News Release: Emory Healthcare, Research, Woodruff Health Sciences

Apr. 14,  2009

Emory Launches New Critical Care Center, Appoints First Director

Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center has created a new Emory Center for Critical Care (ECCC) that will ensure the highest quality critical care for patients across all facilities in Emory Healthcare and that will integrate patient/family-centered care with research, education and training across the health sciences.

The center's founding director will be Timothy G. Buchman, MD, PhD, currently professor of surgery and director of the Section of Acute and Critical Care Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  Prior to his 15 years on the faculty at Washington University, Buchman directed the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and the Trauma Center at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he had completed his surgical training. Buchman's appointment begins July 1.

"We are extremely fortunate to welcome Dr. Buchman to direct our efforts in aligning clinical care, research and education in critical care medicine," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, Emory executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "Tim is a respected national leader, practitioner, and educator in critical care. This new comprehensive center will provide more integrated, effective and efficient use of resources as a potential model of 21st century critical care medicine.

The ECCC will integrate intensive care units throughout Emory Healthcare, focusing on quality care that is timely and efficient and core services provided by an integrated care team of dedicated experts. It also will create a new section of critical care in The Emory Clinic. The center will allow clinicians and investigators from diverse disciplines to conduct high-impact research that will define best clinical practices and inform public health policy. The center also will provide a superior educational and training experience for clinicians and scientists. 

"Critical care medicine is a key cornerstone of our hospital-based patient care," says John T. Fox, president and CEO, Emory Healthcare. "This new center will allow us to engage leaders from all our facilities in optimizing the quality of critical care and in standardizing the delivery of critical care according to evidence-based best practices."

"The Emory Center for Critical Care becomes our newest Comprehensive Center, joining heart and vascular, cancer, neurosciences, and transplantation as broad interdisciplinary programs that combine health care delivery with research and training and that focus on the unique needs of each patient and family," says S. Wright Caughman, MD, vice president for clinical and academic integration in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and director of The Emory Clinic. "Our comprehensive centers, including this newest one in critical care, will help us realize our vision of transforming health and healing together."

The ECCC will benefit from Emory's new initiative and partnerships in bioinformatics as well as its significant expertise in bioethics and research in health services and health outcomes. The ECCC will collaborate with the NIH-sponsored Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute, with Emory as leader, to develop new programs to improve research and outcomes in critical care in Atlanta.

"Emory's uniquely collaborative approach to medical excellence will create a regional resource for critical care in the southeastern United States," says Buchman. "I am excited to join Emory's community of caregivers and investigators, who already are focused on a team approach not only across the health sciences and services at Emory, but also in the many valuable extramural partnerships they have forged that will help drive the advancement of this key area of health care."

As part of its mission to train the next generation of physicians, surgeons and scientists, the ECCC will house Emory's advanced training programs in critical care anesthesiology, surgical critical care and pulmonary/medical critical care. An NIH-funded Pulmonary Medicine Postdoctoral Training Program emphasizes basic and translational clinical research, and plans are being developed to sponsor critical care training for hospitalists, emergency physicians and neurologists.

Buchman received his undergraduate and master's degrees as well as a PhD in virology at the University of Chicago and his medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. At Johns Hopkins, he was chief surgical resident, and he was a fellow in traumatology and critical care at the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services.

He is a past president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the largest organization of critical care professionals worldwide. He currently is president of the Society for Complexity in Acute Illness and deputy editor of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. His research spans the bench-to-bedside continuum, including studies of physiological dynamics and of ICU end-of-life care.


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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