All posts by Danielle Harris

GRHealth offers Saturday mammograms

[Click here to read this story on Jagwire.]

AUGUSTA, Ga.- Finding the time for a mammogram can be challenging for busy women. However, a weekend mammogram might be your answer. October is national Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Breast Health Center at Georgia Regents Medical Center is offering patients a chance to schedule a mammogram for any Saturday in October between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. by calling 706-721-9729 (XRAY).


The Breast Health Center at Georgia Regents is an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and the only center in the area using 3-D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, which has been shown to improve cancer detection and reduce false-positive results. In addition, the Center, which performs more than 6,000 mammograms each year, was recognized by Health Imaging magazine in 2013 with a Patient-centric Imaging Award.


Recently, the American College of Surgeons also granted a three-year full accreditation to the Breast Health Center through its National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers for quality care. To earn NAPBC accreditation, a center must demonstrate proficiency in leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education and quality improvement.  In essence, this represents a firm commitment to offer patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.


Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Statistics show that one in eight women will develop breast cancer sometime in her lifetime. If detected early, the five-year survival rate is 97 percent. The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram paired with a clinical breast exam for women 40 and older.

Breast Health Center is located on the first floor of the Medical Center at 1120 15th St. To schedule an appointment, call 706-721-9729 or visit visit

5 ways to reduce your risk of gynecological cancer

AUGUSTA, Ga.-  According to the Center for Disease Control, more an 80,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer, and more than 25,000 will die from it. In response to this alarming statistic, September has been named Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month in an effort to help women become educated on the importance of early detection.


“Although all women are at risk for developing gynecological cancers, the rate increases with age,” said  Dr. Sharad Ghamande, Gynecologic Oncologist at the Georgia Regents University Cancer Center. “This is why it is important for women to pay attention to their body so they can know when something irregular is happening and maybe even recognize the symptoms of cancer.”


Gynecologic cancer refers to malignant growths in the ovaries, vagina, vulva, uterus, cervix, or fallopian tubes. In spite of the fact that there are no guaranteed ways to prevent gynecological cancers, Ghamande suggests the following tips to help reduce your risk.


  1. Pay attention to your body.  Talk to your doctor right away if you begin experiencing symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, bloating, pelvic pain or pressure for more than two weeks. There is a chance these symptoms may not be cancer, but the only way to know for sure is by going to your physician.
  2. Stay healthy. Eating a balanced diet and exercising not only helps reduce your chances of getting a gynecologic cancer, but it is beneficial for your overall health. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight and active life may lower your chances of getting certain gynecological cancers such as uterine and ovarian cancers.
  3. Get regular pap tests. Pap tests are one of the best ways doctors find precancerous changes on the cervix. It is recommended that all women aged 21 to 65 get this test done regularly or as directed by their doctor.
  4. Know your family history. In addition to having pap tests, be sure to share your family history with your doctor. If you or someone in your family has battled gynecological cancer, breast cancer, or have multiple relatives with colon cancer, you may consider having a genetic testing or counseling. This information will help you learn if you have an increased chance of developing the disease.
  5. Get vaccinated if appropriate. Researchers say the human papillomavirus can cause most cervical cancers as well as some vaginal and vulvar cancers. HPV vaccinations can protect against these types of cancers and it is recommended for 11 and 12 year-old girls. The vaccine may also be given to girls as early as nine years of age.


Dr. Ghamande has consistently been named to the Castle Connolly list of America’s Top Doctors – both in cancer and in gynecologic oncology – which puts him in the top 1 percent in his field nationwide. Ghamande is Professor and Chief of Gynecologic Oncology at GRU’s Medical College of Georgia and Associate Cancer Center Director at the GRU Cancer Center. His clinical and research interests include robotic surgery for gynecologic cancers and chemotherapy trials in recurrent ovarian cancer. Ghamande has worked with the National Cancer Institute-funded Georgia Gynecologic Oncology Group studying innovative ways to prevent and treat pelvic malignancies and is currently the principal investigator on the NCI-funded Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program.



Gala Concert to showcase student talent

Gala concert 1Enjoy an elaborate evening of young musical talent from the Georgia Regents University orchestra and the school’s choral, wind and opera and musical theater ensembles as the GRU Department of Music and Georgia Public Broadcasting present the annual Gala Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in the Maxwell Theatre on the Summerville Campus.

A pre-concert reception will be held at 6 p.m. backstage at thegala concert 3 theatre. Tickets for the reception and concert are $20 per person or $35 for two people. Tickets for the concert only are free for
students with a valid ID and $15 for the general public. All proceeds from the event will go toward music scholarships for GRU students.

The Gala Concert is one of three events featured in the institution’s Classical Music Concert Series. Other programs include the Wycliffe and Friends Holiday Concert on Dec. 1 and Concerto Competition Winners’ Concert scheduled for April 21, 2016.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706-667-4100 or visit

More women playing fantasy football

Are you ready for some football?

The first game of the NFL season kicked off Thursday, and with it came the fantasy football madness. With free fantasy football websites and apps making it easier to keep track of statistics, fantasy sports continue to grow in popularity.

However, a recent report from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association shows about a third of the fantasy sports-playing population is female. Even in 2012, the FSTA approximated almost 6 million women participated in fantasy football leagues.

Although this statistic may be surprising to some, Dr. David Hunt, sociology of sport expert and associate professor of sociology at Georgia Regents University, says this is a positive sign as it is proof the playing field is beginning to level out.

“Research shows fantasy sports are moving away from being a male dominated game and, with the Internet giving us new ways to access player stats, more people will join leagues so they can feel more a part of their favorite sport,” said Hunt.

Hunt shared more of his expertise on this topic with The Augusta Chronicle. Click here to view the story.

Hunt is a highly acclaimed sociologist whose work has been featured in several publications such as the American Educational Research Journal and the Sociological Spectrum. His studies on sports and society have garnered him the opportunity to be a presenter at numerous sociologically based meetings throughout the United States and Canada including the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport in Ontario.

Friday marks registration deadline for Diversity and Inclusion Summit

Friday, Sept. 4, will be the last day to register for  Georgia Regents University’s 2015 Diversity and Inclusion Summit. This year’s event will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center and features CNN Commentator Marc Lamont Hill as the keynote speaker.

Other summit activities include panel discussions and various workshops on topics such as strategies for recruiting and retaining minorities in STEM careers and the 45th Anniversary of the Augusta Race Riots.

For a complete schedule and registration information, go to

MCG, CDM blood drive competition

Throughout the month of September, the College of Dental Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia will be in competition to get as many faculty, staff, and students to donate blood.

The blood drive is taking place Sept. 1 through Oct. 2 in Blood Donor Services located in BI1200.

For those interested in supporting MCG, their kick-off event will be held Sept.1 and 2 , from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the first floor lobby of the J. Harold Harrison, MD Education Commons.

If you would like to team up with the College of Dental Medicine, their kick-off event will be held Sept. 15 and 16, from  8 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the research area of GC 4243.

Those interested in donating blood do not have to wait until the various kick-off events. Feel free to visit the Blood Donor Services anytime during the month-long competition.

All of the blood donated at GRHealth benefits patients at the medical center. Additionally, donors may receive a $38 credit which may be applied to a patient’s hospital bill.

Call 706-721-3695 for more information about this event.

Tobacco-free campus video accepted into national film festival

tobacco-awareness2Georgia Regents University’s tobacco-free campus video has been accepted into the American Public Health Association’s Film Festival.  The video is entitled “We Believe Health Matters: A Tobacco-Free Campus” and will be aired during the 143rd APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in Chicago on Nov.4.

Click here to watch the video.

According to Christine O’Meara, director of the GRU Cancer Center’s Cancer Information and Awareness program, the  video has been considered a model for other U.S. colleges and universities as many of them follow the growing trend of institutions enforcing tobacco-free campus policies.

“We are very grateful to have our video featured in the APHA’s Film Festival and we hope the video encourages people to know that  we are tobacco-free for health,” said O’Meara.

The video was written and directed by  O’Meara and was funded by a University System of Georgia Wellness Mini-Grant awarded to the GRU Cancer Center. It also features Danielle Harris, Senior Media Relations Coordinator in GRU’s Division of Communications and Marketing, and Joseph Tingen, a 2015 graduate of GRU’s Medical College of Georgia. Tingen is currently a general surgery resident for the Greenville Health System in Greenville, S.C.



Shiao named College of Nursing’s associate dean for research

Pam Shiao

Dr. S. Pamela K. Shiao, professor of Doctoral Programs in the School of Nursing at Azusa Pacific University, has been appointed associate dean for Research and E. Louise Grant Endowed Chair of Nursing in the College of Nursing at Georgia Regents University, effective Sept. 1.

In this position, Shiao will provide leadership to advance the College research mission through faculty and student scholarship. She also will collaborate with the college’s leadership team on pertinent research issues and opportunities and lead the nursing faculty and students in innovative studies. In addition, she will help advance the College’s teaching mission as a professor and director of the PhD in Nursing program.

“Dr. Shiao is an established investigator who brings enthusiasm, international connections, and extensive experience in research and research training to this position,” said Dr. Lucy Marion, dean of GRU’s College of Nursing. “She possesses the qualities needed for this role, and we look forward to her leadership as we work to fulfill the campus and college research missions.”

 Shiao is an internationally recognized researcher in the areas of nursing innovations and disseminations, health care informatics and technology, and human genome studies with emphasis on epigenetics.

Her work has been the subject of more than 100 publications, and she has served on NIH and other scientific review panels for Genetics for Healthcare and Nursing, Magnet Advancement-Nursing Workforce and Informatics and Technology.

 Shiao has held senior leadership positions at several academic institutions and served as a consultant to nursing administration at the St. Joseph Hospital in Houston, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Houston and the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital System in Philadelphia.

 Shiao earned her bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University, a master’s degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a doctoral degree from Case Western Reserve University. She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

CNN commentator to speak at Diversity Summit

Marc Lamont Hill
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill

CNN commentator and HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill will be the keynote speaker for Georgia Regents University’s 2015 Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center.


In his presentation “Building community in an hour of chaos: progress in the age of Obama,” Hill will share his expertise on how to empower communities by using practical tools and strategies.

Hill is a world-renowned author who provides regular commentary for media outlets like NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel, where he was a political contributor and regular guest on The O’Reilly Factor.

Hill is a distinguished Professor of African American Studies at Morehouse College. Prior to that, he held positions at Columbia University and Temple University.

Crystal Kadakia, Founder of Invati LLC

Another highlight for this year’s program will be a workshop led by Invati Consulting founder Crystal Kadakia. The Huffington Post blogger and former TEDx speaker will give her insight on how employers can effectively engage and manage millennials in the workplace.

Other summit activities include panel discussions and various workshops on topics such as strategies for recruiting and retaining minorities in STEM careers and the 45th Anniversary of the Augusta Race Riots.

For a complete schedule and registration information, go to


COE professor works with UN for new higher education policies

Olajide Agunloye Dr. Olajide Agunolye, associate professor in the Department of Counselor Education, Leadership, and Research, was featured in The Augusta Chronicle regarding his work with the United Nations to strengthen global policies for higher education.

Click here to view the article.

Agunloye joined GRU in 2008. He is a member of several professional organizations including the United Kingdom’s Association of Business Executives as well as the American Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Agunloye received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He earned his educational specialist degree from the University of West Georgia and earned a doctoral degree from the University of Georgia.