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INSIDE: Consolidation Timeline

GHSU pdate


APRIL 2012


20 20


Georgia Health Sciences’ strategic plan is here

Ricardo Azziz, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. President, Georgia Health Sciences University and CEO, Georgia Health Sciences Health System

n You have heard about it for months. Now it’s here: the Transformation 2020 strategic plan. We unveiled the document on March 9 and have since been making it available to our stakeholders throughout the state at georgiahealth. edu/transformation2020. You will find it to be a compelling and inspiring whether you are employed by the Georgia Health Sciences enterprise or are simply interested in how we see our role in the future of health professions education. For those of you unfamiliar with Transformation 2020, it is a roadmap that articulates the ideals, beliefs and aspirations that will chart our path to a greater future and inspire our greatest achievements. It is a clear and resounding affirmation not only of the enterprise’s current identity, but of its evolving and transformational impact.

This enterprise will appear very different in the year 2020, building on a strong past to realize its full potential as a recognized state and national thought leader; the partner of choice for colleges, universities, hospitals, and health systems; a hightech, high-touch educational hub for advanced/ graduate health professions education; and an innovative research and biotechnology leader. We also aspire to be a respected provider of high-quality specialized clinical care to an expanded region and a massive and growing economic engine for Georgia and the region. Thank you for taking the time to share in our vision as we advance our mission. l

Our vision: To be a globally recognized research university and academic health center, while transforming the region into a health care and biomedical research destination.

Dr. Stephen Hsu

Biomedical incubator releases first consumer product n An over-the-counter all-natural chewing gum designed to relieve mild to severe symptoms of xerostamia, or dry mouth, is the first consumer product developed through GHSU’s biomedical incubator, the Life Sciences Business Development Center. Camellix LLC will soon launch several dietary and therapeutic product lines based on green tea technology developed by Dr. Stephen Hsu, an Associate Professor in the GHSU College of Dental Medicine. First on the market is MighTeaFlow gum, a long-lasting spearmint gum that combines the all-natural ingredients of green tea, jaborandi and Xylitol to protect salivary glands and stimulate saliva flow without the side effects of currently available products. A lozenge, mouthwash and toothpaste are in development. “Nearly 50 million Americans experience dry mouth from time to time,” said Hsu. “It is a huge problem. More than 400 medications, including those for depression and high blood pressure can reduce saliva production.” Without saliva’s protection against bacterial growth and its ability to wash away food particles, xerostamia can lead to serious health complications including tooth decay and gum disease. Swallowing, digestion, the ability to taste, dietary habits, nutrition, speech and tolerance to dental prostheses may also be compromised. Green tea extract is known to protect salivary gland cells from inflammation, oxidative stress and autoimmune reactions, while jaborandi leaf extract has been used for centuries by native South Americans to induce fluid secretions. Xylitol, a non-fermenting sugar alcohol, is often used in oral hygiene products to prevent cavities and stimulate saliva flow by restoring the mouth’s proper alkaline/ acid balance. The ingredients’ synergistic combination stimulates salivary flow naturally. “Our product is unique because it is based on patented technology and university research,” Hsu said. Part of GHSU’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, the Life Sciences Business Development Center is a turnkey site for innovative companies looking to relocate or expand into Georgia. It provides corporate tenants and their sponsoring organizations access to GHSU researchers and research facilities while serving as an economic driver for the state of Georgia. l

GHS Medical Center earns Energy Star designation n Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s prestigious Energy Star designation, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental protection. GHS Medical Center is the only hospital in Georgia that holds this designation. To qualify, the hospital must perform in the top 25 percent of its peers nationwide in energy efficiency and meet strict performance levels set by the EPA. Facilities included in the Energy Star designation are the adult hospital, the Critical Care Center, GHS Children’s Medical Center and the Medical Office Building. “This is an incredible accomplishment, considering the age of the facilities and the way in which hospital systems have to be operated to maintain a patient-centric environment,” said Phil Howard, Georgia Health Sciences Vice President of Facilities Services. “Achieving this designation is the result of years of planning and a tireless commitment to efficient systems operations and energy management.” l

Phil Howard

April 26-29

Upcoming Events

GHSU Homecoming 2012: Rich Heritage – Dynamic Future Augusta, Georgia 800-869-1113

ASU-GHSU Consolidation News Feb. 9 SACS-COC Meeting

March 23 Submit Mission to BOR

July 1 Submit Name to BOR Sept. 11-12 BOR Meeting

April 17-18 BOR Meeting

2012 Feb. 28-March 9 Website Open for Input on Mission, etc.

By Oct. 1 Submit Joint Prospectus to SACS-COC

Dec. 8-11 SACS-COC Annual Meeting

ASU-GHSU Consolidation Timeline


Fall 2013

Implementation within 30 days of Approval from SACS-COC Site Visit within 6 Months

GHSU pledges to fund scholarship

Clinical Spotlight

n Georgia Health Sciences University has pledged to match funds for the state’s new needs-based college scholarship program – Realizing Educational Achievement Can Happen, or REACH. “We recognize that the cost of higher education is a barrier for many deserving students,” said Dr. Gretchen Caughman, GHSU Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “This scholarship program is an important step toward removing that barrier and serves as an investment in a better-educated Georgia.” GHSU is raising the money through private contributions. While GHSU is largely a graduate-level institution, its consolidation with Augusta State University in 2013 will instantly create a large student base that is potentially eligible for REACH, Caughman said.

3D mammography improves breast cancer detection

“This scholarship program is an important step toward removing that barrier and serves as an investment in a bettereducated Georgia.” – GHSU Provost Gretchen Caughman

REACH Scholars will be selected in middle school and will sign a contract to maintain a certain grade average, remain crime-, drug- and behavior issue-free and meet with a volunteer mentor until they graduate from high school. Their parents or guardians will also sign a contract offering their support. Students who complete program requirements will receive a renewable yearly tuition scholarship of $2,500 to be used at any HOPE-eligible institution. Douglas, Rabun and Bulloch County School Systems will pilot the REACH program, with other Georgia counties following thereafter. For more information, contact the Georgia Student Finance Commission, 800-505-GSFC. l

n One in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime, and it is the second-leading cause of death among women. But if detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent – meaning that effective screening is the best defense. Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center recently became the first in Georgia, and one of only a few in the nation, to implement the most high-tech breast cancer screening process – 3D tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. The recentlyapproved technology produces a 3D image of the breast by combining multiple digital X-rays that reduce distortion caused by tissue overlap and density. The result is a more detailed image than traditional 2D digital images. The difference is like looking at a ball instead of a circle. “We can pinpoint the size, shape and exact location of a lump or tumor because the image is not flattened like a standard mammogram,” said Dr. James H. Craft, a radiologist at Georgia Health Sciences Breast Health Center. “The technology provides better visualization, easier and earlier detection and fewer callbacks.” Tomosynthesis also screens the entire breast, not just the problem area. This is significant because 15 percent of women with cancer in their breast also have another cancer in the same or other breast. l

For more information or to schedule an appointment for a mammogram, call 706-721-9729.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage


Augusta, GA Permit No. 210

Office of the President 1120 15th Street, FI-1033 Augusta, Georgia 30912 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Wrong address? Need to update your information? Tell us by email at: Go online to: Or call us at: 706-721-4001

Match Day

Medical College of Georgia students placed in residency programs during annual event

n Excitement abounded March 16 when 184 fourth-year students in GHSU’s Medical College of Georgia participated in Match Day, the annual event that pairs medical students nationwide with hospitals where they will train in their chosen specialties. At GHSU, students’ matches are placed in an envelope and pulled out in random order. The students matched at residency programs in 32 states. Thirty-two students will stay in Georgia, 19 of those at GHSU. Of the 184 total students matching, 69 will pursue a primary care residency program – 34 in internal medicine, nine in family medicine and 27 in pediatrics. Matches are determined based on student and hospital rankings. Rankings are submitted to the National Resident Matching Program, based in Washington, D.C., and managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges. This year, more than 95 percent of U.S. medical school seniors—the highest rate in 30 years—matched to residency positions, according to data released by the NRMP. l

Shavonda Thomas, a fourth-year student from Waynesboro, Ga., reacts to getting her first choice for an internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Tenn., during Match Day March 16.

Sculpting in Clay: Reflections on Leadership and Transformation GHSUpdate is a monthly publication from the office of President Ricardo Azziz. For additional insight and timely updates, please follow his blog at:

GHSUpdate - April 2012  
GHSUpdate - April 2012  

You have heard about it for months. Now it’s here: the Transformation 2020 strategic plan.