Leading infectious disease program

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January 29, 2021

Leading infectious diseases program

Congratulations to Emory’s infectious diseases program, which has been ranked number five in the United States and number nine worldwide by U.S. News & World Report. This external accolade just confirms what we already know: Emory is a global leader in the research and treatment of infectious diseases. We appreciate this well-deserved honor for our infectious diseases staff, researchers, and clinicians, who have been making a phenomenal impact in this lifesaving discipline for many years.

Emory continues to lead the way in tackling some of the world’s most devastating diseases, including HIV and Ebola. Most recently, our teams have also been at the forefront of clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, including ones that are currently being administered to millions of Americans.

I’d also like to acknowledge several teams which have proven foundational for Emory’s preeminence in infectious diseases research, including the Divisions of Infectious Diseases in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, our programs in infectious diseases in the Departments of Pathology and Microbiology and Immunology, our infectious diseases drug discovery programs, the Emory Vaccine Center, the Yerkes National Primate Center, the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and the Serious Communicable Diseases Unit, as well as the many other faculty and staff across Emory who are involved in infectious diseases pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

To all who are involved in making our infectious diseases program the world leader it is today, please accept my heartfelt congratulations and my deepest thanks.

Please direct questions and comments to evphafeedback@emory.edu.

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

MLK Community Service Award

WHSC garnered three of the five winners of the 2021 MLK Community Service Award. This year’s awards celebration is centered on MLK Jr.’s quote, “Only in the Darkness, Can You See the Stars.”  The goal was to recognize that despite the difficult times our communities and country have faced this year, there are people and moments that lift us up. This year’s award recognized individuals and groups from the Emory Community for their outstanding and unparalleled response to the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism. There were close to 70 nominees, all of whom deserve an award for their tireless commitment to our community. 

The Emory Collaborative Community Outreach and Health Disparities group, co-chaired by Nicole Franks (emergency medicine) and Theodore “Ted” Johnson (general medicine) was developed in response to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx communities. Tapping leaders and interested individuals from across WHSC and the Atlanta community, the group worked on targeted messaging for these communities, educational forums on COVID-19, data analytics to target hotspots and blind spots, and finally shared learning through research collaboratives on health disparities in vulnerable populations and social determinants of health.

The Emory COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team, led by Jodie Guest (epidemiology and physician assistant program) and comprised of public health students, began work in April 2020 at the request of the Northeast Georgia Health System to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing robust and desperately needed testing. The group spent over 2,000 hours between May and December conducting over 6,000 COVID-19 tests. They particularly focused their efforts on serving marginalized communities, including poultry plant workers, Black residents in Baldwin County, and Mexican residents served through a partnership with the Mexican Consulate.

The Dignity Packs Project provides people experiencing homelessness in Atlanta with basic hygiene supplies, period supplies, condoms, and PPE. Supplies have been adjusted over time to adapt to the shifting realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more importantly, based on systematically collected feedback from those experiencing homelessness. Through this process, kits are not pre-packaged. Instead a handful of each item are set up at a table where people can help themselves to the type and number of items they want. To date, the project has reached over 500 people. The project is led by three Rollins students, April Ballard, Allison Hoover, and Ana Rodriguez.

In Brief
CFAR co-directors named

The Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) announced the appointment of two new co-directors, Ann Chahroudi, associate professor of pediatrics, and Colleen Kelley, associate professor of medicine. They join Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean for Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System, who will remain co-director for clinical science and the CFAR contact PI. Read more here.

IPECP Synergy Awards

The WHSC Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (IPECP) Council announced recipients of the second round of IPECP Synergy Awards, which had a priority focus on proposals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These awards expand the development of innovations in IPECP that enhance the WHSC Strategic Plan and foster relationships across WHSC schools and programs. See the award recipients here.

The two traumas

Kevin L. Gilliam II 09MR and Iesha Galloway-Gilliam 10MR were featured in the Emory Medicine Fall 2020 cover story on the two traumas of COVID-19 and the brutal death of George Floyd. As a result of being featured, they were invited to present the 17th Annual Hamilton E. Holmes Memorial Lecture on February 17 at 5 pm. In their talk, "Healing from the Two Traumas,” they will discuss how they found themselves at the collision point of health and social justice.

Climate and health initiatives

Rollins is launching a new certificate program, the Certificate in Climate and Health, for MPH and MSPH students. This past spring, Rollins also launched a new Emory Climate and Health Research Incubator to foster new research that can improve society’s response to climate change. In November, two Emory faculty members and one doctoral student participated as authors on the 2020 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change.

SOM students help vaccinate

More than 100 SOM students volunteered to help administer vaccines at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium through the Fulton County Health Department. They have now been approached by additional counties in Georgia for support.

Surgery Annual Report

The Department of Surgery’s 2020 Annual Report recounts an unprecedented year as it pivoted to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Routines were revised and systems recalibrated to allow the department to continue to provide quality care while keeping everyone safe. Read the 2020 report here.

Emory nurses honored

Ten Emory Healthcare nurses were honored recently for nursing excellence at the 2020 March of Dimes Georgia Nurse of the Year Awards. More than 350 nurses from Georgia were nominated for the awards, which acknowledged nurses for their compassion, leadership, and excellence in the health care setting and communities in which they work. More than 50 percent of the nominees were Emory nurses.

Winship interim executive director

Adam Marcus has been appointed interim executive director of Winship, assuming the role from Walter J. Curran while a national search for the center’s next executive director is conducted. Marcus serves as the associate director for basic research and shared resources at Winship. He is a professor of hematology and medical oncology and holds the Winship 5K Professorship.

Radiation Oncology interim chair

Jeffrey Bradley has been appointed the new interim chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. Bradley, previously the executive vice chair of the department, succeeds Walter J. Curran, Jr. in the role.

Psychiatry interim chair

William M. McDonald, has accepted the position to serve as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. McDonald, J.B. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Depression and vice chair of Psychiatry Education, succeeds Mark Rapaport in the role.

Marilane Bond (SOM associate dean for medical education) was named vice chair of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in 2021.

Eun-Ok Im (SON dean of research and innovation) received the 2020 Outstanding Nurse Scientist Award from the Council of Advancement of Nursing Sciences.

Colleen Kraft (infectious diseases) was elected to serve as 2022 president of the American Society for Microbiology.

Jim Lavery (Conrad N. Hilton Chair in Global Health Ethics) has been elected a fellow of the Hastings Center.

Linda A. McCauley (SON dean) has been elected by the National Academy of Medicine membership to serve in the Academy’s Governing Council.

Charles E. Moore (otolaryngology) received the Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service from the American Medical Association.

David S. Stephens (WHSC research VP and chair of department of medicine) was named a 2020 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Guillermo Umpierrez (endocrinology) received the Endocrine Society’s 2021 Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award. 

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