Annual Report


Supporting the Advancement of Education, Research, and Patient
Care at the Medical College of Georgia.

President's Report
Ian S. Mercier

Ian S. Mercier, MBA, MPA
President & CEO

Report of the President & CEO

A New Beginning

It was eight years ago, in 2008, that my wife and I welcomed the news of a child on the way – a girl – and we knew she would change our lives forever. A fetal Doppler turned my hope into a feeling of helplessness as our as yet-to-be-born baby had an irregular heartbeat – a trait that I have as an adult, and one I felt I had unfairly passed on. Yet a visit to a pediatric cardiologist at the Medical College of Georgia very quickly restored our hope as he described the issue as both idiopathic and transient, and that the irregularity had a good prognosis to disappear spontaneously just after delivery, which it did.

Although I find myself listening to her heartbeat frequently still, our eight-year-old daughter is fine in every way. Even a broken arm – surgically repaired here at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia – has not slowed her down, and I can’t help but look back gratefully to those who have cared for us and her, and the profound impact they have made on us.

As an old-timer at this institution but newcomer in the role of President of the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, I have the honor of serving with many leaders in medicine and in health sciences - and I can’t help but to be wide-eyed at the wonder of the accomplishments of this great school. The joy of witnessing your child receive life-changing treatment, watching hearts grow outside of the body from stem cells, or the privilege of watching a student receive an education that is unparalleled in its value – these are gifts to all of us who serve here. But it is through your graciousness and your loyalty that many of these miracles are made possible, and I urge you to experience them for yourself – not necessarily as a patient, but as a part of this great family.

As the MCG Foundation stewards the legacies left in its charge, we implore you to help us build new ones. Our students, our children, our parents, our state, and our country need you and your support through the Medical College of Georgia and Augusta University.

Ian S. Mercier, MBA, MPA
President & CEO

Chairman's Statement

Chairman's Statement

Fellow Alumni and Friends:

They say that change is good. We certainly believe it. Over the past year, we have been honored to be a part of numerous positive changes moving the Medical College of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia Foundation forward. Your support has been a key driver, and we extend our sincere thanks, as always, for the opportunity to serve as the steward of your extraordinary generosity to your medical school.

It is through you that the Medical College of Georgia has endured, protecting its vital legacy. It is also through you that we continue to grow, adapt and innovate. We are now the seventh largest medical school in the nation—a remarkable testimony to our great work together. As Chairman of the Board of Directors for the MCG Foundation—and the first non-physician chairman—I know there is no more exciting time to be in this role.

Our shared history is inextricably tied to our future. One significant milestone that we recognized this past year was the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of MCG. Frank Rumph and John Harper joined MCG in 1967 as a member of the class of 1971. The MCG Foundation was honored to remember their perseverance by sponsoring the Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper Sr. Diversity in Medicine Scholarship. Zola Francis, a first-year student, is our well-deserved inaugural recipient. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Zola also completed MCG’s Student Educational Enrichment Program and Pre-matriculation program. We look forward to watching her progress over the next four years.

This year also marked significant movement in a project that had its inception two decades ago, when Augustan and media mogul George Weiss deeded the Central Square shopping center on 15th Street, along with a sizeable bequest, to the MCG Foundation. Our plans for a mixed-use development will both enrich our students’ educational experience and provide meaningful change to surrounding neighborhoods.


Working closely with us on these and other forthcoming projects is the new Dean of the Medical College of Georgia and Presidential Distinguished Chair in the Department of Neurology, Dr. David Hess. Having joined the MCG faculty in 1990, Dr. Hess is recognized internationally for his work in treating and preventing stroke. His willingness to take on the Deanship speaks volumes of his dedication to our institution, and he brings the same passion, focus and great ideas he has as a clinician, a researcher and an educator to his new role.

I would also like to recognize Ian S. Mercier, who recently completed his first year as President and CEO of the MCG Foundation. With more than 15 years’ experience in all aspects of the Foundation’s operations, Mr. Mercier has taken on this role with his trademark humility and tenacity. As a result, he has demonstrated a quietly persuasive, creative and forward-thinking leadership style that bodes well for our future.

Like you, I know and love this campus well. I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the MCG School of Dentistry and that my grandfather, father, uncle and son all graduated from MCG. Our personal connections are what make us strong. As we look toward the coming year, that strength will drive our success, ensuring that this institution that we all know and love will continue to grow and flourish.

J. Ben Deal, DMD
MCG School of Dentistry Class of 1974
MCG Foundation
Chairman of the Board

Executive Committee

J. Ben Deal, DMD, Chair
Paul G. Turk, MD, Vice-Chair
Sandra N. Freedman, MD
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD**
Brooks A. Keel, PhD***
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Sam Richwine Jr., MD
Lloyd B. Schnuck Jr., MD

Finance Committee*

Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN, Chair
Charles G. Green Jr., MD
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD**
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Tat Thompson
Paul G. Turk, MD

Investment Committee*

Paul G. Turk, MD, Chair
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
J. Daniel Hanks Jr., MD**
Christopher J. Mann, MD
Tat Thompson
Cecil F. Whitaker Jr., MD**

Scholarship & Stewardship Subcommittees

Sandra N. Freedman, MD, Chair
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
Charles G. Green Jr., MD
Judith V. Hodnett, RN, MSN
Alva L. Mayes Jr., MD**
D. Ronald Spearman, MD

Real Estate Committee*

J. Ben Deal, DMD, Chair
James M. Hull, LHD
Joshua A. Lane, MD
Ellen S. Goodrich, BSN, MN
Judith V. Hodnett, RN, MSN
Tat Thompson
Don Grantham

**Emeritus Member

The chairman of the board resides on all committees

Full Board List

Medical College of Georgia Alumni Association Regional Committees and Chairs

State Chairman: David Gose, M.D. (Atlanta)
Columbus: George McClusky, M.D.- Chair
Albany: Price Corr, M.D.- Chair
Valdosta: David Retterbush, M.D.- Chair
Savannah: Dan DeLoach, M.D.- Chair
Macon: Bill Brooks, M.D. - Chair
Gainesville: Sam Richwine, M.D.-Chair
Athens: Mark Ellison, M.D.- Chair
Atlanta: Tommy Dopson, M.D.-Co-Chair
Kelley Dopson, M.D.- Co-Chair
Dalton: P. Bates Bailey, M.D.
Rome: Joe Burch, M.D.- Chair
Augusta: Betty Wray, M.D.
Waycross: Wayne Rentz, M.D.- Chair
Alumni Association
Chairman's Statement


Endowment Value

The Medical College of Georgia Foundation’s (the “Foundation”) Total Fund returned 13.1% in fiscal year 2017. In fiscal year 2017, the total fund grew to $230.6 million, including approximately $27.0 million in investment gains and $4.6 million in negative cash flow. Over the past 10 fiscal years, the Foundation has grown approximately $112.0 million from its $118.7 million market value at June 30, 2007. With annual net investment returns of 5.2% since July 1998, the Foundation has performed in line with its stated Policy Index.

Audited Financial Statements

Gifts to MCG Foundation for Fiscal Year 2017


Total Donors


Total # of Gifts


Total Value of Gifts

Total Support Provided to the University







Asset Allocation

Equity bull markets—particularly extended ones—tend to increase the risk appetite of investors on both the retail and institutional sides. This is not a new phenomenon; as markets cycle, investors’ position on risk tends to cycle in tandem. Market cycles can be long or short, and the associated change in risk appetite can vary from slow and steady to sharp and dramatic. One constant is that the market will always cycle, and investor behavior will always cycle with it.

Show Return History For Major Asset Classes

Alternative Strategies

Domestic Equity

Global Equities

Performance Over Time

Volatile markets can be uncomfortable and we anticipate there could be further periods of steep declines in the coming year, as well as rapidly rising markets. However, we do not believe increased volatility will lead to dramatic changes within investment programs. Rather, it should reinforce the importance of a long-term plan and the discipline to avoid overreaction.

Maintaining a long-term perspective, rebalancing the program when the opportunity arises, and avoiding mistakes are always top priorities that become even more acute in volatile periods. Investors with a long-term investment horizon and the discipline to remain diversified—even during periods of high volatility—significantly increase the probability of achieving their investment goals, which is a goal we all share.



Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper Sr., Diversity in Medicine Scholarship

Interactions with the medical profession led Zola Francis to pursue her medical degree. The Georgia Institute of Technology honor graduate is a first-year med student and recipient of the inaugural Drs. Frank Rumph and John T. Harper Sr. Diversity in Medicine Scholarship sponsored by MCG Foundation.

"This scholarship provides me with positive motivation to purse my goals both through reflection upon the accomplishments of my predecessors and looking forward toward how I may help contribute to a legacy," said Francis, who received her undergraduate degree in chemistry.

The first experience that influenced her came via a cousin who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when Francis was only 12, and her second came as she has battled her own health issues.

As a Georgia Tech junior, she thought she was just battling a cold, but her symptoms progressed. She woke up dizzy and didn't think that was normal. She also experienced what she described as some brain fogginess. She went to several doctors including a cardiologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist and two primary care physicians who began looking at her symptoms and tried to discern what they could stem from.

Despite those symptoms, Francis graduated with a 3.9 GPA. She changed her diet to eliminate any possible food allergies, and toward the end of her senior year, she began to feel better, but the cause of her illness was never really determined.

Her experience helped her relate more to her cousin who said she felt out of control of her body and wondered if anyone would understand what she was going through.

One thing she noticed during her journey was that a majority of her doctors were white and Indian males. It made her realize the need for more diversity in medicine especially the need for black women.

"There's a level of trust based on how much they relate to you," she said. The soft-spoken woman believes those two experiences will also help her relate better to the patients she will one day care for. Diversity is at the heart of this scholarship. It honors the first two black medical students at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Frank Rumph and the late Dr. John T. Harper.

Dr. Rumph served as director of the state's public health laboratories and was the first director of Georgia's HIV/AIDS program. He became the first black director of the East Central Health District which includes Augusta. Dr. Harper served in the Air Force after graduating from MCG and was a flight surgeon. He retired as an orthopedic surgeon in 2008, and he died in 2016.

While Francis was aware of the scholarship and its focus on diversity, she didn't know about the lives of the two men it honored until pre-matriculation, where she saw a video about them. "I wondered what it would have been like to feel like you were the only one in that classroom," she said.

Because of their paving the way, Francis knows she has benefited. She also credits programs like pipeline, which have helped her in her journey. Francis has since met Dr. Rumph, and she said she hopes to live up to their sacrifices.

"I'm honored to be part of this program," she said. "It means a lot to me and motivates me."

Barbara A. Schnuck Chair in Translational Medicine

Having worked with cardiology patients in Japan and as a researcher and professor in the United States, Tohru Fukai, MD, knows exactly what his perfect job would be.

"I liked to save patients in the ER," said Fukai, who came to the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in May. "The ideal would be to see patients and to do research."

Although he doesn't work with patients as he once did as a cardiologist in Japan, he can bring those two ideas of research and bedside care together through his position as the Barbara A. Schnuck Chair in Translational Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Fukai received both his PhD and MD from Kyushu University in Japan. He spent five years training at Emory University before becoming an associate professor of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, and Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

In his new position, Fukai is working with a team of researchers on the role of oxidative stress and copper transport systems in cardiovascular disease. His work has been funded by the NIH and the American Heart Association. Fukai said there is evidence that the vascular copper transport systems play a critical role in hypertension. One of the focuses of the research is to determine exactly how this system works.

"Copper is very essential, but it's very toxic as well," he said. This research could lead to discovering the connections between oxidative stress and other diseases such as diabetes and cancer. It could also be the key to understanding more about the aging process, he said. He is the co-director of the Redox Signaling Program of which his wife, Masuko Ushio-Fukai is the director. Ushio-Fukai is a professor in the Department of Medicine-Cardiology.

Dr. Lloyd Schnuck established the chair in honor of his late wife, Barbara, who died in 2005.

"I wanted to give back to MCG," he said. "I hope she will be remembered for years to come. She also worked there."

Schnuck said he believes this endowment will propel the medical university to a higher level so that it can obtain additional accreditation in the future.

"I'm proud of what MCG is doing. I wanted to be part of it."

H. Gordon Davis Jr. MD and Frances S. Davis Scholarship

Steve Watts knows well the difficulties people living in rural areas have when it comes to accessing health care.

"Growing up in rural Georgia, I was constantly exposed to the health care disparities that plagued my community. For example, my maternal grandmother died in a rural community family practice exam room after waiting for over an hour to be seen while severely dehydrated," said Watts, who plans to do his part in helping alleviate the doctor shortage in rural Georgia.

Watts, a graduate of Valdosta State University, is a student at the Medical College of Georgia's Southwest Campus in Albany, Ga. He is one of four recipients of this year's H. Gordon Davis Jr. MD and Frances S. Davis Scholarship, and he wants to work in underserved areas.

Trever Biles, another scholarship recipient, also hails from a small town. He's from Griffin, Ga., which has a population of about 22,000 people. Biles, a graduate of Emory University, owes his interest in medicine to his grandmother as well.

"My main experience with medicine happened alongside my grandmother. She dealt with heart disease for the majority of my early life. The first time I entered a hospital was for her surgery, and I was with her in hospice when she died several years later," he said.

Dr. Davis established the endowment in his and his wife's names in hopes of attracting young doctors into areas where health care is scarce.

Dr. Davis opened his family practice in Sylvester, Ga., where he delivered babies, repaired hernias and did everything in between, according to an article in MCG Medicine Magazine, in January 2017.

Born in 1919, Dr Davis became a doctor because of a promise his mother made. He weighed 15 pounds at birth, and his mother was unable to walk for three months. She vowed to God that she'd make him become a doctor if God let her walk again.

Now a new generation is taking up that promise to bring medical care to an underserved population, and they are passionate about it.

"The simple fact is there are just not enough quality physicians coming to South Georgia to help improve health care access and quality in these rural communities. I think some of the problem is that a good majority of medical students are not from these areas. It is hard to be passionate about practicing medicine in rural areas if you haven’t been affected by or witnessed the health care inequalities in South Georgia. But Dr. Davis understands this well and is helping me to accomplish the same goal he has set out to achieve: improve quality of health care in rural Georgia," said Watts, who wants to stay in the area he grew up in.

For Biles, medicine is a mission field. His original plan was to go into ministry, but he said he believes God had another plan.

"I grew up expecting to be a preacher, but as I have seen thus far in life, God has a way of taking you on an adventure that you never could have anticipated," he said.

While he doesn't know exactly where he will practice in the future, he is open to staying in rural Georgia.

"Mission work could take me just about anywhere, and I learned a long time ago that the grand scheme of things goes well beyond the plans that I can come up with. However, I certainly do love the rural parts of this state. This is my home, and I could not think of a better place to carry out the clinical portion of my education. I would consider myself blessed to serve here," he said.

"I grew up expecting to be a preacher, but as I have seen thus far in life, God has a way of taking you on an adventure that you never could have anticipated."


Thank You