Emory leader endows health policy lecture

Johns and Thorpe
Michael Johns (left) has endowed a lecture named in his honor and hosted by the Department of Health Policy and Management, chaired by Kenneth Thorpe.

This fall, the Department of Health Policy and Management hosted its second annual Michael M.E. Johns M.D. Lecture in Health Policy.

Johns recently made a gift to endow the lecture, established in 2009 by Dean James Curran to honor Johns’ leadership of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC).

“Dr. Johns has played an important role in the growth of our school,” says Curran. “His vision and support helped guide us to become one of the nation’s top schools of public health.”

As head of the WHSC from 1996 to 2007, Johns implemented a comprehensive strategy that positioned Emory as one of the nation’s pre-eminent academic health centers in education, research, and patient care. He is widely renowned as a catalyst of new thinking in many areas of health policy and health professions education.

“Inviting distinguished people to exchange ideas and debate points of view is important for the intellectual growth of our faculty, students, and staff,” says Johns, who is now university chancellor. “It also familiarizes everyone with what is special about Rollins.”

Kenneth Thorpe, Woodruff Professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management, sees the lecture as a way to address key health issues that affect Americans.

“This is a challenging time as we face a variety of complex issues, such as environmental hazards, access to health care, and the re-emergence of infectious diseases,” he says.“We hope this annual lecture serves as a catalyst for dialogue with respected thought leaders and helps prepare our students, researchers, and policy-makers to meet these challenges.”

The inaugural Johns lecture, which focused on health care reform, featured Robert J. Blendon from the Harvard School of Public Health. This year’s headliner was Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans, who spoke in September.—Jennifer Johnson

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