Congratulations graduates—and faculty and staff

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May 20, 2022

Congratulations graduates—and faculty and staff

It was truly an honor to participate earlier this month in commencement ceremonies for the schools of medicine, nursing, and public health. This year’s commencement season has been especially bittersweet, as it is to be my last as the leader of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). Taking part in this celebration of our extraordinary graduates is always one of the highlights of the year for me and an occasion that I will certainly miss going forward.

As the events of the past two years have shown, the need for highly skilled, compassionate people across the health professions spectrum has never been greater, and no institution is doing more than WHSC to prepare the superlative leaders we need to tackle the most urgent medical issues of our time.

Congratulations to all graduates of Emory University School of Medicine, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and the Rollins School of Public Health. I look forward to seeing all that you will do to improve lives and provide hope for people in need here at home and around the world.

Finally, congratulations and my deepest admiration and appreciation to all the faculty and staff who work so hard year-round to provide superior academic opportunities and training to our students. Their excellence reflects your excellence.

Please direct questions and comments to

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

DEI Highlight

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) at Emory University is launching a Fellowship in Nursing Development (FIND) to provide students a pathway into the profession. FIND represents an intentional recruitment effort to diversify the NHWSN pipeline of individuals inclusive of gender and racial and ethnic backgrounds who are underrepresented in nursing.

The fellowship will facilitate meaningful exploration of roles and functions in the field of nursing, and awardees will witness firsthand how nurses are reshaping the care of vulnerable individuals and communities. A significant component of the award will highlight the ways nurses from underrepresented groups are leading in nursing practice, research, education, service, and policy, enabling fellows to envision leadership roles in their own career development.

Congratulations to the WLA Class of 2022

Congratulations to the Class of 2022 members of the Woodruff Leadership Academy (WLA), who completed their program in April. The class was divided into three teams, which tackled the following projects:

1. The Advocators: Creating Effective Advocates within Emory (Team Members: Jessica Davis, Christopher Perry, Marybeth Sexton, Shakira Suglia, and Shawn Tritt)

2. The Equalizers: R.I.D.E. Responsible Integrative Delivery of Care at Emory (Team Members: Saurabh Chawla, Sarah DeCaro, Ryan Haumschild, Reena Hemrajani, Kevin Kalinsky, and Leigh Smith)

3. The Promoters: Promoting Equity in the Faculty Promotion and Tenure Process (Team Members: Wilbur Lam, Jamie MacKelfresh, Lisa Muirhead, Igho Ofotokun, Amit Saindane, and Michele Sumler)

If you would like more information on any of these projects, please contact the WLA Administrator, Melinda Morrow.

Emory Healthcare Marketing wins Atlanta Marketer of the Year (AMY)

Each year the Atlanta Chapter of the American Marketing Association recognizes excellence in marketing among Atlanta-based companies and brands through their AMY Awards. This year Emory Healthcare’s marketing team were finalists in four categories: one for the “Get it Done” campaign and three for the “Healthy Dads” campaign with Matt Ryan, former quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. The Emory team won in the health care category for “Healthy Dads,” earning its second prestigious AMY Awards in two years.

Panitch chosen as chair of Department of Biomedical Engineering

Alyssa Panitch, Edward Teller Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, has been selected as the new chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. Panitch currently serves as executive associate dean of academic personnel and planning in the College of Engineering at UC Davis. The position oversees the merit and promotion process and all matters related to faculty and academic affairs, including faculty and academic personnel hiring.She will begin her new role leading Coulter BME on July 1. Read more.

HSRB II: Designed with environmental impact in mind

Interdisciplinary strategies used in designing our second and largest Health Sciences Research Building reduced predicted energy use intensity (pEUI) by more than 50 percent of industry average for a resource-intensive science building program. Learn more about what's happening in HSRB II.

New Emory TB research center

Supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases, Emory and three other institutions will form the Emory/Georgia Tuberculosis Research Advancement Center (Emory/Georgia-TRAC). Led by Neel Gandhi, professor of epidemiology at Rollins, and Jyothi Rengarajan, professor of medicine at Emory Vaccine Center, Emory/Georgia-TRAC will expand collaborative multidisciplinary TB research in the US and internationally and train the next generation of TB researchers. Read more.

Amy Chen, surgical oncologist, has received the Margaret Butler Outstanding Mentor of Women in Head and Neck Surgery Award from the American Head and Neck Society for demonstrating leadership in promoting gender diversity in the field.

Amy Comeau, VP of marketing, has been named vice chair of Vizient’s Chief Marketing Officers Network. She will serve in this role for two years at which point she will become chair for two years.

Bree Eaton, radiation oncologist, has received a 2022 Outstanding Reviewer Award from the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics.

Mandy Ford, Winship researcher, has been named to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Transplantation.

Rose Horton, registered nurse at Emory Decatur Hospital, received an AJC Nurse Excellence Award.

Dennis Liotta, executive director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, has received the 2022 Perkin Medal, the highest honor a scientist can receive for contributions to the field of applied chemistry in the US. He has been instrumental in the creation of novel therapies, including drugs to treat HIV and cancer.

Jane Meisel, hematology and medical oncology, has been selected for the ASCO Leadership Development program. The year-long program provides leadership training, mentorship from ASCO leaders, exposure to US government research agencies, and first-hand advocacy experience on Capitol Hill.

Ravi Rajani, assistant dean for education of Emory at Grady, has been appointed to editor of Annals of Vascular Surgery.

Steven Roser, chief of the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, will receive the 2022 Humanitarian Award of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

John Sweeney, chair of the Department of Surgery, was elected first vice president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress during its 2022 annual meeting

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