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  October 20, 2015  

Mahlon Delong (above right, neurology) was awarded the Distinguished Medical Science Award at the 2015 Friends of the National Library of Medicine awards dinner Sept. 16. The award was presented by Ken Walker (not pictured).

Raymond Schinazi (pediatrics), senior research career scientist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, received the 2015 William S. Middleton Award. The award is the VA Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service's highest honor for outstanding achievement in biomedical research.

Flavia Mercado was one of six Latino Emory physicians honored.

Mundo Hispánico recognized six Emory physicians on its inaugural list of "Atlanta's Top Latino Physicians"—Carlos del Río (infectious disease), Lisa Flowers (gyn/ob), Luis Galvez (gastro- enterology), Ángel León (cardiology), Flavia Mercado (pediatrics), and Guillermo Umpiérrez (endocrinology).

Paul Courtright and Susan Lewallen, visiting scholars/adjunct faculty in Ophthalmology who helped establish the Global Ophthalmology (GO-Emory) program, were awarded the $1M Euro Champalimaud Award, the world's largest award in vision, for their program in sub-Saharan Africa at the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology.

Joyce Doyle (medicine) received the 2016 national American College of Physicians (ACP) Jane F. Desforges Distinguished Teacher Award and was named an ACP Master.

Charles Hill (pathology) received the 2015 Distinguished Patient Care Award from the College of American Pathologists for his work with Emory's Ebola patients.


Mary Jo Lechowicz (hematology/oncology) has been named the Margaret H. Rollins Chair in Cancer. Lechowicz specializes in the care of patients with lymphoma at Winship Cancer Institute. She also directs the Winship Summer Scholars Program, which provides high school students with an immersion experience in a cancer research lab.

Greg Martin (critical care, pulmonology), was appointed to an international advisory committee to provide guidance and input for a new critical care clinical trials network, PETAL (prevention and early treatment of acute lung injury), funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Randy Trumbower (rehab) received the Eugene Michels New Investigator Award from the American Physical Therapy Association.

Mock Survey Visit

The SOM MD program will be visited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) survey team on March 6-9, 2016, for reaccreditation. We will host a mock survey visit Nov. 4-5, 2015. Our 12 self-study subcommittees have completed the data analysis and self-reflection phase and reported findings to the LCME Taskforce. The task force, chaired by William McDonald (psychiatry), will compile and send Emory's final self-study report to the LCME in early December. A list of preliminary strengths and weaknesses of the MD program identified by the self-study subcommittees can be found on our LCME website here. Fortunately, areas for improvement were identified by the SOM early in the reaccreditation process, and plans are in place to address these self-study concerns.

Peace of Mind

The SOM administration and the Emory-Tibet Partnership would like to invite you to Introduction to Meditation, Wednesdays, 12:15-12:45, B03 in the Williams SOM building. Based on cognitively based compassion training (CBCT), this meditation program was developed at Emory. The free sessions are guided by a certified CBCT instructor. Meditation can help reduce stress and burnout, increase attentiveness, and improve relationships. Room B03 is reserved daily from noon-1 p.m. as a quiet place for anyone to meditate. More info.


Dean's 2015 Emory Medicine Address, Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m., WHSCAB auditorium. Reception to follow in WHSCAB plaza.

Department of Medicine's Annual Research Day, Oct. 30, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Cox Hall ballroom. Registration required by Oct. 19. More info.

Third Annual Medical Education Day, March 21, 2016, noon-4 p.m. at the Williams SOM building. This event is open to invited guests from local and regional health care training programs and to faculty and staff in all of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center programs. The event will kick off with a keynote address by Thomas Nasca, CEO of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.


Home, Sweet (Medical) Home

medical school garden

As part of our journey to provide continuous and comprehensive care, we now have two practice sites within the Emory Clinic that have received distinction as National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH).

The most recent Emory clinic site to receive NCQA recognition—reserved for a select group of practices around the country—is the Emory Family Medicine Clinic at Dunwoody, which is staffed by 10 faculty providers and 25 residents.

Ted Johnson  

"We wish to thank the entire clinic team who contributed to this journey, especially those who worked tirelessly to develop new policies/ processes, acquire data, and submit the comprehensive NCQA application," says Ted Johnson, chair of Family and Preventive Medicine.

The first medical home site established at Emory, in 2011, was the Patient Centered Primary Care practice on the second floor of the 1525 Clifton Road Building, which is available to Emory employees, retirees, and relatives only. Another Emory-affiliated PCMH clinic is the Grady Primary Care Center at Grady Hospital, which is also NCQA accredited.

Medical homes, which provide longitudinal, team-based care, are changing the way primary care is provided. A patient's health needs are tracked even outside the office. There might be a pre-visit interaction, an office visit, and a post-visit email or phone call. A care coordinator identifies and reminds patients due for a checkup, a medical procedure, or a prescription recheck or refill. Patients with chronic diseases are monitored closely. Team members correspond with patients through a secure online "patient portal," where they can receive test results, ask questions, and receive answers quickly without waiting for an office appointment.

Patient teams may include a primary care physician, preventive medicine physician, nurse care coordinator, nurse manager, licensed practical nurse, physician assistant, and behavioral health specialist. Rather than operating on a fee-for-service basis, the practice receives a fee for the full range of services it provides to enrolled patients, with the focus on keeping patients well instead of just treating them after they are already sick.

These medical homes receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients, and evidence is mounting that they improve management of care and achieve better results than traditional practice models.

This recognition sets us on a trajectory of excellence in providing patient-focused, high quality, coordinated care. NCQA recognition is spectacular, but the real success is defined in the work that our care teams do, day-in and day-out, for the patients we serve.

Susana Alfonso  

"While this recognition is well deserved, we owe it to our patients to strive for care delivery redesign that will continue to enhance quality and patient experience in the future," says Susana Alfonso, director of academic and clinical integration for the Department of Family Medicine. "To that end, I'd like to acknowledge those who do the hard work of transforming the care we provide every day."

Primary Care Progress Chapter

Reid Blackwelder 84M  

A new chapter of Primary Care Progress (PCP), an organization for students and residents that works to revitalize the primary care system, was launched at Emory on Aug. 10 with a reception and keynote by American Academy of Family Physicians board chair Reid Blackwelder 84M, a national expert on primary care and patient-centered medical homes. The Emory chapter joins 50 others at universities around the country (view list here).

"The event was very well received. We had about 70 students and some faculty and residents," says Ambar Kulshreshtha, faculty adviser. "Emory's PCP chapter is now part of a national cohort and is working toward raising the awareness of the importance of primary care in our health system."

Its next event will be in the spring, says Candace Markley, student president, and will be followed by a Primary Care Week with workshops, community health fairs, panels, and events at several Emory schools.

$25 million Cox grant to support improved health care delivery

A generous gift from the James M. Cox Foundation has created an opportunity for us to expand some of our most successful initiatives. The $25 million grant will launch new patient-centered care models designed to improve experiences and outcomes. Prostate cancer care will be the initial clinical focus.

The five-year initiative supports efforts already under way within Emory Medicine, including simplified appointment scheduling, enhanced coordination among the health care team, better communication with patients and families (including 24-hour access to clinical staff), telemedicine options, and patient education and follow-up care.

"Dean Larsen and I will be partnering to ensure that this gift truly accelerates our progress in making it easier for our physicians and staff to provide highly reliable, patient- and family-centered care, initially for prostate cancer patients but ultimately for all of our patients," says William Bornstein, CMO and CQO for Emory Healthcare. "This will dramatically enhance the patient and family experience and also the joy of providing such care for all of our physicians and staff."

The gift creates two endowed chairs affiliated with the Winship Cancer Institute. John Pattaras, associate professor of urology, and Peter Rossi, associate professor of radiation oncology will help lead the new initiative.

Ten more years for Emory and Atlanta VAMC partnership

Geriatrician Wilson Holland with a VAMC patient  

The Atlanta VA Medical Center renewed its affiliation with the School of Medicine for another 10 years on July 28, reaffirming Emory's nearly 70-year relationship with the Atlanta VAMC, which is staffed by almost exclusively by Emory physicians. Thousands of Emory residents have trained at the VAMC, and 60% of physicians now practicing in Georgia trained at a VAMC at some point, says Wilson Holland, the VA's associate chief of staff for education.

Did you eat fresh produce today? Thank a farmworker.

medical school garden
The PA program's South Georgia Farmworker Health Project helps migrant workers by offering clinics that come to them.

Memorable walk-up patients at the PA Program's farmworker health clinic have included patients such as the following: An 80-year-old woman proud of working in the fields every day for four decades whose knees "hurt a bit." A 14-year-old boy who dislocated his toe playing soccer and was in tears because it hurt too much for him to pick tomatoes to help support his family. And a father who, after being given a snack for his low blood sugar, saved it to take back to his children.

Bringing together physician assistant (PA), physical therapy (PT), medical, nursing, and counseling students from Emory, Mercer, and Valdosta State, the PA Program's South Georgia Farmworker Health Project, established in 1996, "is such an important tradition and hands-on learning experience for our students," says Emory PA Program Director Maha Lund, who helped out in the pharmacy during the last clinic.

The site visits take place during two weeks in the summer and the first weekend in October. This June, 200 students participated and 1,583 patients were seen. The farmworker project is supported solely through donations. Its biggest fundraiser is the Heel to Heal 5K, which raises about $10,000 annually. A fundraising gala is planned for February, and Lund hopes to compile a book of student-written patient vignettes and to establish a farmworker student scholarship.

emory medicine match day 2015
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