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A gift of preparedness

The O. Wayne and Grace Crum Rollins Foundation recently pledged $4.2 million to help establish the RSPH Office of Public Health Preparedness and Research. The office gives structure and focus to ongoing work in the school relating to terrorism prevention and preparedness and will encourage new collaborations with state and local health departments, the CDC, and organizations addressing the threat globally. Dr. Ruth Berkelman, Professor of Epidemiology, is leading the new office and has been named the Rollins Professor of Public Health Preparedness. She was formerly an Assistant Surgeon General of the United States and the Deputy Director of the CDC's National Center for Infectious Diseases, and she is now a member of the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Committee on Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century. She recently served on an IOM committee to evaluate the Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System. Philip Brachman, Professor of International Health, served as chair of that committee.

Stepping up

I would like to thank the RSPH faculty and staff who stepped up to the plate in the aftermath of September 11 and the bioterrorist events in Washington, New York, and Florida. We saw the seamless integration of academic and institutional public health, as Emory faculty and CDC employees worked together to contain the damage. The following faculty members are among many who rose to the occasion.
  • Professor of International Health Philip Brachman, who investigated the only other anthrax outbreak in US history during the 1950s, served as chief press expert on anthrax during the crisis.
  • Professor of International Health Stanley Foster, a veteran of the smallpox eradication campaign, continues to teach CDC and state and local health officials everything he knows about smallpox diagnosis.
  • Professor of International Health Keith Klugman is investigating new drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant anthrax.
  • David Stephens, Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases for the Emory School of Medicine and Professor of Epidemiology at RSPH, led the CDC clinical team managing the treatment of anthrax patients and those exposed to anthrax.

Making tobacco history

A new group based at RSPH will help states use millions of dollars received from the Master Tobacco Settlement to create and implement effective smoking prevention and cessation programs. The Tobacco and Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) is the nation's resource center for information and training on prevention and cessation of tobacco use. This past October, the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Legacy Foundation chose the RSPH to serve as TTAC's academic home. The group is funded with $15.3 million in grants from the foundations over the next three years. TTAC will consult with states on the nuts and bolts of effective strategies to reduce tobacco use and train staff to carry out proven programs. Dearell Neimeyer, the former chief of the program services branch of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, is the executive director. Kathy Miner, Associate Dean for Applied Public Health, is the principal investigator. Lisa Carlson, MPH93, is assistant director.

Improving health outcomes

Please welcome 14 new faculty and staff members who have joined us from Aetna, Inc. These highly accomplished health services researchers are the hub of the new Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality, directed by Kenneth Thorpe, Chair of Health Policy and Management. The group specializes in outcomes research—the study of what works in health care. New faculty members associated with the center include Julie Gazmararian, PhD; Tracy Scott, PhD; Verna Lamar Welch, PhD; Diane Green, PhD; and Kara Jacobson, MPH.

Well done

Congratulations to three fellows with the Emory Aids International Training and Research Program at RSPH who recently won the prestigious Essay Contest on the Health of Developing Countries sponsored by the Harvard University Center for International Development. Erik Folch, Isabel Hernandez, and Carlos Franco Paredes, will be awarded $4,000 for their first-place essay titled Infectious Diseases, Non-zero Sum Thinking, and the Developing World.

Best wishes

The RSPH will deeply miss several much-loved staff members who recently retired after many years of dedicated service. We wish them all the best!

  • Dollie Daniels, Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Epidemiology, has been a key player in public health at Emory for the past 23 years. She earned her MPH at RSPH in 1991, winning the Charles C. Shepard Award for the outstanding thesis. During her time at the school, she won the Emory University Award of Distinction and published a history of the school titled A Shared Dream: The Genesis of Academic Public Health At Emory University.
  • Susan Daniel served the school for 17 years, most recently as Director of Admissions. She shepherded thousands of students through the admissions process with great care over the years, working out of the little house at 1525 Clifton Road before construction of the Grace Crum Rollins building. She proudly saw the program grow and become a full-fledged school in 1990.
  • Portia Griffin served public health at Emory for 20 years, most recently as a research associate in the Department of Biostatistics and previously as a staff member in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education. She has been a strong organizational force behind the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards ceremony since it began in 1993. This year, she received an award herself in recognition of her dedication to the annual event.

A literary talent

Carol Gee, Administrative Assistant for the Center for Public Health Practice, has been a writer for many years, jotting down observations, impressions, and thoughts about whatever moved her. She recently published her first major work, a book of first-person essays titled The Venus Chronicles. The book is now available on and Barnes & Noble online.

Emory gives

Many thanks to all faculty and staff who participated in the 2002 Emory Gives United Way Campaign. RSPH had a response rate of 13% and reached 99% of its goal this year, significantly higher than last year.

Stepping down

Vicki Hertzberg recently stepped down as chair of the Department of Biostatistics after seven successful years. She will continue her research and teaching activities, including the development of the department's new Public Health Informatics Program. Michael Kutner, head of the Biostatistical Consulting Center, is serving as interim chair while a national search for a new chair is under way.

Highly honored

Congratulations to the following faculty members who are distinguishing themselves on campus, nationwide, and around the world.
  • Jay Bernhardt, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association.
  • Philip Brachman, Professor of International Health, recently received the Abraham Lilienfeld Award from the American Public Health Association.
  • Joyce Essien and other members of the ZAP Asthma consortium recently received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration, which includes a grant of $10,000. The Carters, former Vice President Al Gore, Governor Roy Barnes, and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin attended the award ceremony. Essien, Director of the Center for Public Health Practice at RSPH, is a founding member of ZAP Asthma's Board of Directors.
  • William Foege, Presidential Distinguished Professor of International Health, has received the American Medical Association's Dr. Nathan Davis Award in the category "Member of the Executive Branch Serving by Presidential Appointment." He was nominated for the award by Jeff Koplan, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Reynaldo Martorell, Chair of the Department of International Health, recently began serving as an expert adviser for the Health Consequences of Population Change panel of the Wellcome Trust, a foundation based in the United Kingdom.
  • Eric Ottesen, Director of the Lymphatic Filariasis Support Center at RSPH, recently won the Bernhard Nocht Medal, joining an elite group of recipients including Albert Schweitzer. He was the first to receive the award—given by the Bernard Nocht Institute and the German Society for Tropical Medicine and International Health—since 1987.
  • Marla Salmon, Dean and Professor of the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Professor in RSPH, serves on the IOM Committee on the Future of Academic Health Centers.
  • Aryeh Stein, Associate Professor of International Health, has been named Director of the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program at Emory. This program, part of the Division of Biological and Biomedical Sciences of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, brings together faculty from RSPH, the School of Medicine, the Graduate School, CDC, and the American Cancer Society to provide training and research opportunities for doctoral students.
  • I was recently invited by former President Bill Clinton to serve on the Advisory Board of the International AIDS Trust. Also, I am serving on the IOM Committee on the Future of Academic Health Centers along with Marla Salmon.

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

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