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March 27, 2019

Implementing the plan

Collaborate. Innovate. Serve. These actions underpin the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) strategic plan, Setting Priorities for Our Future 2018-2022. As we approach the one-year mark of the plan's launch, we are grateful to the multidisciplinary teams across WHSC who are helping to guide our path forward as we implement our strategic plan, which aligns with One Emory: Engaged for Impact and will support the realization of our shared vision for the future.

These teams are making progress in each of the five strategic priority areas: constructive culture, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, transforming models of care, innovative discovery, and data science.

In the coming months, we will continue to share updates on the implementation of the WHSC strategic plan and opportunities for members of WHSC to be engaged in our efforts. We invite you to visit the WHSC strategic plan website for stories about the strategic plan and to share your feedback. Thanks to all who are involved in helping us collaborate, innovate, and serve.

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, President, and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

Jeannie Cimiotti and Yin Li lead the Georgia Nursing Workforce Initiative.

Project examines Georgia's nursing workforce

More than 4 million strong, nurses are the largest profession in the U.S. health care sector. Yet the nation faces a critical nursing shortage stemming from a wave of nurses reaching retirement age and an aging population that relies heavily on nursing care. Georgia is one of several states where demand for nurses is expected to outpace supply.

Emory's nursing school took on the problem last year by launching the Georgia Nursing Workforce Initiative, funded with a $200,000 grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The initiative is housed within the school's Center for Data Science, which helps nursing faculty and students tap into vast amounts of health, disease, and patient care data at Emory.

"Our first goal is to determine what the supply of nurses looks like in Georgia," says associate professor Jeannie Cimiotti, an expert in nurse workforce issues and quality of care. "We want to know nurses' level of educational preparation, whether they are registered nurses (RNs) or advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), where they live, and where they practice."

The initiative stemmed in part from Dean Linda McCauley's role in the Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC) and its 2015 report on the Registered Nursing Workforce in Georgia. That report analyzed data from Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON) workforce surveys, part of the online re-licensure process since 2011. While participation in the survey is now 86.7%, the data are not exhaustive.

"We are in the process of locating and gathering data from other sources in order to put together a more complete picture of nursing in Georgia," says assistant research professor Yin Li.

She and Cimiotti are scrutinizing data from the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to augment the information obtained from the GBON survey.

According to the 2017 Health Resources and Services Administration report on Supply and Demand Projections of the Nursing Workforce: 2014-2030, national nursing demand will increase from 2,806,100 RNs in 2014 to 3,601,800 RNs in 2030. Many states are projected to have an undersupply of nurses, while a few others will have an oversupply. The report projects Georgia will have a shortage of 2,200 RNs and 10,000 APRNs by 2030.

"We know that Georgia is going to have a greater need in some geographic areas and clinical specialties than others," says Cimiotti. "Many new nurses are attracted to the fast pace and high acuity of university hospitals and less inclined to work at small community hospitals and in long-term care."

According to the GNLC report, fewer RNs in Georgia work in gerontology and assisted living/nursing homes/extended care facilities than the national average. Cimiotti and Li suspect that the rural/urban question will be important for the state. If their findings support greater shortages in rural areas, the data will help state health leaders look for solutions. For instance: "They might adjust salaries to make rural areas more attractive," notes Cimiotti.

The first product of Cimiotti and Li's work will be a 10-year longitudinal snapshot analysis of nursing in Georgia. Slated for completion this spring, the report will describe the demographic and employment characteristics of nurses, including where they work and at what salaries.

While various organizations have focused on the nursing shortage in general, few have looked at specifics such as the need for more nurse practitioners in rural areas, the untapped resource of clinical nurse specialists, and the shortage of nursing faculty. In time, the researchers' work at Emory may lead to establishing a major nursing workforce data center.

McCauley sees the Georgia data being used to address key health issues in Georgia (i.e., maternal mortality, infections, blood pressure control, healthy behaviors, and rehospitalizations) and workforce needs in the face of major health crises such as flu or pandemics. Understanding the nursing workforce, she says, is also crucial to helping transform models of care, one of the strategic goals of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center.--Pam Auchmutey

New Rollins program for research on substance abuse disorder

Hannah Cooper

Rollins School of Public Health is launching the Rollins Program on Substance Use Disorders Research with the goal of ending harmful drug use through research and intervention, dissemination of findings to inform policy, and training the next generation in how to study and intervene in causes and consequences of harmful drug use. The program is led by Hannah Cooper, professor and co-chair of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and newly named Rollins Chair in Substance Use Disorders. The faculty position and program are funded by the O. Wayne Rollins Foundation.

Launched in November, the program is still in the early stages. Cooper is organizing brown bag lunches to create a forum for researchers to share their work and catalyze collaboration. The lunches will be held the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1:00, beginning April 9. "These lunches will be opportunities for people to showcase their own work and reflect on what comes next for their part of the field," says Cooper. "My hope is this program will spawn new questions as you bring people together from different disciplines who don’t typically interact."

Pilot funding will be available through the program to support interdisciplinary research, and additional funding will support PhD level research into substance use disorders.

"With this training component of the program, we want to raise up the next generation of scholars, clinicians, and practitioners to be at the forefront of their field in substance use disorders," says Cooper.--Martha McKenzie
In brief
New journal club for interprofessional education

Learn more about IPE and get to know educators from across the health sciences at the inaugural IPE Journal Club on the fourth Thursday of each month at noon to 1 p.m., beginning March 28. Meeting location is the WHSC Library Calhoun Room. Register to be on the Journal Club listserv.

Latest rankings

Congratulations to the following on their latest rankings from US News & World Report:
- RSPH, 5th
- SON, 4th; Doctor of Nursing Practice, 9th; Nursing Administration, 10th; Nurse Practitioner Adult/Gerontology Primary Care, 15th
- SOM, 24th among research-oriented schools; 35th among primary care schools
- Biomedical engineering, 3rd
Read more.

Match Day 2019

On March 15, 116 Emory medical students learned where they will go for post-graduate training. Of these, 37 will spend all or part of their residencies in Georgia, and 30 will begin their training at Emory. Other institutions where students will train include Brown, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, NYU, Northwestern, Penn, and others. Read more.

Tune in

Watch for the second half of the season of "Your Fantastic Mind," which begins Monday, April 1 on GPB TV at 8:00 p.m. This season segment will feature five new episodes, along with rebroadcasts of the most popular episodes from the first half of the season. Visit Emory's "Frontiers of the Brain" website, which houses all previously broadcast episodes of the GPB series.

Sepsis early warning
Emory is part of an initiative within the US Department of Health and Human Services to validate machine-learning software for early prediction of sepsis in hospital ICUs. The algorithm currently in use in Emory Healthcare processes high-resolution vital signs and lab measurements in real time to produce prediction scores and has the potential to warn of impending sepsis in patients four to six hours in advance. Read more.

The following were recognized in Tech Transfer's awards of the year for technology and innovation for work in 2018:
- Thota Ganesh and Adam Marcus for Innovation (pictured above)
- Habib Samady and Alessandro Veneziani for Deal
- Charles Epstein for Start-up
- Greg Bluemling, Abel de la Rosa, Georgia Painter, David Perryman for Significant Event
Read more.

Nicole Carlson was elected a fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Rasheeta Chandler received the Research in Minority Health Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society.

Desiree Clement was elected a fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

James Curran received a lifetime achievement award for his work in HIV/AIDS from the Fulton County Board of Health.

Christine Dunham and colleagues were recognized for their work on ribosomal "frameshifting." Their 2018 paper on this topic in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences received that journal’s Cozzarelli Prize.

Cam Escoffery was named president-elect of the Society for Public Health Education.

Ira Horowitz has a new role as executive associate dean (EAD) for faculty and clinical affairs in the medical school. (He previously was EAD for faculty affairs and professional development.)

Carolyn Meltzer was named executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership, and inclusion.

Karen Mann was appointed to the 2019 American Board of Pathology's Test Development and Advisory Committee for Molecular Genetic Pathology.

Mi-Kyung Song received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the Southern Nursing Research Society.


April 9: 3rd Annual Biomedical Research Awareness Day, 10:00-3:00 in front of Whitehead Bldg. Information, games, and free giveaways to raise awareness for animals needed for biomedical research. Contact Juliane Johnston or Shraddha Cantara. 

April 9: Health Innovation Symposium, 12:00-2:00, School of Medicine 120. How can we use data to improve health? Robert Califf, vice chancellor for health data science, Duke. More info.

April 9: Annual Donna J. Brogan Lecture in Biostatistics, 4:00, Klamon Room, CNR Building, RSPH. DuBois Bowman on "Precision Discovery of Neuroimaging Biomarkes for Parkinson's Disease." More info.

April 11-12: HIV & Aging: From Mitochondria to the Metropolis. School of Nursing. Courtyard Marriott, Decatur, Ga. More info.

April 18: Remembrance service for Camille O'Brien, the only nurse in the Emory Unit to die in France in WWI. Greenwood Cemetery, 11:00. 

April 18: Innovate@Emory Innovation Showcase poster session. 2:30-4:15, Atwood (chemistry) addition. More info.

May 2: Emory Quality Conference, 1:00 (location to come). Register your poster (due April 8) here.

May 15: 6th Annual Health Services Research Day. 8:00-3:00, School of Medicine 110. More info.

May 21: Dean's Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award, 5:30, SOM 110. More info.

May 31-June 1: National LGBTQ Health Conference. Emory Conference Center. More info.

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