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Media Contact: Sarah Goodwin
  (404) 290-5780
14 May 2007
Emory Healthcare Names New Leader for Wesley Woods Center
Long time Atlanta and DeKalb Resident to Lead Region's Only Comprehensive Geriatric Health System

Albert K. Blackwelder, chief operating officer for Emory Crawford Long Hospital, has been named chief operating officer for Emory Healthcare's Wesley Woods Center (WWC).

Blackwelder has been serving as the interim COO for Wesley Woods since Jan. 1, 2007. "Whether addressing geriatric clinical care, research on aging by Emory scientists or residential housing for seniors, there is absolutely no match for what Wesley Woods does in our community," says Blackwelder. "One of my greatest commitments going forward will be to share that message with as many people as we possibly can."

John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare, announced Blackwelder's appointment last week, saying "Upon evaluation of the many challenges confronting senior health care in today's health care business environment, Al Blackwelder is clearly the most qualified person to take the lead at this critical juncture.

"During this interim period and his work with WWC, Al has become passionate about Wesley Woods Center, its mission, physicians, staff and clinical expertise," says Fox. "His deep knowledge of Emory Healthcare and the many components of Wesley Woods Center, and his skill at managing a large, complex organization are invaluable as we look to the future."

A large, wooded complex on 64 acres located on Clifton Road in DeKalb County, Wesley Woods Center includes Wesley Woods Hospital, a 100-bed geriatric specialty facility serving more than 30,000 older adults and chronically ill individuals each year. Within Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital, there is an 18-bed long-term, acute care hospital. In addition to the hospital, in conjunction with VistaCare, there is a 25-bed inpatient hospice unit. WWC offers the community a primary care clinic, a 250-bed skilled nursing care facility (Budd Terrace), and a 201-unit independent living facility (Wesley Woods Towers) with one floor of assisted living. Wesley Woods Center also includes management of the Wesley Woods Senior Living, Inc. that owns and manages, through its affiliate corporations, seven senior living facilities in North Georgia.

WWC is well known for its inpatient, outpatient, and day hospitalization programs in late life depression, sleep disorders, and rehabilitation. Additional strengths are in primary care assessment of the elderly, management of and research on Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases.

Blackwelder joined Emory Crawford Long Hospital after his graduation from Brown University in 1975 and was named chief operating officer of the 511-bed facility in 1994. A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, he will continue to lead Emory's midtown hospital in an interim capacity until a new COO is named.

Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health care system in Georgia, includes Emory University Hospital, Emory Crawford Long Hospital, Wesley Woods Center, The Emory Clinic, Emory Children's Center, the jointly owned Emory-Adventist Hospital, and EHCA, a limited liability company created in collaboration with Hospital Corporation of America. Emory Healthcare has $1.4 billion in net patient service revenue and provides $70.7 million in charity care annually. It has 9,699 employees and 1,184 hospital beds (1,582 beds counting joint ventures).

In addition to the WWC complex, Wesley Woods Senior Living, Inc, includes seven senior living complexes across Georgia:

  • Asbury Harris Epworth Towers - Atlanta
  • Branan Lodge/Wesley Mountain Village - Blairsville
  • Branan Towers - Atlanta
  • Lanier Gardens/Talmage Terrace - Athens
  • St. John Towers - Augusta
  • Wesley Woods of Newnan-Peachtree City - Newnan
  • Wesley Woods Towers -- Atlanta

For more information about WWC, visit:

For more information about Wesley Woods Senior Living Center, visit:

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