included in List of Nationâ€™s Best Dr. Ricardo Azziz, Reproductive Endocrinology and Surgery: Azziz is the eighth President of Georgia Health Sciences University and the CEO of Georgia Health Sciences Health System. His clinical and research interests include reproductive endocrinologic disorders, particularly androgen excess, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, non-classic adrenal hyperplasia and hirsutism.
Dr. Anand P. Jillella*, Hematology/ Oncology: Jillella is Acting Associate Director for Clinical Affairs at the GHSU Cancer Center and Chief of the Section of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Medicine. His interests include bone marrow transplantation, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and bloodrelated cancers.
Dr. Sharad A. Ghamande*, Gynecology/ Oncology: Ghamande is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Section of Gynecologic Oncology. His clinical and research interests include robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers, the role of folate receptors in ovarian cancer treatment, and chemotherapy trials, including Phase I trials. Ghamande is also principal investigator for the Georgia Gynecologic Oncology Group, funded by the National Cancer Institute to study innovative approaches to preventing and treating pelvic malignancies including those of the ovaries, cervix, vagina, uterus and vulva.
Dr. Bruce V. MacFadyen, General Surgery: MacFadyen formerly held the Distinguished MoretzMansberger Chair and served as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Surgery. His interests include gastrointestinal surgery, minimally invasive surgery and other new surgical technologies. MacFadyen spends his retirement helping develop surgical training programs in Third World countries.
Dr. David C. Hess, Neurology: Hess is Chair and Professor of Neurology and Co-Director of the Brain and Behavior Discovery Institute. He researches novel treatments for acute ischemic stroke. He helped develop REACH Health, Inc., a now-nationwide system established in Georgia enabling stroke specialists to consult with rural health care providers via telemedicine.
Dr. Walter J. Moore, Rheumatology: Moore is Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Section of Rheumatology and Adult Allergy and Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Veterans Affairs. He treats inflammatory soft-tissue and connective-tissue disorders and researches patient- and family-centered care and patient education. Dr. Julian J. Nussbaum, Ophthalmology and Vitreo-Retinal Disorders: Nussbaum is Professor and Chair of the Department
BY DENISE PARRISH
of Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the Vision Discovery Institute. He treats diabetic eye disease, age-related macular degeneration, and other degenerative and vascular disorders of the retina. Dr. Dennis R. Ownby, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology: Ownby is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, and Chief of the Section of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. He treats asthma and food allergies in children and adults and has identified risk factors for childhood asthma and allergies. Dr. Gregory N. Postma, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Postma is Professor of Otolaryngology and Director of the Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing Disorders. He treats voice disorders (including those of professional singers), swallowing disorders, airway disorders, gastroesophageal reflux and chronic cough. He helped pioneer in-office surgery and researches extraesophageal reflux, swallowing disorders and in-office surgery. Dr. Kapil D. Sethi, Neurology: Sethi is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Movement Disorders Program. His clinical interests include movement disorders and botulinum toxin injections. He researches Parkinson’s disease, restless legs syndrome and cervical dystonia (spasms in head and neck area).
Dr. Sandra G. B. Sexson, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Sexson is Professor and Chief of the Section of Child, Adolescent and Family Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior. She specializes in psychosocial aspects of children and adolescents with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and cancer. She researches pediatric oncology, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and school continuity for ill children. She is a national leader in psychiatric education.
Dr. Martha K. Terris*, Urology: Terris is Professor and Chief of the Section of Urology, holding the Witherington Distinguished Chair in Urology. She also serves on the urology faculty at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She performs open, laparoscopic and robotic surgery to treat kidney, bladder and prostate cancer. She also performs nerve-sparing prostatectomy and radical cystectomy with neobladder (creating a new bladder out of intestine). Terris has been on the list since 2007.
Dr. Robert A. Sorrentino, Cardiac Electrophysiology: Sorrentino is the Creel Professor of Medicine and Director of the Heart Rhythm Center. He treats heartbeat irregularities and studies treatments including catheter ablation, pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and laser-assisted extraction of pacemaker or defibrillator wires. He also treats fainting disorders and assesses cardiac arrest risk.
Dr. Jack C. Yu, Pediatric Plastic Surgery: Yu is the Milford B. Hatcher Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Section of Plastic Surgery. He treats cleft lip and palate and craniosynostosis as well as aesthetic surgeries such as facelift, blepharoplasty, lip augmentation and rhinoplasty. He researches stem cell therapy and oscillating stimulation of the musculoskeletal system to treat agerelated bone and muscle loss. n
Dr. David J. Terris*, Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery: Terris is Professor and Chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, holding the Porubsky Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology. He performs robotic, scarless and minimally invasive thyroid and parathyroid surgery. He researches innovative surgical techniques for thyroid and parathyroid tumors.
* These physicians also were included in the 2012 list of “America’s Top Doctors for Cancer,” a national patient reference guide published by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. The book, now in its seventh edition, identifies the top 1 percent of oncologists in the nation, helping patients find recognized specialists for cancer care.
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Experience BY TONI BAKER
When Seconds Count, Trauma Team is Ready
It had been such a great night. Amanda Barnes and her boyfriend had spent the evening with two friends they had fixed up. Within sight of his farm in rural Warrenton, Ga., Amanda, wearing his cowboy hat and essentially dancing in the passenger seat of his truck, turned around to grab her purse and cellphone. The 24-year-old woke up to pitch black, pain and her boyfriend calling her name. He had swerved to miss a deer and the oversized pickup apparently spun, cutting a swath through a nearby patch of trees, before coming to rest on its side. continued
t some point, Amanda was thrown out the window; the jagged trees punctured her like spears; the truck may have rolled over her.
She could feel the dampness of blood, but her sweatshirt and fleece jacket and, no doubt, the dark, kept her from realizing the full extent of her injuries. Amanda was essentially cut from her breast bone to her pubic area, her pelvis was crushed and broken. The force of something pushed a portion of her intestines down into her leg, between the fat and muscle. Amanda was really cold. She could move her arms, but thought her back
When Trina and Russell Barnes got the early-morning call, Amandaâ€™s father, a longtime firefighter, knew it was bad. Trina, a little groggy from a sleeping pill, was trying to brush her teeth when her large, but characteristically tender husband said they had to go. Their vivacious, precious daughter, who Trina homeschooled along with brother Russell II, was airlifted to the Level One Trauma Center at Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center in Augusta. There, four teams of surgeons, led by Dr. Linda R. Atteberry, a former Army surgeon with wartime experience, operated throughout the early morning hours and into Sunday afternoon to rescue Amandaâ€™s future.
was broken. The punctured lung kept her normally resounding voice at a whisper.
Amanda Barnes with mother, Trina
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Anyone, any time “The clock starts ticking the second this happens and any delay can result in the loss of life,” says Dr. Colville Ferdinand, Chief of the Medical College of Georgia Section of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Georgia Health Sciences University Recognition of dramatic reductions in death and disability that result from timely trauma treatment – known as the golden hour – grew primarily out of the Korean and Vietnam War experience and spurred stateside development of trauma centers and systems beginning in the 1970s. The National Academy of Sciences’ landmark white paper, Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, published in the late 60s pressed the urgent need for a comprehensive emergency medical services network that included a national 911 network, training for first-responders, ambulance communication and statewide emergency medical services training. A man with global insight on this emerging priority rolled into Augusta in 1973. Dr. Arlie R. Mansberger Jr., now 90, had helped organize the first shock unit at the University of Maryland in 1969, a traveling team that dropped whatever it was doing whenever a new or existing patient’s blood volumes dropped dangerously low. Shock often accompanies trauma and is a primary reason time is of necessity: irreversible shock causes platelets to coalesce and organs to shut down. The small unit was the genesis of the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, one of the nation’s first, with Mansberger as its first Director of Clinical Care. With heavy support from the state legislature, the center developed a network that blanketed the small state and included nine helicopters that aided traffic control but had as its priority the rapid transport of trauma patients.
Drs. Colville Ferdinand (above) and Arlie R. Mansberger Jr.
When Mansberger arrived as Chair of the MCG Department of Surgery, he found a tertiary hospital that lacked even an emergency room. Undaunted, he recruited Dr. Dan Ward, emergency medicine physician, to help start an emergency room and Dr. Richard C. Treat as the first Trauma Chief. Over time, an after-hours clinic called Immediate Care was repurposed as the hospital’s first emergency room, which included one large trauma resuscitation room. A small recovery area in the operating suite became the first Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit. And in 1982, GHS Medical Center became Georgia’s first designated Level 1 Trauma Center. “The cause of medicine has always been advanced by pioneers who have blazed paths before us, and we have to give full credit to them,” says Ferdinand. An experienced Mansberger and visionary Treat essentially took the hospital from no role to providing the highest level of trauma care while Dr. Michael Hawkins, the second Trauma Chief, built from there, says Ferdinand, who now has the ball. continued
Organized chaos “Trauma is essentially the care of injured patients and that can be the gamut of things from gunshot wounds to stabbings to animal bites to drowning to motor vehicle accidents and falls,” Ferdinand says. Unlike larger urban areas with higher rates of penetrating trauma – the so-called knife and gun club – about 18 percent of patients at GHS Trauma Center have a penetrating trauma while the majority suffer from blunt trauma, particularly automobile accidents. The center, which covers primarily a 13-county region that blends urban and rural living and includes one of the Southeast’s largest public recreation lakes as well as the Savannah River, also gets a few snakebites and watersports injuries each year. The common denominator is the consistency of care that begins with first-responders extricating patients like Amanda from often dark and sometimes dangerous circumstances to get them to definitive care within that “golden hour.” The hospital’s Emergency Communications Center stays in tight contact with this front line to ease rapid transport of patients whose physiologic condition or even cause of injury indicate they would benefit from the Trauma Center. Internally, a home-grown algorithm determines whether it’s a level one or two trauma and the makeup of the team that will be waiting in the trauma resuscitation room in the
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hospital’s Emergency Department. Every team member and instrument has a place in the trauma resuscitation room, where often-extensive injuries are rapidly assessed by the team, led by the trauma surgeon. In the case of a level 1 trauma, the team also includes an emergency medicine physician, a senior-level surgery and emergency medicine resident along with two of their more junior peers, an emergency department nurse, respiratory therapist, radiology technologist, operating room nurse and an anesthesiologist. For the youngest patients, a similar team comprised of pediatric providers assembles in the pediatric Emergency Department, led by the pediatric trauma surgeon on call. An operating room and the Blood Bank always stand ready. “It looks very chaotic but it’s controlled chaos,” says Trauma Program Director Regina Medeiros. “Everybody has a function, everybody has a role and they know what that is,” she says. No doubt trauma is a team sport where a single patient might also need a range of other subspecialists such as orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and cardiothoracic surgeons. Serving as a Trauma Center is a huge commitment by the hospital, the university, faculty and staff, from housekeepers to surgeons, who each play a part in caring for patients, Ferdinand says. But there are huge rewards in battling
the loss of life and limb to a disease that targets society’s potential, team members say. In fact, trauma is the number-one cause of death in people age 1-44 and the number-three overall cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “When you leave your house in the morning driving to work anything can happen. We’ve got to cross train tracks here in Augusta sometimes, you know, something can happen. Your kids could be in the playground playing and something happens,” Ferdinand says. Trauma centers give people the best chance of surviving that “something” and getting back to their lives.
Shot through the heart There’s little doubt the Trauma Center gave Julian Williams that chance. It was a Friday night – 11-11-11 – and the 17-year-old was playing video games at a friend’s house. One thing led to another and a young man he didn’t know, pulled out a 22-caliber pistol. Julian’s memory is sketchy, but he recalls telling the young man to get the “raggedy” gun out of his face. In what has been called an accident, Julian got shot in the chest. His friend’s mother had just gotten home, so they piled Julian into her car and were speeding to GHS Medical Center when they saw an ambulance parked at a convenience store. The GEORGIA Medicine
“It’s exciting, which is probably what everybody says, paramedics quickly started working on Markeith Williams’ only child. Markeith got full custody of Julian when he was 2 and several years later made the decision to relocate from Baltimore to Augusta. While they have family in both cities, Markeith thought Augusta would provide better opportunities for them both. When he learned Julian had been shot, Markeith thought that maybe both their lives were over. As the trauma team was moving Julian from the transportation stretcher to the bed in the trauma room, his heart stopped. Ferdinand and Dr. Brandy Cross, a 2007 MCG graduate who is now a fifth-year surgery resident, were leading the trauma team that night. While still in the emergency room, they made a quick incision on his left side so they could manually massage his heart; the heartbeat restored, they immediately took
Julian to the operating room so they could find and ideally repair the full extent of his injuries. In what’s described as a clamshell incision, they extended the cut across his body to get a better view of his heart. They found a bullet had passed through the upper and lower chamber. They repaired the holes, then discovered the small-caliber bullet resting in the durable sac around his heart. A cardiothoracic surgeon confirmed that no other heart repairs were needed.
Ever ready The immediate availability of surgeons and surgery to intervene in critical scenarios like Amanda’s and Julian’s has been and continues to be the hallmark of trauma care. Also like these two, many of their patients are young and healthy until trauma puts their future in limbo. Now a faculty member and one of the first graduates of GHS’s Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, Dr. Steven B. Holsten Jr. was still a GHS surgery resident when he decided he wanted to help turn such tragedy into triumph. “It’s exciting, Dr. Steven B. Holsten Jr. which is probably what everybody says, but there is a lot of variety, a lot of thinking on your feet because no two situations are exactly the same.” But the real clincher for him came in helping a young car accident victim negotiate a
Julian Williams with father, Markeith
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but there is a lot of variety, a lot of thinking on your feet because no two situations are exactly the same.” –DR. STEVEN B. HOLSTEN JR.
particularly rough recovery and, one year later, running into her at the grocery store with her two children. “I can’t tell you how awesome I felt.” He and wife Amy’s own busy blended household of five children, from age 21 to 3-year-old twins, made him hesitant to pursue such a life-consuming specialty, but ultimately the desire to help other families sealed his destiny and put a smile on his face. In fact, trauma is now a family topic as he and his wife, a psychologist at Augusta State University, are working to reduce recidivism for some patients. He’s not talking about wearing seat belts and not drinking and driving – at least at that moment – but about how living with injuries that could have killed may leave patients with posttraumatic stress disorder and, perhaps, an increased risk, of being hurt again. They want to know whether a prior history of mental health issues or poor family support or either numb or hyperactive reactions to the first injury, are risk factors for more trauma. “Those are all things we know are predictors of having psychological problems afterward,” Holsten said. They also know that they will see some patients in the trauma resuscitation room more than once. The day before, he treated a patient who had been stabbed in the liver and still had buckshot in his flank from a previous injury. “We take X-rays and see old bullets,” he says. Still, don’t be looking for judgment; that’s not Holsten’s job. “My job is to fix them and hope they are going to have some good Thanksgivings and Christmases and be the best person they can be,” although he won’t deny that occasional dark humor helps him and his
Trauma Stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Trauma in the U.S.: n Is the number one cause of death in people age 1-44, killing 47 percent of all people in this age group n Costs $400 billion annually, including health care costs and lost productivity n Accounts for 30 percent of all life years lost n Accounts for 42 million emergency room visits and 2 million hospital admissions. Also: n Georgia has six Level 1 Trauma Centers; GHS Trauma Center was the first Level 1 designated.
“There is always a risk and most of the time there is We try to do what is best for colleagues cope with the tragedies that bring people to them. Ferdinand shares his sentiment. “My job is to take care of you; whatever good or bad you were doing at the time of injury, you will be taken care of in the same manner.”
Trauma vision While certainly not dispassionate, the ability to push past the moment seems a necessary trait for trauma surgeons who must focus on treatment rather than the horror that a 17-yearold is dying in front of them. Trauma is what they choose, what they love and what they know. “When a cardiologist looks at an EKG for example, he can read more into it, what is likely to happen, what the real possibilities are,” say Hawkins. Decades of trauma experience have made Hawkins more attuned at looking, for example, at a football player who just took a hard hit in a game and knowing whether his soreness and elevated pulse signal hidden injuries. “We learn that, we practice that, we try
to teach that,” Hawkins says. This insight has led to at least one seemingly unnatural realization: sometimes rushing to the operating room isn’t the best answer. It wasn’t a lesson of choice, rather it was gleaned from overburdened trauma centers where sometimes patients must wait. Their pediatric colleagues had been sharing the message that sometimes waiting and watching is better. For example, the risk of removing the spleen, which filters old red cells, stores new ones and contributes to the immune response, is more significant in a child than an adult. And, like busy adult centers, pediatric surgeons have learned that sometimes with an experienced eye and proper support, the spleen or even the very vascular liver will heal by itself. Hawkins notes the evolving, evidence-based approaches are Dr. Michael Hawkins
Before and After in the Trauma Center
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a benefit. this patient, at this time, under these circumstances.” –DR. MICHAEL HAWKINS no different than the fact that 30 years ago a healthy 20-something-year-old spent a week in the hospital after gallbladder surgery and didn’t eat for three days. Most often today, she would go home that day with recommendations of what foods to avoid. The key is using experience to figure out what’s best. “Moderation is hard; extremes are easier to practice,” but balance provides better, safer care, he says. “There is always a risk and most of the time there is a benefit. We try to do what is best for this patient, at this time, under these circumstances.” On the other hand: “When we get someone who needs to go the operating room, we go.” The evolution also means that trauma surgeons don’t do as much trauma surgery, says Ferdinand. Like many of his colleagues, Ferdinand essentially always knew he wanted to be a surgeon and he loves to operate. Growing up in the Caribbean Island of Saint Vincent, with his school teacher mom and engineer dad, biology and science were at his fingertips. Leaving his beloved and
beautiful homeland “was the price of ambition,” bringing him to the states to study surgery and trauma/critical care at MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia after completing medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies. Now 42, he’s emphatic he’d make the same choice again. Despite such commitment from those “in the business,” their beloved subspecialty hasn’t looked
Dr. Colville Ferdinand
so great to future surgeons as the number of surgeries dwindled. “A surgeon was happy to do trauma because he was utilizing his surgical skills and following his passion,” Ferdinand says. The solution became about balance as well, with trauma surgeons not only more involved today in ongoing critical care, but helping their general surgery colleagues by performing late-night surgeries to stop a gastrointestinal bleed or drain an abscess. “A well-trained trauma surgeon is up anyway,” Ferdinand says. That means trauma surgeons stay busy, hospitals cover their oncall schedules and general surgeons have more flexibility in managing their schedules. It also means MCG’s Section of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care is growing from three to seven surgeons.
Back to life Amanda and Julian don’t remember the moment of injury that nearly took their life. They have far more clarity about the months they spent in the hospital, in rehabilitation and the people it took to help get them there. Amanda’s best friend and mother, Trina; her stalwart dad, the “baby” brother
she helped raise. Julian’s dad, who returned to his job within a week, but slept by his son’s side every night for the two months Julian was hospitalized. “I am just glad to be here,” says Julian. Like his father, a mechanic at Kimberly-Clark, Julian enjoys working with his hands. He was on track to study mechanical engineering back in Baltimore at Morgan State University. Less than year out from his injury and still recovering his attention span, Julian started this August at Augusta Technical College studying air conditioning technology but with an eye on a future in automotive repair. Amanda’s first questions when she woke up were whether she could still have babies and walk. While the answers were more about hope than promise, she quickly got to work on the walking. While her pelvis likely will never be 100 percent, she pronounces herself “fine. When I get tired, I walk a little funny and you should see me run, that’s hysterical.” As far as babies, she and fiancée David Wilkey will be making those plans after their wedding this spring. Amanda met David, a man she describes as the best guy ever, after her accident. Whether through the traditional route or adoption, she plans to have many children with the man she loves. n
Amanda Barnes with her fiance, David Wilkey
“Every single person I worked with their mission to make my life better 18
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A Clear Picture “A lot of people like us have never had anything traumatic happen before. You don’t know what questions to ask. You don’t know how to feel,” says Trina Barnes. Like many trauma patients, her daughter Amanda was young and previously healthy until an earlymorning wreck threatened her life. The two, who call each other best friends, had long shared the blessing of a large, mostly healthy family so their endless conversations had not focused on hospital care. But their instantaneous immersion into trauma left both with a deep commitment to making care even better for the next patients and families. They reinvigorated a monthly trauma support group, an informal gathering of mostly family members, and helped develop educational materials to help them digest the impact of a subdural hematoma or ruptured spleen. As her thesis project, Emma Vought, now a graduate of the Georgia Health Sciences University Medical Illustration Program, created line drawings of the anatomy to help family members better understand what happened to their loved one, says Jennifer Edmunds, Nurse Educator for the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit. “As things change for the patient, Jennifer Edmunds
physicians and nurses can write on the silhouettes and explain it to the families.” Edmunds says. Typically a family spokesperson emerges who, in turn, uses the drawings to update the extended family. Often, the drawings are displayed on a white board in each patient room. Threedimensional electronic images also are being developed. The support group lets family members blow off steam and benefit from the experiences of Amanda and Trina. “We were thrust into it, which is trauma,” Trina says. They talk about – not just hospitals and care – but the collateral damage that occurs when, for example, a breadwinner is injured. They talk about finding some sense of control at a time when everything seems beyond it. “Every single person I worked with at (GHS) from the cleaning lady to Dr. Atteberry, made it their mission to make my life better and make sure I was okay and I am fine,” Amanda says. Adds Trina, “We want to give back some of what was given to her.” n
at (GHS), from the cleaning lady to Dr. Atteberry, made it and make sure I was okay and I am fine.” –AMANDA BARNES GEORGIA Medicine
A Lasting A
$10 million leadership gift from a Medical College of Georgia alumnus has resulted in the naming of a building that will enhance the universityâ€™s commitment to growing health sciences education. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has approved the naming of the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons for the late philanthropist, renowned vascular surgeon and 1948 graduate.
J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons
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Legacy “Dr. Harrison’s legacy will live on through his commitment to education,” said Susan Barcus, GHSU Senior Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations and Chief Development Officer. “The impact of this transformational gift is immediate and will be felt for years to come. We have successfully leveraged Dr. Harrison’s gift to generate additional support for the Education Commons, including $5 million in support from Augusta donors and an $8 million gift from the Woodruff Foundation.” “We are leading the charge in expanding health care education in this state,” said GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman. “With the addition of the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, we will be able to increase class sizes in the College of Dental Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia, educating more health care professionals to care for the citizens of Georgia.” “We are most grateful to Dr. Harrison and to his family for their generosity in supporting a beautiful,
Education Commons to be Named for MCG Alumnus BY JENNIFER HILLIARD SCOTT
contemporary learning environment for our students that enables us to continue to grow our class size and help meet the physician needs of our state,” said MCG Dean Peter F. Buckley. Harrison, who practiced medicine for more than 50 years, helped refine the repair and replacement of diseased arteries. He chose his specialty in 1953 when, during his residency at Grady Health System in Atlanta, he learned about a new technique for freeze-drying arteries for later use. Harrison and a Ph.D. student tried the technique on a patient with a blockage in his aorta. He decided to be a vascular surgeon the day he successfully completed that surgery. He joined the Emory University faculty in 1957 and later headed the Department of Surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta, where he developed the nation’s first vascular training program in 1959. He operated on more than 7,000 blocked neck arteries before retiring as St. Joseph’s Chief of Surgery in 1999.
“Dr. Harrison’s legacy will live on through his commitment to education.” –SUSAN BARCUS
Harrison was an active member of the MCG Alumni Association and the MCG Foundation, having served as President of both. He received the alumni association’s 1996 Distinguished Alumnus Award. A native of Kite, Ga., he lived with wife Sue on a cattle farm in Bartow, Ga., until his death on June 2. The commons is slated to be a three-story, 172,000-square-foot building with classroom space for the College of Dental Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia and an interprofessional stateof-the-art simulation center. The total construction cost of the project, including the simulation lab, is $76.5 million. The state of Georgia is providing $42 million in bond funding, and the university is raising the additional $34.5 million through private philanthropy. (see Harrison’s obituary, page 46) n
Extending the Reach
BY JENNIFER HILLIARD SCOTT
Regional Campuses Enable MCG to Canvass the State
Savannah he Medical College of Georgia’s clinical and educational reach continues to grow across the state. Albany “As the state’s only public medical school, MCG Brunswick must lead the way in addressing the physician needs of GHSU/University of Georgia Medical Partnership this state and this country,” said Dr. Paul Wallach, MCG The Athens campus’s inaugural class of 40 third-year Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. “In the last five years, students began clinical rotations throughout northeast we have made significant strides in placing our medical Georgia in July. The students are working with physicians in students in the farthest-reaching corners of the state. Our facilities including Athens Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s Health Care System, Northeast Georgia Regional Medical hope is that those students will return to those areas to Center, Barrow Regional Medical Center and Clearview train and eventually practice.” Medical Center. They also serve outlying areas including The major initiative in achieving the goal has been Loganville, Elberton, Jefferson, Gainesville and Gwinnett County. More than 150 new clinical faculty have been to establish regional campuses throughout the state to recruited to mentor the students. supplement the main campus in Augusta and ideally The campus, which welcomed 120 students this fall, disperse MCG’s influence as much as possible. Following recently moved to its permanent home, the 56-acre UGA Health Sciences Campus. are updates on the regional campuses:
Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson greets secondyear medical partnership student Brian Brewer and other classmates on the steps of Winnie Davis Hall at the Health Sciences Campus Open House and Celebration in Athens, Ga.
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Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus
The Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus’s first group of 16 students graduated in May. The campus, offering clinical training for third- and fourth-year MCG students, is based at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany. The students completed rotations through more than 42 counties and worked with more than 140 physicians in Georgia cities including Columbus, Dr. C. Granville Simmons Cordele, LaGrange, Thomasville, Tifton and Valdosta. Also in May, Dr. C. Granville Simmons, an established educator and pediatrician from the area, was named Campus Associate Dean. “Granville’s leadership will help the campus expand quality learning opportunities for students and ensure that the physicians, clinics and hospitals that open their doors to our students are recognized for the invaluable role they play in the health of our state,” said Dr. Linda Boyd, MCG Associate Dean for Regional Campus Coordination. The campus, established in 2005, was MCG’s first regional clinical campus in support of its mission to provide more physicians for the state. In 2010, the campus received residential status enabling its students to remain in the region for up two years.
Southeast Regional Campus In another corner of the state, 15 thirdyear students started clinical rotations this fall throughout southeast Georgia. Based at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System in Savannah, Ga., and Southeast Georgia Regional Health System in Brunswick, students in MCG’s Southeast Regional Campus are training in areas including Statesboro, St. Mary’s, Dublin, Waycross and Fort Stewart. While this year marks the campus’s first official residential class, a group of seven third-year students became the first to spend their third
year of medical school working and living in southeast Georgia in 2011. That Kathryn Martin group – called the Southeast Seven by Campus Assistant Dean Kathryn Martin – acted as a pilot group and were a year ahead of the campus’s planned residential status. The campus will eventually have 40 students – 20 third-years and 20 fourth-years – living in the area full time, in addition to the students who transition through the region one clinical rotation at a time. “We learned a lot of things from the Southeast Seven,” Martin said. “Students learned, by stepping into the private world, that they take a lot of ownership of their own education. As faculty and administrators, we took a look at how we prepared them for that. Every student handles clinical rotations differently.”
Northwest Regional Campus Plans for the Northwest Regional Campus in Rome, Ga., set to open in 2013, are on track, according to Dr. Leonard Reeves, Campus Assistant Dean. Reeves is working to educate area physicians about the campus’s unique Dr. Leonard Reeves approach to clinical curricula. Called longitudinal integrated clerkships, the concept focuses more on patients than the traditional “blocks” of clinical exposure students are accustomed to. Rather than being assigned to a clinical area for six weeks, students are assigned to a set of patients and follow them along the continuum of care. Dr. David Hirsh, Director and Co-Founder of Harvard Medical School’s Cambridge Integrated Clerkship, visited Rome in June to talk with area physicians about the benefits of the approach, including launching long-term relationships that cultivate empathy and compassion. n
DREAMing Big Resolving the Conundrum of the Untested Test
BY DR. CHRISTIE PALLADINO Editor’s note: Palladino, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is a researcher in GHSU’s Educational Innovation Institute, a faculty development and educational research institute that facilitates the development, implementation and dissemination of innovative, nationally impactful health sciences education scholarship. For more information, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Educational Innovation Institute Leadership n Dr. Lara Stepleman, EII Co-Director, MCG Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior n Dr. Paul M. Wallach, EII-Co-Director, MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs n Dr. Christie Palladino, EII Educational Researcher, MCG Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology n Dr. Deborah Richardson, EII Fellowship Director, Augusta State University Department of Psychology and Director, ASU Center for Teaching and Learning n Dr. Andria Thomas, MCG Associate Dean for Evaluation n Michael Casdorph, GHSU Director of Instructional Support and Educational Design
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eorgia Health Sciences University and the Association of American Medical Colleges are launching a first-of-its-kind international initiative to better prepare future physicians for an evolving health care system. DREAM (the Directory and Repository of Educational Assessment Measures) is an initiative of the GHSU Educational Innovation Institute and the AAMC’s MedEdPORTAL to reflect today’s trend in competency-based learning and assessment. This model requires medical students to achieve pre-defined competencies, measured by milestones considered imperative to being a good physician, in areas such as patient care, medical knowledge and interpersonal and communication skills. The model reflects the directive of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the national accrediting organization for medical schools, to state objectives of a medical education program “in outcome-based terms that allow assessment of student progress in developing the competencies that the profession and the public expect of a physician.” Yet research at the GHSU Educational Innovation Institute demonstrates that over 40 percent of 2,500 assessment measures used in medical education have not been measured themselves; the tests have not been tested for accuracy or precision. This leaves educators and medical schools with a conundrum: how to sift through all of the measures to identify high-quality tools that can accurately and precisely measure success in educating the next generation of physicians. Simply put, how can we ensure that our graduates are competent? The DREAM initiative addresses the conundrum by offering a one-stop shop for health assessment resources for medical schools, educators and educational researchers. The repository, scheduled to be fully operational by the fall 2013, will house a collection of measures tested for accuracy and precision in health sciences education. To ease selection of the best measure, DREAM will offer an expert summary of the measure’s purpose and peer-reviewed evidence of accuracy. For example, when a medical educator designs a new course module to build competency in patient communication, he can search DREAM for measures of communication skills, read the expert summary for each measure, download the measure best suited for his course and use it to test his students’ communication skills. DREAM, which will be offered free through the AAMC’s MedEdPORTAL, will help the medical education community evolve from “how” we are training doctors to “how well.” For more information about DREAM, visit www.mededportal.org/dream. n Other contributors to this article were Brittany Ange, John Nash, Michael Saleh, Lara Stepleman, Margo Villarosa and Lindsey West.
Walking the Talk Resident of the Year Excels in Bedside Manner
BY JENNIFER HILLIARD SCOTT
r. Jill Trumble admits that as a child, she was the “weird kid” who actually loved going to the doctor. “If I fell down and cried, my parents would ask me if I wanted to go to the doctor, to actually keep me from crying, and I would say yes,” she confesses.
In high school, she shadowed physicians and worked at a pediatrics office in her hometown near Atlanta. From an early age, her career path seemed set. Trumble, Georgia Health Sciences University’s 2012 Resident of the Year, was made to be a doctor. She began medical school at MCG in 2004 and signs seemed to point to a career in pediatrics – until her first clinical rotation in neurology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “I didn’t know much about the field prior to my rotation,” she says. “But I knew that I enjoyed getting up to go to work every morning. I loved it.” For Trumble, who sheepishly admits she simply loves to talk, working in neurology presented a new challenge. “With stroke patients in particular, they often couldn’t communicate by talking. It challenged me to find other ways to interact with them.” But with those challenges came moments to learn and teach. “As neurologists, we are often involved in end-of-life care,” she said. “Talking about the withdrawal of care is not something you learn in medical school, but
I think it’s really important to have medical students witness that. It’s important to show people you truly care. Bedside manner is what makes a physician special.” “I have not seen a more caring physician that I have trained,” said Dr. John Morgan, Associate Professor of Neurology. “[Jill] has a tremendous bedside manner and can relate to people from all walks of life. She can explain things to a patient in their terms and I have personally watched her deftly explain the clinical situation to the patient and his family in a manner I have rarely seen accomplished by other residents.” In addition to deftly mentoring junior residents and medical students, Trumble has also mastered the administrative side of being a physician, another nominator said. “Jill is a leader. She has excelled in every opportunity afforded her throughout her residency to demonstrate her leadership qualities,” said Dr. J. Edward Hartmann, Assistant Professor of Neurology. Among those opportunities was her involvement in streamlining discharge plans
Dr. Jill Trumble served as Chief Resident in 2011-12.
for hospitalized patients—making instructions more understandable in hopes of preventing readmission for something as simple as not taking medications or coming to follow-up appointments. Trumble also is a “super-user” of Synchronicity, Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center’s electronic health record system, helping co-workers understand the system and providing feedback on its usefulness. Trumble is now completing a fellowship with GHSU’s Movement Disorders Program, where she is putting her communications skills to good use. “[Movement disorder patients] are so participative in their care,” Trumble says. “I also feel like I get to see in clinical practice a lot of what I learned about in the classroom. In Parkinson’s, for instance, I get to see how the pathways stop functioning.” Whether she pursues a clinical practice or academic medicine after her fellowship, her mentors are sure she will succeed. “Jill is one of the best neurology residents I have ever worked with,” said Dr. David Hess, Chair of Neurology. “She has excellent clinical instincts, has an outstanding bedside manner with patients and is an excellent teacher.” Other finalists for Resident of the Year were Brad Abrahams, Department of Radiology; Jamie De Stefano, Department of Periodontics; Kenneth Iverson, Department of Otolaryngology; and Pritam Neupane, Department of Medicine. n
Rich Heritage, Dynamic Future
A President’s cookout, art show and dance were among the activities enjoyed by hundreds of alumni, faculty and students during Georgia Health Sciences’ 2012 Homecoming celebration April 25-29. MCG also presented Distinguished Alumni Awards during the celebration, themed “Rich Heritage, Dynamic Future.” Dr. Cecil F. Whitaker Jr. (see Bundles of Joy, page 28) received MCG’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for Loyalty. A retired obstetrician and gynecologist from Columbus, Ga., he received his medical degree in 1962 and returned to GHSU in 1965 to complete his residency after serving in the U.S. Navy. Whitaker retired as President of Obstetric and Gynecologic Associates of Columbus, Ga., P.C. The $1.5 million Cecil F. Whitaker, Jr., MD Chair in Cancer, held by the GHSU Cancer Center Director, is named for him. In 2011, St. Francis Hospital in Columbus honored Whitaker with the Dr. Clarence C. Butler Service and Leadership Award. n
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Alumni Honored During 2012 Homecoming Celebration
Dr. William “Charlie” Parrish (’62) and wife Margaret Dr. Patricia C. Davis
Drs. Sandra and Murray Freedman (’68 and ’64)
Dr. Patricia C. Davis received the MCG Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement. Davis, a 1977 graduate, is a radiologist at Northwest Radiology Consultants in Atlanta. Davis completed a residency in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in neurovascular radiology at Emory University. She served as a Professor in Emory’s Department of Radiology and, in 1990, started the pediatric neuroradiology service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Egleston campus. n
Ob/Gyn Career Delivers Success, Happiness for Distinguished Alum BY PAULA HINELY
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With that one word, Dr. Cecil F. Whitaker, Jr. expresses the sensation that pulses through a delivery room as a new baby is born. So, after delivering an estimated 3,000 babies during a career spanning more than four decades, you might call him a magician. “Something magic happens when that baby comes out and starts yelling,” he said. “I fell in love with obstetrics the first time I went in the delivery room, and nothing else I’ve ever done affects me that way.”
Whitaker’s love for his specialty started as a sophomore at the Medical College of Georgia in 1960, but his path to medicine started at birth. Literally. He was delivered by his surrogate aunt, Dr. Evelyn Suarez, who, along with her husband and fellow alumnus Dr. Raymond Suarez (’29), was a very close friend of Whitaker’s parents. “I was raised as if they were my aunt and uncle,” Whitaker said. She was an obstetrician and he was a gynecologist in Macon, where Whitaker was raised. “Their influence was tremendous. I had the goal of medicine from the time I was a little bitty guy, probably 7 or 8 years old.” His pursuit of medicine could be seen as providential. During his junior undergraduate year at Duke University, Whitaker was accepted at its medical school. But on the way home for Thanksgiving that year, his friend Dr. Tank Lawrence (’58) asked him to swing by Augusta to take a look at MCG. continued
“I liked what I saw, especially the direct contact the students had with patients,” Whitaker recalled. In a single day he toured campus, had an admissions interview and submitted his application. Before continuing home to Macon that day, the admissions office told him there was a place for him at MCG. “It was definitely a unique situation and a very different process compared to today,” he said. Whitaker’s wife Terry said from the moment they met at Duke, he shared his dream of practicing medicine in Georgia. “He felt so at home in Augusta that day, and MCG seemed like a wonderful launching pad for becoming what he wanted to become, and it really has been,” she said. “It’s home away from home.” Many family memories and traditions are rooted at MCG. Their three children were born while he was in medical school and completing his residency. Their first daughter, Betsy, even celebrated her first birthday the same day Whitaker graduated in 1962. Whitaker left Augusta for a yearlong internship and two years serving as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy, then returned to MCG for his OB/GYN residency. As a second-year resident, he learned a profound lesson from Dr. W.G. “Curly” Watson (’43) while making rounds: don’t lose sight of family; take care of your kids and spend time with them. He took the advice to heart and carried it through his career with OB/ Dr. W.G. “Curly” Watson is one GYN Associates of Columbus, Ga. of our oldest living alumni and “My practice was wonderful the oldest practicing physician. and demanding, but the highlight of my The namesake of University career has been watching my kids grow Hospital’s W.G. Watson, M.D., up and being with my wonderful wife Women’s Center, has chaired who put up with me and my foolishness. the hospital’s Department of My practice gave me the flexibility to be Obstetrics and Gynecology since active in their lives,” Whitaker said. 1987. Watson, who received Terry said Whitaker did a A GHSU Presidential Lifetime beautiful job as both physician and Achievement Award in 2011, family man. “We’ve felt like his career delivered more than 15,000 was a joint venture, the two of us,” she babies before he quit practicing said. “I’ve always taken care of things obstetrics in 1995. at home so that he could take care of things at work.” Even with unpredictable work days, they always made a point to have dinner together as a family, no matter what time Whitaker came home. Dinner conversation didn’t focus on procedures or cases, but on the interesting people he met through his practice. “Cecil has always been thoroughly entertained by others’ lives and what they’d talk about, and he really cared about seeing his patients grow up, get married and have babies,” Terry said. Now, nearly a decade into his retirement, Whitaker’s devotion to
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Dr. Whitaker married Terry in 1959
his childhood dream and lifelong profession remains steadfast, with a loyalty to his “home away from home” that has never wavered. “I can’t count the hours I’ve spent traveling back and forth to meetings or on conference calls. It’s been a very meaningful relationship to me over the years, and I appreciate what MCG has done for me and for our state,” Whitaker said. As a lifetime member of the MCG Alumni Association, he has served as its President, and as a member of the MCG Foundation for the past 15 years, he has chaired its Board of Directors and currently chairs its Investment Committee. Whitaker was responsible for securing $1.5 million in funding from a major class action lawsuit to endow the Georgia Research Alliance Cecil F. Whitaker, Jr., M.D. Eminent Scholar Chair Dr. Whitaker and Terry have in Cancer. three children, Betsy, Susan and He’s also helped launch the careers of Frank, and six grandchildren. numerous MCG hopefuls by writing letters of The entire family vacations recommendation – but only after interviewing together each summer at the them in person to learn why they wanted to beach. be physicians. “I call them all my kids, and I consider my kids to be one of my favorite things I’ve done,” he said. Many have returned to practice in Columbus, which Whitaker still calls home since his 2003 retirement. “I’ve been looking for something about retirement that I don’t like and I haven’t found it yet,” Whitaker said. “I miss my patients something awful, and I miss the office staff, my OR and delivering babies, but I do not miss the rat race, the insurance companies, the ‘hurry up’ of medicine.” In addition to family time and his ongoing work for MCG, Whitaker especially enjoys bonefishing, competitive shotgun shooting and bird hunting with Terry and Mae, a French Brittany Spaniel his wife gave him upon his retirement. This April, while celebrating the 50th reunion of his medical school class at GHSU Homecoming, Whitaker was honored as the 2012 Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus for Loyalty. Whitaker said he was humbled by the award, and receiving it during his class’s golden anniversary made it especially significant. After the reunion dinner, he and his classmates circled their chairs and recalled stories of their medical school years. “Along with my family and practice, MCG has been one of my loves,” said Whitaker, a Lifetime Member of the MCG Alumni Association. “MCG did a lot for me, and as for the very little I’ve been able to do in return, the value I get from doing those things is immeasurable.” n
Dr. Cecil F. Whitaker, Jr. Education and Career:
n M.D. from Medical College of Georgia, 1962 n Internship at Macon Hospital, 1962-63 n Residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Medical
College of Georgia, 1965-69 n Private practice with Obstetrics and Gynecologic Associates of Columbus, Ga., P.C. 1969-2003
n Medical College of Georgia Foundation Board Member since 1997 Board Chair, 2005-07 Chair of Investment Committee n Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association Lifetime Member President, 1995-96 n Milton Antony Guild, Founding Member
Whitaker spent two years between medical school and residency serving in the U.S. Navy. During his first year as a medical officer for the destroyer division, he spent six months at sea. He spent his second year attached to the OB department at Camp Lejeune, where he covered labor and delivery every day and every fourth night. “It was a wonderful experience and I gained a tremendous amount of practice.”
Invested in Excellence
Investiture Ceremony Honors Faculty Named to Chairs
he Medical College of Georgia hosted an Investiture Ceremony June 5 to honor those who have been named to endowed chairs in the past two years. The ceremony also honored those named Professor Emeriti and Regents’ Professors in the same time period. “Holding an endowed chair is a great honor at MCG, signifying tremendous achievement and great respect among one’s colleagues,” Dean Peter F. Buckley said. Chairs are established with $500,000 endowments. A Distinguished Chair signifies a $1 million endowment, and a University Distinguished Chair signifies a $2 million endowment. Chairs are typically named for an outstanding faculty member or other distinguished member of the Georgia Health Sciences community who has inspired those in the department housing the chair. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has the final naming approval. Endowed chairs enhance faculty recruitment and retention by providing additional incentives, including enhanced prestige, for those who hold the chair. “Endowed chairs honor their namesakes as well as those who hold the chairs,” said Susan Barcus, Senior Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations and Chief Development Officer at Georgia Health Sciences. “They reward excellence while enhancing the university’s reputation and inspiring excellent faculty or potential faculty who hope to follow in the footsteps of the honorees.” MCG currently has 51 endowed chairs, 42 of which are fully funded. To make a donation to an endowed chair or to seed a new chair, contact the GHS Office for Advancement and Community Relations at 1-800-869-1113 or 706-721-1939.
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The honorees at the June 5 Investiture Ceremony were: W. Bruce Davis, M.D. Davis, Chief of the Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, holds the J.H. Keels, Jr. Chair in Pulmonary Medicine. He joined the MCG faculty in 1992 and oversees 16 clinical and research faculty. Davis, who earned his medical degree from Emory University, formerly served as a Senior Staff Fellow in the pulmonary branch of the National Institutes of Health and as a Professor of Medicine at Ohio State University. He received the 2010 Distinguished Faculty Award for Patient Care from the MCG Faculty Senate and is the on editorial board of Respiratory Medicine. Charles G. Howell, M.D. Howell, Chair of the Department of Surgery, holds the Mortetz-Mansberger Distinguished Chair in Surgery and is Surgeon-in-Chief and Co-Medical Director of the GHS Children’s Medical Center. Howell, an MCG graduate, has led the pediatric surgery program since 1993 and remains Chief of the Section of Pediatric Surgery. He has received a Biomedical Research Support Grant for Gastroesophageal Reflux and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the Black Key Honor Society. He helped found one of the nation’s first ECMO programs at the GHS Children’s Medical Center. M. Vinayak Kamath, M.D. Kamath, Chief of the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of Cardiovascular Services at Georgia Health Sciences Health System, holds the Robert G. Ellison, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiothoracic Surgery. He earned his medical degree from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College in Indore, India and is a past Chair of the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners and the Georgia Board Task Force for Pain Policy. He is a past President of the University Hospital Medical Staff and former State Chair of the national Committee for Health Care Reforms. Kamath is a past Chair of the Georgia State Board of Medical Examiners. Lawrence C. Layman, M.D. Layman, Chief of the Section of Reproductive Endocrinology, Infertility, & Genetics in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, holds the Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Chair in Endocrinology. Layman, who earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, has been a principle investigator on four National Institutes of Health grants and has had continuous NIH funding since 1997 for research into delayed pubery. He was among the first to identify and characterize mutations in several genes related to human hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. He is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, clinical genetics and clinical molecular genetics.
Betty S. Pace, M.D. Pace, Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is the first to hold the Francis J. Tedesco, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. She is a graduate of the Medical College of Wisconsin and previously directed the Sickle Cell Research Centers at the University of South Alabama and the University of Texas at Dallas. She oversees a National Institutes of Health-funded basic research and teaching laboratory focused on hemoglobin gene regulation. She is an associate member of the GHSU Cancer Center and collaborates with members of the GHSU Sickle Cell Disease Research Center. She is Lead Guest Editor for Anemia Journal. Amyn M. Rojiani, M.D./Ph.D. Rojiani, Chair of the Department of Pathology and Chief of the Pathology Service for Georgia Health Sciences Health System, holds the Edgar R. Pund, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Pathology. He earned his medical degree from the University of Karachi in Pakistan and a Ph.D. in experimental neuropathology from the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. He has served as Vice President of the American Association of Neuropathologists and is Assistant Editor of the Journal of Neuroimaging. He studies the central nervous system metastasis, particularly from lung cancer. Martha K. Terris, M.D. Terris, Chief of the Section of Urology and Director of the Urology Residency Training Program, holds the Roy Witherington, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Urology. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. She has served as Chief of Urology at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California. She is President of the Society of University Urologists and Program Directors and a past President of the Society of Urologic Chairs. She researches prostate cancer, bladder cancer and imaging techniques for urologic cancers. Martha S. Tingen, Ph.D. Tingen, Professor and Co-Director of the Child Health Discovery Institute, holds the Charles W. Linder Endowed Chair in Pediatrics. Tingen, a graduate of the GHSU College of Nursing master of science program and the University of South Carolina nurse practitioner program, earned a Ph.D. in nursing science with distinction from USC. She researches tobacco control, alcohol prevention, asthma management and obesity prevention with over $1.2 million in federal research funding.
Professors Emeriti Lawrence D. Devoe, M.D. Devoe, a high-risk pregnancy expert, chaired the MCG Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology for 11 years and served as Chief of the Section of Maternal-Fetal Medicine for 23 years.
Ruth-Marie E. Fincher, M.D. Fincher, an internist, served as MCG’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for nearly 20 years, helping educate more than 5,000 medical students during her tenure.
William P. Kanto Jr., M.D. Kanto, a neonatologist, had a 30-year tenure at MCG in roles including Chief of Neonatology, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs. After retiring from MCG in 2011, he became Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for the GHS Health System. Bruce V. MacFadyen Jr., M.D. MacFadyen, a gastrointestinal surgeon, came to MCG in 2002 as Chief of the Section of General Surgery and chaired the Department of Surgery from 2004-10.
Stephen M. Black, Ph.D. Black, cell and molecular physiologist, is the Basic Science Director of the Cardiovascular Discovery Institute.
Zheng Dong, Ph.D. Dong is a cell biologist and Director of Graduate Program in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy and a Research Career Scientist and Director of Research Development at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta.
R. Clinton Webb, Ph.D. Webb chairs the Department of Physiology and holds the Herbert S. Kupperman Chair in Cardiovascular Disease.
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MCG’s Class of 2012 was among the 795 GHSU students receiving diplomas during the university’s 2012 commencement ceremony May 11. Highlights included a commencement address from Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad, a keynote speech by Navy Surgeon General Matthew L. Nathan during MCG’s hooding ceremony and the announcement that 2012 MCG graduate Katie Cook received GHSU’s John F. Beard Award for Compassionate Care.
Hooding 2012 Dr. Katie Cook, GHSUâ€™s 2012 Beard Award recipient
BY TONI BAKER
Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Service Dr. David Hess, an innovator in stroke treatment who chairs the MCG Department of Neurology, is the college’s 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient. Hess, cited by a nominee as a “quadruple threat”—an established clinician, educator, scientist and biotech business founder—as well as the consummate “good citizen” of the university, was among those honored during the annual MCG Faculty Awards Ceremony April 11. The stroke specialist is a founder and Chair of the Board of REACH Health, Inc., a six-year-old company that pairs the need for rapid stroke care with the capabilities of the Internet to help provide care remotely. REACH Health, Inc. received the 2012 Georgia Bio Community Award for its
Dr. David Hess, left, receives award from Dr. Mark Hamrick
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significant contributions to Georgia’s life sciences industry. The system, which works on a hub-and-spoke model to provide timely stroke care, operates in more than 100 hospitals in a growing number of states including Georgia, Alaska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Louisiana. Additionally, Hess and his colleagues are working to aid stroke recovery through clinical trials of adult, bone marrow-derived stem cells as well as an older intravenous antibiotic, which appear to reduce stroke size and damage. Collaborative laboratory studies with University of Georgia stem cell researcher Dr. Steve Stice are pursuing the potential of artificially produced IPS cells, which can become any type of body tissue, to one day help patients grow new brain cells. The clot-buster tPA is currently the only Food and Drug Administration-approved drug therapy for stroke, the third-leading cause of adult death in the United States with 795,000 strokes occurring annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hess is a member of the American Heart Association Telestroke Committee, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Vascular Neurology Board Examination Committee and American Stroke Association Scientific Sessions Committee. At GHSU, he has served on the Human Assurance Committee, which reviews clinical trial proposals, for 20 years. He is a long-time member of the Research Institute Board of Directors and Executive Committee and the Physicians Practice Group Board of Trustees. He is on the Editorial Board of the American Heart Association journal Stroke, as well as Cell Transplantation. He is a member of the Clinical Trial Data and Safety Monitoring Committee of the National Institutes of Health’s Stenting Versus Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracranial Stenosis study and Chairman of Pfizer’s Data and Safety Monitoring Committee. Hess, Chair since 2001, also is Chief of the Neurology Service at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Augusta.
Dr. Ruth-Marie E. Fincher, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for nearly 20 years, received the collegeâ€™s Lifetime Achievement Award. Fincher, who joined the MCG faculty in 1984 and retired in May, helped educate more than 5,000 medical students during her tenure, receiving numerous national and MCG accolades for her contributions to medical education, including more than 20 awards from MCG students.
MCGâ€™s Institutional Service Award n Dr. Kathryn Martin, Interim Associate Dean for Admissions and Campus Associate Dean, Southeast Georgia Clinical Campus n Dr. Robert Sorrentino, Professor, Department of Medicine, Creel Distinguished Chair in Cardiology The Outstanding Young Basic Science Faculty Award n Dr. Jessica Filosa, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and College of Graduate Studies n Dr. Shaoyong Su, Assistant Professor, Georgia Prevention Institute The Outstanding Young Clinical Science Faculty Award n Dr. Christie Palladino, Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology n Dr. Norman Pollock, Assistant Professor, Georgia Prevention Institute Outstanding Clinical Science Research Award n Dr. Abdullah Kutlar, Professor, Department of Medicine and College of Graduate Studies and
Director of the GHSU Sickle Cell Center Basic Science Research Award n Dr. Wendy Bollag, Professor, Departments of Physiology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Medicine and Cellular Biology and Anatomy and College of Graduate Studies n Dr. Adviye Ergul, Professor, Department of Physiology and College of Graduate Studies Clinical Science Teaching Award n Dr. Renuka Mehta, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics n Dr. Janet Munroe, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology Basic Science Teaching Award n Dr. Ruth Harris, Professor, Department of Physiology and College of Graduate Studies Patient Care Awards n Dr. Reda Bassali, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics n Dr. Alex Mabe, Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior
The AOA Honor Medical Society Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award n Dr. James Hotz, Clinical Services Director/Medical Director, Albany Area Primary Healthcare, in Albany, Ga Resident of the Year Award n Dr. Jill Trumble, Fourth-year neurology resident (See Walking the Talk, page 25.) Outstanding Clinical Science Teaching Award from the Class of 2012 n Department of Pediatrics, led by Dr. Bernard L. Maria Outstanding Basic Science Teaching Award from the Class of 2014 n Department of Pathology, led by Dr. Amyn Rojiani Educator of the Year Awards n Dr. Walter Moore, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and VA Affairs, by the Class of 2012 n Dr. Laura Mulloy, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Faculty Development, Department of Medicine and Chief, Section of Nephrology, Hypertension and
Transplant Medicine, by the Class of 2013. n Dr. Greer Falls, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, by Class of 2014 n Dr. Gregg Nagle, Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, by members of the Class of 2014 attending the GHSU/ UGA Medical Partnership campus in Athens, Ga. n Dr. Adarsh Gulati, Associate Professor, Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy and College of Graduate Studies, by the Class of 2015. Retiring faculty honored: n Ruth-Marie Fincher n Dr. Priscilla Gillman, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, January 1995-December 2011 n Dr. William Kanto, Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, March 1983-August 2011 n Dr. Jill Miller, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, September 1998-September 2011 n Dr. Ruth Neal, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, September 1977-June 2012 GEORGIA Medicine
Research Roundup Precision Control Communication between the brain and muscle must be strong to enable breathing, eating or walking. Now scientists have found that a protein known to be on the surface of muscle cells must be present in both tissues to ensure the conversation is robust. MCG scientists have shown that without LRP4 in muscle cells and neurons, communication between the two cells types is inefficient and short-lived. Problems with the protein appear to contribute to disabling disorders such as myasthenia gravis and other forms of muscular dystrophy. The scientists reported finding antibodies to LRP4 in the blood of about 2 percent of patients with muscle-degenerating myasthenia gravis in Archives of Neurology earlier this year. Scientists know that LRP4 plays an important role in the muscle cell, where it receives cues from the brain cell that it’s time to form the receptors that will be enable ongoing communication between the two, said Dr. Lin Mei, Director of the GHSU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics and corresponding author of the study in the journal Neuron.
Drs. Lin Mei (top) and Haitao Wu
However, when Dr. Haitao Wu deleted LRP4 just from muscle cells, a connection—albeit a weak one—still formed between muscle and brain cells. The mice survived several days, during which they experienced myasthenia gravis-like muscle weakness. “That’s against the dogma,” Mei said. “If LRP4 is essential only in the muscle cells, how could the mice survive?” When they totally eliminated LRP4, neuromuscular junctions never formed and the mice didn’t survive.
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Additional evidence suggests that LRP4 in the neurons is vital, said Wu, postdoctoral fellow and the study’s first author. “When we knocked out the LRP4 gene in the muscles, there was some redundant function coming from the motor neuron, like a rescue attempt,” he said. They documented the neuron reaching out to share LRP4 with the muscle cell. Unfortunately, the gesture was not sufficient. “The nerve does not get the stop signal,” Mei said, referencing images of too-long neurons that never got the message from the muscle that they have gone far enough. When they cut the elongated nerves, they found they didn’t contain enough vesicles, little packages of chemical messengers that enable brain cell communication. On the receiving end, muscle cells developed receptors that were too small and too few—hence, the tenuous communication network. “When LRP4 in the muscle is taken out, not surprisingly, the muscle has some kind of a problem,” Mei said. “What was very surprising was that the motor neurons also have problems.” “The talk between motor neurons and muscle cells is very critical to the synapse formation and the very precise action between the two,” Wu said. Mei’s lab earlier established that the conversation goes both ways. The scientists believe about 60 percent of the LRP4 comes from muscle cells, about 20 percent from brain cells – which helps explain why the brain’s effort to share is insufficient – and the remainder from cells in spaces between the two. In addition to better explaining nerve-muscle communication, the scientists hope their findings will eventually enable gene therapy that delivers LRP4 to bolster insufficient levels in patients. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. n
The Body’s GPS A lipid that helps lotion soften the skin also helps cells find and stay in the right location in the body by ensuring they keep their “antennae” up, scientists report. Each cell has an antenna, or cilium, that senses the environment, then determines where to go and what to do when it arrives, said Dr. Erhard Bieberich, an MCG biochemist. “A cell needs to have an organelle that senses where it is in space in order to go where it wants and Dr. Erhard Bieberich needs to go,” said Bieberich, corresponding author of the study in Molecular Biology of the Cell. The organelle is enabled by receptors on the antennae that are attracted to growth factors secreted by cells that already have found their way. Once cells are situated, the antennae help them respond to nearby signals. Bieberich’s team has shown that the lipid, ceramide, helps cells keep this organelle from retracting by inhibiting the enzyme, histone deacetylase 6 or HDAC6. Activating HDAC6 prompts antennae to retract, a prerequisite for cell division. Interestingly, some of the most rapidly dividing cells, cancer cells, hijack HDAC for their purposes and suppress ceramide, which induces cell suicide. Bieberich’s team reported in 2007 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that in the earliest days of development, ceramide helps orient stem cells and find their place in a lineup that is important for embryonic development. Three years earlier, the scientists showed the lipid teams up with the protein, PAR-4, to eliminate useless cells in developing brains. Bieberich also was the corresponding author of a study published recently in the Journal of Biological Chemistry noting that the astrocytes that normally nourish and protect brain cells instead deliver a suicide package in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, a finding that could open the door to new treatment options. This research is funded by the National Science Foundation. n
Dr. Vernon Barnes
Meditation Correlation Regular meditation could decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in teens who are most at risk, according to MCG researchers. In a study of 62 black teens with high blood pressure, those who meditated twice a day for 15 minutes had lower left ventricular mass, an indicator of future cardiovascular disease, than a control group, said Dr. Vernon Barnes, an MCG physiologist and Institute of Public and Preventive Health faculty member. Barnes, Dr. Gaston Kapuku, a cardiovascular researcher in the institute, and Dr. Frank Treiber, a psychologist and former GHSU Vice President for Research, co-authored the study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Half of the group was trained in transcendental meditation and asked to meditate for 15 minutes with a class and 15 minutes at home for a four-month period. The other half was exposed to health education on how to lower blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease, but no meditation. Left ventricular mass was measured with two-dimensional echocardiograms before and after the study and the group that meditated showed a significant decrease. “Increased mass of the heart muscle’s left ventricle is caused by the extra workload on the heart with higher blood pressure,” Barnes explained. “Some of these teens already had higher measures of left ventricular mass because of their elevated blood pressure, which they are likely to maintain into adulthood.” During meditation, the activity of the sympathetic nervous system decreases and the body releases fewer-thannormal stress hormones. “As a result, the vasculature relaxes, blood pressure drops and the heart works less,” he said. School records also showed behavioral improvements. This research is partially funded by the National Institutes of Health. n Dr. Gaston Kapuku
Low-fiber diets increase teens’ risk of abdominal fat and inflammatory factors in the blood, both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers report. The study of 559 adolescents age 1418 from Augusta showed they consumed on average about one-third of the daily recommended amount of fiber, said Dr. Norman Pollock, bone biologist at the Medical College of Georgia and the Institute of Public and Preventive Health.
About 40 percent of ischemic stroke patients arrive at the hospital with high blood glucose levels that can worsen their brain damage, say physicians working to stop the additional loss. Insulin, a hormone that enables cells to use glucose as energy, can help, but questions remain about the optimal way to give it, said Dr. Askiel Bruno, an MCG stroke specialist. He is a Clinical Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokefunded study that should determine whether intravenous delivery or the usual shot of insulin works best. The trial will enroll 1,400 participants nationally. A blood glucose level check, part of the early evaluation of all stroke patients, is important not only because of the association with increased damage but because the symptoms of low glucose can mimic stroke symptoms. “When blood glucose is high, the damage is worse, so lowering that glucose right away should result in less damage and better outcomes,��� Bruno said. Stroke triggers the release of stress hormones that interfere with insulin’s ability to coax glucose into cells. Scientists theorize that free radicals produced by stroke also pile on the damage. Stroke patients with acute high glucose levels typically get a shot of insulin. When those levels are particularly difficult to control, patients may get an intravenous dose instead, which requires closer monitoring but seems to work better. The SHINE Trial directly compares stroke outcome using the two approaches to determine the most efficacious. “We may find intravenous works better for some patients than others,” Bruno said. n
Drs. Norman Pollock (left) and Samip Parikh
“The simple message is adolescents need to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains,” Pollock said. “We need to push recommendations to increase fiber intake.” He and Dr. Samip Parikh, an internal medicine resident at GHS Health System, are co-first authors of the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Only about 1 percent of the study participants consumed the recommended daily intake of 28 grams for females and 38 grams for males. The study appears the first to correlate dietary fiber with inflammatory markers in adolescents. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health. n
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Dr. Askiel Bruno
Dr. Brian Miller
Blood levels of a protein that helps regulate inflammation may also serve as a red flag for relapse in some schizophrenia patients, researchers said. “There are no good, objective measures of treatment efficacy or indicators for relapse,” said Dr. Brian Miller, an MCG psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia. Researchers hope monitoring levels of interleukin-6 can fill that gap for a population in which more than half of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, often because of side effects. The relapse rate is about 80 percent within two years in patients who don’t take their medication properly and about half that in those who do, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. To get a better handle on how IL-6 levels correspond to disease status, they are looking at levels in blood samples taken multiple times over several years in 305 patients enrolled in a study comparing injectable to oral medication. They also are taking one-time measurements in 80 healthy controls and comparing those to levels in 240 patients who are acutely ill, stable outpatients or stable outpatients who smoke marijuana, a drug commonly abused by patients. While many previous studies have excluded drug abusers, marijuana may increase inflammation, so they want to explore the relationship between IL-6 levels and its use, Miller said. Mounting evidence suggests inflammation’s role in schizophrenia. Miller’s research is funded by a five-year, $920,000 National Institute of Mental Health Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award. n
Student Spotlight BY TONI BAKER
Save the Data
Student Crunching Numbers to Help Dialysis Patients
n MCG student is among 47 recipients of the 2012 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship from the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha. The $5,000 award enabled Puja Chebrolu to spend her summer poring over a huge federal database to help predict kidney dialysis patients’ risk of bacteremia, a potentially lethal infection. The experience also helped her prepare for a career in public health. While looking for ways to optimize her summer, Chebrolu learned of Dr. N. Stanley Nahman’s desire to mine the U.S. Renal Data System’s extensive database of about 600,000 patients with more than 13 million hospitalizations to determine dialysis patients’ risk factors for bacteremia. Chebrolu figured it was a good way to marry her interest in data and infectious diseases. Years before, Nahman, an MCG nephrologist, had looked at a much smaller sample of 100 patients and found that hemodialysis patients with bacteremia most often also were infected with the blood-borne infection, hepatitis C. Nearly 25 percent of the patients in the U.S. Renal Data System have bacteremia, which tends to result from infection by multiple organisms normally found on skin. Inside the body, they can cause flulike symptoms or worse. Intensive-care patients are another easy target for bacteremia, Nahman noted. Conceding that even with excellent preventive measures, needles likely are a common cause of bacteremia in dialysis patients, Nahman, Chebrolu and Dr. Kristina Kintziger, an MCG epidemiologist, want to objectively assess risks. “There is no question that the risk of blood-borne infection is higher in patients on hemodialysis,” said Nahman, noting the procedure’s endless cycle of removing, filtering and returning blood to the body. While at the University of Florida, Jacksonville, he observed that dialysis patients infected with hepatitis C tended to be at highest risk of bacteremia. Whether the infection hindered immunity, putting an already vulnerable
population at additional risk, was among the questions raised. Hepatitis C, best known for the toll it takes on the liver, is very common in patients in kidney failure. The current study is further probing the bacteremia/ hepatitis C link, but the researchers also are looking far broader, at some 150,000 diagnoses, in their quest for associations that could serve as red flags for physicians. “Puja is looking for risk factors, whether it’s diabetes, the dialysis catheter, race, age or the average white count in their bloodstream,” Nahman said. “Are they infected with HIV? Do they have other infections? We have about 150,000 diagnoses that we can choose to query and see if they associate with bacteremia. It may turn out hepatitis C is the main risk factor.” They are focusing on the most recent three years of data, and Kintziger is putting the raw data into a usable format. She’s familiar with the database she is using to mentor several other medical students, including a similar study looking for risk factors for candidemia, a fungal infection more common in patients with compromised immunity, as well as risk factors for bacteremia in HIVpositive dialysis patients. “I spend a lot of time in her office,” Chebrolu said of Kintziger, adding that she is glad to learn data dissection directly from a professional rather than gleaning what she can on her own. “Every scientist collects data. Learning how to make it useful, presentable and understandable is a really good skill.” Nahman’s enthusiasm for the research is infectious as well, Chebrolu noted. “It’s been a great decision” to spend the long, hot Augusta summer looking for answers that may help patients, said the native of Columbus, Ga., who majored in microbiology at the University of Georgia. While admitting that her goal of research and patient care in distant lands is slightly idealistic, she believes the career path will enable her to one day make the biggest impact for the least amount of cost. First- through third-year medical students at medical schools with active AOA chapters are eligible for the fellowship, which supports clinical investigation, basic laboratory research, epidemiology, social science/health services research, leadership or professionalism studies. Dr. Clarence Joe, Associate Professor of Radiology and Orthopaedic Surgery at MCG, is Councillor of the Alpha of Georgia Chapter. n
Drs. Kristina Kintziger (from left) and N. Stanley Nahman with Puja Chebrolu
Gone Fishin’ Orthopaedic Chair Aims to Restore Patients’ Quality of Life BY PAULA HINELY
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inned to the bulletin board above Dr. Norman Chutkan’s desk is a photograph of a man fishing from his boat. The man is not a family member, close friend or fishing buddy, but a former patient. A success story. “He came to me in a lot of pain, with a significant spinal deformity after a couple of surgeries that had gone bad. He was to the point where he couldn’t live like that any longer,” said the Chair of the MCG Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “He just wanted to go fishing.” Chutkan performed a lengthy spinal revision surgery more than a decade ago, and since then, the patient has thrived. “He’s fishing again,” Chutkan said with a grin. “There are a handful of patients who stick in your mind. They come back and their lives are changed.” Those success stories are points of pride for Chutkan, in part because of the complexity of his subspecialty: spinal surgery. Spine patients can be challenging because they are dealing with many complex, difficult-to-diagnose pain issues, he explained. “Sometimes, everything lines up and the surgical outcome should be good, but the patient just doesn’t do as well as you wanted,” he said. It’s the challenge that makes spinal surgery so interesting to Chutkan, and he delights in teaching it to his residents. The spinal rotation is midway through the five-year orthopaedic surgery residency, and numerous residents have confessed to dreading the rotation’s complexity before setting foot in the spine clinic. “By the end of the rotation, they say they actually had fun. When residents say they absolutely despised spine clinic, then I’ll know I’m not doing my job well,” he said. “So far, that hasn’t happened.” It’s a job that Chutkan was destined for. His father was an orthopaedic surgeon in Kingston, Jamaica and spent years teaching at the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences. Although he didn’t grow up watching his father at work, he spent time roaming around the hospital grounds and socializing with other physicians and their families in the university’s common room, a throwback to the British system on which the university was founded. “I think my exposure early on led me to medicine, and I gravitated toward orthopaedics because it’s what my dad did and I had an interest in learning more about it, but I wasn’t absolutely convinced,” Chutkan said.
In fact, during his undergraduate years at the University of Miami, he took the LSAT and was sifting through scholarship offers to attend law school, following in the footsteps of his attorney mother. “Then I came to my senses and said that’s not for me,” he joked. Chutkan pursued a career in academic medicine. “I really like the academic environment and the camaraderie of working with residents,” he said. Chutkan served the department as Chief of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery for five years before being named Chair in 2007. “When I took over the department, we were at a crisis point,” he said. “We had lost a lot of faculty and there were concerns about the viability of our training program.” With a passion for teaching residents, Chutkan was not going to let the department slide. Since becoming Chair, departmental faculty and clinical productivity have tripled, and the residency program has grown from three residents a year to four. He shares credit for these feats with his colleagues, who he said rallied behind him when times were tough. “We’re a very entrepreneurial, dynamic department. We hold each other accountable for our work, so we work hard,” Chutkan said. “We’re a very stable department now, but we have room to grow, and that’s my intention.” For instance, he wants to bulk up the depth chart in two subspecialties, hand and spine, in which the department is dependent on a single surgeon. Three new faculty members are joining the department’s ranks in coming months, including its first female, an MCG alumna who specializes in orthopaedic oncology and total joint reconstruction. Adding a woman to the faculty is long overdue and could enable more successful recruitment of female residents, he said. “Nationwide, orthopaedics has become increasingly competitive, and MCG has an unusually large number of medical students who pursue the specialty,” Chutkan said. He estimates that about half of his 20 residents are MCG alumni. “We’re fortunate with orthopaedics being as competitive as it is to have truly outstanding residents.” With 20 residents to train and a growing faculty to maintain, the department’s patient base needs to expand to support the added volume. Essentially, the department must compete for patients with large orthopaedic practices that are also expanding. “Part of our goal is to expand beyond Augusta so that we can support a vibrant faculty that will allow us to train as many residents as we can for the state of Georgia,” Chutkan said. Adding an additional resident each year might be a future consideration if the opportunity arises. “I don’t plan to stop growing unless there just absolutely aren’t any more opportunities,” he said. “We’re always looking for opportunities.” n
Dr. Norman Chutkan – At a Glance n Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery n Dr. Charles Goodrich Henry and Carolyn Howell Henry
Distinguished Chair Education: n B.A.: University of Miami, 1986 n M.D.: Howard University College of Medicine, 1990 n Internship: Howard University Hospital, General Surgery, 1991 n Residency: Howard University Hospital, Orthopaedic Surgery, 1995 n Fellowship: Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Spine Surgery, 1996 Appointments: n n n
American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery Oral Examiner Continuing Medical Education and International Education Committees of the North American Spine Society Section Editor of Evidence-Based Medicine for the journal Orthopaedics
Trivia: n Chutkan was born in Kingston, Jamaica and later lived in the Bahamas before his family moved to the United States. n He and wife Danika met in New Orleans and have five children, age 5 to 12: Aryanna and Aiden were born in New Orleans; Aliyah was born in Augusta; and Tamiru and Fekadu were born in Ethiopia and adopted by the Chutkans two years ago. Despite Chutkan’s island upbringing, his kids are all snowbirds. They are avid ice skaters and ski black diamond slopes while their dad sticks to the green ones. n His youngest son, Fekadu, is the only one to have broken a bone (so far). Coincidently, he broke his leg at the home of Dr. David Cearley, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon on the faculty. n Chutkan and his two sisters all followed in their parents’ footsteps. He and one sister are physicians, and the other sister is a lawyer. His brothers-in-law are a judge and a Homeland Security agent. “We’re all argumentative and everybody’s always right, so it makes for fun family get-togethers,” he said. His daughters dream of continuing the family legacies – Aliyah wants to become a surgeon (as well as a ballerina and an ice skater) and Aryanna wants to become an international lawyer. n Chutkan’s particular interests in spine surgery are deformity and trauma, but there’s not one procedure he enjoys more than the others. “That’s why I love working with residents. It gives me the opportunity to cross all the boundaries of all different kinds of problems.”
Tony Duva, J.D.,M.P.A., Senior Director of Development for Gift Planning
Saving for a Rainbow Day Our grandparents used to encourage us to save for a rainy day. Many would argue that those days are upon us. But what of the rainbow, that rare and beautiful phenomenon
that too rarely adorns a rainy sky to signal hope and the promise of
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a brighter day? When we save, isn’t it for the future and the possibilities it holds? Don’t we envision our children graduating from college, taking a long-awaited dream vacation, enjoying a retirement defined by relaxation and comfort? All products of a future well-planned, a savings well-invested. And what of the future of the Medical College of Georgia? Today, we are reaping the benefits of those who have gone before us – those with a vision and a desire to leave a lasting legacy in support of medical education, research and service. Today, we have students attending medical school on scholarship because someone, such as the late Dr. Leila Denmark, put away a sum of money to make sure future generations were spared her financial struggles.
Others are completing cardiology fellowships with the help of funds from donors, such as the late Dr. and Mrs. Harold Kimmerling, who invested in MCG’s future. Donors can contribute in ways that allow them to see the benefits of their savings during their lifetimes and/or through their estate-planning. By establishing an endowment, a donor is basically setting up a savings account. Because endowments have two parts, an endowment and related expendable account, they provide financial benefits both now and in the future. Endowments can be named after the donor or a donor’s loved one. The principal is never touched, but the interest generated goes toward the donor’s area of interest. And, like our parents and their parents before them instructed, putting away even a small sum of money adds up over time. It makes a difference. And it particularly makes a difference over years of investment and growth. You can start by giving a small sum over a longer period of time and either increase your gift later or increase your endowment with a testamentary bequest. For example, Dr. William H. Brooks began contributing to a chair in obstetrics and gynecology during his lifetime. He and his wife, Estelle, were so committed to maximizing the impact
of their gift, they also included funding for the Brooks Chair in their respective estates. Their cumulative giving resulted in the Dr. William H. Brooks and Estelle Brooks Distinguished Chair in OB/Gyn. These giving scenarios are just a few examples of what makes MCG’s future bright – students are competing for the benefit of our world-class education; gifted researchers and scientists are vying for the opportunity to work alongside noted colleagues, and nationally renowned faculty are populating our ever-expanding, modern classrooms and lab space. So how can you be a part of this promising future now and in years to come? Here are just a few ideas: Annuities – A charitable gift annuity is an income-producing charitable investment vehicle. The donor enters into an annuity contract and designates himself or an annuitant to receive a fixed amount for a period of time. The income is based on the total principal invested at a set interest rate. Annuities may also offer tax advantages. Trusts – With a charitable lead trust, the initial or “lead” interest on the principal is paid out to MCG annually for a set number of years or for your lifetime. The funds remaining are either returned to you or passed on to your beneficiaries. You may receive an income tax deduction at the time
the trust is created. If you pass along the remaining assets to your family, estate or gift taxes may be reduced or eliminated. Retirement Plan Assets – Accumulating significant funds in your tax-deferred retirement accounts may create a tax burden as the investment income earned is tax-deferred, not tax-free. A donor may assign all or a portion of his retirement vehicle to the Medical College of Georgia by simply contacting his IRA trustee or custodian with instructions to do so. Bequests – Remembering MCG in your will, either by a specific bequest (amount) or a percentage of your residuary estate, is a great way to support institutional programs and initiatives. Bequests may offer tax advantages because they are exempt from federal estate tax. When making a bequest, we can provide you an example of our testamentary gift language to include in your will. We can’t make it stop raining. We never know when we might see a rainbow. But we know what we can do –invest in a future of promise and build a spectacular tomorrow that we can only imagine today. n
For help in making your plan, contact Tony Duva at 1-800-869-1113, 706-721-1939 or email@example.com
Awards? Professional Honors? Special Activities?
1960s The Hon. Phil Gingrey,
of Marietta, Ga., is seeking re-election in U.S. District 11. Gingrey established an obstetrics practice in Marietta after completing an internship at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and a residency at MCG.
1970s Dr. Irving M. Pike
has been named the first Chief Medical Officer of John Muir Health, a not-for-profit health care organization east of San Francisco. He provides medical and clinical leadership, expertise and perspective to the executive team, medical staff and clinical employees. He also contributes to business strategies supporting the organization’s growth and long-term goals. He has practiced gastroenterology in Virginia Beach, Va., since 1983 and is President of the Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Consortium. He serves on the American College of Gastroenterology’s Board of Trustees. Pike completed an internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
1990s Dr. Mark Albritton
has joined Northeast Georgia Physicians Group in Oakwood , Ga. He completed a family practice residency at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Practice.
Dr. Ken Howard,
Dr. Douglas Lundy,
of Rome, Ga., has been named to the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors. Howard practices as Harbin Clinic in Calhoun, Ga. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Practice.
of Resurgens Orthopaedics in Canton, Ga., is included in Atlanta Magazine’s 2012 list of top doctors. He completed his residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center and is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He was a member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2010.
Dr. Natalie Burger
has been named a partner in the Texas Fertility Center. She is board-certified in obstetrics/ gynecology and reproductive endocrinology/ infertility. Burger specializes in diagnosing and treating infertility, focusing on recurrent pregnancy loss, in vitro fertilization, complicated endoscopic surgery, PCS and ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination.
Dr. John C. Keel
has joined the medical staff of New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. His clinical interests include spine disorders, musculoskeletal and sports medicine, neuromuscular disorders, rehabilitation and disability. He is an instructor in orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and previously served in the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department of Orthopedics. He completed an internship and residency at Emory University School of Medicine and a fellowship in pain management at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Champ Baker
Dr. Roger Ulrich
has been inducted into the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s Hall of Fame. He is a staff physician at The Hughston Clinic in Columbus, Ga., and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the MCG Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He chairs The Hughston Foundation’s Board of Directors and holds a teaching appointment at Tulane University School of Medicine. His specialties include sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. He is on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances.
has joined Beaufort Memorial Bluffton Primary Care in Bluffton, S.C., as a family medicine specialist. He recently completed his residency at Self Regional Healthcare Family Medicine in Greenwood, S.C. He lived many years abroad in Europe and the Middle East and is fluent in Spanish, German and Arabic. He has also volunteered for a number of medical missions in Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Niger and Peru.
Dr. H. Calvin Jackson
Dr. J. Harold Harrison
Dr. Louie Frances Woodward Marshall,
Dr. Royce Van Jackson,
died March 31 at his residence in Manchester, Ga. He was 91. Jackson completed an internship at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta and served in the U.S. Army-Air Force as a medical officer at two U.S. Air Force hospitals from 1946-48, achieving the rank of Captain. He was a charter Fellow and life member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a life member of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, a life member of the Medical Association of Georgia and past President of the MeriwetherHarris-Talbot County Medical Society. He served as Meriwether County Medical Dr. Lane Price (’74), a cancer specialist with a master’s degree in education from the University of Georgia, is running for the at-large vacancy on the Dougherty County School Board. (Please note that Jackson’s class year was erroneously listed as 1941 in the summer 2012 edition of GHSU Today. We regret the error.)
died June 2 at his residence in Bartow, Ga at age 86. Harrison was born in Kite, Ga., served as a Captain in the U.S. Army and went on to become a pioneer in the field of vascular surgery. In a career that spanned over 50 years, he operated on some 7,000 blocked neck arteries and developed the nation’s first vascular training program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta in 1959. He attended the University of Georgia and interned at the Medical College of Virginia. He completed residency training at Grady Hospital in Atlanta. Upon retirement, he remained heavily involved with the MCG Foundation and Alumni Association, serving terms as President of both. He was a past GHSU Vessel of Life Award recipient noting significant contributions to his alma mater and the field of medicine. Survivors include wife Sue, two step-children and seven grandchildren.
of Covington, Ga., died July 16 at age 89. She was preceded in death by her husband, George J. Marshall. After earning her medical degree from MCG, she completed a residency at Sheppard Pratt in Ellicot City, Md., then returned to MCG where she served on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry from 1959 until her retirement in 1985. She then served as Chief of Staff at the Lenwood Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, after which she maintained a private practice for many years in Augusta before retiring. She was recognized by Who’s Who in America and was a Master Gardener. Survivors include sons George J. Marshall Jr. and Rick Marshall, daughter Louise M. Avaritt, eight grandchildren and numerous greatgrandchildren.
of Crawfordville, Fla., died July 10 at age 83. After graduating as valedictorian from Attapulgus High School in 1945, he earned a degree at Georgia Southern College and taught science at Chattahoochee High School before entering the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in 1950. He also served in the Korean Conflict with the 2nd Infantry and received the Combat Medical Badge and a Bronze Star. After earning his medical degree, he studied psychiatry at Tulane University and family systems theory
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From the Alumni Association President at Georgetown University. He practiced psychiatry in Tallahassee, Fla., from 1967-93, then became certified in chelation therapy. He retired from that practice in 1998. He chaired the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. Survivors include wife Patricia Jones Jackson, two children and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Bonner Lee Baker
died May 22 at age 62. Baker practiced internal medicine in Macon, Ga., from 198090. He was Medical Director of Coliseum Northside Hospital in Rome from 199099 and Medical Director of Rutherford Hospital in Rutherfordton, N.C., until his retirement in 2005. He was a member of the American Medical Association and Bibb County Medical Society. He was on the volunteer faculty of Mercer University and was a Diplomat of the American College of Physician Executives. Survivors include wife Kathy Hudson Baker, two children and four grandchildren.
Alumni We’d like to hear from you Changed addresses lately? Have a question or concern? Want to learn more about participating in alumni programs? Contact: Scott Henson Executive Director, Alumni Affairs
Old Friends and Classmates, I have had two events occur this year that led me to consider the importance of old friends and classmates. The first event was assuming the role of President of the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association and the second was attending my 30th MCG class reunion. I have realized that as President of the Alumni Association, I am serving as a very brief caretaker of an alumni society that represents 184 years of medical education. Our institution has produced great leaders in the field of medicine but has also produced the majority of physicians to serve our state. As graduates, we are part of a long tradition of physicians spreading out into multiple communities and areas of our state, bringing knowledge and medical skills to those we serve. My own 30-year reunion has led me to remember when my classmates and I first began our journey into medicine. The first time the Class of 1982 met was in the Hamilton Wing Auditorium during the fall of 1978. It was significant for several reasons. First, it was the only time we appeared at school wearing suits and dresses. Second, it was the pinnacle of that wonderful time when you had been accepted to medical school but were too stupid to realize what was headed your way. Finally, it was a time to meet classmates for the first time. We would spend more time with each other over the next four years than we had with any other group of fellow students. The struggle to survive medical school forges bonds that will last a lifetime. The friendships formed there have remained strong as evidenced by interactions and conversations that start up again at each class reunion, as if no time had passed. There is something uniquely satisfying about being able to practice with fellow classmates. As noted by Dr. Alan Kaplan, a classmate and past President of the Alumni Association, “Seeing your classmates is like
seeing family.” Some of us are luckier than others when it comes to this familiarity. On a regular basis, I see classmates who work in the Atlanta area who are in every specialty imaginable. When I am referring a patient to a classmate, there is comfort on both sides of the conversation when I say that I have known the physician since medical school. A unique confidence and trust results from working with a colleague you have known for years. Even geographic separations do not impede the bond we share as classmates. Many times I have called a classmate to ask about “Dr. X” in the classmate’s community, to see if he knew the physician in question and if he was “okay.” I have found that this backdoor confirmation helps me to make sure that my patients are going to be in good hands. The Medical College of Georgia has been tied strongly to us, whether we know it or not. As the school goes through challenges such as name changes, building projects, federal regulations, and funding, the important thing to remember is that the institution is still producing top-notch physicians for Georgia as well as the rest of the nation. Not only is there a bond among each class, but among fellow graduates as well. Even if not of the same generation, we share common experiences regarding the faculty and institution. For those of you who have not made it back to campus for a reunion, I certainly recommend it for the therapeutic benefits and the brief feeling that time has indeed stood still for you—even if all of your classmates seem to have aged. n
Kind regards, Henry D. Cline, M.D. President, MCG Alumni Association
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g e o rg i a h e a l t h . e d u / g e o rg i a m e d i c i n e
UGA Health Sciences Campus Open House GHSU/UGA Medical Partnership Dean Barbara Schuster (from left) and MCG alums Drs. Alva Faulkner and Lois Ellison unveil the plaque along with University of Georgia President Michael F. Adams and MCG Dean Peter Buckley to commemorate the renovation of Winnie Davis Hall at the Aug. 22 Health Sciences Campus Open House and Celebration in Athens.