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The Georgia Cancer Center aims to help people quit tobacco for life with the Tobacco Cessation Program and the Great American Smokeout.

What’s happening at Augusta University? Week of Nov. 15-21

This week includes the Great American Smokeout, a lecture on improving mental health, the possible benefits from carbon monoxide and an award for the vice president of information technology.

An unlikely source could help those with diabetes from losing vision

November is American Diabetes Month and Medical College of Georgia scientists have found evidence that a small dose of carbon monoxide to the eye appears to target key factors that damage or destroy vision in those with diabetes.

“It’s bad, it’s deadly. When you first hear of carbon monoxide, that is everyone’s reaction. That is true in a broad, uncontrolled setting. But this is in a very controlled setting where you are getting minimal concentrations that target specific cellular processes,” said Dr. Pamela Martin, cell biologist and biochemist in the MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Vision Discovery Institute.

Great American Smokeout is Nov. 18

 Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States. Through programs and events like the year-round Tobacco Cessation Program and the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 18, the Georgia Cancer Center can help tobacco users quit for life.

“We are committed to help each person on their path to improving their health by quitting tobacco use,” said April Parham, BS, tobacco treatment specialist and one of the coaches in the program.

 Vice president of information technology wins award

Dr. Michael Casdorph, vice president of information and technology and chief information officer at Augusta University, is the winner of the 2021 GeorgiaCIO ORBIE Award for education, government, and the public sector.

“I was beyond grateful to be nominated back in September, but to be chosen, among so many intelligent and industry-leading technology leaders across the country is such an honor,” said Casdorph. The ORBIE Award honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership.

Why mental health matters

The Augusta University Staff Council is hosting a discussion on why mental health matters from noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 17, presented by Dawn Gantt, Dental College of Georgia dean’s office coordinator.

“One in five adults experience a mental health challenge each year. Add in a pandemic and even more challenges arise,” said Gantt. “Our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and they can impact each other. It’s important for us to all understand why mental health is important and how to stay on top of our own mental health, and support the mental health of those in our circle.”

Interview opportunities are available for these story ideas. Call 706-522-3023 to schedule an interview. Check out the Augusta University Expert Center to view our list of experts who can help with story ideas.

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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