All posts by Christen Carter

MCG Class of 2017 featured on 12 Bands Vol. 2

Georgia Regents University and 12 Bands will celebrate local bands with ties to the university with the release of a second CD featuring their music.

Volume II, which includes music by GRU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters, features tracks by Carey Murdock, Livingroom Legends, Passionate, Edison Project, Rising Stone, Delta Cane, Adam Sams, Hound of Goshen, The Remedy, McKenna & Phil, Dead End Sons, and MCG 2017.

One of the highlights of this year’s album is the song “Study” from MCG 2017. According to Ravi Patel, one of the three Medical College of Georgia students that make up the group, “We wanted to find a fun way to share our experiences while bringing our class, school, and community closer together. Thus, the idea for ‘study’ was born.”

Click here for video.

The group started to record the song last summer and at their initial session, met 12 Bands Director Joe Stevenson.

The group wasn’t able to complete the recording before classes started in the fall, but received a call from Stevenson in October saying he wanted to feature MCG 2017 on the next 12 Bands CD.

“The timing was surreal. We had just finished a quiz on pediatric cancers and here was an opportunity to help real patients at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia,” Patel said.

“Album sales are donated to our local children’s hospital to support families of pediatric cancer patients,” Stevenson said. “To date, 12 Bands has raised more than $250,000 in support of this cause.”

Patel went on to talk of how things have snowballed for the group since the song’s release, with multiple performances and even their very own music video, which is set for release March 4 on social media.

“We hope to gain a large audience on social media, which we believe will enhance the reputation of our school, help with the recruitment of more qualified students, and educate the public about health care issues,” Patel said.

Copies of 12 Bands of GRU Volume II are available at bookstores on the GRU Health Sciences and Summerville campuses, in GRHealth gift shops, and select campus events, for a donation to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia.

“We’re excited to partner with GRU in support of the children and families who visit CHOG each year, and for the opportunity to showcase local talent,” Stevenson said.

For more information, contact Joe Stevenson at or at (706) 664-5595.

GRU to help reduce motor vehicle fatalities involving young people

As the recipient of an $8,700 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia Regents University will partner with colleges and universities across the state to reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities among young adults as part of The Young Adult Program.

The program promotes peer education, provides educational speakers to schools, and encourages school administrators to develop creative and innovative techniques to reduce the number of motor vehicle fatalities involving young people in their communities.

“The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is committed to changing the tragic trend of young adult driver deaths in Georgia,” said GOHS Director Harris Blackwood. “We’re here to make changes, and I believe the students at Georgia Regents University can help us achieve the goal of lowering injury and fatality rates statewide. Who better to address the challenges and dangers facing young adults than their peers? I’m confident these students can convince their peers to be safer, more conscientious drivers.”

GRU coordinates programs such as peer education training and impaired driving prevention programs in an effort to promote and bring awareness to highway safety issues such as alcohol abuse, impaired driving, underage drinking, distracted driving, and other destructive decisions. The long-term goal of the program is to create safer, healthier campus environments.

“We will use this grant to help educate our students on the detriments of drinking and driving,” said GRU Student Wellness Coordinator Leslie Wilcher. “Our programs are often scheduled around events such as graduation, summer orientation, and tailgate parties and involve partnering with the campus Greek community, student athletes, campus police, health and wellness departments, and counseling services.”

For more information, contact Leslie Wilcher at 706-723-4302 or

GRU Cancer Center Director presented with Medical Trailblazer Award

GRU Cancer Center Director Dr. Samir Khleif was awarded the Medical Trailblazer Award by the Augusta City Classic at the organizations annual formal banquet and Hall of Fame Induction on Friday, Nov. 7.

It was the second time the award had been given. It was previously awarded to Dr. Mac Bowman of Augusta Heart Associates in 2013.

The Augusta City Classic, the Augusta City Classic Banquet and the Augusta City Classic football game raise money for a scholarship fund which has, over the years, raised more than $2 million.

The GRU Cancer Center is a multi-disciplinary academic cancer center focused on both research and clinical treatment. Its patient-centered approach to treatment includes first-in-the-nation treatment protocols, an experimental therapeutics program that includes specialized clinics for Phase I trials and immunotherapy and a variety of ancillary programs – including music therapy and genetic counseling – designed with holistic healing in mind.


To improve graduation rates, advising gets intrusive by design

Georgia Regents University’s ‘4 Years 4 U’ initiative, which launched in fall 2013 and focuses on a two-way dialogue between freshman and sophomore students and the university’s newly augmented advising staff, along with a flat tuition model that incentivizes students to enroll for 15 hours, the pace needed to graduate in four years – was featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Read the full story here.

GRU fires up for Great American Smoke Out

The Georgia Regents University Cancer Center, Georgia Prevention Institute, and the GRHealth Respiratory Therapy Program will set up eight Commit to Quit stations Nov. 20 as part the Great American Smoke Out.

Commit to Quit stations are open to students, faculty, staff, and the community, and offer tools and tips to assist smokers in overcoming nicotine, taming their urge to smoke, and changing their tobacco-related behaviors.

The following stations will be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Health Sciences Campus:

  • Cancer Center Outpatient Clinic lobby
  • Main Hospital lobby
  • Main Hospital, Terrace Dining
  • Children’s Hospital of Georgia lobby
  • Medical Office Building lobby

Additional stations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Health Sciences and Summerville campuses:

  • Student Center, Health Sciences Campus
  • Annex I, Health Sciences Campus
  • Jaguar Student Activities Center, Summerville Campus

The Great American Smoke Out, held each year on the third Thursday of November, calls attention to the death, illness, and disability caused by smoking and secondhand smoke and is designed to help smokers quit.

Nationally, smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. This year, according to National Cancer Institute estimates, 160,000 men and women will die from lung and bronchus cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in five deaths are due to smoking or secondhand smoke. In Georgia 11,000 lives are lost due to smoking every year.

“Our community cannot afford to lose another life to smoking cigarettes and to secondhand smoke,” said Martha Tingen, Director of the GRU Cancer Center’s Tobacco Control Program. “The Smoke Out is designed to remind us of that and to let smokers and their loved ones know resources and help in quitting are available.”

Active smokers or their family members can also get information about the GRU Cancer Center’s Cessation Services at 706-721-6744 or

The Cancer Center also offers a free lung cancer screening to qualifying long-term smokers. For more information, call 706-446-LUNG (5864) or visit

The GRU Cancer Center is a multidisciplinary academic cancer center focused on both research and clinical treatment. Its patient-centered approach to treatment includes first-in-the-nation treatment protocols, an experimental therapeutics program that includes specialized clinics for Phase I trials and immunotherapy, and a variety of ancillary programs – including music therapy and genetic counseling – designed with holistic healing in mind.



GRU joins nation’s oldest higher education association

Georgia Regents University has been named a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities – the nation’s oldest higher education association representing 239 member institutions.

“This honor validates GRU’s commitment to student and faculty success through research and education and our continuous efforts to grow and improve our research funding and recruitment, our doctoral program offering, and our strategic partnerships and affiliations in areas that stimulate innovation,” said GRU President Ricardo Azziz. “We are honored to join such a prestigious organization and look forward to future opportunities for collaboration with our peers across the nation.”

APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization made up of public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations. Located in Washington, D.C., the organization is a strong voice on critical legislative, policy, and funding issues affecting universities.

“Georgia Regents University makes a positive impact on its students, alumni, faculty, and community. The university’s strong commitment to research and teaching make it a great addition to the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “APLU’s 239 members enroll 4.8 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.2 million degrees, employ 1.4 million faculty and staff, and conduct $41.4 billion in university-based research.  We are dedicated to advancing learning, discovery, and engagement, and the association provides a forum for the discussion and development of policies and programs affecting higher education and the public interest.”

Membership criteria for public institutions such as GRU mandates that the institution be a public research university or land-grant university meeting certain thresholds in the areas of research activity, breadth of doctoral programs and research focus, student enrollment, and community engagement.

Other member universities in Georgia include Georgia Tech, Georgia State, The University of Georgia, Georgia Southern University, and Fort Valley State University.

Parking for patients and visitors to our hospitals and clinics

Parking is a frustration for all of us, whether we’re here for an appointment or showing up for our routine work responsibilities. Patients and visitors entering our hospitals and clinics, who already have their health or that of their loved one on their minds, experience these same parking frustrations. Although there are a number of parking decks and lots across campus, on many days, it is a challenge to find an empty parking space.

Parking availability for patients and visitors is a top priority and the responsibility of the entire GRU and GRHealth community. We appreciate the support of everyone as we work to improve the health care experience for our patients. As a reminder, parking is reserved only for patients and visitors in the following decks until 2 p.m. each day:

  • Medical Center deck on 15th Street, located on the east side of the deck
  • Medical Office Building deck on Harper Street, Levels One, Two, and Three
  • Children’s Hospital of Georgia deck on Harper Street, Level One

Reserved parking for patients and visitors is always available in the following areas:

  • The Clinical Cancer Center deck on Laney Walker Boulevard.
  • Lot 5, located in front of the College of Dental Medicine

The administration is committed to improving parking availability and shuttle operations as part of our Campus Master Planning process, and we expect to see significant improvements in these areas beginning in spring 2015. In the interim, however, we all need to do our part to ensure our patients come first and reserved patient and visitor parking is kept available for our guests.

We thank you for your continued commitment to the health, well-being, and safety of our patients and visitors.

To view the above deck and lot locations on the campus map, visit

Ebola travel considerations and protocols

As we approach a busy holiday season during which many of us undoubtedly plan to travel, both nationally and internationally, to visit with loved ones, we ask that you also remember those suffering from the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa.

We also ask that, as you make your travel plans, you closely monitor travel advisories, especially if you are considering travel to Ebola-affected countries. Those travel advisories can be found at,, and

While there is no direct prohibition against traveling to those areas, safety is our top priority, and students, faculty and staff are expected to contact Jasper Cooke in the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response at 706-667-4207 prior to traveling to, or returning from an affected area. Cooke can advise on the most recent travel policies and procedures mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Ebola Response Team.

For those working in the Medical Center, we want to assure you that we are diligently planning, preparing, drilling, evaluating, and improving the plans we have in place should we get an Ebola patient.

We can assure you that if Ebola does come to our hospital, that we will take the necessary measures to isolate and contain the disease in order to prevent further illness.

Lastly, we do ask that if you or a loved one has traveled to west Africa and you experience symptoms associated with the Ebola virus, that you visit the GRMC Emergency Department where medical professionals have been trained to screen for the virus.

Protocols are re-evaluated on a daily basis as more information comes to light. We are being vigilant in our preparedness and in mandating and ensuring that the appropriate information reaches our campus community.  For additional information, visit

GRU celebrates National Allied Health Professions Week Nov. 3-9

Students and faculty in the Georgia Regents University College of Allied Health Sciences will celebrate National Allied Health Professions Week Nov. 3-9.

Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver will issue a proclamation for the week at his office Monday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. Dean Andrew Balas and students from several of the college’s programs will attend.

Allied health professions greatly influence health care delivery by providing services in the identification, evaluation, and prevention of diseases and disorders. More than five million practitioners – nearly 60 percent of all health care providers – practice in more than 80 unique professions, including health system management, public health, and a variety of rehabilitation services.

“Our students are the allied health care professionals of tomorrow, trained to play ever more essential roles in an increasingly complex health care environment,” said Balas. “Their diverse skills continue to be in high demand as part of vital health care teams.”

By 2020, the demand for health care workers in the United States is expected to grow twice as fast as the national economy, to nearly 20 million.

The GRU College of Allied Health Sciences offers 11 certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in clinical laboratory science, dental hygiene, health management and informatics, medical illustration, nuclear medicine technology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, public health, radiation therapy, and respiratory therapy.

For more information, visit or call the College of Allied Health Sciences at 706-721-2621.