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March 02, 2020

Robust federal funding

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research has confirmed its 2019 rankings of schools and departments by NIH funding, and Emory once again scores among the nation’s most elite academic health centers (AHCs). The Emory School of Medicine ranks 19th in the nation and was awarded more federal funding last year than ever before in its history; the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is number five in the country; and the Rollins School of Public Health ranks fifth nationwide (up from number six last year).

At the department level, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center had six in the top 10 – Pediatrics at #3, Biomedical Engineering at #4, Surgery at #6, Neurology at #7, and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine both at #9.

Individually, these school and department rankings are truly impressive achievements, and taken as a whole, they paint a picture of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center as one of the top-tier research institutions in the United States. In fact, only six other AHCs in the country have top 20 ranked schools of medicine, nursing, AND public health. Add Yerkes to that equation – with the largest research funding base of the seven National Primate Research Centers in the U.S. – and it’s no wonder WHSC is at the very forefront of innovation and discovery.

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

Alliance to reduce addiction

Emory and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation have signed a Letter of Intent to create the Addiction Alliance of Georgia, a unique collaboration aimed at reducing addiction rates, improving recovery rates, and saving lives throughout the state. Efforts to secure philanthropic support are underway to help advance the collaboration.

Harnessing the experience and strengths of the two institutions, the Addiction Alliance of Georgia will work to prevent and treat addiction to alcohol, opioids, and other substances.

The Alliance seeks to align with ongoing public and private efforts, while partnering with diverse stakeholders to provide comprehensive treatment and recovery support to both insured and underserved people in Atlanta and across Georgia. Emory and Hazelden Betty Ford will also work together to advance addiction-related education and research.

Proposal makes top 100 in 100&Change competition

Emory’s proposal to end death and disability from diabetes and hypertension for millions of people in India is among the top 100 projects under consideration for a $100 million grant by the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. Led by a team of diabetes and chronic diseases researchers at Rollins, “Destination Zero” comprises experts from multiple disciplines in the United States and India.

“There is strong evidence that simple technologies, coupled with lifestyle education and low-cost medications, when delivered effectively can substantially prevent diabetes, hypertension, and their complications," says K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, Destination Zero team lead and director of the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center. “In Destination Zero, we will leverage existing infrastructure to deliver these interventions. With a solution that is proven to be effective and affordable, the program will demonstrate that the devastation wreaked by diabetes and hypertension—the two silent killers of the 21st century—can be thwarted,” says Narayan.

In brief
Community benefits FY19

In FY2019, Emory Healthcare provided $151.5 million in charity care and $104.6 million to support teaching and research in the health sciences. Emory medical faculty provided $34.1 million in uncompensated care at Grady Hospital. And the Woodruff Health Sciences Center had a $10.8 billion economic impact on the local economy. For these and other figures, see the 2019 Community Benefits report.

Third named department

The department of environmental health in Rollins has been named the Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health in honor of longtime Rollins faculty member and supporter, Eugene Gangarosa (above right), and his wife, Rose (above left). Following the Hubert Department of Global Health and the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, this is the third department within Emory University to be named. Gangarosa began teaching in Emory’s Master of Community Health Program (the precursor of the MPH program) in 1975 when it was first established by Emory. Now in his 90s, he continues to teach the occasional class at Rollins in his role as emeritus professor and he remains actively involved with the Center for Global Safe WASH, which he founded.

Inaugural 10X Single Cell Sequencing Seed Grants

WHSC has announced the recipients of the inaugural round of 10X Single Cell Sequencing Seed Grants, which were created to support early-career investigators. WHSC houses two 10X Chromium Controller instruments—state-of-the-art technology that provides WHSC investigators the ability to analyze the expression of thousands of genes in single cells, allowing them to identify new cell types and functions that have previously been unrecognized. See the award recipients here.

Winship grant awardees

Twelve Winship investigators will receive over $750,000 in funding for projects through Winship Invest$, a peer-reviewed program designed to fund novel, innovative cancer research. The program is supported by philanthropic contributions as well as developmental funds from Winship's Cancer Center Support Grant awarded by the NIH. See grant winners here.

Researching single ventricle heart defects

The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory and Georgia Tech will share in a $5.7 million Innovation Fund aimed at identifying new functional cures for children born with single ventricle heart defects, a rare but incurable condition. Funded by the nonprofit foundation Additional Ventures, the department will join four other institutions in a large-scale coordinated research effort. Single ventricle heart defects affect about 5 in 100,000 newborns each year and are among the most challenging and costliest heart conditions to treat.

Clean Hands Emory

Emory Healthcare is installing an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system across all its hospitals to reinforce our standard of performing hand hygiene on room entry and exit. This system was developed by a start-up company with roots at Emory and Georgia Tech (Clean Hands-Safe Hands) and has been studied at EUHM and EJCH. It has also been operational at Emory Decatur Hospital and Long-Term Acute Care.

In the coming months, sensors on our new alcohol hand rub and soap dispensers will be installed on all inpatient bedded rooms across EHC. If a healthcare worker enters or leaves a room and does not promptly clean their hands, the system will deliver an audible voice reminder. The system will allow units to have a more accurate understanding of hand hygiene performance.

New nursing degree

Addressing the need for RNs, the nursing school is launching a Master of Nursing (MN) degree program for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline and want to pursue a career in nursing. The inaugural MN cohort is planned to begin in August 2020 pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The MN degree offers a graduate curriculum to prepare a “population-ready graduate” with an emphasis on nursing leadership, evidence-based practice, and interprofessional education. Students will have clinical and simulated experiences in hospitals, ambulatory care settings, clinics, and other community health settings, which may be local, regional, and international. Students who graduate from this dynamic program will be prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination and will have advanced nursing knowledge that will accelerate their careers in health care.

Board room named in Hatcher’s honor

Charles R. Hatcher, Jr. (above right) brought his considerable surgical skills to Emory in 1962. In the years since his arrival, Dr. Hatcher saved countless lives and played a leading role in putting Emory’s cardiovascular services—and Emory Healthcare—prominently on the academic medicine map. On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, he joined the Woodruff Health Sciences team as Jon Lewin along with current and former WHSC leaders formally dedicated the WHSC fourth floor board room as the Charles R. Hatcher, Jr., MD Conference Room.

Robert Guyton (above left), Distinguished Charles R. Hatcher, Jr. Professor of Surgery and chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown, told the assembled crowd that Hatcher served as his mentor for more than 25 years and influenced his career in many ways. “I learned a great deal about leadership from Charles,” said Guyton. “I recall after a contentious meeting with a number of hospital division chiefs, he commented that the meeting went well and noted that ‘it’s better to have to tame tigers than to have to light a fire under mules.’”

Hatcher listened quietly during the dedication ceremony as his former colleagues recalled his skill as a physician, a mentor, and as a leader. He said in typically straightforward fashion how much he appreciated the honor of this dedication. “And I want everyone here to know that Emory’s done a lot more for me than I’ve done for Emory.”

Carlos del Rio (executive associate dean for Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System) has been elected as the next foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine.

Colleen McBride (Grace Crum Rollins Chair of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education) has been named Winship's associate director for community outreach and engagement.

Andrew H. Miller (William P. Timmie Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) has been named the 2020 Dean’s Distinguished Faculty Lecture and Award recipient.

Joe Sharma (William C. McGarity Chair of Surgery) has been appointed vice chair of Quality, Patient Safety and Care Innovation for the Department of Surgery.


March 10: SOM faculty resource fair. SOM 130 and Lobby, 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm.

March 17-18: Emory / National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) workshop on Biosafety and Bio-preparedness will explore where NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) is with bio-preparedness, how our national biodefense strategy has evolved, and what contributions the WTP can make to implementation of the biodefense strategy. Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

March 26: The groundbreaking for the R. Randall Rollins Building, Rollins Auditorium, Claudia Nance Rollins Building, 4:00 pm

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