VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 12 - Number 3 - Summer 2013

We have email addresses for fewer than half of our medical school's 16,000 alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please forward this issue of SOM eNews!

Student News

Congratulations to the Class of 2013! Read coverage of ceremonies for the MD graduating students as well as the medical school’s other advanced degree graduates, or check out the photo gallery.

New Scholarships Announced
Nearly half of the graduating students benefited from scholarships, a percentage that Dean of Medicine Jerry Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., hopes to see increase. Through his sustained effort of holding tuition increases to a minimum, our medical school's tuition and fees are the lowest in the state. Now he’s recruiting partners for the second half of the equation. Read the stories of a half dozen scholarship donors who have established funds in creative ways - from outright gifts to 5-year pledges, using teamwork, charitable gift annuities and estate planning.

41st John C. Forbes Graduate Student Research Colloquium
Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars shared research findings on topics from cancer to the neuronal control of appetite during the two-day event. The event carries the name of a pioneer in graduate education, John Campbell Forbes, Ph.D., who joined MCV in 1927 and became the first chairman of the Committee on Graduate Studies. Read more about the Forbes Colloquium or the Laboratory Rotation Research Colloquium where first-year PhD students presented research.

Research News

Hospitals Should Stop Ineffective MRSA Screening of Inpatients 
In a New England Journal of Medicine editorial, Internal Medicine's Drs. Mike Edmond and Dick Wenzel recommend that hospitals stop MRSA screening of inpatients. Instead, hospitals should push for more effective horizontal strategies like bathing patients in antiseptic soap and high compliance with hand washing. Read more of their NEJM perspective

Preschool Personality May Predict Teenage Alcohol Use
A new study shows that the way children behave before they turn 5 years old may predict their alcohol use as teenagers. Psychiatry’s Danielle Dick, Ph.D., led an international research team that found two very different and largely uncorrelated temperaments to be at elevated risk – kids who show consistent emotional and behavioral problems early on and kids who are consistently sociable at a very early age. Read the VCU news release on the study and theHuffington Post’s coverage of the findings.

VCU Receives Grant to Study Novel Therapeutic for Tobacco Cessation
Pharmacology and Toxicology’s Darlene Brunzell, Ph.D., will lead the pre-clinical studies of a multi-site project investigating a new compound that may target smokers who have not benefitted from existing therapies. Read more about the $12.7 million, multi-year project that involves nine academic research groups and is funded by the NIH.

Clinical News

Surgeon First in Central Virginia to Implant Magnetic Hearing Device
This summer Daniel Coelho, M.D., co-director of the Cochlear Implant Center, implanted a new bone conduction hearing device to restore hearing for patients. The device can help patients with single-sided deafness, conductive hearing loss or mixed hearing loss. Read more about the technology that could be an option for patients unable to use traditional hearing aids.

New Resources for Pediatric Care
Three pieces of news on the pediatric front: Construction is underway on what will be the largest and most advanced outpatient facility dedicated to children in the region. The $168 million, 640,000-square-foot facility that is expected to open in the summer of 2015. Secondly, the VCU Health System will seek building approval for construction of a new pediatric psychiatric facility through the Certificate of Public Need process to replace the Virginia Treatment Center for Children’s current, 50-year-old facility. Thirdly, the American College of Surgeons named the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU as the state’s first Level I pediatric trauma center, joining 39 other such centers across the U.S.

Alumni News

Attention Charlottesville and Philadelphia Alumni
Mark your calendars! The medical school will host an alumni reception on Thursday Sept. 26 in Charlottesville. Look for your invitation in August. A second event on Sunday Nov. 3 in Philadelphia will be held in conjunction with the AAMC's annual meeting. Philly area alumni should look for an invitation in their mailbox this fall. If you don't live in Philadelphia but will attend the AAMC meeting, let Amy Lane know you'll be in town.

Go online to give us your latest contact information to be sure that you’ll get an invitation to future events in your area. 

Alumni in the news 
Where in the world is the Class of 1989's Samuel Dudley? He's been recruited to be cardiology chief at Brown University and at Rhode Island and the Miriam hospitals. The Class of 1998's Kristin Baird and housestaff alumna Allison 'Lise' Morrison practice together at Dermatology of the Rockies in Longmont, Colorado. The Class of 1999's Robert Feezor volunteered his skills at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center earlier this year. The military hospital in Germany is the largest American hospital outside the U.S. 

Who’s Gone on to Greatness?
At Reunion Weekend, April 11-13, 2014, the medical school will celebrate the achievements of two M.D. alumni when the MCV Alumni Association bestows its Outstanding Alumnus Award and the Caravati Service Award. Tell us who’s worthy of these honors by submitting your nomination by Sept. 6, 2013. Preference is given to alumni nominees who are celebrating a Reunion year (‘4s and ‘9s in 2014). 

CME Opportunities 
For additional information and to register for the courses below, visit or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872.

Medical Frontlines in Primary Care
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Fredericksburg, VA 

Important topics and practical content presented by experts intended to advance primary care practice. This program will provide useful tips and guidelines for the primary care provider in active practice that will improve efficiency and patient outcomes.

VCU Annual Pain Management & Spine Symposium 
October 19 - 20, 2013 
Richmond Marriott Hotel in Richmond, VA 

Planned for physicians and other healthcare providers who encounter patients with chronic pain, the target audience includes primary care physicians, anesthesiologists, physiatrists, neurologists, pain specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physicians in training, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who diagnose, manage and treat pain. 

Richmond CME for Docs 
4th Wednesday of each month, 6 - 8 p.m.
Bon Secours Heart Institute, 7001 Forest Avenue, Richmond 

A collaboration between Bon Secours Medical Group and the VCU Office of Continuing Medical Education has resulted in a relevant, evidence-based CME series. The monthly lectures are aimed at helping physicians to improve and enjoy the practice of medicine. Offered at no charge to participants, the lectures are open to physicians and physician extenders.

12th Annual Alumni Update Course
April 12, 2014
MCV Campus 

The one-day program will cover the latest in a broad range of fields. The course coincides with Reunion Weekend but is open to all alumni. Mark your calendar now, topics will be announced later this fall. 

School of Medicine eNews is prepared by the School of Medicine's Alumni and Development Office. All alumni and friends for whom we have e-mail addresses will receive School of Medicine eNews unless they unsubscribe; you can do so by sending an e-mail to If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a colleague and you would like to subscribe to future issues, please send an e-mail to We use collected e-mail addresses only to send our own information to you; we do not rent or sell e-mail addresses to anyone.

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Mark your calendars for

Reunion Weekend 2014
April 11-13, 2014
For class years 
ending in a '4 or '9. 

Reunion Weekend 2015
April 17-19, 2015
For class years 
ending in a '5 or '0. 

Annual Fund dollars now go 
100% to support of scholarships! You can give online at the
school's eGiving page.

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences.

Check out the summer 2013 issue of the medical school’s Gifts at Work.

Past issues of SOM
eNews are online.

For More Information: 

School of Medicine 
MCV Alumni Association 
MCV Foundation 
VCU Medical Center