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New faculty appointments
Generating rewards for safer water
Foege honored for humaitarian efforts
Michael Johns spoke briefly at the Rollins School of Public
Health (RSPH) last spring, he had two titles in mind: "Better
Late Than Never" or "My Grandchildren Are Counting on
Some of Johns' grandchildren were
present as he received the 2006 Charles R. Hatcher Jr., M.D., Award
for Public Health. Established by the RSPH in 1996, the award honors
faculty members of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), who,
through their lifetime of work, exemplify excellence in public health.
The award is named in honor of Hatcher, former vice president for
health affairs and director of the WHSC and the first recipient
of the award. The RSPH was established as a school during Hatcher's
tenure as vice president.
"Dr. Johns is the only current
administrator to get this award," noted James Curran, dean
of the RSPH. "It means a lot to be selected by the faculty
and presented with this award for your public health achievements."
Johns (pictured below behind his grandsons)
noted that the Hatcher award acknowledged an important journey for
him, personally and professionally. As a child during the 1940s,
Johns never gave a thought to something called "public health."
Yet he grew up enjoying the benefits of clean water, an effective
sewer system, vaccinations, iodized salt, good nutrition, and lots
of exercise (playing until dark). As a medical student, he adhered
to the medical model of dealing with patients one at a time. His
view of medicine changed over time as his view of public health
broadened. "I began to look at the world in a whole new way,"
said Johns, who served as dean of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
before joining the WHSC as executive vice president for health affairs
and CEO in 1996. Since then, he has contributed to public health's
increasingly broad influence.
During his tenure at Emory, Johns
has led the most extensive facilities improvement plan in its history.
Highlights include new buildings and facilities for biomedical research,
a new nursing school building, a new vaccine center, a new comprehensive
cancer center, a new pediatrics center, and the redevelopment of
Emory Crawford Long Hospital in midtown Atlanta. Currently, a new
medical education building is under construction, and planning is
under way for a second building for the RSPH. The buildings are
part of Johns' strategy to position the WHSC as one of the nation's
preeminent academic health centers.
Last spring, the future of the world
weighed on Johns' mind after the christening of his fourth grandchild.
"What's the world going to be like when he grows up?"
Johns wondered aloud as he ticked off a list of concerns: pandemic
flu, adequate food, safe water, war, and the environment.
But he worries less when he thinks
of how RSPH faculty and students are working to change the world
for the better. "I smile because I know you are working to
help our children and grandchildren live a safer life than we have."
The Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) began
the academic year with several new faculty members on board.
research assistant professor of epidemiology, served as an assistant
professor in Emory's School of Medicine before joining the RSPH.
Abramson's research focuses on cardiovascular disease, especially
in the areas of oxidative stress and inflammation as risk factors
for hypertension and cardiovascular disease; the impact of depression
and other psychological factors on cardiovascular disease; and chronic
kidney disease as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. With
support from the NIH and the American Heart Association, Abramson
conducted studies resulting in journal articles on cardiovascular
disease and prevention, including the epidemiology and control of
anemia, novel oxidative stress markers and C-reactive protein, sex
differences in recovery from coronary bypass surgery, and depression
and risk of heart disease.
Rollins Associate Professor of Global Health, has been a lecturer
and senior research fellow at the University of Southampton since
1997. She has conducted field research in Indonesia, Myanmar, Korea,
Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, and the United Kingdom, supported
with funding from British, Nepalese, and U.S. agencies and foundations.
She has taught courses in demography, research methods, fertility,
and reproductive health. Her book, International Focus Group
Research: A Handbook for the Health and Social Sciences, will
be published by Cambridge University Press.
Assistant professor of biostatistics
Brent Johnson comes to Emory from a National Institute
for Environmental Health Sciences postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics
at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His program
of research includes statistical methods. Examples include dealing
with potentially confounding variables in semiparametric regression
analysis in longitudinal studies and variable selection in semiparametric
accelerated failure time model with statistical applications in
toxicology and nutrition studies. His articles have appeared in
the leading biostatistical methodology journals Biometrika
Frances McCarty is
a research assistant professor of behavioral sciences and health
education. McCarty has been collaborating with RSPH faculty as a
staff member on several research projects and, more recently, taught
courses on research methods for the Department of Behavioral Sciences
and Health Education. She has co-written more than 20 journals articles
on studies of diet and obesity, HIV transmission and adherence to
drug regimens, epilepsy, research subject recruitment, and early
education program evaluation.
Venkat Narayan, Ruth
and O.C. Hubert Professor of Global Health, holds a joint appointment
in the Department of Epidemiology and Emory's Goizueta Business
School. He has taught courses on chronic disease epidemiology and
prevention at Aberdeen University and as an adjunct faculty member
at RSPH. Since 1996, Narayan served as chief of the diabetes epidemiology
section and senior research adviser with the Division of Diabetes
Translation at the CDC, where he led the world's largest diabetes
study and a multicenter study of childhood diabetes. As a senior
research fellow at the NIH, he worked with the renowned Pima Indian
cohort study of diabetes and led the first lifestyle intervention
study in this Native American population. He has served on the editorial
board of several journals, including Annals of Internal Medicine
and Clinical Diabetes.
Anne Spaulding joined
the RSPH as research assistant professor of epidemiology after several
years of practice regarding infectious diseases in prison populations.
She has served as medical program director for the Rhode Island
Department of Corrections; medical officer in HIV, STD, and TB prevention
at the CDC; and associate medical director for Georgia Correctional
HealthCare. Her journal articles have focused on HIV and hepatitis
B and C and their management in prison populations.
Lisa Tedesco, professor
of behavioral sciences and health education, also serves as vice
president and dean of Emory's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
She was recruited from the University of Michigan, where she served
as the associate dean in the School of Dentistry, interim provost,
executive vice president for academic affairs, and secretary of
the university. She has extensive teaching experience in the health
applications of behavioral sciences relating to dental services.
Michael Windle, Rollins
Professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and
Health Education, comes to Emory from the University of Alabama
at Birmingham (UAB). While at UAB, he served as professor of psychology,
director of the Center for Advancement of Youth Health, director
of the Comprehensive Violence Center, and professor of pediatrics.
The NIH, CDC, and other agencies funded his research on adolescent
health, particularly on consumption of alcohol, violent behavior,
and depression. At the center of his research program is a longitudinal
study tracking mental health and related health risk behaviors of
children through adolescence and adulthood. Windle is the author
of three books—Children of Alcoholics: Critical Perspectives
(Guilford Press, 1990), The Science of Prevention: Methodological
Advances from Alcohol and Substance Abuse Research (American
Psychological Association, 1997), and Alcohol Use Among Adolescents
(Sage, 1999). He has served on the editorial board of leading journals
in his field, including Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental
Research, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Health Psychology,
and Developmental Psychology.
Tianwei Yu, assistant
professor of biostatistics, has studied biochemistry and molecular
biology in the United States and in China. His research involves
the application of statistical methods to biological investigations,
focusing on expression array/SNP array data analysis, biological
sequence analysis, alternative splicing, transcriptional regulation,
and sample size estimation for microarray studies. He taught introductory
statistics and courses in bioinformatics and genomics at UCLA. He
will support the Woodruff Health Sciences Center regarding bioinformatics
and statistical collaborations in biological research.
rewards for safe water
40% of the world's population, the lack of adequate sanitation remains
a primary health concern for communities with limited resources
to address the problem.
Christine Moe, associate professor
in the Hubert Department of Global Health, and her colleagues strive
to assist nations with new ideas for sanitation through the Center
for Global Safe Water (CGSW).
The World Bank's Development Marketplace
recently recognized her project in Bolivia and another CGSW project
in Kenya as winners of the 2006 Global Competition. This
grant program funds 30 winners around the world who share $5 million
for innovative, small-scale projects that can generate income for
local businesses to increase knowledge about and access to clean
water and improved sanitation.
The Bolivia project also won the World
Bank Infrastructure Award. The recipient is selected based
on voting by World Bank infrastructure staff.
Moe's project will assess sanitation
behaviors and attitudes in Bolivian communities to identify key
"selling" points that relate to household latrine usage.
"The people there are more concerned
with safety, privacy, and dignity than with health concerns,"
she says. "But as quality of life goes up, we want it to lead
Moe and research coordinator Robert
Dreibelbis, 05MPH, are collaborating with the Georgia Institute
of Technology to build solar latrines that will use heat generated
from the sun to kill pathogens in excreta. Tech's experts will help
implement this safer and healthier latrine system, allowing residents
to maintain a suitable sanitation system, Moe says.
Access to safe sanitation facilities
is among the most effective ways to reduce diarrhea morbidity and
mortality, which in Bolivia is among the highest in the Western
Hemisphere. So far, efforts to increase sanitation coverage have
been slow, with households expected to adopt a single, one-size-fits-all
technology that does not accommodate every household's needs, budgets,
"With the implementation of these
latrines, we stimulate a money-making business that supplies dry
sanitation that is aesthetically acceptable and easy to maintain,"
Moe is working with the Fundacion
Sumaj Huasi Para la Vivienda Saludable in Bolivia and the CDC, and
the information gathered in her assessments will help create acceptable,
affordable, and effective latrine options and generate demand for
sanitation services in local communities. Small businesses will
be established to train workers in latrine construction, sanitation
promotion, and marketing of waste-based fertilizers.
The Bolivia project looks to develop
"home depots for sanitation," offering lots of latrine
models at different prices. Moe's team estimates that 200 families
will adopt the new sanitation method over two years.
The second winning World Bank marketplace
proposal builds on the existing Rotary Safe Water Project in Kenya's
Nyanza Province. The goal is to decrease water-related illnesses
and generate income for rural women, who are members of HIV/AIDS
self-help groups, through the sale of affordable household water
treatment and safe storage products. Partners in this effort include
the CGSW, the Rotary Club of Atlanta, and the CDC.
Their project aims to mobilize 700
women's groups to teach other women about the approaches they can
use for safe water, establish 1,500 vendors to distribute 25,000
affordable water treatment products per month, and give 200,000
people a safe water solution.
Currently, about 75% of Nyanza's population
rely on unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs; use of this
unsafe water causes diarrhea that claims the lives of many young
children and AIDS victims. Poor roads make delivery of preventive
household water treatment and safe storage products difficult, and
many women in these communities live on less than 50 cents a day.
By implementing the Kenya project, these products can treat up to
1,000 liters of water for two months at a time and be distributed
at a cost of 26 cents each.
Trish Anderson, 04MPH, CGSW project
coordinator in Nyanza Province; Richard Rheingans of the CGSW at
the RSPH; and Rob Quick of the CDC lead the Kenya project.
Donors to the 2006 Development Marketplace
include the Global Environment Facility, the International Finance
Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global
Village Energy Project, and the Atlanta Rotary.—Jennifer
honored for humanitarian efforts
National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has named William
Foege as the 2007 recipient of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Award
for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind. Foege
is Presidential Distinguished Scholar and professor emeritus in
the Hubert Department of Global Health. He is also a fellow with
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Program.
Foege's lifelong commitment to improving
worldwide public health and his courageous public health leadership
in the areas of child survival and development and injury prevention
are credited with saving millions of lives and vastly improving
the quality of life for millions of others, particularly in developing
The Carter Humanitarian Award honors
individuals for such efforts. The award is named for President and
Mrs. Carter, who have worked tirelessly to improve quality of life
for people worldwide.
Foege joins a distinguished group
of past award recipients, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Ted
Turner, General Colin Powell, former President Bill Clinton, Senator
John D. Rockefeller IV, former CDC director David Satcher, and the
Carters, among others.
In 2002, the Gates Foundation established
the William H. Foege Fellowships in Global Health at the Rollins
School of Public Health (RSPH) in honor of Foege's career and achievements.
Supported by a $5 million endowment, the program brings four Foege
Fellows from developing countries each year to study at Emory, where
partnerships with mentors at the CDC, The Carter Center, the Task
Force for Child Survival and Developement, and CARE USA.
As director of the CDC from 1977 to
1983, Foege was recognized for a humanitarian vision that all people,
regardless of economic status, nationality, or age, should live
long and healthy lives. Early in his career, he worked as a medical
missionary in Eastern Nigeria, where he developed a surveillance
and containment strategy that changed the worldwide approach to
smallpox vaccination. This strategy eventually led to the disease's
eradication in the 1970s under Foege's leadership as director of
the CDC's Smallpox Eradication Program.
Foege later served as the first executive
director of the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, which
helped raise general immunization levels of the world's children
from 20% to 80% in just six years and created a successful program
to overcome river blindness.
Prior to joining the RSPH in 1997,
Foege served The Carter Center as executive director, fellow for
health policy, and executive director of Global 2000, which dramatically
improved farming practices, increased agricultural yields in developing
countries, and embarked on eradication of Guinea worm.
Foege is the recipient of numerous
awards, including the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service
in Support of Medical Research and Health Sciences in 2001. The
award, often referred to as "America's Nobel," recognized
Foege for public health leadership and his pivotal role in eradicating
smallpox and preventing river blindness.