Gold W


photo Dr. Johns

August 2007

Table of Contents:

  • A Great 11 Years
  • Clinic Breaks Ground for New Building
  • Nursing Awarded Grant for Quality and Safety
  • Winship Receives Grants from NCI and Avon Foundation
  • NIH Awards Yerkes $600,000 Nonhuman Primate Clinical Medicine Residency Program Training Grant for Veterinarians
  • Save the Date
  • Folkman to Give Keynote at Winship Symposium
  • Atlanta Described as "Template" for Improving Emergency Medical Systems
  • Visit Website for Updates on Grady
  • Center for Health Discovery and Well Being is Now Open
  • Learn How Standardized "Recipes" are Saving Lives
  • Three New Chairs Named in Medical School Departments
  • Residency Program and Clinic Move Locations
  • This Team is Made for Walking
  • Ophthalmology Better Than Reported!
  • Help Celebrate the Opening
  • Please Mark October 1 on Your Calendar
  • Honors and Appointments
  • On a Sad Note
  • A Great 11 Years

    When I think about the past eleven-plus years here at the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, it is hard not to wonder at how hard we have worked, how far we have come, and how much fun we have had getting to where we are today.  From day one, our common goal was to take-on the challenges and risks of leadership in a very unsettled health care environment.  As one who is inclined to constantly drive forward, I find that spending too much time looking in the rearview mirror can be distracting, if not dangerous!  But if we do think back to the many challenges we faced and the many opportunities we created and seized, I think we can be pleased with what we have accomplished together.

    Highlights include major growth and reshaping of our research enterprise, the development of enhanced curricula for each of our health professions schools, the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty, the establishment of the Woodruff Leadership Academy to develop our leaders of the future, the creation of Emory Healthcare and the consolidation and realignment of our extensive clinical enterprise within it, and the most extensive facilities improvement plan in Emory history, including new buildings and facilities for biomedical research, new homes for both the schools of Nursing and Medicine, a new vaccine center, a new comprehensive cancer center, a new pediatrics center, and the complete reconfiguration and rebuilding of our midtown Crawford Long Hospital campus.  On this foundation and looking forward, we have identified Centers of Excellence around which we will be developing new models of integrated care and predictive health. We have broken ground on the new Emory Clinic, and will soon have in place a new addition to the Rollins School of Public Health, a new research building for our Yerkes National Primate Research Center, a new vaccine research building and a new Neurosciences building.  We have plans for significant development of space and resources at our midtown campus. All of this and much more is part of implementing a broad-based agenda for transforming health and healing for the 21st Century.

    Growth and accomplishment on this scale is not something that institutions of the size and scope of the WHSC often even aspire to, let alone achieve.  Yet we have done so because, above all else, we have built a culture of excellence, collaboration, and trust that enables us to take on the risks and responsibilities of leadership. I believe that the WHSC has become one of the most exciting health sciences centers in the nation, if not the world.  We have embraced the challenges of leading in "Making People Healthy,” making us, as Jim Wagner points out, a destination and catalyst for the types of faculty, students and staff who are willing and able to contribute at this level.

    And speaking of such outstanding individuals, I am extremely pleased to welcome Fred Sanfilippo to the WHSC.  Fred is a bold and creative leader who understands the trajectory of health care and the opportunities we have here at Emory and the WHSC to make a difference for our students, our patients and our world. I know that, with Fred’s leadership, you will take our critical goals and missions to even greater heights of accomplishment and service.

    As I make the transition to the role of Chancellor of the university, I believe that we are on an amazing journey here at Emory: poised to set a new standard for what a major research university can be — and for the types of people we can send out into the world to help make it healthier, better, and more caring.  Keep up the momentum and together we will continue to drive change and chart the course of leadership!

    Clinic Breaks Ground for New Building

    Image of Clinic GroundbreakingA groundbreaking ceremony last month marked the beginning of what will eventually be a new $365 million, 470,000 square-foot, five-story Emory Clinic facility slated to open on Clifton Road in 2012. Construction of the building will begin after work is completed to prepare the building site, which is next to the current Emory Clinic complex. Plans call for the new facility to do its part in creating the “ideal patient experience,” from patient and family parking, arrival, and check-in, to examination, treatment, and discharge.

    A gift of $240 million from the Woodruff Foundation will be used toward construction of the new Clinic. After the new building opens, the existing Clinic-B building will be converted primarily into translational research space, with renovated ophthalmology and Transplant Center space. In addition, plans call for construction of a second $160 million Clinic facility, also with related research space, at Emory’s midtown campus.

    The new Clinic on Clifton Road will capitalize on flexibility, use of emerging technology to support care in remote sites, and space that will allow Emory to pursue teaching and research within the clinical environment. I want to thank the many dedicated people at Emory who are investing tremendous time and energy in the process of making this facility revolutionize the patient experience and serve as the future model for all clinics and hospitals at Emory.

    Nursing Awarded Grant for Quality and Safety

    Image of Lewis The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing received a pilot grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) to create and implement a quality and safety curriculum to serve as a model for other nursing schools across the country. The school was one of only 15 nursing schools around the nation chosen for this initiative. The QSEN program is aimed at revolutionizing changes in nursing education in the more than 700 U.S. collegiate schools of nursing. The award will help nursing faculty build stronger links between classroom and real-world learning and will give them added resources to provide advanced quality and safety training. Marsha Lewis, PhD, (above left), Associate Dean for Education in Nursing, is the project leader.


    Winship Receives Grants from NCI and Avon Foundation

    Photo of Shin The Winship Cancer Institute has received a $12.5 million “Specialized Program of Research Excellence” (SPORE) grant in head and neck cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the first such grant ever received in the state of Georgia. SPORE grants are large, multidisciplinary grants funding research aimed at bringing new lab findings quickly to the clinic.

    Head and neck cancers generally have poor five-year survival rates after diagnosis and treatment, and southeastern states rank among the highest in the nation in incidence of these cancers. Because of the large number of aging smokers and ex-smokers in the U.S. population, the incidence of aerodigestive cancers, including lung and head and neck cancers, is expected to remain high over the next two to three decades, according to Dong Shin, MD, (above left). Dr. Shin is principal investigator of the grant and whose grant proposal received the highest score out of seven applicants. This SPORE grant follows on the heels of a $7.9 million federal grant last year for lung cancer research.

    Research projects sponsored by the SPORE grant include development of analogs of curcumin (found in turmeric) to induce cell death in cancer cells and use of biodegradable nanoparticles to deliver taxol for chemotherapy.

    Winship also received $1 million from the Avon Foundation for the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center (AFCBC) at Grady Hospital. Supported by Avon since 2000, the AFCBC expands breast health care for medically underserved women in the metro area, including community education and outreach. Foundation funding has helped the AFCBC address access-to-care issues for patients and expand the Avon Tumor Bank, which provides tissue specimens for clinical testing of new technologies such as DNA microarrays.

    NIH Awards Yerkes $600,000 Nonhuman Primate Clinical Medicine Residency Program Training Grant for Veterinarians

    The National Institutes of Health has awarded the Yerkes National Primate Research Center approximately $600,000 for a four-year Nonhuman Primate Clinical Medicine Residency Program Training Grant for veterinarians. For each of the past seven years, Yerkes has worked in partnership with Emory’s Division of Animal Resources (DAR) to offer two veterinarians a two-year residency training program. With the additional funding, the Yerkes Research Center and DAR will expand the program to three years. The first year will continue to focus on multi-species lab animal training. The second and third years will focus on highly specialized training opportunities in nonhuman primate veterinary medicine, resource management and research support.

    Results from the two-year program show 94 percent of graduates entered the laboratory animal field, yet only 20 percent chose to work with nonhuman primates. As research using nonhuman primates continues to become more sophisticated and technology-based, the nationwide shortage of veterinarians with specialty training in nonhuman primates becomes of even greater concern. The new three-year program will allow Yerkes and DAR to more comprehensively train and better retain top tier veterinarians in the field while also helping ameliorate the current national shortage of primate veterinarians in biomedical research facilities.

    Save the Date

    The Yerkes National Primate Research Center and the Emory Vaccine Center are sponsoring a one-day vaccine science conference on October 5. Titled “Bridging Immunology, Neuroscience and Imaging: New Strategies for Developing Vaccines for Infectious and Noninfectious Diseases,” the conference will bring together vaccine researchers, neuroscientists and imaging technology scientists for the first time. Topics include Alzheimer’s disease immunotherapy, diabetes, fMRI, inflammatory diseases/multiple sclerosis, oncology, PIB and prion diseases. The goal is to develop baseline strategies by which the development of vaccines for infectious and noninfectious diseases can be linked to assessments of cognitive functions and to imaging technologies. For more information, contact Lisa Newbern, Yerkes Public Affairs, 404-727-7709, or

    Folkman to Give Keynote at Winship Symposium

    Judah Folkman, MD, Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Harvard, Director of Vascular Biology at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and founder of the research field of angiogenesis (new blood vessel development), will present the keynote address on this topic at Winship Cancer Institute’s fifth annual scientific research symposium on October 25. Based on the idea that tumors cannot survive if starved of a blood supply, this field of study has yielded a whole new category of treatment not just for cancer but for other diseases as well, including macular degeneration.

    The one-day event begins in Winship’s fifth-floor auditorium at 7:30 a.m. and concludes with a poster session and reception at 5:00 p.m. in the Cox Hall auditorium. Other speakers include Jeremy Rich (Duke), Thomas Roberts (Dana Farber), JoAnn Sweasy (Yale), Robert Silverman (Lerner Research Institute), Robert Ferris (University of Pittsburgh), and Michael Goodman, Edmund Waller, and Dipali Sharma from Emory.

    To register for the free symposium  (deadline October 10), visit Potential poster presenters (deadline September 15), should visit

    Atlanta Described as "Template" for Improving Emergency Medical Systems

    Emory received praise in recent coverage in USA Today describing Atlanta as a role model for other cities to improve their emergency medical systems. One article on August 20 credited the city for saving more residents who collapse of sudden cardiac arrest thanks to Mayor Shirley Franklin’s mandate that all city employees be trained in CPR as well as a program created by Emory University and the CDC. The article stated, “Since September 2005, the survival rate for such patients in Atlanta has jumped from less than 3% to 15%. . .well above the 6% to 10% survival rate for most cities. . . .” The program alluded to is the Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival (CARES), a five-year, $1.5 million CDC project launched three years ago.

    To read the newspaper articles, see and To read more about CARES, visit Momentum magazine at

    Visit Website for Updates on Grady

    To keep up with both the print and broadcast coverage of issues pertaining to Grady Hospital, please visit this website, which aggregates columns, news articles, op-ed pieces, news releases, and Emory responses to news articles:

    Center for Health Discovery and Well Being is Now Open

    Emory’s strategic initiatives in predictive health took a big step forward last month with the opening of the Center for Health Discovery and Well-Being (CHDWB) in 5,000 square feet of space on the 18th floor of the medical office tower at the Emory Crawford Long midtown campus — space with luminous glass panels offering breathtaking views of Atlanta. The CHDWB will enroll healthy “participants” (not patients), with the goal of helping them stay healthy. Initially, enrollment in CHDWB programs will be open exclusively to Emory and Georgia Tech employees but eventually will expand to include the general public.

    Center staff will collect medical and lifestyle histories along with results of up to 50 blood and plasma tests, including measures of inflammation, immune and metabolic health, and DNA analyses. Each participant will receive a personalized health program designed to address individual risks. Participants also will serve as research partners, participating in clinical trials that test predictive models and new interventions.

    Congratulations to CHDWB director Ken Brigham, administrative director Lynn Cunningham, and their team for this initial milestone in putting predictive health into actual practice. For more information on predictive health at Emory, see

    Learn How Standardized "Recipes" are Saving Lives

    Photo of Momentum magazine


    Want to read about how new quality and safety initiatives at Emory Healthcare will affect you? Or about the up-and-coming field of glycomics? These and other stories are included in the latest issue of Momentum magazine, which can be found at

    In addition to text, this online version of Momentum includes MP3 and video web “Xtras” at, including interviews with Dr. William Bornstein at and readings from Dr. Ken Brigham’s book, Hard Bargain: Life Lessons from Prostate Cancer at

    Three New Chairs Named in Medical School Departments

    Photo of BurkeDavid Burke, MD, is the new chair of Rehabilitation Medicine. He comes to Emory from Harvard Medical School, where he has directed the clinical unit for traumatic brain injury at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital since 1997. He is one of the founding faculty members of the physical medicine and rehabilitation department at Harvard and has directed the residency program in that specialty there since 1996. He is founder and editor-in-chief of Rehab in Review and president of the New England Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. An expert in martial arts, he has served as a consultant to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and developed a self-defense course for airline personnel that has been implemented throughout the industry. He received his MD in 1990 from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed his residency in physical medicine at LSU Medical Center in New Orleans.

    Photo of HeilpernKatherine (Kate) Heilpern, MD, has been named chair of Emergency Medicine after having served as interim chair for the past year. An Emory medical alumna (1987), she returned to Emory to join the faculty in 1996 and has served as Assistant Dean of Medical Education and Student Affairs and as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in Emergency Medicine. She is president-elect of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and serves on the Institute of Medicine Board on Military and Veterans Health. She has been a site investigator since 1995 for the CDC’s EmergeIDNet sentinel surveillance project on emerging infectious diseases. Regionally, she serves on the Georgia Pandemic Influenza Planning Task Force and the board of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians.

    Dr. Heilpern has received the Faculty Teaching Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians in addition to the Dean’s Teaching Award at Emory. She is a co-principal investigator with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing on a federal training grant that teaches didactic and procedural skills in emergency care to master’s level nurse practitioners. She is also a 2004 Fellow of the Woodruff Leadership Academy.

    Photo of OlsenTimothy Olsen, MD, has been appointed chair of Ophthalmology and director of the Emory Eye Center, effective January 1. He will also hold the F. Phinizy Calhoun Sr. Chair. He is coming from the University of Minnesota, where he holds the Knobloch Retina Chair and is director of Retina as well as director of the Minnesota Lions Macular Degeneration Center, which he helped establish in 1998. He is principal investigator on both clinical and basic studies and has grants totaling $3 million.

    Dr. Olsen has worked closely with PhD colleagues at both Minnesota and at Emory (he is a former Emory vitreoretinal fellow), and his research focuses largely on aging-related macular degeneration (AMD), including proteomics of AMD and development of surgical instruments and methods for translocating damaged tissue in advanced cases of AMD. He co-holds two patents for surgical technologies. He also holds a patent, along with Emory researcher Jeffrey Boatright and others, on use of bile acids for treatment of retinal degeneration.

    Dr. Olsen received his MD from University of Kansas. In addition to his research and clinical work, he has received six teaching awards from four universities.

    Residency Program and Clinic Move Locations

    This summer, the family medicine clinic at South DeKalb moved its residency training program to The Emory Clinic’s Dunwoody location, which is now able to accommodate as many as 96 patient visits per day, a 200% increase in capacity. In connection with this move, the Department of Medicine’s primary care division opened a new facility to serve the South DeKalb community, located in Trinity Office Park on Flat Shoals Parkway. This new location has a state-of-the-art patient care environment that includes EeMR (Emory Electronic Medical Record) and a new clinical lab operated by Emory Medical Labs.

    This Team is Made for Walking

    Emory is once again participating in the annual American Heart Association Heart Walk, which will take place this year on Saturday, November 3, at Piedmont Park (gates open at 8:00 a.m., opening ceremonies start at 8:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 9 a.m.). All employees and their family and friends are invited. To sign up and receive your Emory t-shirt (slogan by Karen McClellan in educational information and media services), please visit and click on "Join team.” If you have questions, please contact Sheryl Marbach at or 404-778-7311.

    Ophthalmology Better Than Reported!

    In the most recent rankings of hospital specialties from U.S. News & World Report in last month’s Momentum Update, Ophthalmology’s rank was listed erroneously as 16th. It is actually 11th in the nation. Congratulations to Ophthalmology and to the other specialties ranked (

    Help Celebrate the Opening

    A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the beautiful new School of Medicine building will be held on October 15 at 2:00 p.m. in the building courtyard, followed by a reception. For building stats, photos, and information about the new state-of-the-art curriculum that this building supports, please visit

    Please Mark October 1 on Your Calendar

    Incoming Woodruff Health Sciences Center CEO Dr. Fred Sanfilippo will give his inaugural address on October 1 in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration Building Auditorium at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception on the Plaza level. This will be Dr. Sanfilippo’s first official day on the job. Please plan to attend to hear his remarks and welcome him to Emory. For faculty at Grady and Emory Crawford Long, this event will be simulcast to Room 101 in the Faculty Office Building at Grady and to the auditorium in the Glenn building at the Emory Crawford Long midtown campus.

    Honors and Appointments

    • Emory pathologist Ken Bernstein, MD, will be the sole recipient of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) 2007 Basic Research Prize later this year. This accolade will recognize his “outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science.”  This is not the first time the AHA has recognized Dr. Bernstein – he was the co-recipient of the 2005 Novartis Prize for his research in the field of hypertension. Both honors recognize his landmark research achievements that have benefited millions of people worldwide. Dr. Bernstein is only the fourth person to earn both elite awards from the AHA. The other three are all National Academy members and one was a previous Nobel Prize winner.
    • Neurosurgeon Nicholas Boulis received an Early Career Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), one of 20 awardees across the country who will receive $375,000 over five years. He is working to create new methods of manipulating neural activity by developing viral vectors to deliver genes directly to neurons in the brain or spinal cord to treat pain, spasticity, epilepsy, and movement disorders. Control of neuronal overactivity through gene delivery in such disorders could eliminate the need for implanted devices, which are vulnerable to malfunction and infection. The award is the result of HHMI’s investment in a cadre of physicians who demonstrated an early interest in research by taking time off from medical school to spend a year or more in the lab.
    • Frank Brown, MD, has been named Chief Quality Officer at Wesley Woods. A fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, Dr. Brown joined the Emory faculty in 1989 and has served as Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer at Wesley Woods Hospital since 1997.
    • Emergency Medicine faculty member Tim Davis, MD, MPH, has been named acting Chief Medical Officer for the National Disaster Medical Service. Dr. Davis is former Medical Director of the Grady Emergency Care Center and former fellow in the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and recently has been involved in dealing with bomb and blast injuries worldwide.
    • Mark Goodman, PhD, received the Department of Radiology’s Endowed Chair in Imaging Science, which is focused on development and evaluation of nuclear imaging probes used in diagnosis and management of cancer and psychiatric, neurologic, and heart disorders. Dr. Goodman directs Emory’s PET imaging center.

    On a Sad Note

    Image of Dr. PerdueWe are all saddened by the news that Dr. Garland Perdue recently passed away at Emory University Hospital. Many of you remember Dr. Perdue and his many accomplishments at Emory.

    For those who may not know, Dr. Perdue was a 1952 graduate of the Emory School of Medicine (and a 1948 Emory College graduate), and served as Director of The Emory Clinic, as Associate Dean for Clinical Services, as Medical Director of Emory University Hospital, and as the Executive Director of the Emory University System of Health Care.

    Among his many accomplishments as a surgeon, Dr. Perdue performed Georgia's first kidney transplant in 1966.  He established Emory’s first vascular surgery training program – which was the first such program in the United States to receive accreditation.  He also developed the first stroke prevention program at Emory. For his 40 years of service as a faculty member in the Department of Surgery, he received the Medical Alumni Association's highest recognition, the Award of Honor, in 1993.

    You will likely read many accounts of Dr. Perdue’s splendid career at Emory in the coming days and weeks. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to this gifted surgeon and extraordinary leader. Our condolences are with his family.


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

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