Gold W


photo Dr. Johns

May 2007

Table of Contents:

Mark Your Calendars: Wednesday, May 30

Vision 2012 ImagePlease join me at 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday, May 30, in the WHSCAB Auditorium for a one-year update on how far we’ve come in our plan to transform health and healing for the 21st century. In addition to discussing plans for our new clinical and research facilities on Clifton Road, at the Yerkes field station, and at the Emory Midtown campus, I will share progress to date on our Centers of Excellence, global and predictive health, new recruitments, quality and safety initiatives, and other factors that will differentiate the 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.


Added Thanks to Our Trauma Surgeons
Last month when I mentioned the excellent work of our colleagues in emergency medicine at Grady during the recent bus crash involving members of the Bluffton University baseball team, I neglected to mention the equally wonderful work of the trauma surgeons during this crisis.  These surgeons, just like their counterparts in emergency medicine, went above and beyond to provide the best care possible in a harrowing situation from performing needed operations to handling the ICU care to getting patients transferred as needed. Although these surgeons deal with trauma on a day-to-day basis, they deserve a tremendous thank you for mobilizing during this event and the many others that come their way each day.  I extend my gratitude to each of you.


Kudos to the Physical Therapy Program

Although I mentioned our rankings in U.S. News & World Report’s 2008 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools last month, I inadvertently omitted our Physical Therapy Program, which ranked 8th in the nation.  I am proud that the Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center did so well in the rankings overall and this reflects not only the strength of our schools but also our core purpose of Making People Healthy.


2007 Award of Distinction Honors Five WHSC Employees

Each year the Emory Award of Distinction recognizes university employees who have made outstanding contributions to the Emory community. Five of the recipients of this year's Award of Distinction are from the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. They are: Louis Burton, Sr., Business Manager, Emergency Medicine; Lisa Newbern, Director of Communications, Yerkes National Primate Research Center; Stephen Pittard, Technical Project Manager, Biomedical Engineering; Kathy Vaughn, Sponsored Research Administrator, Psychiatry; and Darlene Wyche-Alha-De, Senior Accountant, Division of Animal Resources. All were recognized at a dinner with President Wagner on April 11. I commend the University for honoring these five exemplary individuals for the dedication and commitment they bring to their jobs each day.


2007 Emory Service Awards

Emory also recognizes employees upon completion of service in 5-year increments. In this day of mobility, it is increasingly rare to find employees who remain with one employer for more than a few years. That is what makes the following information so very special. I am particularly pleased to offer congratulations to the following employees for their years of service to Emory.

40 Years:
Betty B. Goetz, School of Medicine

35 Years:
Carol G. Allen, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Dennis K. Chikazawa, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Suzan D. Tibor, School of Medicine

30 Years:
Lamar Bryant, School of Medicine
Pamela L. Bryant, School of Medicine
Deborah S. Canup, School of Medicine
Claire N. Hackworth, School of Medicine
Susan Y. Higgins, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Suzette L. Lackey, Yerkes National Primate Research Center
Angela M. Williams, School of Medicine

25 Years:
Elizabeth M. Christian, School of Medicine
Marylynn Covington, School of Medicine
Susan J. Duensing, School of Medicine
Ruth S. Ellis, School of Medicine
Barry M. Glasser, School of Medicine
Kathryn H. Graves, School of Public Health
Ann Gilmore Hulton, School of Medicine
Alice Deaton Jones, School of Medicine
Ellen M. Katz, School of Medicine
Linda Louise McCollum, School of Medicine
Lynne Allyn Morelock-Roy, School of Medicine
Mabel Elaine Nelson, School of Medicine
Bobbi J. Woolwine, School of Medicine


New Leadership Role for Vision 2012

Photo of Dr. Caughman One important milestone in our progress toward Vision 2012 is the appointment of Dr. Wright Caughman as Vice President for Clinical and Academic Integration in the WHSC, a new role in which he will coordinate, implement, and manage the strategic plan for transforming health and healing. He will direct four core strategies: (1) implementing the Emory Clifton Corridor and Emory Midtown master facility plans, (2) developing and promoting key multidisciplinary Centers of Excellence, (3) promoting a high-performance, patient-focused service culture, and (4) ensuring maximal integration of translational research, educational, and training missions within the WHSC’s clinical programs.

Dr. Caughman will help consolidate expertise and accelerate collaboration among the multiple components of the WHSC, including all Emory Healthcare sites and all affiliate sites, such as the VA Medical Center, Grady Hospital, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. He will explore new ways to maximize integration of facilities dedicated to outpatient and inpatient care, clinical research, and clinical education across the Emory campuses.

Dr. Caughman also will direct implementation of the strategic plans for the Centers of Excellence in the WHSC, which initially include the Comprehensive Center for Neuroscience, the Heart and Vascular Center, the Emory Transplant Center, the Winship Cancer Institute, and the Emory Center for Respiratory Health. He also will work closely with leaders of the Emory Predictive Health Initiative and with other interdisciplinary centers and programs to ensure synergy across the WHSC.
To assume his new responsibilities, Dr. Caughman has stepped down from his positions as chair and section head of dermatology, roles he has served since 1997. Dr. Robert Swerlick has been appointed as interim chair. Dr. Caughman will continue as Director of The Emory Clinic and as Executive Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, positions he has held for the past three years. The breadth of leadership experience he has gained since he came to Emory from the NIH in 1990 will serve him well in the transformative initiatives that he is undertaking.


Clinical Trials Office Expands

Photo of Ms. Ginn I am pleased to note another important measure of progress toward our goals for Vision 2012: We have expanded the Clinical Trials Office (CTO) to include two new positions. Robin Ginn (left) is the new Executive Director, and David McLean (below left) is the new Associate Executive Director for Clinical Trial “Pre-Awards,” which involves budget negotiation and analysis of Medicare coverage to ensure appropriate billing, among other duties.

Ms. Ginn comes to Emory from Vanderbilt, where she served most recently as Executive Director of Research Informatics and Regulatory Affairs. She has worked in health care for 27 years, including eight years in critical care nursing and management and another eight years in hospital information systems (both clinical and financial). Mr. McLean is an Atlanta attorney with 17 years of corporate health care experience, including service as institutional review board (IRB) administrator for St. Joseph’s Hospital.

Photo of David McLeanThe reason for these appointments is to expand capacity and centralize business functions in the CTO. This will allow us to compress the timeline in our handling of clinical trials and ultimately make more trials available to our patients.

These new appointments are part of an overall and ongoing initiative at Emory to invest more resources in research support. This effort has included the recent appointment of David Wynes and Kerry Peluso as Vice President and Senior Associate Vice President for Research, respectively (see, as well as expansion of the number of Emory’s IRBs from four to six. Additional  appointments and growth in research support are anticipated in the months ahead.


Lesesne Named Medical Director

Photo of Dr. LesesneDr. Jeff Lesesne has been named the Medical Director for the Emory Crawford Long Internal Medicine practice and the Chief of Service for General Internal Medicine at The Emory Clinic. Dr. Lesesne began his Emory Crawford Long responsibilities on May 1, and will assume his role as Chief of Service for the clinic in September 2007.

Dr. Lesesne received his medical degree from the Emory School of Medicine in 1996 and completed his residency at Emory, as well as a subsequent one year fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at The Wesley Woods Center of Emory Healthcare. He is also a graduate of the Woodruff Leadership Academy (2004) and Leadership Georgia. 


Preparing for and Responding to Critical Events

Photo of Isakov The university has created a new Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), with Dr. Alex Isakov as Director. Reporting to President Wagner and other senior leadership, CEPAR will serve as Emory’s integrated command and control center, orchestrating a unified response to natural and human-caused disasters and public health emergencies, and allow the university to speak with one voice to the community and to local, regional, and federal agencies. The formation of the center was a result of a recommendation last year by Emory’s Avian Flu Task Force.
Along with formation of CEPAR, the university is making an accelerated investment in various technologies to communicate with students, faculty, and staff in a campus crisis, based on recommendations of an emergency response task force led by Emory Chief of Police Craig Watson. These include loudspeakers for public announcements and an automated system for pushing out voice, email, and text messages to registered cell phones and PDAs.

Dr. Isakov practices emergency medicine at Emory and Grady hospitals and is co-founder and co-director of the emergency department’s pre-hospital and disaster medicine section, which provides medical oversight and medical command for the 911 emergency ambulance responders in the City of Atlanta and Fulton County. He is also the founding medical director of Emory Flight, Emory Healthcare's emergency and critical care air ambulance service, and associate medical director for Grady EMS, the largest 911 ambulance responder in Georgia. In that role he developed the Bio-Safety Transport Program, which supports Emory's clinical unit for serious communicable disease, the CDC, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


Yerkes Receives $10 Million to Study Comparative Aging

The National Institute on Aging awarded Yerkes researchers Jim Herndon and colleagues $10 million over five years to compare changes occurring in humans (normal aging humans, humans with Alzheimer’s, and humans with mild cognitive impairment) with those in nonhuman primates, specifically chimpanzees and rhesus macaques. The goal of the study is to identify ways to diagnose aging-related diseases like Alzheimer’s earlier to allow earlier intervention. This aging study will be the first to use chimpanzees, which may provide the link to determine why humans are the longest-living species and whether this characteristic is attributable to special cognitive capacities. The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Fund, Inc. funded the initial studies at Yerkes that were critical in the development of data and resources necessary for obtaining the NIA award.


TIME Magazine Names Frans de Waal to Top 100 of 2007

Photo of Dr. de WaalTIME magazine has named Yerkes researcher and world-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal, PhD, as one of the leading “Scientists and Thinkers” in its Top 100: The People Who Shape Our World special issue.

Dr. de Waal is widely recognized for his behavioral and evolutionary work with great apes as well as for his nine books, two of which The New York Times named “Notable Books of the Year.”  de Waal began studying chimpanzees in 1975. They remain the main animal model for his social reciprocity, conflict resolution and food sharing studies. He also conducts research with capuchin monkeys. Most recently, de Waal has become interested in the origins of morality and justice in human society. In his latest book, Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, de Waal shares his belief that human morality grows from our genes and that many of the traits that define morality – empathy, reciprocity, reconciliation and consolation – can be seen in animals, most particularly in primates.


Newman Named Chief Marketing Officer

Photo of Una Newman Una Newman, Senior Director of Marketing for Emory Healthcare, has been named the first-ever Chief Marketing Officer for all of Emory. In this role, Ms. Newman will coordinate brand management and advertising for both the University and Emory Healthcare. Her charge focuses on controlling and managing all advertising dollars for the university and Emory Healthcare to maximize efficiency and impact by coordinating messages and ad placements.

In addition to her existing marketing staff in Emory Healthcare, Ms. Newman now heads a marketing department of seven people in the university’s communications office. She will retain her title in Emory Healthcare and in addition holds the university title of Senior Associate Vice President of Communications for Marketing Strategies.

Major areas of focus for the university marketing program will be undergraduate admissions and financial aid, providing counsel to the comprehensive campaign, and promoting strategic initiatives. Under her leadership, the marketing offices will continue to develop positioning strategies for employee and faculty recruitment, working with HR in both the university and Emory Healthcare to align employment branding with overall Emory strategy.

Ms. Newman has been with Emory Healthcare for 10 years, and she is a four-year member of the Emory Parent Council — two of her children are Emory College alumni, and one is a member of the class of 2008.

Congratulations to Ms. Newman on this new and important role to consolidate and focus our messaging and resources.


Health Sciences Faculty Speak at National Press Club

Woodruff Health Sciences Center faculty participated in "Emory Day at the National Press Club" in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, April 25. President Jim Wagner spoke to Emory alumni and media about courageous universities. I moderated a lively panel discussion on "America's Health: Choices and Tipping Points." Arthur Kellermann, Emergency Medicine, spoke on the crises in emergency care and uninsurance. Michelle Lampl, anthropologist and Associate Director of our Predictive Health Initiative, spoke about the need for a new focus on health maintenance rather than treatment of disease. Marla Salmon, Dean of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, spoke on the critical nursing shortage (covered by an excellent article in the April 26, 2007 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Ken Thorpe of the Rollins School of Public Health spoke on state health insurance plans and health care as an issue in the 2008 election. You can find more information on this event at


A New Multimedia Resource

Last month I pointed out the new Emory Healthcare website and the updated WHSC home page where patients, faculty, and staff can catch up on some of our highlighted announcements covered by national media. Now you can find an exciting and visual way to learn about the work of the WHSC. Go to and look to the right on the page to access our new multimedia pages or go directly to


Navigating a Scientific Career in Academia

Image of Boss and Eckert Authors Jeremy Boss (Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory School of Medicine) and Susan Eckert (Associate Dean of Finance and Research Administration in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing) have co-authored a second edition of their book, Academic Scientists at Work: Navigating the Biomedical Research Career, published by Springer. The book provides advice on landing the ideal job, managing a lab, obtaining funds, publishing research, and the promotion and tenure process. The book updates contents of the first edition and includes a dozen articles written by the authors that first appeared in Science’s Next Wave, an online science career magazine. The book is available through Amazon.


New Biography of Dr. Willis Hurst

Photo of Dr. Willis HurstJ. Willis Hurst: His Life and Teachings, a new biography by Drs. Mark Silverman and Bruce Fye, has been published by the Foundation for Advances in Medicine and Science. In addition to the life story of the famed cardiologist and Emory emeritus professor, the book includes selected essays by and about Dr. Hurst, along with “reflections and jottings” and a one-hour interview on DVD. The book/DVD can be obtained from




Don’t Miss Chasing Life on May 9

Photo of Dr. Sanjay Gupta You are invited to join Emory neurosurgeon and CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta at a reception/signing for his new book, Chasing Life, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building. (This event was rescheduled after the tragedy at Virginia Tech.)
In Chasing Life, Dr. Gupta offers compelling stories from around the world, along with research and advice on how readers can help halt the aging process. He 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 Woodruff Health Sciences Center, the event starts with a reception in the lobby on the ground level of Whitehead 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 will take place in the lobby. To learn more about this book, go to


Honors and Appointments

Dr. Douglas Ander of Emergency Medicine has been named Director of the Simulation Center in the new School of Medicine Medical Education Building.

Dr. Carmelo Blanquicett, a postdoctoral fellow in Pulmonary Medicine, was one of 38 minority students and scientists across the country to receive a travel fellowship from the American Physiological Society to attend the recent Experimental Biology conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Art Kellermann, Chair of Emergency Medicine, received the 2007 John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians for his contributions to the work of this organization. Dr. Kellermann is currently on sabbatical as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow and will become the School of Medicine’s Associate Dean for Public Policy upon his return to Emory next fall.

Catherine Maloney is the new Director of the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine for Emory Healthcare. She received her Master of Physical Therapy from Emory University, and also holds a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University. Maloney most recently served as Operations Manager of Rehabilitation Services for Piedmont Hospital, and brings to Emory Healthcare a wealth of administrative knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and managing a broad array of rehabilitation services.

Drs. Harriet Robinson and Rafi Ahmed in the Emory Vaccine Center received the School of Medicine Dean’s 2007 Distinguished Faculty Award, the most prestigious and celebratory honor in the School of Medicine, for their scientific accomplishments in vaccine development and immunology.

Dr. Robert Swerlick was named interim chair of the Department of Dermatology following the appointment of the former chair, Wright Caughman, as Vice President for Clinical and Academic Integration in the WHSC. Dr. Swerlick came to Emory from the NIH in 1988 and currently is Chief of Dermatology at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

Dr. Tanya Turan (Neurology) has received a 2007 Clinical Research Training Fellowship from the American Academy of Neurology.  Her research focuses on hardening and narrowing of arteries in the brain.

Hospitalist Alan Wang is the new Chief Medical Officer at Emory Johns Creek Hospital. A member of the Emory Healthcare hospital medicine unit since 1999, Dr. Wang co-directs the hospitalist program and is a member of the School of Medicine’s clinical faculty. In his new role, he provides medical administrative oversight and consultation regarding care, case management, and medical staff operations at the North Fulton County hospital.

Last month, Dr. Arthur Yancey (attending emergency physician at Grady Hospital) received the Jeff Clawson Leadership Award for 2007, given by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch for, among other things, “courage and determination in the face of adversity” and for inspiring others to have these same qualities. In addition to his role at Grady, Dr. Yancey serves as a key administrative liaison as deputy director for emergency medical services in the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness. He is the son of Dr. Asa Yancey, professor emeritus in the School of Medicine and Medical Director of Grady Hospital for 17 years.


In Memory

Photo of Dr. Ellis Jones Dr. Ellis Jones (Cardiothoracic Surgery) died in February after a long battle with cancer. An alumnus of the Emory School of Medicine (class of 1963), Dr. Jones joined the Emory faculty in 1972 and served for more than 30 years. He was known for the superb care he provided to his patients and for his expertise in training residents. He was also recognized for his scholarly and innovative contributions to his field.





Upcoming Noteworthy Events

  • A celebration showcasing Emory’s biotech innovations will be held May 8, 4:00-7:00 p.m., at the Emory Conference Center. The event will include a panel discussion on translating ideas into products. Some of Emory’s most successful entrepreneurs will chronicle the rise of the technology transfer program here and will share their own experiences in getting products to market. To RSVP, call the Tech Transfer office at 404-727-2211 or email
  • On May 17, the Rollins School of Public Health is co-sponsoring a lecture and book-signing for journalist Jim Defede on The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland. The event takes place in the WHSCAB Auditorium with a lunch at 11:30 a.m., followed by a presentation and book-signing. Register online by May 16 at
  • The Hope Springs Eternal 5K Fun Run supporting clinical trials of AIDS vaccines at the Emory Hope Clinic takes place 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).
  • The annual AIDS Vaccine Ride takes place on May 19-20, 2007 (75- and 100-mile options on both days). Funds raised support research in the Emory Vaccine Center. For more information, visit or call 404-551-4893.


Leadership Thoughts

As we come to the close of the academic year, I think about all of the student lives on this campus that will change as they obtain their various diplomas and move forward.  Some will go on to the next level of education and/or training.  Some will enter the “real world” and transition from students to employees.  Others may elect to take some time away from any commitments and enjoy the time to pause and reflect.  Whatever you choose to do from this point forward, you can take great pride in accomplishing your various fields of study. 

Mr. Robert Woodruff had a favorite saying of “The future is always going to belong to the discontented.”   Mr. Woodruff knew that change is healthy, both to an individual and to an organization.   He was definitely way ahead of the curve when it comes to continuous quality improvement and other programs that promote change as a way to become better.  The Woodruff Health Sciences Center graduates of 2007 are fully prepared to be effective change agents – not only in Atlanta but across this nation and around the globe.  

And with that, I offer full congratulations to all of this year’s graduates of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health.  I am proud of you.


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

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