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Fall 2008  
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  What our vision has to do with you
By Fred Sanfilippo

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Whether you are a patient who has visited our hospitals or clinics recently or you are a staff member who walks through our halls everyday, you’ve probably noticed the banners waving across campus. They announce an ambitious and worthy vision—“Transforming Health and Healing … Together.” You may think those words are just a clever slogan with pretty artwork. You may wonder, what does that have to do with me?
     The answer to that question is clearer now, thanks to a recent effort to refresh the goals of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). In short, no matter who you are—patient, neighbor, friend, alumni, partner, faculty, staff, or student—it has everything to do with you.
     Refined after extensive study by a diverse group of faculty, staff, and supporters, the new goals make it crystal clear how each of us can play a role in contributing to the WHSC’s vision.
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Aspiring to be a model academic health center is fueled not just by competitive ambition to be the best, but by an altruistic desire to do the best—because lives depend on it.
  A model for the new century

That role begins with understanding the core philosophy behind our primary goal: For us, being the best means doing the most good. Aspiring to be a model academic health center is fueled not just by competitive ambition to be the best, but by an altruistic desire to do the best—because lives depend on it. Being number one is terrific, but it’s even better when that predominance means we save and improve more lives at home, across the country, and around the world. And showing how this might best be accomplished is a noteworthy goal. Just as Johns Hopkins provided the model for academic medical centers in the 20th century, our goal is to provide the model for academic health centers in the 21st century. We’ve already been working hard toward this goal by striving to develop the appropriate organizational structures to match our desired functions and to facilitate the outstanding programs that distinguish the WHSC among its peers.
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  The highest quality in all we do

Commitment to quality isn’t just about our reputation. It’s about providing superlative cutting-edge and compassionate care to our patients and the people who love them. It’s about offering the most innovative and comprehensive education possible to the country’s brightest medical, nursing, and public health students. And it’s about pioneering the most extraordinary research, resulting in the lifesaving breakthroughs you read about each quarter in this magazine—and from which you or someone you love already may have benefited.

Goals to live by
We will transform health and healing together by being:
1. The 21st-century model for an academic health sciences and services center

2. An international leader in the highest quality patient care, research, education, and public service

3. A collaborative, inspirational environment that attracts and retains talented people.

  The best place to work

Fortunately for us—and for the community and the readers like you whom we serve —the WHSC is filled with outstanding folks who support and embody our goals. As the second largest private employer in Georgia, we strive to make this a good place to work. We want our faculty and staff to be engaged and enthusiastic, not only because they’re the best and brightest and they deserve it, but also because a committed team provides the best service.
     Walk through any WHSC facility, and you’ll see that helping people is our passion. You’ll find that each and every one of our talented team members plays an important part in transforming health and healing. Because our goals are so ambitious, it will take the concerted efforts of our entire WHSC community to achieve them. And it will take the support, awareness, and understanding of those outside these walls too.
     The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has always had the vision, the talent, the brains, and the courage to be extraordinary. Now we also have a crystallized set of goals around which we’re rallying as a community and through which we’ll continue transforming health and healing … together, with you. EH

Fred Sanfilippo is Emory’s executive VP for health affairs, CEO of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and chairman of Emory Healthcare.

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