Emory University Names First Rosalynn Carter Chair in Mental Health
Benjamin G. Druss, MD, MPH, will become the first Rosalynn Carter Chair
in Mental Health at Emory Universityís Rollins School of Public Health,
effective December 31st, 2002. He joins Emory from Yale University,
where he is an associate professor in the Departments of Psychiatry
and Public Health and the director of Mental Health Policy Studies.
Dr. Druss will serve as an
associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management
in the Rollins School of Public Health. The endowed chair is the first
joint appointment between the Rollins School of Public Health and The
Carter Center and the first endowed chair in mental health at a school
of public health nationwide.
"We are excited to have Benjamin
Druss joining us as a colleague and as the trailblazer for this new
position," said James W. Curran, MD, MPH, dean of the Rollins School
of Public Health. "He will be able to establish innovative programs
and research by combining his national collaborative relationships with
the resources at Emory and The Carter Center."
Former First Lady Rosalynn
Carter, who founded The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force, said,
"We are both pleased and proud that Dr. Druss has agreed to assume this
chair. Emory has once again proven its innovation and leadership by
having an endowed chair for mental health in its school of public health.
Mental illnesses have been neglected for too long in the public health
arena, and this will bring national recognition and attention to the
promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental disabilities.
We look forward to working with Dr. Druss."
Dr. Druss says his major
clinical and research interest is to better understand and improve care
on the boundary between mental health and primary care.
"My interests have spanned
both the treatment of common mental disorders in primary care settings
and also the delivery of primary medical care to patients with serious
mental disorders," he said. "At Emory, I hope to continue and expand
the work I have conducted to date. I also plan to develop a research
program on evidence-based mental health policy that will help mental
health policy makers make better decisions by using the wealth of existing
The Chair search committee
included faculty from several departments within the Rollins School
of Public Health, The Carter Center, the department of Psychology and
the department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.
"Dr. Drussís combination
of clinical experience and health services research background made
him stand out among the twenty competitive applicants," says Kenneth
E. Thorpe, Ph.D., head of the search committee and chair of the Department
of Health Policy and Management. "He has the ability to blend practice,
policy and prevention in a way that strengthens our mental health research
collaborations with The Carter Center."
Dr. Druss received his bachelorís
degree from Swarthmore College in 1985, earned his medical degree from
New York University in 1989 and later his masterís in public health
from Yale University in 1995. He is also board certified in psychiatry.
He trained as a resident in general internal medicine at Rhode Island
Hospital and in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.
Dr. Druss is currently serving
on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Identifying Priority Areas
for Quality Improvement and as a consultant to the Presidentís New Freedom
Commission on Mental Health. He was a recipient of the American Psychiatric
Association Early Career Health Services Research Award and the Association
for Health Services Research Article-of-the-Year Award, both in 2000.
In 2001, he was awarded the Chairmanís Award for Outstanding Performance
in Research, Clinical and Administrative Work, Department of Psychiatry
at Yale University.