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February 28, 2003


Dr. Sheryl Heron Receives Award For Her Work Addressing Domestic Violence

ATLANTA -- Sheryl Heron, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine, was recently honored with the third annual Hearts With Hope Award for her dedication and commitment to addressing domestic violence and its devastating impact on families, the workplace and society. The award is sponsored by the Atlanta-based Partnership Against Domestic Violence, which supports women and their families in their efforts to live violence free.

"I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this award," said Dr. Heron, who is also Assistant Residency Program director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory. "I do not see it as my award but rather a testimony to the women and children who suffer from domestic violence and the patients we care for daily in the emergency department who are living with domestic violence. Hearts With Hope should be a reminder for all of us to search our hearts and give hope when caring for our patients, who could be our mothers, our sisters, our aunts, our friends. Domestic violence is everyone’s concern and because we all have a heart, we should have hope that we can do something about it."

A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Heron has focused her efforts on domestic violence, specifically intimate partner violence, in her research and education of medical professionals. She was appointed in 2002 to the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, where she worked with a multidisciplinary team of professionals to craft physicians’ guidelines for identifying and caring for patients who are suffering from domestic violence.

Dr. Heron has also served as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Training Needs of Health Professionals to Respond to Family Violence. The committee was charged with examining existing curricula for health professionals on family violence and improving current efforts to foster health professionals’ knowledge and skills. The committee, in a report published in 2002, entitled Confronting Chronic Neglect: The Education and Training of Health Professionals on Family Violence, offered several recommendations on how the nation should proceed to educate and train its health professionals on this issue.

Cathy Willis Spraetz, executive director of Partnership Against Domestic Violence, praised Dr. Heron for her commitment and passion. "She is one of those rare individuals who not only ‘talks the talk,’ but more importantly, ‘walks the walk,’" Spraetz said. "She is a passionate advocate who inspires her students, colleagues, and audience to want to do more for domestic violence survivors."

Dr. Heron is a board member of the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, secretary of the health ministry at Antioch Baptist Church, and graduate of Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2002. In October 2002, she was recognized in Georgia Trend magazine among a list of "40 under 40", which includes 40 up-and-coming leaders in the state, and was recently nominated as chair-elect of the National Medical Association’s Emergency Medicine section.

Dr. Heron earned her undergraduate degree at Tufts University, her MPH from Hunter College, and her medical degree from Howard University. She completed her residency training at the Martin Luther King, Jr./Charles Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles and completed an Injury Control Fellowship at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health before becoming a fulltime faculty member in 1996.

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