All posts by Jennifer Scott

National Disaster Life Support Foundation signs agreement to make courses available in China

The National Disaster Life Support Foundation, based at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, has signed an agreement with the Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in Shanghai and Xingcheng Medical Consulting & Services Company to teach standardized courses on disaster support throughout China.

The courses are part of a program designed to help a wide array of providers – from police to paramedics to hospital administrators and firefighters – best work together in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters. It was developed as an outgrowth of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, when it became apparent that responding agencies are often trained differently.

The program includes a Core Disaster Life Support Course® that gives hospital-based and frontline medical providers the essentials of natural and man-made disaster management. Basic and advanced courses offer progressively more hands-on training and knowledge. The overarching goal is to give all types of responders a common knowledge base and jargon and to eliminate ambiguity, said Dr. Richard Schwartz, chairman of the MCG Department of Emergency Medicine and Hospitalists Services, who had the original idea for the program.

The courses, first introduced in 1999, were developed by the Medical College of Georgia, University of Georgia, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the University of Texas at Houston’s School of Public Health. The nonprofit National Disaster Life Support Foundation was established in 2004 to oversee the program, and they began a partnership with the American Medical Association to widely disseminate the program in 2006.

Today, there are about 90 domestic training sites, and courses have been taught in 49 states and in more than 20 foreign countries. There are training sites in 11 countries, including places like Mexico, Japan, India and Saudi Arabia, and now China, the world’s most populous country.

“The courses are unique and valuable because they are standardized across all disciplines of first responders; they deal with all types of hazards, and they are competency based,” said Jack Horner, executive director of the NDLSF. “To date, more than 120,000 students have been trained, and a growing number of health professional schools have added the program to their curriculum. Disasters know no borders and they know no language barrier either.”

12 new Harrison Scholars named at MCG

Twelve members of the Class of 2019 at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University are the newest Harrison Scholars and the recipients of scholarships made possible by the largest gift in the medical school’s history.

The unprecedented $66 million gift by Dr. J. Harold Harrison, the renowned vascular surgeon from Kite, Georgia, and 1948 MCG graduate, and his wife, Sue, enables MCG to offer 12 scholarships – six full and six partial – to each freshman class. Six scholarships – three full and three partial – were given to students in the Class of 2018.

“What a remarkable gift to our medical school,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG dean. “The Harrison’s generosity continues to ensure that we are able to continue to recruit the best and brightest students – diverse in their backgrounds and experiences – to Georgia’s public medical school.”

The full scholarships, the first MCG has ever offered, cover the entire $28,358 annual, instate tuition cost, said Dr. James B. Osborne, president and CEO of the MCG Foundation, which has oversight of the Harrison gift. Six Harrison Scholars received partial scholarships of $15,000 annually.

“Every year we are privileged to choose a brilliant group of the next great physicians to attend this medical school,” said Dr. Paul Wallach, MCG vice dean for academic affairs. “These scholarships help us ensure that the most outstanding among them also choose us.”

The merit-based scholarships, which emphasize intellect and outstanding leadership potential, are effective for four years but will be reviewed annually to ensure that recipients continue to meet eligibility standards.

Osborne, a longtime friend of Harrison’s said of the most recent scholarship recipients, “I know Dr. Harrison would be pleased at the caliber of students who will carry on his legacy as a scholar, innovator and physician.”

“We are grateful to our MCG Foundation leadership and to Dr. Wallach for another stellar group of scholars this year,” Buckley added. “We are proud of them, and of course, we are proud of all our medical students.”

In addition to the student scholarships, 10 University Distinguished Chairs, funded at $2 million each, will be established over the next five years thanks to the Harrison gift.

Harrison died June 2, 2012, and a few months later, GRU announced that Harrison and his wife, Sue, had given his name and $10 million toward construction of a new academic home for the medical school. The J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons opened this fall. The MCG Foundation announced the $66 million gift for student scholarship and endowed chairs for faculty in April 2013.

This year’s recipients are:

  • John Ahn, of Calhoun, Georgia, studied biology at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. While in college, he spent six months working and living in two hospitals in Chad, one of Africa’s poorest countries. Ahn survived four bouts with malaria while there performing an array of jobs with other volunteers, from feeding malnourished babies to changing dressings. “Through that experience, I developed a meaningful attraction to the heart of medicine: the patients,” he writes.
  • Katharine Armstrong, of Atlanta, wants to pursue a career as a pediatric oncologist. While studying music and biochemistry at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, watching her best friend’s father lose his battle with cancer solidified her future goal. Spending two months after her sophomore year living with a family in Argentina and teaching at a secondary school only confirmed her desire to work with children.
  • Leah Brown of Oconee County, Georgia, graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in microbiology and is considering a career in infectious diseases. “Maybe I won’t physically touch every patient … but my footprints will be made regardless, for the one who makes the pivotal step in a journey is not always so clearly remembered. But every step can make a lasting impression,” she writes.
  • Mariah Burch, of Atlanta, is a graduate of Boston University with a degree in neuroscience, who also shadowed MCG alum Dr. Thomas Calk, whom she says taught her an invaluable lesson while treating a patient with a genetic abnormality that left him with severe mental and physical disabilities. “During the appointment, Dr. Calk and the patient seemed like old friends. When the patient left, his smile was genuine. I observed that even if it’s not possible to heal a patient, it is possible to improve his or her life,” she writes.
  • Christine Gross, of North Augusta, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in biology, who also received her doctorate from Georgia Regents University. Gross aspires to be a physician-scientist. “I believe the best scientists have an eye for the needs of patients, and the finest physicians understand the science behind the medicine they prescribe,” she writes.
  • Vishwajeeth Pasham, of Alpharetta, Georgia, is a graduate of the University of South Florida who studied biomedical sciences. Before deciding to go to medical school, Pasham spent time shadowing physicians and scientists, including an M.D./Ph.D., who practiced plastic surgery and researched wound healing.
  • Alexandra Sawyer, of Atlanta, is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she studied epidemiology and health promotions. Through her work with the Farm Worker Family Health Program, she gained valuable perspectives on public health, but she “valued most the times I sat down with patients to discuss their individual questions and gained a deepened desire for the clinical skills to assist them further,” she writes.
  • Ryan Schwertner, of Saint Simons Island, Georgia, graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in biology. “I want to be the doctor that people trust to act in their best interest, no matter what, and after completing medical school, this is the doctor that I believe I can become,” he writes.
  • William “Cole” Skinner, of Savannah, a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in biology, spent his childhood learning life lessons while gardening with his grandfather, also a physician. “Through gardening together, Pop taught me an invaluable lesson about being a physician. Though I was too young to observe him at work, I will always recall his selfless attitude. Whether it was responding to patient calls during the night or happily helping those who he knew could not pay their bill, he always put his patients first,” he writes.
  • Andrew Warren, of Atlanta, is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied biology. As a Georgia Tech President’s Scholar, he was able to travel to Yugoslavia as an expedition leader. On the trip, the group explored the causes of and gained appreciation for the 1990’s ethnic conflict and subsequent breakup of Yugoslavia.
  • Erena Weathers, of Atlanta, is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in microbiology and bacteriology. As a hobby and a way to relieve the stress of school and work, she runs a blog about how to maintain weight while eating well.
  • Wells Yang, of Johns Creek, Georgia, is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied biomedical engineering. “Both medicine and engineering revolve around solving problems, and although their objectives may be different sometimes, the same passion and dedication are necessary to succeed in both professions,” he writes.

Khan named administrative director for MCG Admissions

Dr. Iqbal Khan, founding dean of the Medical College of Georgia Southwest Campus in Albany, has been named administrative director of the Office of Admissions at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

Khan, who was assistant dean of the Southwest Campus from 2005-10, also serves as assistant dean of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy’s Southwest Campus, also in Albany, where he oversaw the design and build-out of the new campus and spearheaded its accreditation process.

In his new role, he will help organize and manage the medical school admissions process, which, each year, includes the processing of more than 3,000 applications, more than 8,000 reference letters and transcripts and more than 1,000 applicant interview reports. Khan will also help with recruitment, advising, enrollment and retention. He will also chair the GRU Medical Scholars Admissions Committee and serve on the MCG Scholarship Committee. He has been a member of the MCG Admissions Committee since 1999.

As assistant dean of the MCG Southwest Campus, Khan established relationships with community physicians and hospitals across a 1,600 square-mile area and negotiated affiliation agreements with 14 hospitals and health care facilities in the region. He recruited 148 new faculty and worked to recruit students from rural communities to the campus, more than doubling the number from five to 14.

Prior to his appointment at the Southwest Campus, Khan, a reproductive physiologist, served as director of undergraduate medical education in the MCG Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology from 1998-2005 and as director of the department’s IVF and Andrology laboratories from 1990-2002.

He serves on the board of directors for the Health Care Ethics Consortium of Georgia and is a member of the National and International Team of Inspectors for the College of American Pathologists for Reproductive Laboratories.

Khan received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physiology from the University of Karachi in Pakistan and his doctoral degree in reproductive physiology from the University of Gothenberg in Sweden.

King named 2015 Resident of the Year

Dr. Ray King often compares his life to the movie “Big Fish,” about a man who’s made amazing accomplishments and had some awesome adventures … that no one ever believes really happened.

For example, he traveled the world during and after high school with a drum and bugle corps – even performing at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games.

He’s a certified acupuncturist and treated performers from Cirque Du Soleil.

He spent four months setting up a medical school in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He moved to Dominica to teach anatomy to medical students at Ross University, lived through Hurricane Ivan, and then became a medical student there himself.

And now he can add one more accomplishment to the list. King, a General Surgery Resident, is the 2015 Resident of the Year at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

“I feel like life is about opportunities, and if you take a chance, they often beget other opportunities,” he said. “That’s certainly been the story of my life.”

King’s story really began when he was 10-years-old and his mother and father uprooted their lives and moved the family to the United States from Taiwan, he says. “They left successful careers behind. My father was a renowned architect, whose firm actually designed the country’s capital, and my mother was vice president of the national bank. But they wanted my sister and me to have access to a better education, to have choices about what we wanted to do with our lives. They gave up everything and literally had to start over.” In Taiwan, he says, there is only one university, and courses of study are determined by a standardized test, not personal choice.

A confessed “shy kid,” King says he performed well academically at his New Jersey high school, but kept to himself until he had an opportunity to join the Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps as a trumpet player. “It was like joining the circus,” he said. “We toured every summer, and I was performing with 150 musicians who were around my age. That’s when I really began to open up. I auditioned and became the conductor, and we performed at some amazing venues, including the Olympics and World Cup. I think that was a pivotal point for me, because it changed my outlook on what I could do. I stayed with the group for 6-7 years, and that really opened me up to the fact that life is full of opportunities if you just look for them.”

Convinced he wanted a career in professional music, he enrolled at Rutgers University as a double major in music and biology. And then an anatomy class changed everything. “I absolutely fell in love with it and thought to myself ‘I could do this for a living,’” he said.

After graduating, he moved to Boston to pursue his PhD in anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine. While in Boston, he attended a seminar on acupuncture and “really enjoyed it.” He sensed another “opportunity” moment and pursued his master’s degree in the practice – at one point defending his doctoral dissertation and taking his licensing boards to get his graduate degree at the same time.

After receiving his PhD, he began teaching gross anatomy at the University of Massachusetts Medical School while working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. And then another “moment” came. “Harvard approached me about an opportunity to travel to Nepal and set up a medical school in Kathmandu, so I went,” King said. “I was actually there during the Nepalese-Maoist uprising.”

Back in Boston four months later, while setting up his acupuncture clinic, he was hired by Cirque Du Soleil to work with their performers. “That’s when my parents got concerned, because I’d literally joined the circus,” he said laughing.

He was also still on faculty, teaching anatomy at UMass, when he was invited to Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica as a guest lecturer. That lecture turned into a job offer – to be the director of Ross’s medical gross anatomy courses. He accepted and started teaching there in 2004, just before Hurricane Ivan – the 10th most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded – made landfall.

The wind settled, and it took about two years before he began to feel “stagnant,” in his career, he says. “I wanted something more and was thinking about applying to medical school,” King said. As a young faculty member, I had been able to do a lot of innovative things at Ross, and they were impressed with my work. The Dean came to me and said if you stay on with us and teach, we’ll cover the tuition.”

The offer was one he couldn’t refuse – albeit very confusing for his medical school classmates to be in class with one of their professors, he said. But the university brought him more than the chance to go to medical school. It brought him his wife, Dr. Jessica Van Beek. When they registered for the couples match in 2010 – he in general surgery and her in otolaryngology – people told them there was no way it would happen. “I wasn’t going to let that discourage us,” he said. “Who were they to tell us it couldn’t be done?”

Turns out it could. The couple matched at MCG, and King has even served as a clinical assistant professor of gross anatomy, teaching MCG students while he was a resident. After finishing residencies this month, the couple will travel to Minneapolis and Chicago for one-year fellowships at the University of Minnesota and Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – his in colorectal surgery, hers in pediatric otolaryngology.

“I’m just so profoundly thankful for this opportunity and for the many opportunities the MCG Department of Surgery has provided me over the years,” King said. “Gratitude has always been one of my most important life lessons. In a way, my whole life has been about showing gratitude for what my parents did for me over 30 years ago.”

Olds to speak at MCG Hooding May 7

Dr. James L. Olds
Dr. James L. Olds

Dr. James L. Olds, Assistant Director for the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) for the National Science Foundation, is the keynote speaker for the 2015 Hooding Ceremony of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

More than 200 of Georgia’s newest physicians will participate in the ceremony, planned for 2 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at the Augusta Convention Center on Reynolds Street.

BIO supports research that advances the frontiers of biological knowledge, increases our understanding of complex systems, and provides a theoretical basis for original research in many other scientific disciplines.

Olds served as Director and Chief Academic Unit Officer at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study at George Mason University for 15 years prior to his appointment at the NSF. The Decade of the Mind project, an international initiative to advance scientific understanding of how the mind and complex behaviors are related to the activity of the human brain, was begun under his leadership at Krasnow. That work helped shape President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative.

He is Chair of the Molecular Neuroscience Department and the Shelley Krasnow University Professor of Molecular Neuroscience at George Mason University. From 2010-11, and from 2013-14, Olds was Chair of GMU’s Neuroscience Advisory Council. Since 2005, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Biological Bulletin, which is published by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Olds serves on numerous private and public boards and has played a central role in scientific public policy development at all levels, ranging from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the White House to advising heads of ministries internationally. He spent eight years as Chair of Sandia National Laboratory’s External Cognitive Science Board. In the non-profit world, Olds was Treasurer of Americans for Medical Progress.

Prior to his leadership role at Krasnow, Olds was the CEO for the American Association of Anatomists. He received his undergraduate degree from Amherst College in chemistry and his doctorate from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the field of neuroscience. His postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health led to advances in understanding the molecular basis of learning and memory, and he received the NIH Merit Award in 1993.

The hooding ceremony signifies a scholarly personal achievement. Graduated members (senior leaders, faculty, and special hooders) of the profession place the hood on the student as a symbol of their passage from student status to graduate status. The hoods of the Medical College of Georgia are worn proudly with silver, blue, and red as well as the color of medicine, green.

Raft Debate set for April 17

The fate of an internist, pediatrician, and surgeon is in the hands of students at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. All three are aboard a sinking ship, and their only escape is a one-person raft. Who should be saved?

Representatives from medicine, pediatrics, and surgery will try to sway MCG students during this hypothetical debate at the 13th annual Raft Debate at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 17, at the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons.

Hosted by the MCG Alumni Association, representatives will debate which specialty is most important and would help the most people if saved.

Physicians aboard the ship include Dr. Laura Carbone, Professor of Medicine; Dr. Will Cagle, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics; and Dr. Karen Draper, Part-time Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Paul Wallach, MCG Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, will moderate the debate. Dr. Michael Toscano, Assistant Professor of Pathology, will serve as devil’s advocate.

The program was initiated in 2003 by Dr. Paul Dainer, Associate Professor of Medicine, and Dr. Elizabeth Holt, Class of 2005. Dainer had seen a similar format pitting a social scientist, natural scientist, and humanities professor while earning his undergraduate degree at the College of William & Mary. After arriving at MCG, he wanted medical students to enjoy a similar experience.

For more information about the event, contact The MCG Office of Alumni Affairs, 706-723-0140

Match Day set for March 20

Fourth-year Medical College of Georgia students in Augusta and at the GRU/UGA Medical Partnership in Athens will participate in Match Day 2015 at noon on Friday, March 20.

Match Day for the Augusta campus will be held for the first time in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, Room GB 1220, on the Health Sciences Campus. Athens’ Match Day ceremony will be held in George Hall on the University of Georgia Health Sciences Campus.

Match Day pairs the nation’s senior medical students with postgraduate programs providing specialty training. Each February, after interviews and visits to residency programs, medical students across the country rank hospitals where they’d like to complete residencies, and hospital residency programs rank the students. Rankings are submitted to the National Resident Matching Program in Washington, D.C. Pairings are announced simultaneously at U.S. medical schools. Graduates of osteopathic and foreign schools as well as U.S. graduates wanting to change their residency also participate.

Check out the MCG Match Day promo video here.

MCG Class of ’17 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.”

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 director@12Bands.org or at (706) 664-5595.

Igniting the Dream of Medicine conference offers practical advice to potential med students

Annual program planned for Saturday, Feb. 28

Growing up the son of a critical care nurse, first-year Medical College of Georgia student Matt Rivera said he always knew he wanted a career in health care. Spending his childhood in rural Statenville, Georgia, population 4,057, where the nearest hospital is nearly 30 miles away in Valdosta, only solidified his goal of a career “helping others.”

Rivera, whose father is third- generation Mexican-American and serves as transportation director for the Echols County school system, got experience doing just that by volunteering at health clinics for migrant farm workers in his hometown. He also gained valuable experiences on medical mission trips and by shadowing physicians.

By the time he enrolled at Valdosta State University, there was no doubt what his major would be – pre-med. “For me there was never a Plan B. It was always going to be medical school.”

But even with all of his experience and, after four years of good grades, he was still nervous about actually applying to medical school, he said, until he experienced the annual MCG Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference, where he was subjected to real- world advice from medical students, given the opportunity to interact with MCG faculty, and even put through a mock interview.

This year’s conference, which will give that experience to over 200 high school and college students from across Georgia, is planned for Saturday, Feb. 28.

The day-long conference will focus on what it takes to become a physician. The opening session starts at 8:45 a.m. in the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons and the conference continues until 3:45 p.m. at various locations across the Georgia Regents University Health Sciences Campus.

Sponsored by the MCG chapter of the Student National Medical Association and the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs, the conference gives students an overview of the medical school admissions process, opportunities to network, and the opportunity for “hands-on” experience in the state-of-the-art, high tech simulation center, physical exam instruction, and even a suture clinic. Representatives of the Association of American Medical Colleges will also be on hand to talk with students about changes to the Medical College Admission Test and the American Medical College Application Service. Mock interviews for those applying to MCG will also be held.

While at the conference in 2013, Rivera “interviewed” with Dr. Walter Moore, MCG Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and Veterans Affairs, which helped ease his anxiety about the process. “He was extremely affirming and kept telling me ‘You’re the real deal,’” he says. “I’ve always kept his narrative with those comments.”

Rivera was accepted to MCG and began medical school in 2014 as a United States Health Resources and Services Administration National Health Service Corps Scholar, which pays for medical school and commits him to returning to a rural area to practice primary care. “When I got into medical school and got my white coat, which was just a surreal moment, Dr. Moore actually put my white coat on me,” Rivera said. “That was an awesome experience.”

GRU Equality Clinic wins national award

The founders of Georgia Regents University’s student-run Equality Clinic have been named the 2015 recipients of the American Medical Student Association/Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Achievement Award.

The award, which provides national recognition to medical students who make significant and innovative contributions to the advancement of LGBT health, will be presented at the AMSA National Convention today through March 1 in Washington, D.C.

The Equality Clinic, which is operated by students and supervised by faculty, became the first clinic in the Augusta area to target lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients when it opened in fall 2014. The free, twice-monthly clinic offers primary care services in a culturally competent environment that without judgment or discrimination. While the clinic primarily focuses on LGBT populations, it is open to anyone whose income falls below the 200 percent poverty level and who is uninsured or underinsured.

Recent studies have shown that more than half of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender patients have been refused care, blamed for their health status, physically or verbally abused by a provider, or refused to be touched by medical staff. The Equality Clinic opened to help address and eradicate those barriers.

Student founders include second-year Medical College of Georgia students Lauren Titus, Kyle Friez, Michelle Cohen, Kevin Robertson, Charlotte Ball, and Caleb King; fourth-year medical student, Justin Neisler; and Nicole Mayberry, a first-year physician assistant student in the GRU College of Allied Health Sciences.

Other MCG faculty and staff who have been instrumental in the clinic’s opening and operation, also will be recognized, including Dr. David Kriegel, Associate Professor of Family Medicine who serves as the clinic’s Medical Director; Dr. Bruce LeClair, Associate Professor of Family Medicine; Dr. Lara Stepleman, Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, who is in charge of the mental health services provided in the clinic; and Alexis L. Rossi, Director of Diversity, Training, and Evaluation, who serves as the clinic’s adviser.

The Equality Clinic serves an average of nearly 30 patients each month, some of them from as far away as Charleston, S.C. For more information on the Equality Clinic, please visit: EqualityClinicAugusta.com.