A message from Ravi Thadhani

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June 26, 2023

Georgia’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

We all know our own Winship Cancer Institute is one of the most innovative and influential cancer centers in the country. Now the National Cancer Institute has confirmed it by renewing Winship’s designation as Georgia’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

NCI comprehensive designation is the highest federal rating a cancer center can achieve. It is the gold standard for cancer programs, first earned by Winship in 2009. The grant was renewed in 2012, and Winship achieved comprehensive status in 2017. The renewal of Winship’s NCI designation reaffirms that Winship is reducing the cancer burden on the state of Georgia through research conducted in its scientific laboratories, clinical trials, population-based research, education and training programs, and community outreach and engagement. For all Georgians, the Comprehensive Cancer Center designation recognizes that Winship researchers are studying the cancer issues unique to Georgia and that Winship is engaging the community in its research.

As Georgia’s only NCI-designated center, Winship is the state’s leading cancer resource, with a tripartite mission of research, education, and patient care and a commitment to preventing, detecting, and treating cancer statewide. Patients across the state and around the world can tap into Winship’s clinical trials for more treatment options and first-in-human studies. And Winship is reaching into the community to ensure historically underserved groups have that same opportunity. 

Congratulations to the entire Winship team on this highly prestigious achievement!

Kind regards,


Ravi I. Thadhani, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Vice Chair, Emory Healthcare Board of Directors

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

Our People

Emory Rehabilitation Hospital (ERH) has been ranked the number one rehab hospital in Georgia and number 26 in the nation—an impressive achievement, but not nearly as impressive as the people who make those prestigious rankings possible. I recently had the opportunity to meet three compassionate, dynamic nurses whose commitment to helping their patients regain their strength and independence following a life-changing illness or injury is truly inspirational.

Angella Dair, Ijeoma "Ije" Umunna, and Izoduwa “I.Z.” Asoro (pictured above l-r) radiate skill, warmth, compassion, and joy in helping others. Ijeoma sums up her team’s mission perfectly when she says, “As nurses, we have to use our acute care skills and our specialized rehabilitative approach for our medically complex patients to achieve the best outcomes and return them to their desired destination, which is home.”

These nurse leaders and their teams deliver on that mission every day. As I.Z. says, “Some patients come in non-verbal, some have slurred speech, and some are confused and disoriented to place, time, and situations, unable to sit up or walk. I enjoy taking care of these patients as their improvement is evident daily and the outcome on discharge is encouraging; many regain their speech, about 75 percent are able to walk with minimal assistance, and many regain their high-level functionality.”

ERH CEO Renee Hinson is understandably proud of the hospital’s top rankings, and she is even more proud of its extraordinary nursing team. “Nurses are the people who listen to the patient’s fears in the night,” says Hinson. “They celebrate the successes, hold their hands when it’s hard, and know when to let go—pushing each patient toward independence. Ije, I.Z., and Angella are amazing nurses. I watched Ije start an IV on a patient who had fearfully refused others. Her patience is legendary. I.Z. is calm and offers encouraging words in the most difficult circumstances. I was with her when a patient was confused and frustrated when putting on their clothes. I.Z. took the time to encourage the patient step-by-step to success. Angella is cheerful and kind to everyone. I have seen her comfort co-workers during stressful times and bring a smile out of a patient when no one else could.”

Thank you, Ije, I.Z., and Angella for helping us improve lives and provide hope!

To nominate a colleague to be featured in an upcoming segment of Our People, please email me at evphafeedback@emory.edu and let me know what makes them special.

SOM celebrates second annual Diversity and Inclusion Week

Last month, the School of Medicine (SOM) celebrated its second annual Diversity and Inclusion Week, a school-wide celebration of the broad range of identities and experiences that make up the diverse community. With more than 700 participants, the week-long celebration embraced the theme of “Practices Not Promises: Moving Toward Action,” offering insightful sessions that aimed to empower individuals in effecting meaningful change within their respective spaces.

Recordings of each of these lectures, which include topics such as microaggressions and implicit bias, bystander to upstander training, anti-racism, and more are available online now. The school is proud to highlight that 56 percent of vendors used during Diversity and Inclusion Week represent diverse suppliers, further demonstrating a commitment to fostering an inclusive environment. 

In Brief
SON to train pediatric psychiatric mental health nurses

The American Academy of Pediatrics has named the mental health crisis among children a national emergency. Shortages of qualified mental health professionals are at crisis levels locally, statewide, nationally, and globally. This shortage disproportionately affects the pediatric and adolescent populations and is compounded for children of color. To address this shortage, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (SON) is partnering with the Liz Blake Giving Fund and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to develop a scholarship program to expand and equip the workforce of mental health professionals. Read more.

Workplace mistreatment in academic medicine

A study led by Reshma Jagsi, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, has found that women, racial and ethnic minorities and individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer are disproportionately affected by workplace mistreatment in academic medicine, and this mistreatment negatively impacts their mental health. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, looked specifically at three aspects of workplace mistreatment in academic medicine—sexual harassment, cyber incivility, and negative workplace climate. Read more.

Healthcare Heroes

The Atlanta Business Chronicle has selected two Emory faculty members as winners of its 2023 Health Care Heroes awards. Linda A. McCauley, dean of the SON, has been named the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Boghuma K. Titanji, assistant professor of medicine at the SOM, has been named the winner of the Health Care Innovator/Researcher category. Read more.

Hotwiring the heart

Emory interventional cardiologists Adam Greenbaum and Vasilis Babaliaros (pictured above l–r) developed a new procedure involving electrifying a wire at the tip of a catheter to perform a procedure that would have previously required open-heart surgery. The procedure—Septal Scoring Along the Midline Endocardium (SESAME)—is just the latest the pair have pioneered aided by a unique collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. Read more.

SON launches data science certificate program

The SON is launching a data science certificate program to help nurses use big data to solve vexing problems in health care settings. The online, self-paced program will provide students with access to Project NeLL, the School of Nursing’s suite of apps for teaching, learning and practicing nursing data science. The program will conclude with a chance for students to build and download their own organized, de-identified big data sets. Read more.

SON taps Emory Healthcare nurses as data science scholars

Three Emory Healthcare nurses have been named Project NeLL (Nurse’s Electronic Learning Library) Scholars at the SON. Project NeLL Scholars Program is a one-year data science immersion for Emory Healthcare nurses. The Project NeLL Scholars—Stephanie Bennett, Monique Bouvier, and Darlene Rogers (above l-r)—will have the opportunity to complete a big data research project using the platform’s searchable big data repository and disseminate their findings through peer-reviewed publications. Read more.

Submit your research for digital display in HSRB II

The Health Sciences Research Building II (HSRB II) digital experience zones are revolutionizing how researchers and partners interact. Digital placemaking uses interactive displays that create an engaging atmosphere that removes boundaries and invites cross-disciplinary collaboration. The HSRB II features several digital placemaking zones, including the Wonder Wall, Info Cores, The Spine, and The Nexus. Learn more about these sophisticated screens, including how to submit your research for inclusion.

Offering in-home care to Atlanta patients

Emory Healthcare and DispatchHealth, the nation’s first comprehensive in-home medical care provider, are collaborating to offer patients a new option to receive convenient and safe follow-up and/or high acuity medical care in the comfort of their own homes. The collaboration is designed to improve access to health care and reduce the total cost of care for patients throughout Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding communities. Read more.

Kahn named chair of neurology

Jaffar Khan has been appointed chair of the Department of Neurology in the SOM. Khan, a professor of neurology, has led the department as interim chair since May 2021. An Emory Brain Health Center board-certified neurologist with added board certifications in vascular neurology and clinical neurophysiology, Khan provides clinical care for Emory Healthcare and the Grady Health System. Read more.

Lam named associate dean of innovation

Wilbur Lam, professor and W. Paul Bowers Research Chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been named associate dean of innovation for the SOM. In this role, he will lead the establishment of the Innovation Center at the newly constructed HSRB II. He will also work to optimize the alignment of innovation projects and initiatives across the school and with collaborating institutions. 

Corrine Abraham, SON associate clinical professor, emeritus, has been inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow. Read more.

Leonardo Bonilha, director of Emory’s Epilepsy Center, was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

Donald Harvey, director of the Winship Phase I Clinical Trials Unit, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Katherine Hekman, assistant professor of surgery,  has been appointed to the editorial board of the Annals of Vascular Surgery. She also received the Association of VA Surgeons Faculty Research Award.

Hui Mao, professor, Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences, was elected a fellow of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Shawana Moore, associate clinical professor and Doctor of Nursing Practice program director, has been inducted into the National Academies of Practice as a Professional Member. Read more.

Lisa Newbern, Emory National Primate Research Center chief of public affairs, has been appointed chair of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities. 

Chrystal Paulos, director of the Winship Translational Research for Cutaneous Malignancies, was elected a director-at-large for the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer.

Steven Wolf, professor of rehabilitation medicine, has been honored with the 2023 John W. Goldschmidt Award and Lectureship from MedStar Health.

Larry Young, director of the Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, received the SOM Medicine Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award for 2023.On May 25, Young gave his honorary lecture on "The Brain Science of Social Connections: Implications for Health and Society.”


JUNE 29 - Emory Innovation Certification Program. The SOM is hosting the first among a series of events of networking and community-building session for those interested in innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. The session will include an overview of the new Emory Innovation Certificate Program, which is designed to develop and enrich entrepreneurial skills and business knowledge for faculty and staff interested in learning how to bring technologies to market. Food will be provided. 4-6 pm, R. Randall Rollins Building, Room R201. RSVP here.

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