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08.27.2013

40 Under 40 Spotlight: R. Patrick Lucas (BS ’98)

When R. Patrick Lucas (BS ’98) was named a Truman Scholar in 1997, former UGA President Charles Knapp invited his family to a private dinner in the Presidential Dining Room. The accomplished student leader was amazed by the personal attention, but appreciated the invitation for another reason – it was the first time his parents would share a meal since they divorced when Lucas was six. Since that special dinner, his father has passed away, but the memory still warms his heart today.

Being named one of only 70 Truman Scholars that year was not Lucas’s only accomplishment or favorite memory while he was a UGA student. He was a member of the Mortar Board Honor Society, Blue Key Honor Society, Arch Society and Leadership UGA. He was a tour guide at the UGA Visitors Center, a 1998 UGA Outstanding Senior Leader, and was named to the 1996 USA Today All USA Academic First Team (one of 20 in the country).

Lucas’s campus leadership experience launched him into a successful medical career. After graduating from UGA in 1998, he attended Medical College of Georgia. He then began his residency at Wake Forest University’s North Carolina Baptist Hospital.

In 2005, Dr. Lucas joined Hawthorne Medical Associates here in Athens, and was made a full partner two years later. In addition to being the primary care physician for approximately 2,500 patients, Lucas also served as the Chief of Internal Medicine Division at Athens Regional Medical Center from 2009 to 2013. In 2012, he became the president of the Crawford W. Long Medical Society, the Athens-area medical professional society.

Louise Hill, who nominated Lucas for this honor, has watched the young leader grow through her involvement with the Georgia 4-H program. In 2011, though, her friendship with him evolved into a patient-physician relationship.

“I was the beneficiary of Dr. Lucas’s amazing care in 2011 when a rare spinal condition caused me to become paralyzed overnight. Not only did he treat me while I was at Athens Regional Medical Center, but he orchestrated my transfer to Atlanta’s Shepherd Center and continued to communicate with me regularly during my two months there,” says Hill. “He has been instrumental in my adapting to life in a wheelchair. My Shepherd Center physician and physical therapist often commented on how fortunate I was to be the patient of such an outstanding physician and compassionate individual.”

Lucas’s compassion extends beyond his professional duties, though. In 2010, the alumnus co-founded the Northeast Georgia branch of Compassionate Care Hospice (CCH). As its medical director, Lucas helps provide end of life care at a higher level of quality than what had been typically offered in the area. CCH has served more than 240 patients and their families since it began.

In his free time, Lucas volunteers as a physician at Mercy Health Center, a Sunday School teacher at Ashford Memorial Methodist Church, and youth basketball and baseball coach.

Dr. Patrick Lucas has left his mark on so many in Northeast Georgia through his professional and volunteer efforts. I am proud to call him a Georgia Bulldog and a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.

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Recent Entries


12.11.2014

UGA’s Thank-a-Teacher Program

Did a teacher at UGA enrich your life or create a spark that inspired you to pursue your dreams? Was there a professor or teaching assistant that pushed you to do your best and helped you discover your passion for a certain subject? 

Now is the time to let that teacher - and the university community - know how grateful you are for their effect on your life. UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning invites current UGA students and alumni to particpate in the Thank-a-Teacher program.

What is Thank-a-Teacher? It is a program that allows students and alumni to express gratitude for teachers who have impacted their lives in a profound and meaningful way. If a teacher (professor, instructor, teaching assistant) made a positive contribution to your experience at UGA, please consider sending them a brief note. You may choose to remain anonymous or have your name attached to the note. 

You will be asked to fill out a simple form and acknowledge your appreciation for your teacher's work, dedication and extra effort. Share a simple thank you or an anecdote to let that teacher know what you enjoyed about their class and why it was important to you. 

Click here to complete the Thank-a-Teacher form

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12.10.2014

Former UGA football player gives back to the community

In recent years, the Lumpkin Street School in Hawkinsville, Georgia, one of 500 Georgia equalization schools built for African-American students during segregation, has fallen into disrepair. The town’s Deacons and Stewards Association wants to turn the space into a community center and museum, and a former Georgia football player is helping to make that happen.

Charles Johnson (M ’08), through the Charles Johnson Foundation (CJF), has issued a $25,000 challenge grant to renovate the school. The challenge, which states that CFJ will donate $25,000 to match the $25,000 that the Deacons and Stewards Association raises, has been instrumental in gaining donations for the project from other organizations.

Charles Johnson teaches a basketball clinic in his hometown of Hawkinsville, Georgia, during the Charles Johnson Foundation’s annual Community Weekend.

This isn’t the first time Charles Johnson has helped out his hometown. The captain for the Carolina Panthers has donated funds to support Parent Cafes for single mothers, sponsored women to attend the Pulaski Tomorrow program, donated to other middle Georgia foundations, and has provided scholarships to Pulaski County students during his organization’s annual Community Weekend in Hawkinsville.

For more information about the Lumpkin Street School project and how you can help, please email Greg Brown

Thank you for helping preserve the history of Georgia, Charles! The UGA Alumni Association is proud of your accomplishments on and off the field.

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12.08.2014

Spotlight on a Bulldog Business: FotoIN

Class of 2014 40 Under 40 honoree Sly Barisic (MBA ’04) and his brother, James Gates (AB ’01, MPA ’04), founded FotoIN in 2012, an automated mobile and management solution for capturing, documenting and filing site photos to a customer's storage repositories. 

The startup is located in Atlanta and Zagreb, Croatia, Sly’s native country. It serves an array of industries, including construction, real estate and property management.

James Gates

Sly Barisic

The company has seen growth in the construction industry,  managing projects for Brasfield and Gorrie, the lead company in the development of the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium. Barisic was also invited to speak at tech conferences in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco last year.

The UGA Alumni Association is proud to showcase the success of hardworking alumni! For more information about startups founded by UGA alumni, click here. If you have an alumni-owned or -operated startup that you would like featured on this blog, please email Assistant Director of Communications Jamie Lewis (AB '12, AB '12) at jelewis@uga.edu.

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