Emory Medicine, Children's Healthcare Enhance Collaboration
ATLANTA -- Emory University School of Medicine and Children’s Healthcare
of Atlanta are taking major steps - moving forward on a new Emory pediatrics
building and creation of a new joint leadership structure -- to further
enhance the institutions’ 46-year partnership and shared mission. The
steps also are intended to strengthen the three-way collaboration between
Emory, Children’s, and the community physicians who are part of Children’s
Healthcare of Atlanta.
Earlier this week, on Wednesday,
December 11, the Woodruff Health Sciences Board - those trustees responsible
for Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center - gave the School
of Medicine the go-ahead to begin design of a new $40 million pediatric
building to be located on Ridgewood Drive, behind Children’s at Egleston
and across from the Emory pediatric clinics. The Trustees will review
plans at their next meeting in March. With much of the funding in place
or committed, and a strategic fundraising plan in place to complete
funding, Emory is moving aggressively to have the building completed
and occupied by July 2004.
A new floor of clinical space
will make room for an improvement project planned for Children’s at
Egleston. It also will help support targeted program growth and improve
care and access to cutting edge clinical research programs for patients
referred by community physicians. Four new floors of research space
will expand the search for new treatments and the reputation of the
Emory/Children’s partnership. The building also will allow Emory pediatric
faculty to move out of the temporary buildings behind Children’s at
Egleston, housing all Emory pediatricians practicing at Children’s at
Egleston in the same space for the first time in decades.
The second step, effective
next July, involves the creation of a new joint leadership position,
combining the Chair of Pediatrics position in Emory School of Medicine
with the position of Medical Director at Children’s at Egleston. The
new position also encompasses two other pediatric leadership positions
at Emory: President and CEO of Emory Children’s Center, the pediatric
faculty practice of the School of Medicine, and President of the Emory
Egleston Children’s Research Center. The new combined chair/medical
director position will report jointly to Dr. Thomas Lawley, Dean of
the Emory School of Medicine, and to Dr. Jay Berkelhamer, Children’s
Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs. Recruitment will be done jointly
by both institutions.
Dr. J. Devn Cornish, Chair
(or, earlier Acting Chair) of the Department of Pediatrics since December
1994 has declined to be a candidate for the new position. He will step
down as Chairman, President and CEO of the Emory Children’s Center,
and President of the Emory Egleston Children’s Research Center, effective
July 1. Dr. Cornish plans to begin a one-year sabbatical to complete
a Masters of Public Health in international child health at the Rollins
School of Public Health before returning to the Emory School of Medicine
as professor of pediatrics (neonatology) and pursuing his long-standing
interest in health improvement for children in underdeveloped countries.
No changes in the medical
leaders at Children’s at Egleston or Children’s at Scottish Rite are
expected. At Children’s at Egleston, Corrine Taylor, MD, will remain
as Director of Medical Affairs, reporting to the new medical director.
At Children’s at Scottish Rite, Dr. David Hall, currently Director of
Medical Affairs at Scottish Rite, will become Medical Director to reflect
the parallel leadership functions at the two CHOA hospitals. He will
report directly to Dr. Berkelhamer.
The objective of the new
position, say Dean Lawley and Dr. Berkelhamer, is to establish a single
leader with authority and responsibility in both institutions, to help
Emory and Children’s better align their work and resources, such as
teaching programs, clinical research, facilities and high tech equipment.
The new medical director/chair of pediatrics also will be charged with
representing both Emory and Children’s to the community. It will be
his or her job to build bridges between community pediatricians and
the academic resources of Emory as well as the clinical resources of
Dean Lawley said, "We believe
this new joint position better reflects the strong collaboration between
Emory and Children’s. Both institutions are deeply committed to making
that relationship even stronger and to using this joint leadership
position to help us leverage the combined strengths of Children’s, Emory,
and the community physicians. The future of our success depends on all
three groups working well together."
Dr. Berkelhamer says, "We
are working to bring Children’s to national preeminence, and we know
that depends both on providing the finest clinical care and on the cutting
edge work made possible through shared access to high-tech equipment
and facilities and cutting edge clinical research programs. We believe
all of us - Emory, Children’s, and the community physicians - will
benefit from an even stronger interface. We certainly know our patients
Dean Lawley adds that "Dr.
Cornish has been an excellent leader and has contributed greatly to
the success of the Department of Pediatrics."
Dr. Cornish’s decision to
spend his sabbatical in becoming more involved with international child
health comes as no surprise to those who know his life. Fluent in Spanish,
Dr. Cornish spent two years as a missionary in Guatemala and El Salvador
before entering Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s accelerated
program to earn both a bachelor’s and medical degree.. He remains active
in church and other charitable and service activities.
Dr. Cornish completed his
residency training in pediatrics at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. While
receiving fellowship training in neonatal-perinatal medicine at Wilford
Hall United States Air Force Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, he
established one of the early extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
centers to help newborns with life-threatening breathing problems. At
the completion of his military service, he joined the University of
California, San Diego to establish a combined ECMO program between UCSD
and the Children’s Hospital of San Diego.
Through his continuing research,
he quickly became one of the nation’s leading authorities on ECMO and
in 1990 was recruited to Emory University to start the successful Egleston
Children’s ECMO Center. His research has focused on the physiology of
extracorporeal (outside of the body) blood circulation, and he lectures
internationally on advanced life support technologies for newborns.
He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for
Pediatric Research, the Southern Society for Pediatric Research, and
numerous other organizations.