Good numbers

Emory Healthcare's medical airlift service is the first in Georgia to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems for quality of patient care and safety.

The Ponce de Leon Center is one of three premier HIV clinics in the United States, says the HIV Ambulatory Care Clinical Benchmarking Executive Summary. The center houses the Adult and Pediatric Infectious Disease Clinics of Grady and the Emory School of Medicine. It provides care for about 4,000 patients, including 300 children, 99% of whom are infected with HIV. The center also houses community AIDS-related organizations and services.

Ranking awarded by Info World to the integrated information system developed by the Winship Cancer Institute, bioinformatics pioneer NuTec Sciences, and IBM. The new system will help physicians tailor cancer treatments to a patient's genetic makeup and will be the foundation for developing new genomics-based drugs.

Top 20 actually. The health sciences at Emory did well in recent rankings by US News & World Report, with the School of Medicine ranking 19th in research (up from 20 last year), its physician assistant program tied for third in the nation, biomedical engineering (a joint program with Georgia Tech) ranked sixth, and physical therapy ranked third. The Rollins School of Public Health ranked ninth, up from 11th. Nursing-midwifery at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing ranked seventh, and the nursing master's program moved to 26th overall from 32.

Percentage increase in capacity expected, with the opening of the fifth cardiac catheterization lab at Emory Crawford Long's Carlyle Fraser Heart Center.

Number of biventricular pacemakers implanted by Emory electrophysiologists in patients with congestive heart failure -- more than at any other medical center in the world.





David Ledbetter will oversee clinical activities of Department of Human Genetics.


Combining strengths in genetics

In a move indicative of the new role that genetics is beginning to play in research and treatment throughout the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, the division of medical genetics, previously in pediatrics, has merged with the medical school's Department of Human Genetics. "The first benefit is combining the research strength of our expanding basic science programs with a well-established, highly regarded clinical department," says Steve Warren, human genetics chair. "Second, as we enter the new era of genomic medicine, it's essential that we establish partnerships throughout our basic and clinical departments in order to translate laboratory discoveries in genetics directly into therapeutic advances for patients."

Leading the division of medical genetics is David Ledbetter, a geneticist recruited from the University of Chicago, where he was the the founding chair of the Department of Human Genetics. Before moving to Chicago in 1996, he headed the diagnostic development branch at the National Institute of Human Genome Research. Ledbetter has made seminal discoveries in medical genetics and is particularly successful at translating fundamental bench research into clinically useful diagnostic tests. At Emory, in addition to leading his active basic research laboratory, he oversees the clinical activities of the Department of Human Genetics, including three large clinical diagnostic laboratories.






How experts approach a problem: More than 50 Emory authors contributed to the new edition of Office Practice of Medicine, edited by Emory physician William Branch.


Making the most of an office visit

When Office Practice of Medicine was first published in 1982, it was considered radical in its approach, says editor and Emory physician William Branch. Instead of focusing on the disease process, the text targeted practitioners and the challenges of primary care.

When Branch started the book, there was no text on outpatient medicine. All the medical textbooks until then had focused on diseases mostly from the perspective of hospitalized patients, covering infectious diseases, for example, from the point of view of the different organisms.

"This book deals with problems that are commonly encountered by the physician in practice," Branch says. "For the practicing doctor, what's important is how to diagnose and treat disease in the office setting. We also emphasize preventive care, which is often not emphasized in textbooks."

Some 60,000 copies of the book have sold since it was first published. Now in its fourth edition, Office Practice of Medicine is one of the most inclusive, nationally recognized medical textbooks of its kind. Of its 160 author/contributors, 51 are at Emory.

"The book is designed to explain how the experts approach a problem," said Branch. "If we're looking at a headache, we're trying to find out what a true, world-renowned headache expert does in terms of diagnosing and treating a patient. We're looking for evidence that the average practicing doctor may not know."


Philippe Hills

John Henry, CEO of Emory Hospitals and Wesley Woods Center, retires in August, at which time he will become CEO emeritus and serve as special adviser to Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs. A gifted administrator, he leaves behind a legacy of health-giving programs and structures. His insistence on quality, continuous improvement, and always making the patient come first has helped put Emory's hospitals at the forefront of American medical institutions. For more information, visit this website:

In this issue

From the director / Letters
Burden of proof
Big Idea:
  Regenerative Medicine
Moving forward
On Point:
  Smallpox, big risks?


Kudos and more . . .

Ophthalmologists Allen Beck and Hans Grossnicklaus received achievement awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Peg Bloomquist is now senior director of human resources for Emory Healthcare. This position expands her management responsibilities to include The Emory Clinic and Emory Children's Center, in addition to the hospitals and Wesley Woods.

The problems that young scientists face on the road from postdoc to associate professor are addressed in Academic Scientists at Work by Jeremy Boss, School of Medicine, and Susan Eckert, School of Nursing.

Pediatrician Alfred Brann received the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Faculty in the Department of Biostatistics, Rollins School of Public Health, have been reaping accolades. Donna Brogan received Iowa State University's Distinguished Achievement Citation; John Hanfelt is associate editor of Biometrics; Vicki Hertzberg was elected to membership in the International Statistical Institute; Michael Kutner received the Paul Minton Service Award from the Southern Regional Council on Statistics; and Amita Manatunga is the new associate editor of Statistics in Medicine.

Virgil Brown is president and chair of the board of directors of the National Lipid Association.

The Georgia Nurses Association Researcher of the Year award went to Patricia Clark, School of Nursing, for her efforts to strengthen the ability of families to care for chronically ill older adults.

The Heart Failure Society of America recognized the abstract, "A Family-Focused Intervention is Effective in Reducing Dietary Sodium" as the winner of its annual Nursing Research Award. Authors are Patricia Clark, Christi Deaton, Sandra Dunbar, Marian O'Brien, and Danika Parchment from the School of Nursing; Andrew Smith, director of the Emory Center for Heart Failure Therapy; and Anindye De from the CDC.

James Curran, dean, Rollins School of Public Health, is chair-elect of the National Institutes of Health's Centers for AIDS Research Directors Committee.

Jonathan Flacker is medical director of the new Emma I. Darnell Geriatrics Center at Grady. Designed to provide better comprehensive medical services for elderly patients, the center features expanded space and specialized services for seniors.

Emory Healthcare CEO John Fox and senior marketing director Una Newman have been named to the board of directors of the American Heart Association, Atlanta division.

For a practical and academic review of the status of women in medicine in the United States, turn to physician Erica Frank's Women in Medicine: Career and Life Management, co-authored by Marjorie Bowman and Deborah Allen. Data is included from the Women Physicians' Health Study, of which Frank was the principal investigator. An Italian edition is underway.

Sandra Franklin is the new director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library. Franklin has worked at the library since 1983 and has been acting director since the retirement of her predecessor, Carol Burns.

Howard Frumkin, chair of environmental and occupational health in the Rollins School of Public Health, is a fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini, an occupational medicine society based in Italy that includes 180 international leaders in the field.

Leon Haley, chief of emergency medicine at Grady, was selected in February by Channel 11 television as outstanding professional of the month in honor of black history month.

Surgeon Thomas Heffron received top billing at the Georgia chapter of the American Liver Foundation's inaugural Salute to Excellence Tribute Dinner, where he was honored for his pioneering efforts in transplantation and treatment of liver disease.

Sheryl Heron, emergency medicine, received the third annual Hearts with Hope Award from the Atlanta-based Partnership Against Domestic Violence.

Philippe Hills is now senior associate vice president for health sciences development.

Urologist Muta Issa is the treasurer/secretary of the Atlanta Urological Society for 2003 and the president-elect for 2004.

Emory psychologist Nadine Kaslow has been elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association for 2003. She also serves on the Women's Resource Center Board of Directors, a Decatur-based organization that provides emergency shelter for battered women and children.

Laura Kimble received the 2002 Outstanding Alumnus Award for research from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing.

A lecture series has been named at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in honor of Jeffrey Koplan, vice president for academic health affairs and former director of the CDC.

The Georgia biotechnology industry gave its top honor, the Biomedical Industry Growth Award, to two Emory scientists - Dennis Liotta and Raymond Schinazi - for their contributions to AIDS and cancer research. The pair have been leaders in the discovery and development of life-saving drugs for HIV/AIDS since they established the first HIV laboratory at Emory in the mid 1980s. They guided their drugs, including 3TC (lamivudine, which is part of the drug cocktail used by 80% of patients treated for HIV), through the complex maze of drug development and into the hands of physicians and patients. They currently have their sights set on developing an effective treatment for hepatitis C.

Pediatrician David Lloyd received the 2002 Golden Apple Health Education Award from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Joyce Murray, nursing, is the new director of the Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative at The Carter Center. Murray will continue teaching in the School of Nursing as she divides her time between the school and The Carter Center.

Kathy Parker is not only the first School of Nursing faculty member to speak at the State of the Science Congress, a national conference showcasing the latest developments in nursing science, but she was recently inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the highest honor in the profession. She joins the ranks of eight others from the nursing school in this esteemed group -- Anne Bavier, Elizabeth Capezuti, Sandra Dunbar, Joyce Murray, Marla Salmon, Elizabeth Sharp, and former dean Mary Woody.

Tristram Parslow is the new chair of pathology and laboratory medicine in the School of Medicine.

Richard Rothenberg, family and preventive medicine, received the Thomas Parran Award from the American Sexually Transmitted Disease Association.

Barbara Schroeder, associate dean of fiscal affairs in the School of Medicine, received the Presidential Award from the Georgia Society of Family Physicians for her efforts to protect patients and promote family medicine.

Claire Sterk, chair of behavioral science and health education in the Rollins School of Public Health, was featured as woman of the year in a new magazine called Atlanta Women.

Dale Strasser received the 2002 Edward W. Lowman, MD, Award from the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Postdoctoral fellow Autumn Schumacher is the Hyundai Motor America/American Nurses Foundation Scholar for 2002. The award supports her research on the nonlinear characteristics of ventricular fibrillation.

Viola Vaccarino received the American Heart Association's Established Investigator Award for her research into the mechanism by which depression may cause or contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.

Radiologist Kay Vydareny was one of three people in her field to receive a gold medal for distinguished service from the American Roentgen Ray Society.

Stuart Zola, director of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, has been named a senior research career scientist by the US Department of Veterans Affairs. The seven-year appointment, the highest honor the VA bestows on a PhD scientist, provides continuing support for Zola's memory and amnesia research at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.

Keep your eyes on these stellar faculty members from the health sciences, who were named as Emory's Distinguished Faculty for 20022003, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the list of 27: Laurence Barsalou and Robyn Fivush from psychology; Stanley Berry, Robert Kovac, and Hugh Randall, gynecology-obstetrics: Grant Carlson, Elliot Chaikof, Christian Larsen, Thomas Pearson, and Charles Staley, surgery; Wright Caughman, dermatology; Lamar Fleming, orthopaedics; Xiaoping Hu, biomedical engineering; Clinton Lawrence, pulmonology; Nancy Newman, neurology; Claire Sterk, public health; and Byron Williams, medicine.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle's annual listing of the health care industry's movers and shakers included 12 of Emory's own: Les Beard, CEO, Emory Eastside Medical Center; Alec Beningfield, fourth-year resident, otolaryngology; John Fox, president and CEO, Emory Healthcare; Bill Grist, otolaryngology; John Henry, CEO, Emory Hospitals and Wesley Woods Center; Theresa Jarmuz, chief resident, otolaryngology; Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs; Jeffrey Koplan, vice president for academic health affairs; Elizabeth Mahoney, medicine; Rein Saral, director, The Emory Clinic; Kenneth Thorpe, chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, Rollins School of Public Health; and William Weintraub, cardiologist and director, Emory Center for Outcomes Research.

CORRECTION: Emory Transplant Center Director Christian Larsen has been inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, not the Institute of Medicine as previously reported.

Copyright © Emory University, 2003. All Rights Reserved.
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Web version by Jaime Henriquez.