Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center




December 13, 2010
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  Woodruff legacy lives on

S. Wright Caughman, MD  

This month marks what would have been the 121st birthday of Robert W. Woodruff—the health sciences center's namesake and greatest benefactor—and his legacy still lives on in the groundbreaking work being done by our faculty and staff. Mr. Woodruff, legendary leader of The Coca-Cola Company, was truly a visionary. When he made the initial gift to Emory in 1979 that would enable the eventual transition of the Woodruff Medical Center to a full-fledged health sciences center, he foresaw the tremendous community impact such a center would have both in Atlanta and across the state. More than three decades later, that impact continues to grow, as seen in the 2010 Community Benefits Report.

For far too many of our Georgia neighbors, 2010 was another year of financial hardship, and for many their challenges were compounded by health problems they and their families could ill afford. That's where the Woodruff Health Sciences Center entered the picture. We stood ready to offer service, compassion, and care to all who turned to us for help this year. Just as our community's needs have grown, so has our response, not only in our own Emory facilities but also in concert with our affiliate partners at Grady, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

In fact, in 2010 we provided more than $63 million in charity care to people in need—an increase of $15 million over 2009. Regardless of their ability to pay, thousands of Georgia's working poor, unemployed, uninsured, underinsured, children, seniors, veterans, and others received compassionate, cutting-edge care when and where they needed it. Some of these courageous people are profiled in the Community Benefits Report, including a young cancer patient whose dream of graduating with his high school class was realized thanks to the coordinated efforts of his health care team, a young woman with Crohn's disease who can concentrate on her health and her future rather than her massive medical bills, battered women empowered by counseling offered by WHSC faculty at Grady Hospital, and many others.

2010 Community Benefits ReportAs we enter the holiday season, we in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center are grateful for the opportunity to serve our neighbors in their time of need; we're grateful for you—the faculty, staff, and friends who make our lifesaving and life-affirming mission a reality; and we're grateful for Mr. Robert W. Woodruff, whose vision and generosity made it all possible and whose legacy of service to others lives on. Best wishes for a happy holiday and a healthy new year.

Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions at evphafeedback@emory.edu.


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