Dear Colleagues,

It has been a whirlwind of a summer at SMHS with so many people on the move! We have a lot to look forward to with new students and residents arriving on campus, new students beginning classes online, and new roles being filled by our promoted faculty. We are also saying "congratulations" to the many students in our summer programs who have accomplished great things while on campus this summer.

In June, we were very happy to welcome to campus the newest class of physician assistants (PA). They received their white coats at a White Coat Ceremony in June and are making headway into their futures as PAs. We also welcomed our newest cadre of residents and celebrated the arrival of our first-year interns with a White Coat Ceremony. In the coming days, we will be welcoming the newest class of MD students. These students will have their White Coat Ceremony on Sat., Aug. 11 and we are thrilled that our own alumnus and faculty member, Babak Sarani, MD '97, RESD '04, professor of surgery, will deliver the keynote address at the event. Additionally, our newest physical therapy (PT) students will arrive on campus Aug. 16. The PT White Coat Ceremony is held later in the fall.

Over the summer, I have enjoyed hosting many different groups of young people who are pursuing their interests in the health care, research, and the medical fields and are working to become the future generation of medicine. For those of you who may not be familiar with the groups that we welcome to SMHS each year, I encourage you to check out the websites of several of the programs: The DC HAPP Program and Upward Bound Program, as well as the newly established SPARC Program and the GW/ACPS Governors Academy. I am always impressed by the creativity of these young and motivated students.

Finally, I am pleased to draw attention to the faculty promotions that were announced in July. Congratulations to each member of the faculty who was promoted this cycle. I also want to thank each of you for your service and dedication to the clinical, research, and educational mission of SMHS.

I am enthusiastic about the newest members of our SMHS family and I am delighted by the accomplishments of those who are present. We have a lot to be proud of and the potential of those within our community is truly limitless - I am excited for another year of success.

Warmest Regards,

Jeffrey S. Akman, MD '81, RESD '85
Vice President for Health Affairs 
Walter A. Bloedorn Professor of Administrative Medicine
Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences