Agents of Change

Dean James W. Curran

Dean James W. Curran

Whether you are a young adult entering the workforce, the parents of a chronically ill child, or a retiree covered by Medicare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects everyone.

As it stands, the ACA makes it possible for millions of uninsured Americans to obtain health care coverage. Whatever the outcome of the November presidential election, the ACA has brought about tremendous change to improve health care quality, efficiency, and outcomes.

The faculty and alumni who are featured in this issue of Emory ­Public Health are part of that movement. Ken Thorpe, Robert W. ­Woodruff Professor of Health Policy and Management, advised the ­Clinton and the Obama administrations on their health reform plans and thus made chronic disease prevention a top priority. Doctoral graduate Lydia ­Ogden now leads the CDC’s Office of Health Reform Strategy, Policy, and Coordination. Ron Goetzel, director of the Emory Institute for Health and Productivity Studies, works with businesses and agencies around the country to promote employee health. Daniel Thompson, our new alumni board president, frequents the Georgia State Capitol in his government affairs role with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Before fall semester began, we asked our students to read House on Fire: The Fight to Eradicate Smallpox, written by Presidential Distinguished Professor Emeritus and former CDC director William Foege. For pioneering that effort, Dr. Foege received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama at the White House last May. Whatever path we choose in public health, from preventing disease to creating health policy, we serve as agents of change to improve health for individuals, families, communities, and nations.


James W. Curran, MD, MPH
James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

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