Extraordinary People, Caring Every Day

S. Wright Caughman, MD

Being sick is an incredible challenge for anyone — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

When you’re faced with the added burden of financial hardship, the challenge can seem almost insurmountable. That’s where the extraordinary people of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center come in, providing help and hope to people in their most critical hour of need.

As you can imagine, the need has never been greater. The economic downturn of the past few years has caused unemployment and the ranks of the uninsured to skyrocket, and Georgia has been one of the hardest hit states in the nation. That means that more people than ever before have turned to Emory in the past year. They know they can count on our care team to provide high-quality, cutting-edge, and compassionate care, no matter how complex their condition and regardless of their ability to pay.

The interaction of these two groups—people facing their darkest hours and the professionals who are so committed to helping them— leads to the inspirational stories of hope you’ll read about in this year’s community benefit report. There’s the story of the recently unemployed single mother and the Emory case worker who helped eliminate her hospital bill to prevent a life-shattering hardship for her new family. There’s the husband and father diagnosed with cancer soon after losing his job and his insurance, and the doctors and nurses who gave him the lifesaving care he needed, even though they knew he would never be able to pay. And there’s the elderly man with dementia, living on the streets until the staff of Emory’s Wesley Woods Hospital gave him care, attention, and ultimately the identity he needed to receive long-term care.

The stories in this year’s report—which represent just a few examples among thousands we see each year—are about people facing hardship with extraordinary courage and the people who provide them with extraordinary care.

S. Wright Caughman, MD

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Chairman, Emory Healthcare


Founding legacy in community support

Barbara Rothbaum

Robert W. Woodruff—the health sciences center’s namesake and legendary leader of The Coca-Cola Company—dedicated his life to supporting the community, at Emory, in Atlanta, in Georgia, and beyond.

Table of Contents

Community Benefits Report Cover 2011