Celebrating Juneteenth

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June 17, 2022

Celebrating Juneteenth

This weekend marks a very special celebration of hope and pride for the African American community and for our nation—Juneteenth. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas bearing the joyful message that all enslaved people were now free. Since that time, June 19 has become an annual celebration commemorating not only the end of the institution of slavery, but also the extraordinary culture and achievement of the African American community and its countless contributions to the fabric of the United States.

Juneteenth is a day not only for celebration of a profound historical event in our nation, but also for reflection and education. While diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values and a critical focus of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Emory Healthcare, I recognize that ensuring racial equality and eliminating social injustice are works in progress that require our constant effort and attention. I share your commitment to continually striving to make ours an equitable and inclusive community for all.

This Juneteenth, I pledge to learn more about how I can personally contribute to the dismantling of racism in our community and in our country. I hope you will do the same.

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 and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

DEI Highlight

The Emory University Hospital, Emory University Orthopaedics and Spine Hospital, and Emory Wesley Woods Hospital DEI Advisory Committee and Executive Operations Team are putting their commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion into action.

In April 2022, the team kicked off its first official educational offering, “Recognizing and Disrupting Implicit Bias and Microaggressions.” The sessions are offered in-person and virtually and run through July 21. To date, more than 400 team members have attended this offering.

In the course, participants learn how to better understand implicit biases, microaggressions, attitudes, or stereotypes we may hold unknowingly—and what we can do to counteract them in our daily work and life. This advances our journey to create a culture that is safe and welcoming and where everyone feels valued, supported, and inspired to fully participate with their own unique wisdom, perspectives, and experiences. These efforts are led by Lucero Rodriguez and Georgia Jackson, co-facilitators of the DEI Advisory Committee.

In Brief
2022 Health Care Heroes

The Atlanta Business Chronicle has selected two Emory researchers as winners of its 2022 Health Care Heroes awards. Roxana Chicas, assistant professor in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (SON), won the Health Care Hero award in the Rising Star category; and Nadine Rouphael, professor at Emory University School of Medicine (SOM) and executive director of the Hope Clinic, the clinical research arm of the Emory Vaccine Center, won as Health Care Hero in the Innovator/Researcher category. Read more.

First Georgia ambulatory facility to achieve Magnet designation

Emory Clinic is the first ambulatory or outpatient practice in Georgia to receive the prestigious Magnet recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork, and superiority in patient care. Emory Clinic, a part of Emory Healthcare, is the most comprehensive physician group practice in Georgia, consisting of nearly 2,100 specialists, sub-specialists and primary care physicians and additional team members including 1,200 nurses, more than 1,100 nurse practitioners and physician assistants and others. Read more.

Innovative HIV/AIDS vaccine and cure research

The NIH has awarded Emory $28.5 million over the next five years to conduct research toward the prevention and cure of HIV. More than 20 researchers across seven institutions are collaborating as part of the new Consortium for Innovative HIV/AIDS Vaccine and Cure Research in Nonhuman Primates. The consortium co-leaders are Rama Amara, a core researcher at the Emory National Primate Research Center, and Eric Hunter, a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar. Read more.

Closer to understanding mechanisms that support HIV persistence

Researchers at the Emory National Primate Research Center recently discovered that a well-known anti-inflammatory protein, called interleukin-10, may be responsible for helping sustain cellular reservoirs that shelter the HIV virus, allowing it to take cover in certain immune cells and rapidly rebound in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. The research team says this finding, could lead to treatments that block the effects of interleukin-10 and, therefore, reduce viral persistence. Read more.

McDonald named Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Chair

William M. McDonald has been appointed chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, SOM. McDonald is professor and J.B. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Depression and Reunette W. Harris Chair for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and has led the department as interim chair since January 2021. Read more.

Palmer named Winship VP clinical administration and strategy

Stacy L. Palmer joined Winship Cancer Institute on June 6 as the new vice president of clinical administration and strategy. In this role, she will be responsible for coordinating Winship's clinical strategy and supporting standardization of cancer care across Emory Healthcare's clinical sites and partners. Read more.

Trial to test mRNA HIV vaccine in humans

Emory is participating in a trial to evaluate the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology in HIV vaccines for the first time in humans. The Hope Clinic of Emory Vaccine Center is currently recruiting trial participants. Read more.

2022nd patient at Emory Proton Therapy Center

In December 2018, the Emory Proton Therapy Center opened its doors. In early 2022, it treated its 2022nd patient—27-year old Wisconsin native and Dahlonega, Ga., resident Megan Smith, pictured above. Read more.

ESJH top ranked for minimally invasive heart valve replacement

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital (ESJH) has earned a three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology for its patient care and outcomes in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The three-star rating, which denotes the highest category of quality, places the hospital among the elite for the TAVR procedure in the US and Canada. Pictured above, George Hanzel, Jeffrey Miller, and Steven Macheers lead the TAVR program. Read more.

Emory, Georgia State establish antiviral drug discovery center

With $52 million in federal funding for the next three years, researchers at Emory and Georgia State will establish a new drug development center aimed at preventing the next pandemic. The Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center is one of nine around the country. The center will be directed by George Painter, CEO of the Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), and Richard Plemper, director of the Center for Translational Antiviral Research at Georgia State. Read more.

$11 million grant to improve immunotherapy for lung cancer

Winship has been awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute to support research aimed at improving the effectiveness of immunotherapy for lung cancer in patients with a mutation of the LKB1 gene, a group for whom the present immunotherapy options do not provide robust benefit. The award will provide nearly $11 million over five years to a team of Winship researchers led by Haian Fu and Suresh Ramalingham. Read more.

The economics of Academic Health Centers

The 25th report of the Blue Ridge Academic Health Group explores the role Academic Health Centers (AHCs) play in educating the next generation of clinicians and researchers and in making critical advances in medicine. However, the AHC research enterprise always requires financial support from other sources. This funding gap necessitates investment of clinical margin into the academic enterprise to cover the financial shortfall, and today that support is estimated at more than $20 billion annually. Read Financially Sustaining the Academic Enterprise.

Colleen Kraft, associate chief medical officer at Emory University Hospital, has been accepted into the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine®(ELAM) program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Fayron Epps, assistant professor in SON, is one of 12 nurse scientists accepted to the third cohort of the Betty Irene Moore Fellowship for Nurse Leaders and Innovators. Read more.

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