The MAG Alliance is a volunteer network of physician spouses who are dedicated to improving the health of Georgians

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Nancy Brant

770.336.9799

nbrant@mindspring.com

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Alliance is a volunteer network of physician spouses dedicated to improving the health of all Georgians, especially children.

A message from the MAG Alliance president...

I hope that you are well, and I hope that you full of optimism and determination as we head into the new year. In wrapping up 2012 and preparing for 2013, the MAG Alliance enjoyed a lovely luncheon that was hosted by MAG Alliance Past President Barbara Tippins at the Dunwoody Country Club on November 8. We held this event in lieu of the meeting that we normally hold in conjunction with the MAG House of Delegates in October.

In terms of key developments, we established a Governing Board that includes Mrs. Tippins, Nancy Brant, Miriam McEver, Katherine Byrne, and myself; I want to thank these wise women for helping me stay on task while learning to become a strong leader. Our members also heard from several guest speakers who addressed important health care projects that the MAG Alliance could consider to support in 2013 and beyond.

The first – the MAG Foundation prescription drug abuse “Think About It” campaign – was presented by MAG Foundation Secretary/Treasurer Joy Maxey, M.D., and MAG Foundation Director Fred Jones. Dr. Maxey graciously joined the meeting by conference call from the beautiful island of Oahu in Hawaii, where she was attending the AMA House of Delegates meeting. Mr. Jones, meanwhile, provided our members with some startling statistics that highlight the negative affect that prescription drug abuse has on our society. He told us that…

  • In 2009, the number of deaths in the U.S. from drug overdose exceeded the number of deaths from traffic accidents
  • In 2011, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported that a staggering 77 percent of the drug-related deaths in Georgia were the result of prescription drug abuse – while just 12 percent were attributed to illicit drugs
  • According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 70 percent of U.S. 12th graders report that they obtain prescription drugs from friends and relatives –and the drugs are often taken from the medicine cabinets of family members or friends
  • A baby who suffers from opiate withdrawal is born every minute of every day in the U.S. – that’s 24 children per day and 730 children per month and 8,760 children per year...that is no way to start your life!

The MAG Alliance decided to support the Think About It campaign because the prescription drug abuse epidemic affects so many people in our community. You can obtain additional information on the campaign at www.rxdrugaddiction.org. I would also encourage you to contact Mr. Jones at fjones@mag.org if you’d like to get involved or make a donation.

The second project we considered – early detection lung cancer screenings – was presented by past president Eve Tidwell. She provided some interesting and compelling facts on lung cancer, which typically doesn’t draw a lot of sympathy or support because so many cases are related to smoking. Mrs. Tidwell also pointed out that while smoking overall is on the decline, lung cancer’s numbers haven’t followed suit. And she said there is a lot of research that is being conducted on the connection between lung cancer and acid reflux disease – something I would have never considered.

Mrs. Tidwell said the project will help patients with CT lung screenings – much like those performed for breast cancer (e.g., mammograms) and prostate cancer (e.g., medical examinations). She hopes the initiative will gain traction among physicians and hospitals as another tool to detect lung cancer in the early, treatable stages. The Alliance Board also decided to support this project, and it’s something we hope to present to the MAG Board of Directors in the near future to gain its support before we introduce the project to physicians and hospitals. We want to help Mrs. Tidwell in her efforts to save and/or extend patients’ lives. If you are interested in supporting this worthwhile project, please contact Mrs. Tidwell at eve@evetidwell.com.

As the MAG Alliance regroups for 2013, we hope that our reorganization will help us to continue to move in a direction with purpose and position us in the best possible place to help our communities.

Please join us in rebuilding the MAG Alliance across the state by getting involved with either statewide project(s) and/or your own local project(s). Remember that, “People who share a common sense of direction and community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.”1 Let’s become united so we can help the physicians and patients in the communities in Georgia we call home.

Kirsten Scott, President
MAG Alliance

References
1“Lessons from Geese” was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991Organizational Development Network and is based on the work of Milton Olson.