April 14, 2009

Fred Sanfilippo
Fred Sanfilippo,

WHSC launches new critical care center, appoints first director

It is a pleasure to announce that the Woodruff Health Sciences Center has created the Emory Center for Critical Care (ECCC). The new center's purpose is to ensure the highest-quality critical care for patients across all facilities in Emory Healthcare, to integrate patient/family-centered care with research and teaching, and to provide more integrated, effective, and efficient use of resources.

tim_buchmanThe center's founding director will be Timothy Buchman, PhD, MD, FACS, FCCM, currently professor of surgery and director of Acute and Critical Care Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Prior to his 15 years on the faculty at Wash U, Dr. Buchman directed the surgical intensive care unit and the trauma center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he completed his surgical training. His appointment begins July 1.

The ECCC will integrate ICUs throughout Emory Healthcare, focusing on quality care that is timely and efficient, and on the provision of core services by an integrated care team. It also will create a new section of critical care in The Emory Clinic. The center will engage clinicians and investigators from diverse disciplines to conduct research that will define best clinical practices and inform public health policy. The center also will oversee the educational and training experience for clinicians and scientists in critical care.

From a hospital perspective, where critical care services are based, this center will help optimize quality and standardize the delivery of critical care based on best practices.

The ECCC is the WHSC's newest comprehensive center, joining heart and vascular, cancer, neurosciences, and transplantation as broad interdisciplinary programs that combine health care with research and training and that focus on the unique needs of each patient and family.

The ECCC will benefit from our new initiative and partnerships in bioinformatics as well as our expertise in bioethics and research in health services and health outcomes. The ECCC will interface with the NIH-sponsored Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute to develop new programs that improve research and outcomes in critical care in Atlanta.

The ECCC will house Emory's advanced training programs in critical care anesthesiology, surgical critical care, and pulmonary/medical critical care, including an already existing NIH-funded program in pulmonary medicine postdoctoral training. Plans are being developed to sponsor critical care training for hospitalists, emergency physicians, and neurologists.

Dr. Buchman 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 ICU end-of-life care.

He will be joined by his wife, Barbara Zehnbauer, PhD, FACMG, an internationally recognized scientist in molecular pathology and clinical molecular genetics.

Thanks to the many who made this all possible, especially Dr. Wright Caughman and the charter center committee that developed the ECCC program and led the search.

Please join us in welcoming Tim Buchman as an outstanding addition to the WHSC as we create the 21st century model for critical care and as we continue transforming health and healing … together.

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