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David Hess, MD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

David Hess, MD

Dean | Medical College of Georgia


Dr. David C. Hess, a stroke specialist, educator, and entrepreneur, is dean of the Medical College of Georgia.






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Reach Rural Telestroke - David Hess, MD Dr. David Hess




Hess, a stroke specialist, honored educator, and biotech entrepreneur, is dean of the Medical College of Georgia and executive vice president for Medical Affairs and Integration at Augusta University.

Dr. Hess helped develop the REACH telestroke network in rural Georgia that now numbers 30 hospitals. REACH enables timely stroke diagnosis and treatment by using the internet to eliminate distance between patients and stroke specialists. He is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of REACH Health Inc., a telestroke company that spun out of MCG and now also provides similar services for a variety of acute medical problems to patients, physicians and hospitals worldwide.

A prolific physician-scientist whose focus is improving stroke treatment and recovery, Hess has more than 170 peer-reviewed publications and has been involved in basic, pre-clinical and clinical stroke research. He served as the clinical principal investigator for the MASTERS clinical trial, a study of bone-marrow derived stem cells known as “Multistem” in acute stroke.

He is a professor and past Presidential Distinguished Chair in the MCG Department of Neurology.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Academic Medicine





Molecular Medicine

Stem Cell Research

Accomplishments (5)

America's Top Doctors (professional)

Hess has been named to the list of America's Top Doctors in neurology for more than 15 consecutive years. Compiled by Castle Connolly Ltd., this prestigious list represents the top 1 percent of physicians in the nation.

Exemplary Medical Student Teaching Award (professional)

Medical College of Georgia - 2014

Distinguished Research Award (professional)

Augusta University Research Institute - 2012

Outstanding Faculty Member Award (professional)

MCG - 2012

Exemplary Teaching Award (professional)

MCG - 2012

Affiliations (3)

  • REACH Health Inc.: Chairman of Board of Directors
  • American Board of Internal Medicine - Certified - 1986
  • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology - Certified - 1990

Media Appearances (14)

MCG state of the college address talks new Columbia County Hospital and more

WJBF  tv


This year’s address for the Medical College of Georgia focuses on a lot of new improvements for students and communities impacted by the services the school provides. “We know the traditional experience of physician and patient, but this is– they’re really training us for the future which is great,” first year medical student at MCG Maanasa Javangula said. Some of those improvements are actually expansions like a new hospital coming to Columbia County in the near future.

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MCG shares plans to address physician shortage in state of college address

wfx  tv


On Friday, Dean Hess gave his annual State of the Medical College of Georgia address. Dean Hess calls it a historic year for Medical College of Georgia with the new partnership with Wellstar. “That financially stabilizes our health system, allows us to put a regional campus in Marietta, at Kennestone Hospital," he says. "And then, actually expands our digital health offerings. We do a lot of telemedicine and telehealth around the state.” Meanwhile, MCG is also working on a new partnership in Savannah. The four year program is set to start in July of this year. “We’re actually doing some renovations to allow our class of 40 students to go there," he says. "That’ll bring our first year class size to over 300, making us one of the six largest medical school’s in the country.” One MCG, one mission and many campuses. Dean Hess says campuses are now in all 4 corners of the state: Athens, Atlanta, Albany, Brunswick, Rome, Dalton and Savannah.

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MCG: Noble, vital, varied missions to your health

The Augusta Chronicle  print


Augusta is home to one of the crown jewels of medicine -- the Medical College of Georgia, the state’s only public medical school. Founded in 1828 as the nation’s 13th oldest medical school, MCG has the 9th largest freshman medical school class in the country. We have a true statewide mission and presence, with a second four-year campus in Athens in partnership with the University of Georgia as well as regional clinical campuses based in Rome, Albany, Savannah and Brunswick where third- and fourth-year medical students hone their clinical knowledge and skill working alongside physicians in clinics and hospitals across our state.

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MCG dean proposes increased outreach, research funding in first state of school address

The Augusta Chronicle  print


In his first state of the school address as dean of Medical College of Georgia, Dr. David Hess proposed using the school’s regional campuses and associations to build a statewide health system that can aid struggling rural hospitals, increase its research funding and outreach and help address the state’s “terrible” health status.

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Dean named for Medical College

The Augusta Chronicle  online


“The millennial generation, they don’t have primary care doctors,” Hess said. “They just want to connect with you online and get their care.”

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Augusta University researcher's stem cells for stroke called 'promising'

The Augusta Chronicle  online


Hess, the chairman of the Department of Neurology at Augusta University, was the lead clinical principal investigator on using a type of stem cell treatment called MultiStem Therapy for stroke...

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Cell Division - Georgia debates stem cell research

Georgia Trend  print


James Trussell was 37 in 2003, when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but he’d been experiencing the symptoms for several years – the rigidity in his body, the tremors in his hands. Because he was young, and it’s an affliction that typically attacks people over 50, Trussell’s doctors took some time to rule everything else out. Then the neurologist prescribed medicine to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

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Telestroke technology speeds lifesaving care

Chicago Tribune  print


In September, Willie Frank Blackburn of Washington, Ga., a rural city of 5,000 people, had just left his auto shop when his tow truck slid off the road. Police officers who happened to be nearby found him slurring his speech and acting unlike the person they knew. His daughter, the director of nursing at Wills Memorial Hospital, a 25-bed acute care facility, knew he was showing signs of a stroke.

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Healthcare Without Walls - Hospitals are forming partnerships and extending outreach efforts

Georgia Trend  online


The big man dropped heavily to the ground. He couldn’t move his right side, couldn’t speak. He’d been having heart problems, but his wife had seen a stroke before and that’s what she told the 911 dispatcher. Dr. David Hess knew all of this as he read the CT scan while closely examining the patient from 130 miles away.

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The Means Report

WJBF  tv


The human immune system has been in the spotlight throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic. Now the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University is creating a permanent place to study immunology. MCG Dean David Hess announced the new Center for Immunology on The Means Report on WJBF-TV. Dr. Hess has brought in two researchers to get things started. They will recruit 20 more leading immunologists over the next 5 years. Dr. Hess says the work will help them more about COVID and cancer, and other illnesses.

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Medical College of Georgia growing in students, statewide reach, now adding star recruits

Augusta Chronicle  


Even as it adds students and extends its statewide reach, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University is undersized for faculty and needs to grow, Dean David Hess said Friday. Some big new hires and a new center should help with that, he said. Hess gave his annual State of the College address on Friday that was also connected remotely to its regional campuses across the state: in Athens, Brunswick and Savannah, Albany and Rome. MCG has been strengthening ties with the Wellstar Health System in Atlanta with residencies and hopes to establish an Atlanta campus there soon, Hess said.

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MCG, AU Medical Center receives multimillion-dollar grant to keep doctors in Georgia

WRDW  tv


Dr. David Hess, dean, Medical College of Georgia said: “You can almost go anywhere in Georgia and be in an underserved area.” The program hopes to change that by waiving medical school tuition for students who commit to one of these specialties for residency including family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics, and gynecology or general surgery in rural and underserved parts of Georgia. “To address the shortage, you’ve got to get some of them out earlier, and you’ve got to expose them to rural Georgia,” said Hess. Data shows doctors are more likely to stay in the state where they train, which is good news to people like Argoe. The possibility of having better access to doctors is good news for residents. Hess is hopeful this will help with the need for more doctors across the state, not just here in the river region.

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New guidelines released on eliminating racism, bias in medical school

Atlanta Journal Constitution  print


A national organization representing the nation’s 150 medical schools has released guidelines to address racism and bias and encourage diversity at all stages of a physician’s education. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) issued the document earlier this month, based on input from medical students, educators and others across the nation. It comes after the share of non-white applicants to medical school last year rose slightly above 50% for the first time.

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The Means Report

WJBF  tv


Dr. David Hess outlines the successes and challenges facing the Medical College of Georgia. Please enjoy this interview and remember to join us for The Means Report. We are on Monday afternoons at 12:30 on NewsChannel 6.

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Articles (3)

Telemedicine Quality and Outcomes in Stroke: A Scientific Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association


2017 Telestroke is one of the most frequently used and rapidly expanding applications of telemedicine, delivering much-needed stroke expertise to hospitals and patients. This document reviews the current status of telestroke and suggests measures for ongoing quality and outcome monitoring to improve performance and to enhance delivery of care...

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Humoral Mediators of Remote Ischemic Conditioning: Important Role of eNOS/NO/Nitrite

Acta Neurochirurgica Supplement

2016 Remote ischemic conditioning (RIC) is a powerful cardioprotectant and neuroprotectant. Nitrite is a key circulating mediator of RIC and may be a mediator of increased CBF and also mediate cytoprotection through its effects on nitrosylation of mitochondrial proteins such as complex I.

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Remote ischaemic conditioning-a new paradigm of self-protection in the brain

Nature Reviews Neurology

2015 Remote ischaemic conditioning (RIC) triggers endogenous protective pathways in distant organs such as the kidney, heart and brain, and represents an exciting new paradigm in neuroprotection. In this Review, we consider the principles and mechanisms of RIC, evidence from preclinical models and clinical trials that RIC is beneficial in neurological disease, and how the procedure might be used in the future in disorders such as vascular cognitive impairment and traumatic brain injury...

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