Cardiologist Nanette Wenger Receives Hatcher Award

nanette wenger and dean james curran

Nanette Wenger and RSPH Dean James Curran

Emory cardiologist Nanette Wenger became the 10th recipient of the Charles R. Hatcher Jr., M.D., Award for Excellence in Public Health at a ceremony hosted by the RSPH last spring.

Wenger was honored for her pioneering efforts to improve cardiovascular health, especially among underserved populations.

When Wenger joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1958, she was one of only a handful of female physicians at Emory and among a small number in the nation. In the 54 years since, she has trained numerous residents and fellows at Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital and advanced research in cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac prevention and care for women and the elderly. Wenger is credited with changing the paradigm that heart disease affects only men and was one of the first physician-scientists to speak out about the under-representation of women in research studies and clinical trials.

"Asking questions about women and heart disease was one of the most important things I did—realizing that women are not just small men and building a robust science around women and heart disease," said Wenger during the award ceremony.

She is also among the physicians with whom Charles Hatcher collaborated to advance open-heart surgery at Emory and Grady after he joined the faculty in 1962. Established by the RSPH in 1996, the Hatcher Award honors faculty members in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) who exemplify excellence in public health. The award is named to honor Hatcher, who supported the creation of Rollins during his tenure as vice president for health affairs and WHSC director.

The former vice president, who is the recipient of the first Hatcher award, was present when Wenger received the same honor. "I am personally grateful to Dr. Wenger," said Hatcher. "She was one of three cardiologists at Grady when I arrived at Emory 50 years ago. Thanks to her, we've had a wonderful relationship with Grady in cardiology during all of these years."—Pam Auchmutey 

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