Gold W


photo Dr. Johns

April 2007

Table of Contents:


See How Far We’ve Come

Vision 2012 ImageLast June, I gave a presentation outlining the aspirations of Vision 2012 — our plan to transform health and healing for the 21st century. Please join me at 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday, May 30, in the WHSCAB Auditorium for an update on how far we’ve come in a year’s time. In Realizing the Vision, I will discuss our progress to date on Emory’s new Centers of Excellence; new clinical and research facilities; strategic initiatives in global and predictive health, including the new Center for Health Discovery and Well-Being at the midtown campus; new recruitments; and other factors that will differentiate Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center as a model for others across the nation to follow in the coming years.  A reception on the WHSCAB Plaza will follow the presentation.


Being There When We Are Needed Most

I want to say a few words of thanks to our colleagues in emergency medicine who displayed their everyday heroics during the recent tragic bus crash involving members of the Bluffton University baseball team.

Emergency medicine physician Ric Martinez wrote in a recent email that he is honored to be part of “such an inspiring, dedicated, and expert team.”  Martinez added that as the early phase of the response ramped up in the emergency department at Grady, “Terri Melvin and gang were hot on it, trauma was bringing in extra people, and people stayed long past their shifts to focus on caring for those in this tragedy. Eric Ossmann and Alex Isakov were leading efforts in the field and were stalwarts of calm medical leadership. Both Blue Zone (Roy Ary and Dahlia Hassani) and Red Zone were absorbing these patients as well as other serious crashes that were coming in. Leon Haley was masterful in his ability to get various groups focused on working together and on creating new ways to deal with the complexity of issues that come with such a high-profile event. And the residents (and I want to single out Don Taylor who stayed for hours, but all of the residents made me proud!) were simply great.”

This is the kind of dedication these clinicians expect of themselves and that we receive from them, whether we are colleagues or patients in need of their help. We count on them to do the best they can, but we can never take their talent, skills, and sheer heart and soul for granted. Thank you for another job well done.


Architectural Design Firm Named for the New Clinic

The WHSC has moved forward with the next steps in building a new facility for The Emory Clinic by selecting the architectural design firm HKS, Inc., in association with planning firm Ayers Saint Gross.  The new facility is planned for a site near the original Emory Clinic A building, which was constructed in the 1950s.  Plans call for a combination of patient, research, and office space designed to integrate research and clinical care in an ideal patient experience—from parking, arrival, and check-in, to examination, treatment, and patient discharge. The facility will be designed to provide the ultimate experience in patient safety, outcomes, and quality. A recent gift of $240 million from the Woodruff Foundation will be used toward construction of the $515 million facility.

This new complex will enable Emory to create a place where physicians and scientists work together to provide a model system of care supported by the power of translational research—as part of the Vision 2012 goal of transforming health and healing.

HKS, a top-five architectural firm, will provide conceptual and schematic design and assist with design development and construction documents for the new clinic complex. A firm with more than 65 years of architectural design project experience, HKS opened its Atlanta office in 2000, having completed a number of projects throughout Georgia. Modern Healthcare has ranked HKS number one in volume of health care architecture for 14 consecutive years.


Woodruff Leadership Academy March Sessions

The Woodruff Leadership Academy continues to enjoy an excellent year in 2007.

Photo of President WagnerWe were particularly grateful in March to have Emory President James Wagner (left) and GE Vice Chairman Mr. John Rice (below left) speak to the WLA Fellows.  Even though President Wagner and Mr. Rice lead very different organizations, their talks prove that effective leaders have common qualities of great vision, a keen sense of the environment, high energy, and compelling enthusiasm for the institution/company that they lead.  


Photo of Mr. RiceTo further illustrate the point on leadership commonalities, President Wagner gave an inspiring talk on "Leadership is a Genus" in which he described common characteristics of leaders. The President also discussed the components of a successful academic community, leadership paths, and gave examples of the crucial decisions that leaders face.

A special thanks from the 2007 WLA Fellows and me to President Wagner and Mr. Rice for enriching the WLA Experience again this year!


Time for Spring Cleaning

You can rid your bookshelves of medical or nursing textbooks you no longer need and help others in the process. Ophthalmology researcher John Nickerson has a contact, Ramey Wilson, a military doctor posted in Afghanistan, who has requested medical and nursing texts that he and his colleagues can pass along to local physicians there. These clinicians “do a lot with very little,” he writes. "They don’t have much in the way of textbooks, so if you have some recent editions that you don’t need, please send them my way.”

Dr. Wilson and his medics also make regular visits to an orphanage in Ghanzi to see the kids for medical problems. He asks that if you have any children’s toys, clothing, or supplies that you are willing to donate, they would be greatly appreciated at the orphanage. Please send books and other supplies to Dr. Ramey Wilson, 2-508 PIR, FOB Ghanzi, APO, AE 09354. Thank you for your generosity and for helping our colleagues across the globe work to make people healthy.


Get Ready for the 2007 Tour de Georgia

Emory Healthcare is once again a proud sponsor of the 2007 Tour de Georgia and for the third year in a row will provide medical support to the athletes. Emory Healthcare is uniquely equipped to provide the level of expertise in emergency and sports medicine required for the caliber of competitive athletes who participate in this premier, professional cycling event each year. This year the medical team is headed by Dr. Ian Greenwald of the Department of Emergency Medicine and certified athletic trainer Forest Pecha of the Department of Sports Medicine.

The Tour kicks off in Peachtree City on Monday, April 16, and will culminate the 660+ miles of racing with its grand finale in downtown Atlanta on April 22. The Tour de Georgia is an active supporter of the Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC), whose ultimate mission is to reduce the number of cancer deaths in the state. The GCC is the official beneficiary of the race for the fifth consecutive year.

Emory Healthcare has partnered once again this year with the Georgia Department of Education to produce the 2007 Tour de Georgia Youth Education and Activity Book, designed for 5th grade students. To download a free copy of the activity book and to learn more about the upcoming Tour and related community festivities, visit for more information.


Meltzer Named Chair of Radiology

Image of Dr. MeltzerCarolyn Meltzer, MD, William Timmie Professor of Radiology and part-time Associate Dean for Research in the School of Medicine, has been named Chair of Radiology after serving as interim chair since last August. Dr. Meltzer, who also holds appointments in neurology and psychiatry, investigates relationships between brain structure and function in age-related neuro-psychiatric disorders. Her research involves PET brain imaging studies of normal aging, late-life depression, and Alzheimer’s disease, and she is working on means for earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s via PET imaging of amyloid deposits. Dr. Meltzer came to Emory in 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh, and she received her training in internal medicine and radiology at Johns Hopkins.


Chasing Life and Health

Image of Dr. GuptaYou are invited to join Emory neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta at a reception and signing for his new book, Chasing Life, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., on Wednesday, April 18, in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building. In Chasing Life, Dr. Gupta offers compelling stories from around the world, along with research and advice on how readers may halt the aging process. He also explores the quest for functional aging and outlines advances in gene sequencing and nanotechnology that may some day provide a real fountain of youth.
Hosted by the WHSC, the event starts with a reception on the WHSCAB Plaza and then moves to the Auditorium for a presentation by Dr. Gupta, a short video clip of his upcoming special, and a Q&A session. The book-signing at 7:15 p.m. will also take place on the WHSCAB Plaza. To learn more about Dr. Gupta's new book, go to


Emory Selected as Primary Site in National Networks for HIV Vaccines and Treatment

Image of Dr. Lennox

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has designated Emory’s HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) as a primary site nationally in both the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN). The ACTG is the nation’s premier NIH-funded clinical trials network for HIV/AIDS treatment trials, and the HVTN is the premier network for HIV vaccine prevention trials.




Image of Dr. del Rio

The Emory CTU expects to receive more than $7 million over seven years from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Under this award, the NIAID will fund CTUs in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. The Emory CTU will be part of a multi-site effort that includes HIV/AIDS CTUs on five continents.

Principal investigator of the Emory CTU is Dr. Jeffrey Lennox (top left), medical director of the Ponce Center, where many of the clinical trials in Emory’s CTU for HIV/AIDS treatment are conducted. Dr. Carlos del Rio (middle left) is site leader for the ACTG at the Ponce Center.

Image of Dr. MulliganThe Hope Clinic, directed by Dr. Mark Mulligan (left), is the site for many of Emory’s HIV/AIDS vaccine trials. For information about HIV/AIDS treatment trials, go to or call 404-616-6333. For more information about vaccine trials to prevent HIV/AIDS, call 877-424-4673 or go to



Emory to Establish One of Six National Centers for Flu Research

The NIH has awarded Emory a $32.8 million contract over seven years to establish a national Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance, one of six such centers in the nation. Investigators in the Center, directed by Dr. Richard Compans of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, will study how flu viruses are transmitted between hosts and how they adapt to new hosts, along with analyzing human immune responses to flu vaccination and infection. The researchers will examine how human genes might be “silenced” to decrease or eliminate flu infections; identify new targets for antiviral medicines; study how immune memory influences the immune response to new strains of flu; and evaluate flu transmission between patients and physicians in the hospital emergency room setting.

Image of Dr. CompansEmory’s Center involves collaboration among our researchers in medicine and public health and with the University of Georgia, which has a subcontract in the award. The Center will support a training program for postdoctoral fellows and veterinarians interested in flu research, performed in a biosafety level 3 laboratory. One component of the training program, based at the UGA School of Veterinary Medicine, is designed to attract veterinarians to careers investigating flu infection in animals. In addition to the NIH, the Georgia Research Alliance made a $2.5 million matching commitment over five years to support the center.

The other national flu centers supported by the NIH are located at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, UCLA, the University of Minnesota, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and the University of Rochester.


Check Out the New Emory Healthcare Site

Visit to check out the sleek design and easier navigability of Emory Healthcare’s new website. The site has been redesigned based on feedback from users and includes coding that enables search engines to better direct users to the site. Whether you are looking for a physician, facility location, information about clinical trials, upcoming medical education events, online health information reference sources, news stories about Emory clinicians, or audio and video clips about various procedures and approaches to care, the site provides easy access to a wide range of user-friendly content.

While you’re at it, take a look at the WHSC home page,, to read, listen to, and view national media coverage of the important work taking place at Emory. The site is refreshed regularly with links to Emory health sciences news in media outlets, such as CNN, The New York Times, UPI, NPR, WebMD, and others. In addition, the new Spotlight section highlights some of our newest initiatives and programs in areas such as avian flu, global health, and predictive health.


U.S. News Graduate School Rankings

U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 rankings of the country’s best graduate schools hits the news stands today, April 9. Here’s how we fared:

  • The Rollins School of Public Health ranked 7th among schools of public health.
  • The Emory School of Medicine ranked 23rd among research-oriented medical schools.
  • The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing ranked 26th among more than 600 nursing schools.

In addition to the schools, various departments and programs were ranked as well: the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory and Georgia Tech ranked second. The physician assistant program in the School of Medicine ranked third, and the nurse-midwifery program in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing ranked eighth. Congratulations to all.


Prevention Center Works to Make People Healthy in Rural Georgia

Three worksites and four churches in medically underserved areas of rural Georgia recently received $28,000 in grant support from the Emory Prevention Research Center (EPRC) to fund adoption of nutrition programs to help residents be healthier and prevent cancer. The programs, “Body and Soul” for the churches and “Treatwell 5-a-Day” for the worksites, are being implemented in towns such as Albany, Bainbridge, Pelham, Valdosta, Blakely, and Sylvester. The grants, supported in partnership with the Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition, are made possible by funding from the CDC to the Rollins School of Public Health. The EPRC, directed by Karen Glanz, focuses on cancer prevention in the 33 counties of southwest Georgia by promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and a tobacco-free lifestyle.


EMCF Research Grant Deadline Approaching

As mentioned in the past, three times a year the Emory Medical Care Foundation (EMCF) offers research grants of up to $25,000 to faculty in the School of Medicine who spend at least 50% of their time in the Grady Health System.  Preference is given to faculty members in their first 10 years at Grady.  The next deadline is July 2, 2007.  For information on application procedures, please contact Shelle Bryant at 404-727-4569 or or visit the School of Medicine web site for proposal guidelines at


Honors and Appointments

Image of Dr. KoplanThe American Medical Writer’s Association (AMWA) announced Dr. Jeffery Koplan, Vice President for Academic Health Affairs, as the 2007 recipient of the Walter C. Alvarez Memorial Award. This award is presented annually to honor excellence in communicating health care developments and concepts to the public. Since beginning his public health career in the early 1970s, Dr. Koplan has worked on virtually every major public health issue, including infectious diseases, environmental issues, the health toll of tobacco and chronic diseases, both in the U.S. and around the globe. The award will be presented at the upcoming 2007 AMWA conference in October.

Image of Dr. HatcherSecond Century Awards: Each year, Emory University Hospital and Emory Crawford Long Hospital honor leaders in health care with the Lettie Pate Whitehead and Wadley R. Glenn awards, respectively. This year’s recipients of the Whitehead award, named for the widow of one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola, were Charles R. Hatcher Jr. (left) and William C. “Billy” Warren III.

Dr. Hatcher, former director of the WHSC, of The Emory Clinic, and of cardiothoracic surgery at Emory, performed many “firsts” in Georgia in heart surgery, including the state’s first coronary bypass. For more details about his many contributions to Emory and to health care in general, please see

Image of Mr. WarrenMr. Warren (left), great-grandson of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler and a graduate of Goizueta Business School, has helped steer the direction of the WHSC through his work on the WHSC Board as well as the boards of Emory Healthcare and The Emory Clinic. He also devoted time and energy as an Emory trustee for 21 years and still serves as a trustee emeritus.

Recipients of the Glenn award, named for a long-time medical director at Emory Crawford Long Hospital, were Adeline “Coc” Henson and Dr. Harold Ramos.

Photo of Mrs. Henson Mrs. Henson (left) started as a volunteer with the Emory Crawford Long Hospital auxiliary in 1961 and devoted her life to this role, overseeing the gift shop, co-editing a book, organizing fundraisers, and bringing comfort to countless patients and families.


Image of Dr. RamosDr. Ramos (left) joined the Emory faculty in 1963 and eventually succeeded Dr. Glenn as medical director at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. He helped establish the hospital’s first coronary care unit, chaired its first ethics committee, and also served on the WHSC Board. Although retired, he still goes to the hospital each day to read ECGs for the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center. For more information about these awards, visit

Dr. Kshamica Nimalasuriya of the Department of Preventive Medicine, received the 2007 Best Resident Award from the American College of Preventive Medicine for his work in community service, research, teaching, and leadership. He also received the Ambrose Award for Leadership Among Resident Physicians from the American Medical Association in 2006. Emory’s residency program in preventive medicine may be small, with only two “graduates” per year, but it is “large” in terms of representation in national awards. In addition to the Best Resident Award in 2007, graduates received the Rising Star Award from the American College of Preventive Medicine in 2003, 2005, and 2006.

Image of Dr. Tedesco Dr. Lisa Tedesco (left), Vice Provost for Academic Affairs/Graduate Studies, Dean of the Graduate School, and a professor in public health as well as in educational studies, received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). A past president of ADEA, she helped redirect the association’s work to address national academic issues, professional testing, accreditation, and policy matters. Among her other roles as a policy and thought leader, she served on an Institute of Medicine committee in 2003–2004 addressing strategies for increasing U.S. health care workforce diversity.


Upcoming Noteworthy Events

  • A symposium on “e-Publishing and the Academy” will be held on Friday, April 13, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the Jones Room of the Woodruff Library. Panelists include Rosemary Feal (romance languages, SUNY at Buffalo), Charles Henry (president, Council on Library and Information Resources), John Nickerson (Emory ophthalmology researcher and editor of Molecular Vision, a peer-reviewed web journal), and Allen Tullos (Emory Institute of Liberal Arts and editor of Southern Spaces, an e-journal created at Emory). A Q&A session will follow panelists’ remarks. For more information, please call 404-727-6861.
  • Don't miss the Brains Rule! Neuoscience Exposition at Zoo Atlanta on Saturday, April 14, from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. hosted by the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience. This event promises fun for all ages. For more information, visit
  • The Emory Voice Center and Emory Healthcare are sponsoring an inaugural celebration of World Voice Day on Saturday, April 14, at 6 p.m., at the Carter Center. Those who will be “sharing their voices” at the event include members of the Atlanta Opera, the Reverend Joseph Lowery (co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), Speech (Grammy-winning hip-hop artist), and Panache (ensemble of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Choir). All ticket proceeds will support research at the Emory Voice Center. For more information, please call Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777.
  • Changing the Way We Die: Religion, Medicine, and Improving the Dying Process: We all die. But how do we die? What settings and practices surround dying and can these be made more responsive to the diverse meanings we find in death and dying? What insights about dying can we glean from conversations between different cultures, religions, and practices? This provocative two-day conference, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and hosted by Emory University’s Religions and the Human Spirit strategic initiative, will examine a wide array of religious, ethical, medical, and legal questions related to the end of life. Panelists will include scholars and physicians, as well as civic and religious leaders from throughout the University and the community. The conference will be held Thursday, April 19, 7:30-9:30 p.m., and Friday, April 20, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. RSVP by April 12 (tickets are not required, but seating is limited). To view the schedule and to register for the conference, go to  For more information, contact Juana Clem McGhee at
  • Recent developments in Alzheimer’s research will be the topic of a panel discussion on April 26, 7:00-9:00 p.m., in the PO1 auditorium (plaza level) of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing building. Panelists include Emory psychiatrist Larry Tune, Emory neurologist and researcher James Lah, Ginny Helms, and a family member of an Alzheimer’s patient. Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing Associate Dean for Research, Ken Hepburn, PhD, is the education core director of Emory’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and he will serve as moderator. In addition to ADRC, sponsors include Yerkes National Primate Research Center, the Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.
  • Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities will hit the trails in Lullwater Park for the 5th annual “Oh Nellie” 5K Trail Run/Walk on Saturday, April 28.  Named for the late Nell Hodgson Woodruff, a dedicated volunteer and strong advocate for Emory’s nursing school, “Oh Nellie” benefits the school’s new Partners in Caring Fund, which supports scholarships, servicing learning opportunities, and nursing research. To participate, register online at (search for Oh Nellie).  Registration fees are $20 before April 19, $25 thereafter.  For those unable to attend, please sign up to be a phantom runner for $25 and in the process support an important cause.  For more information, please contact Cynthia Beckles at 404-727-6917 or
  • "Save a Life" by donating blood on Monday, April 30, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on the Plaza of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building. To view dates and times for other upcoming American Red Cross drives, visit and enter the sponsor code "Emory" for a full listing.
  • You still have time to help raise funds through events next month to support research on AIDS vaccines:
    • You can participate or sponsor a runner in the Hope Springs Eternal 5K Fun Run for the Hope Clinic on May 19, starting at 9:00 a.m. at the main pavilion in Decatur Square. To register, visit or (registration fee of $25 by May 15).
    • You can volunteer, cycle, or sponsor a cyclist in the fifth annual Action Cycling 200 bike ride on May 19 and 20 from Atlanta to Camp Rock Eagle (75 and 100 mile options are available on both days). All funds raised support AIDS vaccine research at the Emory Vaccine Center. For more information, visit or call 404-712-4145.


Leadership Thoughts

The significant change in our Atlanta temperature over the past week has had a major impact on many of us.   It is likely that you had already stored winter clothes and put spring clothes in your closets and dresser drawers.  Maybe you spent money at local gardening shops and purchased flowers for window boxes.  The temperature was in the mid 80's in late March, so April seemed likely to continue that trend of warm temperatures. But then the weather changed drastically. Our daily high temperatures were 10, 15, and even 20 degrees below normal.  We had below-freezing temperatures at night.  Plants died or were considerably weakened. We had to run to the attic and find those sweatshirts and sweatpants. All of this happened due to circumstances totally beyond our control.   We could do nothing to prevent it, but we certainly had to adapt – or face the consequences.

This unpredictable weather situation is very much like what can happen to our strategic plans in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.  We make our plans based on carefully considered historical patterns, on projected financial and operational outcomes, on what we anticipate to be in the environment surrounding us, etc.   Invariably, however, something comes along that we simply could not have predicted.  If we continue following our plans and ignore these significant changes, we will not achieve the desired outcome. 

Successfully adapting to change is why every member of the WHSC should have a flexible approach to his or her job.  Make careful note that I have not stated that our Vision is variable.   Vision 2012: Transforming Health and Healing is unwavering in its resolve, and we continue to create the new model of health and healing that we have undertaken.  Our core values of Excellence, Caring, and Integrity are permanent, and they guide our behavior. Finally, our core purpose in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Making People Healthy is our service mission and is the primary reason we come to work each day at Emory.

While I do not anticipate any significant changes to our strategic plans, I nonetheless appreciate the flexibility that you bring to the workplace every day.  As I have said many times, we will achieve Vision 2012 because of your dedication and commitment.


Michael M.E. Johns, MD
CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center

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