Health Sciences Update
January 9, 2008
    Report details vital contributions to the community  
In This Issue

Archive of past issues


Fred Sanfilippo

Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD
Did you know that in addition to more than $26 million in unreimbursed care provided by Emory faculty and residents at Grady Hospital last year, Emory Healthcare clinicians provided another $53.6 million in charity care in Emory's own facilities? Or that Emory Healthcare invested $78 million in the teaching and research missions of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC)?

These figures and more, along with a variety of patient stories, are included in the WHSC's 2007 Community Book. We recently sent this book to legislators, government agencies, local business leaders, and health care organizations throughout the country. We also want to make sure that you have the details outlined in this book because it illustrates how you are helping those who need help the most—throughout the city, state, region, and nation and even beyond our borders.

Emory clinicians served patients from pediatric to geriatric and provided thousands of veterans access to cutting-edge clinical trials at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. WHSC faculty, staff, and administrators led a wide range of projects—creating jobs for the disabled, helping high-schoolers get interested in science careers, reducing the threat of TB and AIDS in Zambia, and increasing childbirth survival for mothers and newborns in Ethiopia, to name a few. Moreover, the WHSC had an estimated impact of $4.7 billion on the local economy, which helped make Emory University the largest private employer in Atlanta.

We share these figures with you because they are a tremendous source of inspiration and pride. We also hope you will share them with others so that they can appreciate the breadth and depth of our contributions to the community. Thank you for all you do.


Kenneth Brigham
Ken Brigham, MD

Daniel Sedmak
OSU's Daniel
Sedmak, MD


Emory and Ohio State launch partnership

Emory and Ohio State universities recently formed the Alliance for Predictive and Personalized Health, a partnership aimed at transforming health care into a more patient-centered system that uses new knowledge and tools in areas like genomics, molecular biology, and information technology to customize disease prevention and treatment to the needs of individuals.

The partnership builds on programs already in existence at both institutions. The Emory/Georgia Predictive Health Institute is directed by Kenneth Brigham, MD, (see web site) and combines a research core investigating new genetic and protein biomarkers with a Center for Health Discovery and Well-Being—a clinical testing ground and translational research center for predictors of health, disease risk, and prognosis. Ohio State's Center for Personalized Health Care, directed by Daniel Sedmak, MD, (see web site) joins programs in biomedical informatics, genomics, biomarker science, imaging, clinical trials, employee health/managed care, and clinical application and incorporates personalized health care practices into its university health plans.

The new Emory/OSU partnership will focus on genomics and biomarker science, clinical trials, biomedical informatics and information technology, technology transfer and research management, environmental risks and health maintenance, behavioral science, and legal, ethical, and health policy. Read press release.


Sheryl Gabram-Mendola
GCC scholar Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA


Seven Emory scientists named as GCC scholars

Seven of the 29 scientists named as 2008 Georgia Cancer Coalition scholars are from Emory. Chosen because they are engaged in the most promising areas of cancer research, these seven newest scholars will receive $700,000 annually or $3.5 million over five years. Their research ranges from pancreatic, prostate, and brain cancer to disparities in care, growth factor signals, and survival of childhood cancer. For a list of the 2008 Emory awardees and a description of their research, read press release.

Since its creation in 2001, the GCC has named 133 scholars, including 47 from Emory. For a complete list of all scholars named in 2001, please see web site. For more information about the GCC, see


Usha Ramakrishnan
WLA fellow Usha Ramakrishnan, PhD


Woodruff Leadership Academy fellows named for 2008

The 2008 class of the Woodruff Leadership Academy (WLA) begins its semester-long curriculum this month, which will cover topics ranging from finances and strategic planning to marketing and negotiation, presented by leaders both within and outside Emory. In addition to monthly classroom sessions, the program includes off-site team projects addressing current issues and goals within the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Currently in its sixth year, WLA was created to develop and support new leadership within the WHSC. As in past classes, this year's 26 fellows represent academic units throughout the WHSC and Emory Healthcare. For a list of their names and titles, please see web site.


Major honors and appointments

(For a more complete list, please see Honors and Awards online.)

Sagar Lonial
Sagar Lonial, MD

• Emory named Multiple Myeloma Center of the Year

The Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC) awarded Emory and Winship Cancer Institute's Sagar Lonial, MD, with the MMRC Center of the Year Award, based on the number of myeloma clinical trials launched at Emory and the number of patients enrolled. Under Lonial's leadership, Emory has opened eight such trials to date. In addition, a phase 1 trial of a new drug highlighted on the cover of the January 1 issue of Cancer Research begins this year. Founded by a myeloma patient, the MMRC brings together 13 academic insitutions to speed development of new drugs and other treatments for this disease. For more information, see press release.

Carl D'Orsi
Carl D'Orsi, MD

• Breast imaging earns quality designation

The American College of Radiology's Commission on Quality and Safety designated Breast Imaging at Emory as a Center of Excellence, in recognition's of the center's accreditation in mammography, stereotactic biopsy, ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided biopsy. The center participates in the review process to ensure that it meets nationally accepted standards established by the ACR. The center is also involved in testing new imaging tools, such as stereo mammography. In findings presented last month at the Radiological Society of North America, this tool reduced false-positive findings by 49% compared with standard digital mammography, and reduced missed lesions by 40%, according to Carl D'Orsi, MD, who directs breast imaging at Emory. For additional information, read more online.

David Stephens
David Stephens, MD

• Stephens named WHSC research vp

David Stephens, MD, has been named vice president for research in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, a newly established position in which he will oversee the WHSC research enterprise and focus on growth of multidisciplinary research across the health sciences and Emory. He will also work to enhance international collaborations in research, intellectual property and technology transfer, infrastructure and systems support, and research training and career development, among other initiatives. Stephens was previously executive associate dean for research in the medical school. This new position is a critical part of the strategy to achieve the WHSC vision of transforming health and healing. Read more online about this position and Stephens' research and past accomplishments.

William Bornstein
William Bornstein, MD, PhD

• Bornstein named to health care accreditation group

William Bornstein, MD, PhD, has been named vice chair of the Professional and Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC) of the Joint Commission Hospital Accreditation Program. PTAC members advise and assist in development of new and revised standards and recommend improvements to the accreditation program. Bornstein also chairs the Clinical Evaluative Sciences Council steering committee of the University Health System Consortium. Under his leadership, Emory Healthcare has been recognized with quality and patient safety awards from the Georgia Partnership for Health and Accountability every year from 2002 through 2007. For more information about quality initiatives within Emory Healthcare, read online magazine article.

Emory Health Sciences magazine    

Watch for inaugural issue of Emory Health Sciences magazine

The inaugural issue of Emory Health Sciences magazine is arriving on campus and in your e-mail boxes this week. A retooling of Momentum magazine, this new publication will share the the center's news, research, and clinical care with an expanded external audience, including patients and referring physicians as well as health care leadership across the country. To read about crisis and disaster planning at Emory, heroic work by the trauma team at Grady, the first mock biosafety laboratory training facility in the country, and more, see web site. Or pick up a print version of the magazine soon in locations around campus, including the Woodruff Library, the Health Sciences Library, clinic waiting rooms, WHSCAB, the Administration Building, and the schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing. If you are unable to find a copy, contact Carol Pinto at or 404-727-3324.

Susan Grant
Susan Grant, MS, RN

Emory to co-host seminar for patient-centered care

Together with the Institute of Family-Centered Care, Emory Healthcare and the School of Medicine are co-hosting a training seminar, "Hospitals Moving Forward with Patient- and Family-Centered Care," to be held March 3-6 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. The 3.5-day seminar for administrators, physicians, nurses, and other clinical staff will offer 60 sessions addressing patient- and family-centered concepts in quality improvement, risk management, patient safety, HIPAA compliance, strategic planning, and patient- and family-centered measurement, and other areas. Susan Grant, MS, RN, chief nursing officer for Emory Healthcare, is among the seminar faculty, whose members represent a wide range of expertise. Continuing education credit is available for nurses, social workers, and physicians. For more information or to register, visit the web site.