Sarah Goodwin

Kathi Ovnic
Holly Korschun
June 16, 1999

The Department of Emergency Medicine is the newest at the Emory University School of Medicine. Arthur Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., has been named department chairman. Emergency medicine formerly was a division within the medical school's Department of Surgery. Dr. Kellermann has served as acting chief of that division since 1995.

"Emergency Medicine at Emory has grown to be one of the nation's top academic programs," says Thomas J. Lawley, M.D., dean, Emory University School of Medicine. "We have an outstanding faculty. Departmental status will permit them to build on their accomplishments and help the School of Medicine achieve its goals for teaching, research and community service."

The change in status is particularly timely in light of the 1998 transformation of the treatment room at Emory University Hospital to a full-service emergency department. Since this has occurred, visits to the Emory Hospital emergency department have increased dramatically. "Developing a full-service emergency department reflects our commitment to the community as well as our regional referrals," says John Henry Sr., chief executive officer of Emory Hospitals.

Emergency medicine's 39 faculty members support one of the nation's oldest and largest training programs in the specialty of emergency medicine. Emory's fully-accredited program trains 48 residents (16 per year for the three-year residency). Many graduates go on to staff hospital emergency departments throughout Georgia. In addition to training their own residents, Emergency Medicine faculty provide 24-hour-a-day supervision to more than 200 residents from other departments of the Emory and Morehouse schools of medicine who rotate through the emergency departments at Grady Memorial Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital.

The department also teaches medical students from both schools, as well as students from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, physician assistants and paramedics. Emory emergency physicians hold key leadership roles in the community, including medical direction of Grady EMS (ambulance) service, which serves downtown Atlanta; Fulton County 911 and the Georgia Poison Center (in conjunction with Emory's Department of Pediatrics). Emory's emergency medicine faculty physicians are outspoken in their support of injury control measures such as use of seatbelts and motorcycle helmets, and preventing domestic violence. They regularly speak to community groups, local and national media, and lobby the Georgia General Assembly and other political bodies for enactment of trauma prevention measures.

"Emergency medicine specialists are highly regarded for their ability to think clearly and act quickly to save lives," Dr. Kellermann says. "We are also big believers in prevention, because we see what happens when prevention fails. The best way to survive a heart attack or a car crash is to not have one in the first place."

Faculty research focuses on the areas of injury control, prehospital cardiac care, health services research, pain management, technology assessment and medical toxicology. Despite a heavy clinical and teaching load, department faculty published 37 papers and 10 book chapters in 1998 alone.

As chair of emergency medicine, Dr. Kellermann will oversee the emergency departments at Emory, Crawford Long and Grady. He also directs the Center for Injury Control at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University. He is best known for his epidemiologic research on prevention of firearm-related injuries and deaths.

Dr. Kellermann's work has been published in many of the nation's leading peer-reviewed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal the American Medical Association, and the American Journal of Public Health. He is a member of the editorial board of Annals of Emergency Medicine, the specialty's leading journal.

In 1996, Dr. Kellermann's work was featured in the U.S. News & World Report cover story "Should You Own a Gun?"After earning a bachelor's of science from Rhodes College, Memphis, Tenn., and an M.D. from Emory, Dr. Kellermann completed his residency training and earned a master's of public health from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is board certified in both internal medicine and emergency medicine.

In 1985, he accepted an appointment as chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and served as medical director of the emergency department at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis and the Memphis Fire Department EMS Bureau. From 1991-93, Dr. Kellermann served on the National Research Council Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior. In 1997, he received the Hal Jayne Academic Excellence Award from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. He is a member of the board of directors of SAFEKIDS of Georgia, and a member of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. He joined the Emory faculty in 1993.