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Summer 2020 Word of Mouth

Dean Carol Lefebvre

What a daunting few months it has been!

As of press time, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was still affecting the daily lives of all Americans, and that was true for us here at the DCG as well. Augusta University’s onsite classes and activities were temporarily suspended in keeping with University System of Georgia directives. Even the Masters Golf Tournament experienced its first disruption since World War II.

But rest assured the wheels on this bus never stopped turning. While our vital services and functions continued uninterrupted, extensive measures were implemented to supplement our already-vigilant infection-control protocols to optimally safeguard our students, patients, faculty, residents, staff and visitors.

A few takeaways from this ordeal:

• What a privilege it is to work in health care. Our students, faculty and alumni have chosen as their life’s work a calling that will prove invaluable, and often life-saving, to countless human beings. We never know what curveballs nature will throw our way, but those of us who don white coats stand in the gap to face each challenge with courage and composure, ready and willing to make whatever sacrifices serve the best interests of our patients. Nothing puts things in perspective like a global health crisis, and I am enormously proud to serve among so many who rose (and continue rising) to the challenge of this pandemic.

• Nature will always have curveballs for us. Yes, COVID-19 proved to be an exceptionally tenacious adversary, but mankind has been dealing with disease since time immemorial and always will be. Illness is simply an inescapable part of life, but science is relentless and awe-inspiring in its quest to tilt the odds in our favor.

• The DCG is a family. This sentiment can sound trite, but in our case, truer words have never been spoken. Compassion and kindness are at the very top of our list when recruiting students, faculty and staff, and our commitment to each other and those we serve runs deep. I’ve never met a more caring group of people, and it has been an honor to witness their values in action in the face of a daunting pandemic.

• Our attitude is gratitude. I borrowed this sentiment from our 2020 Distinguished Alumnus, Dr. Emmanuel (“Manny”) Ngoh, who overcame almost unimaginable hardships to set his dental career in motion. How grateful we become for the simple things when our way of life is threatened.

Please take a few moments to read about Dr. Ngoh and many other members of our esteemed DCG family in the following pages. We think you’ll find yourself overflowing with gratitude and inspiration, as am I.

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For nearly 200 years, Augusta University and its legacy institutions have been centers of learning and drivers of discovery and innovation in Augusta, the state of Georgia and beyond. Our community of alumni, students, faculty and friends are amazing people living incredible lives and making invaluable contributions to our world.

We are pleased to publish four magazines in which we get to tell their stories: