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Katherine Heilpern MD, has been named chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine.
Dr. Heilpern, who begins her role Sept. 1, has served as interim chair for the past year during the absence of Arthur Kellermann, MD, who has been serving as Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for 2006-2007 in Washington, DC. Dr. Kellermann was recently named associate dean for public policy, Emory School of Medicine.
"Katherine Heilpern is an energetic and innovative leader whose experience and leadership have been exceptional," says Thomas J. Lawley, MD, dean of Emory School of Medicine. "Her vision and innovation will continue to enhance and expand the strong platform of excellence within the Department of Emergency Medicine. Her exceptional efforts to promote research and education in emergency medicine will be an incredible asset to the faculty, staff and residents in training at Emory, as well as the lives of the patients she touches each day."
Dr. Heilpern receieved her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, and her medical degree from Emory School of Medicine. She completed her postgraduate training in internal medicine at Temple School of Medicine, and received board certification in internal medicine and emergency medicine. After residency training, she served as a medical officer for the Indian Health Service and was stationed on the Navajo reservation.
Dr. Heilpern returned to Emory in 1996. She has served as assistant dean of medical education and student affairs, and vice chair for academic affairs in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She is a recipient of the American College of Emergency Physicians National Faculty Teaching Award and the Emory Dean's Teaching Award. Dr. Heilpern serves as a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Academic Leader Program and is a board member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Heilpern recently was named president-elect of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, an organization whose mission is to improve patient care by advancing research and education in emergency medicine. She also was recently selected to serve on the Institute of Medicine Board on Military and Veterans' Health. Regionally, she serves on the State of Georgia Pandemic Influenza Planning Task Force and the Board of Directors of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians.
The focus of Dr. Heilpern's research is the study of the interface between emergency medicine and infectious diseases. Since 1995, she has been a site investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's EmergeIDNet sentinel surveillance project on emerging infectious diseases. Recent federally funded research has focused on the evaluation of emerging pathogens, such as West Nile Virus, community-acquired resistant staph infections, and the presentation and management of agents of bioterrorism and drug-resistant pathogens in the emergency care setting.
Dr. Heilpern has been an active educator with a focus on novel curriculum design and teaching methodologies for faculty and students in the health sciences. She is a co- principal investigator with the Emory School of Nursing on a federal training grant that teaches state-of-the-art didactic and procedural skills in emergency care to masters level nurse practitioner students. The grant also focuses on emergency care of underserved/vulnerable populations.
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