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New guidelines for C diff

Distance learning for BSN students

Emory's highest alumni honor

US News: Nursing school ranks No. 3

March 20, 2018

New affiliation between Emory and Children's

Pediatrician Ira Adams-Chapman with a patient  

A new affiliation between Emory and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta—the Emory + Children’s Pediatric Institute—has been established after more than a year of effort by physicians, investigators, leadership, and administrative staff across both institutions. (See the EVPHA message at right.)


"The vision for this new entity is to combine the strengths and resources of Emory and Children's in a way that elevates our shared ability to carry out our respective missions," says Lucky Jain, chair of pediatrics. "It provides a virtual infrastructure to address logistical details, remove barriers, and optimize collaboration, all to help propel us forward to achieve real progress on behalf of those we serve."

The new affiliation will encompass Emory faculty whose clinical practice is based primarily at Children's. On September 1, these faculty will transition employment from Emory University to the Pediatric Institute. While their employer will change, Emory will continue to be their academic home, and their faculty appointment in the medical school will remain intact. Their supervisor, chair, and colleagues also will remain the same.

This transition includes clinicians in pediatrics as well as those in anesthesiology, radiology, surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and otolaryngology who see patients primarily at Children's. The transition does not include Emory faculty who work only at Hughes Spalding, nor does it include basic science faculty. Those faculty will remain employed by Emory but will be part of the overall vision and mission for the institute. There are no plans for staff employment transitions at this time.

According to EVPHA Jon Lewin, who worked with Children's CEO Donna Hyland on the agreement, the goals of the institute are to attract and retain the highest quality clinical faculty, researchers, and teachers and remain a highly sought destination for students, residents, and fellows in pediatric care and research. "The institute will help us manage the research enterprise and maximize translational opportunities," he says. "It will help us maintain and grow our training programs through careful consideration of workforce issues and resources required to fulfill the partnership’s educational aspirations." He adds that joint fundraising efforts will create new synergies between Emory and Children's and that the institute will serve as a strong voice for children in Georgia and across the nation.

"We are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to the Pediatric Institute to minimize any disruption to the day-to-day work of caring for children, educating our pediatric workforce, and continuing our clinical and laboratory research," says Jain. "We are finalizing details of the transition, and we look forward to providing updates in the coming year."

If you have questions, please email pediatric-institute@emory.edu.

Fecal microbial transplant gaining acceptance for C diff

Tanvi Dhere and Colleen Kraft

In February, the Infectious Diseases Society of America issued new guidelines for fighting Clostridium difficile, the hardy bacterium that can cause life-threatening diarrhea and whose dominance is sometimes a consequence of antibiotic treatment. The guidelines recommend for the first time that FMT (fecal microbial transplant) be considered for cases in which standard antibiotics have failed repeatedly.

In a nice coincidence, Emory FMT specialists Colleen Kraft and Tanvi Dhere recently published a look at their clinical outcomes with C diff going back to 2012, in Clinical Infectious Diseases. They report that 95% of patients (122/128) indicated they would undergo FMT again and 70% of the 122 said they would prefer FMT to antibiotics as initial treatment if they were to have a recurrence.

The Emory FMT team also had this case report on interrupting one patient’s history of recurrent UTIs (urinary tract infections). They are studying FMT in a situation separate from C diff infection, colonization by antibiotic resistant bugs after organ transplant, described in this video.

Additional information about FMT can be found in this video featuring Atlantic science writer Ed Yong.—from Lab Land, by Quinn Eastman

Nursing school launches distance accelerated BSN program

The School of Nursing now offers a 12-month BSN program that allows students to study and gain clinical experience in the communities where they live. The Distance Accelerated BSN (D-ABSN) program targets students living outside Atlanta and across the U.S.

Students will earn their BSN in 54 weeks without the expense of moving to Atlanta. By comparison, the school's traditional BSN program takes two years to complete, while the Accelerated BSN program takes 15 months.


"This fast-paced program will not be for everyone," says Elaine Fisher, director of accreditation and curriculum for the school. Unlike many online programs, she explains, it is not self-paced. Students will immerse themselves daily in inquiry-guided learning led by faculty dedicated specifically to the program.

Although students will be dispersed geographically, they are expected to bond quickly to help each other learn and succeed. "Our vision is to offer many of the benefits of the on-site classroom experience, including extensive interaction and collaboration among the students," says Fisher.

The program was created to serve many of the qualified applicants the school turns away each year because of constraints on physical space. The program's current goal, says Fisher, is to enroll 30 students this fall and eventually to enroll 90 students year-round.

In addition to online work, students will come to campus three times a year. Midway through their program, they will be onsite for simulation training and their first clinical rotation. Afterward, they will continue their online classes and clinical rotations in their communities. There, each student will be assigned to a local clinical instructor identified by the nursing school. The clinical instructor will identify and work with local preceptors to arrange clinical rotations for students.

Emory is one of a few nursing schools nationwide to offer distance BSN learning. And already, the new program is attracting interest. In February, prospective students from around the country participated in the first virtual open house. Another session will be held later this month.

"Our program is innovative because it provides a high-quality Emory education to students where they live," says Fisher. "It encourages them to stay and practice in their communities. We would love to have students from rural Georgia, who eventually could work in local clinics and hospitals to address the shortage of nurses in their areas."—Pam Auchmutey

Emory Medal awarded to four nursing/medical alumni

Crystal Johnson, Jason Slabach, and Laura Mitchell-Spurlock

Earlier this month, the Emory Alumni Association awarded four alumni, three graduates of the nursing school and one from the medical school, with the Emory Medal, the university's highest alumni honor.

H. Kenneth Walker  

Awardees include Crystal Johnson 00N, Jason Slabach 13N, and Laura Mitchell-Spurlock 950x, 97N as well as Kenneth Walker 56OX 58C 63M. Johnson, Slabach, and Mitchell-Spurlock were members of the team who cared for Emory's Ebola patients in 2014. Walker, who passed away last month, was a professor in both medicine and public health and and was known for his love of teaching, dedication to Grady Hospital, and work in global health outreach.

The Emory Medal features Emory's seal, including the motto "cor prudentis possidebit scientiam," which translates as "The prudent heart will possess knowledge." Honorees are featured guests at a celebration attended by previous medalists, Emory Alumni Board members, associated school alumni board members, and top university administrators, including the president. Recipients also are honored with a biographical video. Read more.

Nursing school is No. 3 in latest US News graduate school rankings

In the latest US News & World Report ranking of graduate schools, released today, Emory's School of Nursing ranked 3rd, up from its previous ranking of 4th in the nation. The school fared well in individual programs as well. Its Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program was ranked for the first time this year and placed 5th out of more than 150 such programs across the country. The school's Family Nurse Practitioner program ranked 7th; its NP in Adult/Gerontology, Acute Care was 9th; and its NP in Adult/Gerontology, Primary Care was 14th. Emory’s Nursing Administration program was 11th.

The Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering PhD program in the medical school/Georgia Tech ranked second in the nation.

Several health-related programs were not surveyed this year, so that the Rollins School of Public Health remains 7th in the nation. The medical school's physician assistant program remains 3rd, and its physical therapy program remains 5th. Read more.

From the Executive VP

Mission driven, with mutual respect, shared responsibility, and a common vision

Jonathan S. Lewin

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."—H.E. Luccock

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta have been working together to build a new pediatric enterprise that will bring together Emory's outstanding faculty and distinctive programs in education, research, and patient care with one of the top children's health providers in the nation.

The result of our collaboration is the Emory + Children's Pediatric Institute, launching September 1. This affiliation represents an investment on behalf of both institutions to ensure a long-term and sustainable future for our faculty and our mission, with the goal of improving the lives of children in Georgia and beyond.

The Emory + Children's Pediatric Institute represents more than a year of work by many people across both institutions, and its successful execution is based on mutual respect, shared responsibility, and the common vision of enhancing our understanding and treatment of childhood diseases through discovery and translation, preparing the best pediatric professionals to serve children around the world, and providing the most cutting-edge, compassionate care to the children and families who turn to us in their time of need.

I am very optimistic about this incredible partnership, and I look forward to sharing more information as the transition approaches.

Please direct questions and comments to

In Brief

Match Day 2018

Sisters Lauren, Stephanie, and Allison Boden

Emory’s Class of 2018 included 140 students participating in the National Residency Match Program. Of these, 47 will spend all or part of their residencies in Georgia, and 41 will begin their internship year at Emory. Three of the participants were triplet daughters of Scott Boden, interim chair of orthopaedics. Read more. Watch a video of the event.

EHC is official provider for Atlanta Falcons

Photo by Jimmy Cribb

Under a new medical partnership, Emory Healthcare is now the official team health care provider of the Atlanta Falcons. EHC physicians also serve as the official providers for the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Dream, as well as Georgia Tech and several other college and high school athletic associations. Read more.

Preventing physician burnout: Op-Ed

Read a new op-ed piece in Modern Healthcare by EVPHA Jon Lewin and Jeff Balser (head of Vanderbilt's medical center) on the critical need to address clinician burnout.

Winship receives state commendation

Winship Executive Director Walter Curran with Governor Nathan Deal

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal presented a commendation on March 14 honoring Winship as Georgia's NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Georgia's first HIV-positive liver transplant

Transplant surgeon William Kitchens

The Emory Transplant Center has performed its first liver transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor to an HIV-positive recipient, thanks to implementation of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act. The procedure is the first such transplant in Georgia and one of the first in the Southeast. This comes one year after Emory transplanted its first HIV-positive donor kidney into an HIV-positive recipient. Read more.


Eric Garrard, CEO of Emory Rehabilitation Hospital, has been named to the council of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Long-Term Care and Rehabilitation. Read more.

Kimberly Manning (medicine faculty) recently received the ACGME Palmer Courage to Teach award.

Sharon Pappas, Carolyn Clevenger

In late April Sharon Pappas (Emory Healthcare chief nurse executive) and Carolyn Clevenger (nursing faculty) will receive alumni awards from Augusta University College of Nursing. Pappas will receive a Distinguished Alumni award and Clevenger, a Young Alumni award.

Hee Cheol Cho

Four faculty members were honored this month at the 12th Celebration of Technology and Innovation: Hee Cheol Cho (pediatrics, Innovation of the Year), Martin Moore (pediatrics, Deal of the Year), Felmont Eaves (surgery, Start-up of the Year), and Wilbur Lam (pediatrics, Significant Event of the Year, shared with former Emory researcher Erika Tyburski). Read more.


March 24: Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital Run for Mercy 5K. 8 am, Perimeter Mall, Dillards. More info.

March 28: Burning Issues in Health Policy. Healthcare Innovation Symposium. 12-2, SOM 120. More info.

April 1: Deadline for application to the WHEA Fellowship in Educational Scholarship.

April 2: 2018 Emory Quality Conference. 1-3 pm, WHSCAB auditorium. Broadcast to various hospital sites.

May 9: 5th Annual Health Services Research Day. 8-3, SOM 110. More info.

June 8: 2018 Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference: Precision Medicine. 8-5, Georgia Aquarium. More info.

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