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Georgia Cancer Coalition announced

The leadership of the School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center represented Emory at the state capitol as Governor Roy Barnes pledged to lead the fight against cancer in Georgia. The Georgia Cancer Coalition, a public-private partnership, will bring together Georgia's leading hospitals, universities, biotech firms, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations to help treat and prevent cancer in Georgians. Governor Barnes will ask the legislature to provide $300 to $400 million from tobacco settlement money to the project over the next five to seven years. These funds, along with donations from foundations, pharmaceutical and biotechnological firms, and corporations, will enable three cancer treatment centers in the state, including one at Grady Hospital, to provide cutting-edge care to Georgians as well as support for major efforts in cancer detection and prevention and clinical and basic cancer research. We in the SOM, and specifically our faculty in the WCI, look forward to working with the governor and playing an active role in this statewide initiative.

Teaching teamwork

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $1.5 million to the Family Practice Residency Program and the Physician Assistant Program in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Working in partnership with Southeast Permanente (Kaiser) in Atlanta and other area universities, our programs will use these funds to develop and implement a new model for providing primary care. The project is funded for three years and will be managed by principal investigator Dr. Lee Jacobs of S.E. Permanente and conducted in Kaiser clinical offices. The goal of the project is to teach physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners to be leaders in clinical practice by using an interprofessional, team-based approach to manage complex conditions and measure improvements in quality outcomes. This partnership will provide an outstanding educational opportunity for our students.

Atlanta VAMC shines

The Department of Veterans Affairs has selected the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a new Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center. The center will be located at both the Atlanta and Birmingham VAMCs. One of only 21 centers across the country, this center of excellence will increase basic knowledge of the aging process, share that knowledge with health care providers and trainees, and improve the overall quality of care for the elderly patient population. This competitive grant was hard won through the diligent efforts of Drs. Joseph Ouslander, Ted Johnson, and David Bower and is quite a distinction for the VAMC.

New department leaders

Dr. Stephen Warren was appointed chairman of the Department of Genetics, effective January 1. Dr. Warren brings outstanding credentials to this position, having been recognized internationally for his research in fragile X syndrome. Locally, he has served on a number of important committees at the SOM and university. Dr. Warren will ably lead this department as it moves into the postgenomics era of biomedical discovery.

Dr. James Zaidan was named acting chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology. He has assumed this role in addition to his part-time position as associate dean for Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Zaidan has provided excellent leadership in his department. A chair search is under way.

Stellar students

Congratulations to the medical students named to the competitive Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society. Students are selected for their academic achievement and personal qualities such as leadership, character, fairness, compassion, integrity, and service. Seniors named are: Eric Austin, Kelly Birdwell, Bridget Dauphin, Dean Joelson, Deepika Mohan, William Muller, Jonathan Murrow, Mamerhi Okor, Leslie Potter, Kimberly Riehle, Tatyana Sklyarevskaya, Janak Talwalkar, and Andrew Wade. Elected as juniors to membership in their senior year were: Jocelyn Chernetz, Amanda Cooper, Sean Halleran, David Huneycutt, Timothy Schaefer, and Brian Taylor. This is a wonderful accolade.

Dedication rewarded

Dr. Charles Moore was awarded the Nickens Faculty Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges for his commitment to academic medicine as the best way to pursue research and clinical practice while serving as a mentor and teacher. The award also honors his work to address the educational, societal, and health care needs of minorities. Congratulations!

Mentoring in action

Dr. Kenneth Walker was nominated by his students to receive the Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award. The nominee embodies positive mentoring skills, compassion and sensitivity, collaborative skills, community service activism, and observance of professional ethics. His students wrote, "More than just a professor . . . he is a mentor who teaches his lessons through his actions." It is indeed an honor to have faculty of this calibre in the SOM, and we offer Dr. Walker our heartiest congratulations.

A boost for telemedicine

Digital cameras and e-mail have linked Emory specialists with physicians and medical students in isolated areas of the world in a simple, effective version of telemedicine. Emory radiologist Srinivasan Mukundan has consulted with physicians and medical students in the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Tbilisi, Georgia, for the past year. He has helped direct about 30 radiology, dermatology, and pathology e-mail referrals to Emory specialists from physicians in the Solomon Islands and British, Swiss, and Dutch medical students studying there. British military surgeon David Vassallo first used digital cameras to confer with specialists in Kosovo in 1997 during the war in Bosnia. Vassallo and our own Dr. Kenneth Walker then developed the Emory telemedicine link. Vassallo reported on the project to SOM deans and presented two digital cameras to Dr. Jonas Shulman for medical students doing fieldwork in developing nations. The cameras will allow the students to consult with Emory physicians back home on difficult cases.

Community service honored

The Providence Learning Center, directed by Dr. Nadine Kaslow in partnership with Providence Missionary Baptist Church, was a runner-up for the inaugural Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration. Given by Georgia State University, the award honors exceptional programs that address critical areas of public need undertaken by a Georgia college or university in partnership with a community group. The Providence Center counsels low-income African-American girls suffering from depression as a result of physical and sexual abuse. The center donated its $2,000 award to the winner, Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table, run by Wesleyan University in Macon, Georgia. The SOM is proud of the outstanding community involvement of our faculty in this and other important programs.

A good samaritan

Dr. John Spitznagel, former chair of Microbiology and Immunology, teamed up with other retired physicians and health care workers in Pickens County, Georgia, to establish a free clinic for those in their community without adequate health care. The Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center provides compassionate and individualized health care and related services in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. The center has achieved nonprofit tax status and is funded through private donations and staffed with volunteer labor. Dr. Spitznagel welcomes your inquiries. For more information, call (706) 579-1226.

Attention writers and artists

The Styloid Process,the SOM student-run literary magazine, welcomes submissions of prose, poetry, and art from students, faculty, and staff. Please send your work to Rachel Burke at as an attachment (Word format preferred). Contact Ms. Burke at the address above with questions and for information on submission procedures for artwork. The deadline for submissions is March 9, 2001.

Thomas J. Lawley, MD

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