With the official numbers tallied, I am happy to report that the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) is continuing to significantly build on its sound research base. Research awards for the 2003 fiscal year were greater than ever before, totaling $45.1 million. That amount--an increase of 24% over the previous year--places the school as second at Emory in the amount of funded research awards and expenditures. The Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education (BSHE) is the fourth leading department on campus in the amount of funded research.
The most important indicator of a school's quality is its faculty. Several recent academic appointments will substantially strengthen us in key areas. Scott Bartell, formerly a research associate at the University of Washington School of Public Health, joins the RSPH as assistant professor of environmental and occupational health. Roberd Bostick, a molecular epidemiologist and physician whose research focuses on colon and prostate cancer biomarkers and nutrition and genetic cancer risk, has been recruited from the South Carolina Cancer Center, where he is professor of family and preventive medicine, professor of epidemiology, and director of the division of population sciences. Michael Goodman, a pediatrician and researcher of environmental exposures on the incidence of breast, lung, colon, and other cancers, will serve as assistant professor of epidemiology.
The Georgia Cancer Coalition (GCC) has established a program to bring 150 eminent scholars to Georgia to boost the amount of federally funded cancer research here. The RSPH now has four GCC scholars on its faculty. Kyle Steenland, professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, joined us in the 2001-02 academic year, followed the next year by the addition of Jack Mandel, chair and professor of Epidemiology and associate director of the Winship Cancer Institute (WCI). Karen Glanz, currently professor and director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Program of the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii, will join the RSPH during this academic year as professor of BSHE with a secondary appointment at WCI. Joseph Lipscomb, currently chief of the Outcomes Research Branch of the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the NIH, also is joining the RSPH faculty as professor of Health Policy and Management (HPM). He also will serve as director of cancer economics and outcomes at the Emory Center on Health Outcomes and Quality and hold a secondary appointment at WCI.
Last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave $5 million, its first ever endowment gift, to establish the William H. Foege Fellowships in Global Health, which honor Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus Bill Foege. The first class of Foege Fellows arrived on campus this fall and includes four seasoned public health health professionals from developing countries, whom I am happy to introduce here:
Ayman Elsheikh, a public health informatics specialist, has worked for The Carter Center since 1996 as a program analyst and data manager for the Global 2000/Khartoum office.
Sadi Moussa has served for the past 10 years as the national coordinator of the Niger Guinea Worm Eradication Project, working closely with The Carter Center. He also has served as director of hygiene, sanitation, and prevention for the Niger Ministry of Health.
Physician Martin Swaka, medical coordinator for CARE Somalia/South Sudan, has coordinated emergency response teams to manage 21,000 people displaced by war and supervised medical programs to contain and prevent infectious and parasitic diseases.
Rose Zambezi has managed large adolescent sexual and reproductive health projects for CARE, worked for the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia, and coordinated youth reproductive health and HIV prevention programs for YouthNet, run by Family Health International in Washington, DC.
Celebrating alumni. September 19th marked the school's inaugural Fall Crossing. Members of the Class of 2004 crossed the bridge from the Miller-Ward House to the Silverbell Pavilion at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, where they were met by RSPH alumni, faculty, and friends. Following the symbolic crossing of the transition from student to alum, the group attended an alumni awards cere-mony. Lyrna Siklossy, 97MPH, a health educator, received the Matthew Lee Girvin Award for her work with the Latino community in metro Atlanta and her involvement with CARE Ecuador's reproductive health programs for adolescents in Cuenca. E. Anne Peterson, MD, 94MPH, a physician and assistant administrator of USAID's Bureau for Global Health, is the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award, which will be presented at a RSPH alumni reception at the American Public Health Association (APHA) meeting in November. Previously, Dr. Peterson has served as commissioner of health for the state of Virginia, including the time following the September 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon and subsequent anthrax bioterrorism. I congratulate both of these outstanding alums.
In November, the RSPH will host the next meeting of the Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) directors, of which I serve as the national chair. To preview the meeting agenda, see www. sph.emory.edu/CFAR/.
In preparing for re-accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health, the RSPH has embarked on a systematic, rigorous evaluation of the quality and content of our instructional, research, and service programs. A 15-member steering committee encourages the participation of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in the self-study and accreditation process. Through a broad representation of voices, we will be able to assess how well the RSPH has met the accreditation criteria as well as identify opportunities to improve our programs. You can keep track of the re-accreditation progress at www.sph.emory.edu/ACCREDIT/.
More than 90 faculty members attended the September retreat to hear presentations on the state of the RSPH. Michael Johns, executive vice president of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, spoke briefly about strategic planning for the health sciences at Emory and introduced our guest speaker, Jim Wagner, Emory's new president. President Wagner shared his vision of Emory and his understanding of the strengths of the RSPH and its importance to the university. The retreat ended with a presentation by Senior Associate Vice President for Development Phil Hills on the upcoming Emory campaign. Executive Associate Dean Richard Levinson said the retreat allowed faculty "to see that they were part of something bigger than themselves or their department."
The new Georgia Training Resource and Inventory Network (G-TRAIN) is a web-based program that provides an ongoing assessment of Georgia's public health workforce. Developed collaboratively by the Emory Academic Center for Public Health Practice (A-CPHP), the Georgia Division of Public Health, and others, G-TRAIN will initially help the state assess training needs in the area of bioterrorism, but "it is a flexible system that can be expanded based on Georgia's needs," says Melissa Alperin, coordinator and co-investigator of the Emory A-CPHP. With this resource, the state will be able to identify gaps in training, develop training plans and activities, and produce reports broken down by state branches and districts.
Participating in the CDC's emergency response to SARS and monkeypox, many of our students provided help during the acute phase of the outbreaks. A recent letter from the CDC/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry staff thanked the approximately 40 students from RSPH and Emory School of Medicine who volunteered to work alongside CDC staff in providing assistance on various response teams. "We hope that when the next major outbreak comes along, we can once again turn to you for assistance," wrote the CDC's Joe Posid and Sherrie Bruce. "Times of stress bring out the best in individuals, and we are convinced that the future of the nation's public health is in good hands since we've seen how your students rose to the challenges we faced with these concurrent outbreaks. Once again, congratulations on selecting a wonderful group of practitioners, and thank you for making them available to us."
The recently published, first edition of the Turkish Journal of Public Health has more than a few RSPH faculty on the editorial advisers list. They are: Adam Atherly, Ronald Braithwaite, Colleen DiIorio, Howard Frumkin, Phil Graitcer, Jennifer Hirsch, Carol Hogue, Kevin Sullivan, and John L. Young. "Turkey is an important connection for public health not only in its own right," says Frumkin, "but also because former Soviet Bloc countries share a Turkish heritage." Our strong presence on the Turkish editorial board can be traced to continuing relationships between our faculty and Humphrey and Muskie fellows who have studied at the RSPH.
As program director for an AmeriCorps education center in southwest Louisiana, Career MPH student Brenda Dane put newly acquired grant writing skills to good use. Her application to the Corporation for National and Community Service was one of only two or three in each state to receive funding out of a nationwide pool of more than 500. The grant application, written during her semester in Cam Escoffery's research and grant writing class, garnered $400,000 to help support prevention programs and service to rural, medically underserved, and vulnerable populations supported by Dane's center.
On September 1, the Emory Board of Trustees approved the promotions of Kathleen Adams (HPM) to full professor and John Hanfelt (Biostatistics) to associate professor with tenure. We congratulate them.
Benjamin Druss (HPM) was given the Alice S. Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth at the organization's 20th annual research meeting in Nashville in June.
Keith Klugman (International Health) was elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology, an honorary leadership group that recognizes excellence, originality, and creativity in the microbiological sciences.
Reynaldo Martorell (International Health) received the SINR/Kellogg Prize for International Nutrition, sponsored by the Kellogg International Company, which recognizes excellence in the field of international nutrition research.
Godfrey Oakley (Epidemiology) received the Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award from the Exceptional Parent Foundation, presented on Disability Awareness Night at Turner Field.
Lance Waller (Biostatistics) has been elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.
James W. Curran, MD, MPH