Helping our neighbors

Local and Global Involvement

Finding ways to improve health and lives of others is a high priority among faculty, staff, and students in Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center.



From the Executive VP

Charity care in Emory Healthcare

• Emory University Hospital
• Emory University Hospital Midtown
• Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital
• Emory Johns Creek Hospital
• Emory Wesley Woods Hospital
• Winship Cancer Institute

Emory at Grady Hospital

Emory at the Atlanta VA Medical Center



Economic impact

Woodruff Health Sciences Center

Expanding a tradition

Mercy DayEach fall for more than three decades, staff throughout Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (ESJH) have celebrated “Mercy Day,” collecting packages of shampoo, soap, lotion, baby care items, and other basic hygiene necessities and assembling “dignity kits”—for the simple act of hygiene that helps bring restoration to a homeless person’s dignity.

Last year, to expand this tradition, all facilities in Emory Healthcare took part in this special outreach effort to homeless persons in the community, with collection bins set up at 13 locations throughout the system. Staff collected an additional $8,000 worth of toiletry items beyond those collected at ESJH. Overall, the system donated almost 6,000 toiletry kits to Mercy Care Services last year, which were distributed throughout the year to local homeless shelters.

Metabolic summer camp

Metabolic CampThis year marked the 20th summer of Emory’s Metabolic Camp for teenage girls with metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria (PKU) or maple syrup urine disease. As little as one gram of protein can cause irreversible brain damage or death in such disorders. “Most of these girls can’t attend other camps because of their special dietary needs,” says camp director Rani Singh, a biochemical nutritionist and professor of genetics at Emory School of Medicine. Campers participate in research, screenings, and classes in nutrition, reproductive health, and genetics.

VAServing homeless veterans

Emory nursing students enrolled in the VA Nursing Academic Partnership Program joined members from more than 40 agencies for the Homeless Stand-Down 2013, sponsored by the Atlanta VA Medical Center. The annual event provides food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, and benefits counseling for hundreds of homeless veterans.

Taking care of migrant workers

Migrant workersEach summer Emory physician assistant and nursing students travel to south Georgia to conduct health screenings for migrant workers and their families. In checking blood pressure, students found that of the 230 children from ages 3 to 17 who were screened, 80% had normal blood pressure, 10% had prehypertension, 6% had stage-1 hypertension, and 3% had stage-2 hypertension. “We’re finding that more than 38% of children who have hypertension that’s unmanaged already have left ventricular hypertrophy or an enlarged heart,” says nursing faculty member Hope Bussenius, who developed an app, Pedia BP, to facilitate checking blood pressure in children.

Dirt destination

Big DigWhen Emory Healthcare undertook a “big dig” to build a new hospital wing, an emormous amount of dirt was displaced. Emory was determined to find a sustainable use for it, with help from the hospital contractor and land engineer. The result: 10,000 truckloads from the work site were taken to Clarkston, Georgia, to be used to construct a soccer field at Fugees (short for refugees) Academy.

The Fugees Academy grew out of an effort started in 2004 to give refugee kids access to organized soccer. The new field will be part of a 19-acre complex that includes plans to provide a community center, school, soccer training facility, and clinic for children whose families have been resettled by the U.S. government from more than 20 war-torn countries.

Sparking interest in research

YerkesEach summer, Emory’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center partners with Georgia State University to offer the Institute on Neuroscience for local high school students and middle and high school teachers. High school student Liresa Hearn worked with Lanikea King and Jamie LaPrairie in the lab of Yerkes scientist Larry Young. “As I go into my senior year, I now have a sense of direction, knowing that I now wish to pursue a career in research,” she wrote Young. “I enjoyed every second immersed in the lab. . . . This summer was truly a wonderful experience, and I have your generosity to thank for that.”

Anne SpauldingLinking inmates to care

Epidemiologist Anne Spaulding (Rollins School of Public Health) runs a program providing voluntary HIV testing for new detainees at the Fulton County Jail. The program tracks new cases and whether inmates stay in care after release. She seeks to expand her work through a new “Link to Care” program to help inmates continue to remain in care for HIV after they re-enter the community.

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Community Benefits Report Cover 2014