June 17, 2008

Fred Sanfilippo
Fred Sanfilippo,

Health sciences program and facilities plan will help WHSC achieve vision and goals

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot in the past week about the Woodruff Health Sciences Center’s (WHSC) exciting new program and facilities plan for our Druid Hills and Midtown campuses, and perhaps you’ve already seen a news release and maps. I’d also like to share what we hope this plan means for you as a valued WHSC employee, as well as for our health system and for the people we serve.

The Health Sciences Program and Facilities plan--including the recent groundbreakings for the Rollins School of Public Health’s new building and a new field station for the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as the approval of an addition to the main Yerkes campus--may appear to be about replacing existing facilities and building new ones, but it’s really about helping us achieve our vision and goals. This plan is an important part of positioning WHSC as the 21st century model of an academic health sciences and services center. As you may know, many academic health centers nationwide share a similar vision to ours--transforming health and healing. But we bring something special to the table--our unique ability to successfully align our efforts across missions, disciplines, professions, and organizations. This plan will enhance that inherent strength and leverage it to foster even greater alignment among our own units and to nurture mutually beneficial collaborative relationships with a host of community partners, allowing us to work toward transforming health and healing . . . together.

The plan also helps us maintain our status as an international leader in the highest quality patient care, research, education, and public service. Our updated facilities will improve outcomes, safety, and service for the patients we serve throughout Atlanta and the state; they will ensure that we have ample space in multiple locations in which we can conduct cutting-edge research and translate its application from the laboratory to the community; they will enhance the effectiveness of our many education programs that attract students from around the world; and they will allow us to better serve society locally, regionally, and globally. Our new program and facilities plans are also being specifically designed to be sure that this is a great place to work--an inspirational environment that attracts and retains talented people like you.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to gratefully acknowledge the remarkable work of the WHSC team who made this opportunity a reality for all of us. Project sponsors Wright Caughman, John Fox, and David Stephens; Shari Capers and her outstanding strategic planning team; Charlie Andrews and his excellent facilities group; and hundreds of other WHSC and Emory faculty and staff members who brought their acumen, talent, and passion to this effort. We are all grateful for the energy and commitment so many have provided to bring us to this point in the program and facilities plan, and we look forward to your ongoing input to achieve its success. Together, we are poised to make an extraordinary difference in transforming health and healing.

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