Rollins Foundation makes second $5 million donation to Emory's Seavey Clinic

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Sept. 1, 2016

The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has granted $5 million to the Paul W. Seavey Comprehensive Internal Medicine Clinic. This is the second such contribution from the foundation, intended to sustain the individualized patient care, teaching and research modeled by the Emory physician who treated four generations of the Rollins family.

"This incredibly generous gift allows us to really move our vision forward in a sustainable way," said David Roberts, MD, director of the Seavey Clinic. "We will be able to integrate teaching and learning into all that we do, supporting team practice and teaching to include nursing students, pharmacists, nurse practitioner and physician assistant students, as well as medical students and residents. We hope to help develop and perfect future models of care that involve multi-professional teams."

The first $5 million donation from the Rollins Foundation, to support the Seavey Clinic through the O. Wayne Rollins Fund for Clinical Excellence, was given in 2013. This donation assisted the clinic in providing personalized care of patients who need extended time and coordinated resources.

The Rollins fund supports the Seavey Clinic’s faculty physicians, known as Rollins Distinguished Clinicians, and the Executive Health Discovery Database, which identifies and measures markers of health and disease and serves as a resource for research in general medicine.

"We have seen great work happen at the Seavey Clinic since our initial gift," said Rollins Foundation Chair Amy Rollins Kreisler, granddaughter of O. Wayne Rollins. "We are confident in this great work continuing at Emory, and we want to make sure it continues. It all goes back to Dr. Seavey, who epitomized the essence of an Emory physician, and to Dr. Roberts, who is just as good in his attention to detail, kindness and thoughtfulness. That is what we hope will be instilled in the doctors who are training here. It was an easy decision to invest in Emory again."

The gifts continue a long relationship between the Rollins family and Emory University. In addition to the School of Medicine, Rollins philanthropy supports the Rollins School of Public Health, Winship Cancer Institute and Candler School of Theology.

"Dr. Seavey was very good about getting to know the whole person and understanding their world and needs and how best to be available to them," said Roberts. "This visionary funding by the Rollins family locks in the training of Emory physicians to be really engaged in relationships like that. That’s the beauty of primary care, to help shape a patient’s decision-making and health over time."

Paul W. Seavey (1926-2004) was known as a doctor whom other doctors sought for their own medical treatment. Seavey believed that no one could care for the whole person better than the general internist, who by definition is in charge of every aspect of a patient’s health. Because these types of doctors generally have fewer research and scholarship opportunities, and their productivity is usually measured by the number of patients they treat, Seavey advocated for more academic resources and promotions for them.

O. Wayne Rollins, a native of north Georgia, was a self-made entrepreneur and a steward of the free enterprise system. He and his brother John participated in numerous successful business ventures, including radio and television stations, cable television, oil field services, truck leasing, boat manufacturing, real estate and – most famous – the 1964 purchase of Orkin, Inc., the first documented leveraged buyout in U.S. business history. The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation was created in 1967.