Faculty from throughout Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center were honored as finalists or winners in this year's Atlanta Business Chronicle Health-Care Heroes Competition. Cardiologist J. Willis Hurst, MD received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Hurst is a world-renowned physician, beloved teacher, mentor and family member. At age 83, he continues writing and teaching medical students and residents. Dr. Hurst's The Heart is the most widely used cardiology textbook in the world, now in its 10th edition. During his 55-year career at Emory School of Medicine he has taught roughly a fifth of all doctors practicing in Georgia today and one of every three cardiologists in the state. Dr. Hurst chaired the Department of Medicine for three decades, established Emory's continuing medical education program in cardiology and was a founding architect of The Emory Clinic. He served as President Lyndon Johnson's personal cardiologist for 18 years.
Marcia McDonnell, DSN, RN-C, FNP, assistant professor of family and community nursing in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, was the winner in Community Outreach. As a front-line nurse practitioner at the Ponce de Leon Center in Midtown, one of the most comprehensive outpatient HIV/AIDS treatment centers in the country, she established an education and treatment program that encouraged women to understand the requirements for the complex regimens of potentially lifesaving antiretroviral drugs.
Professor of Ophthalmology R. Doyle Stulting, MD, PhD, was the winner in the Innovations category. Dr. Stulting is director of the cornea service in the Emory Eye Center and medical director of Emory Laser Vision. Last year he performed the nation's first artificial cornea transplant, using a technique developed in Australia. The biocompatible cornea can replace a scarred or diseased native cornea in patients unsuitable for a cornea graft using human tissue. A pioneer in vision correction surgery, Dr. Stulting is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of quality standards and visual outcomes in refractive surgery.
Inginia Genao, MD, assistant professor of medicine in Emory School of Medicine; internist and director of multicultural affairs at Grady Memorial Hospital; and medical director of the International Primary Care Clinic at Grady, was a finalist in the Community Outreach category. Dr. Genao helped develop the international clinic, which serves a growing number of Spanish-speaking patients. She recently received a grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to educate Hispanic women about the importance of breast health.
Lisa Kaye Cannada, MD, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery in Emory School of Medicine, was a finalist in the Physician category. Dr. Cannada performs surgeries at Grady Memorial Hospital, and is one of only 12 female trauma orthopaedic surgeons in the country.
The Pediatric Liver Transplantation Program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, led by Thomas Heffron, MD, professor of surgery in Emory University School of Medicine, was a finalist in the Innovations category. Other members of the team from Emory included pharmacist Greg Smallwood, PharmD and pediatrician Rene Romero, MD. Dr. Heffron and the liver transplant team have been leaders in the development of pediatric, living-donor and split-liver transplants.
Kirk Kanter, MD, professor of medicine in Emory School of Medicine and chief of cardiothoracic surgery and director of the heart transplant program at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, was a finalist in the Physician category. Dr. Kanter has led the Children's Healthcare heart transplant program since its inception in 1988 and has performed more than 155 heart transplants.