A Message from Woodruff Health Sciences Center Leaders

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June 24, 2022

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

Earlier today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade. This ruling ends the constitutional right to abortions for women in the United States and grants states individual autonomy to set their own laws regarding abortion access and restrictions. We hope you read the message President Fenves sent today and we wanted to provide additional information as leaders in the health sciences.

We recognize and respect that there are strongly held beliefs within our community on both sides of this decision. This is a deeply emotional and personal issue, and we understand that people are responding from their own viewpoints and experiences. It is important that we treat each other with respect, no matter our differing points of view, and that we continue our mission to promote and improve health at a local and global level.

As leaders in educating future health care and public health professionals, researching reproductive health equity and delivering clinical care, our perspective on abortion and all aspects of reproductive health is based on data and science. The overwhelming evidence from research conducted here at Emory and elsewhere shows women’s health improves when health services are safe and accessible. This same research shows that when access is limited, there are detrimental effects on women’s health, most notably among underrepresented minorities and those from low-income homes who are historically underserved by our nation’s health care system. At the same time, we also understand that for some, science does not define when life begins and that there are those for whom consideration of this timing rises above all others.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to support and train the public health, nursing, and medical workforce who conduct research, deliver clinical care, and promote the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities at home and throughout the world. We are similarly unified in supporting health care delivery systems that increase health equity and access to care and decrease health inequities. This includes providing academic offerings, clinical services, and research programs facilitated by our schools as it relates to women’s health.

The legal and medical landscape at this time is uncertain. We are assessing the impact this decision will have on our programs, students, faculty, staff, and patients and will keep you updated on how the unfolding situation will affect us.

We recognize this news may be distressing to some and welcomed by others – creating a challenging environment for our community. Below is a list of Emory-provided mental health and wellness services that are available. Please continue to treat yourselves and each other with kindness, respect and grace.


James W. Curran, MD, MPH
James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

M. Daniele Fallin, PhD
Incoming James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor
Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, ScD
Dean and Woodruff Professor
Emory School of Medicine

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


Support Resources

  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides individual, group and couples counseling; stress management classes; and community outreach to provide support for students on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses and assist them in negotiating emotional and interpersonal difficulties. CAPS on-call counselors are available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Atlanta campus: 404-727-7450. Oxford campus: 770-784-8394.
  • TimelyCare is a 24-hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7) virtual care service available from nearly anywhere for all enrolled Emory students. Sign up using your Emory email address. Once there, you may schedule a session with a health care provider. TalkNow, a part of TimelyCare, is a free on-demand 24/7 resource for immediate access to a mental health professional.
  • Student Case Management and Intervention Services (SCMIS) provides support for basic needs, follow up care, and other resources. If you are concerned about a student (non-urgent), please submit a Student of Concern form and SCMIS will follow up with the student.
  • Student Intervention Services (SIS) assists students in times of crises, not only as an invaluable resource during emergencies, but also as a source of impartial, judgment-free counsel for students seeking guidance and assistance through life's difficult times. 404-430-1120.
  • Student Health Services (SHS) offers free psychiatric services for all enrolled Emory students. Services include diagnostic psychiatric evaluations, medication evaluations, long-term management of psychiatric medications and community referrals. For guidance for after-hours emergencies, visit the SHS Emergency Care / After Hours web page.
    Atlanta campus: 404-727-7551. Oxford campus: 770-784-8376.
  • Office of Spiritual and Religious Life offers worship, prayer, meditation, and support through spiritual communities, educational programs, confidential pastoral care, and connections with service and social justice efforts. We also plan vigils and other rituals with students, faculty, and staff. Atlanta campus website. Oxford campus website.
  • Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) provides free and confidential support for employees and benefits-eligible Emory University employees and family members. Services include individual, couples and family counseling, coaching and consultation, and individual or team crisis support. Daytime emergency appointments and on-call after-hours support are available. Visit the emergency services webpage or call 404-727-9355 (WELL).
  • BHS: Emory Healthcare has partnered with https://portal.bhsonline.com to provide you and your household members with confidential, in-the-moment support to help with personal or professional problems that may interfere with work or family responsibilities. This program is free and available at no cost to you. Services are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Call/text 1-800-327-2251 or visit the MyBHS portal (username: EHC).
  • EmBRACE Peer Support: Emory's Building Resilience and Compassion Enculturation (emBRACE) Peer Support Program is an interprofessional, systems approach to decrease the burdens of secondary trauma and moral distress experienced by Emory Healthcare and Woodruff Health Sciences Center employees. Trained peer supporters include physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, chaplains, social workers, and other essential staff members. To be partnered with a Peer Supporter, please email embracepeersupport@emoryhealthcare.org.
  • Spiritual Health: The Emory Spiritual Health team offers worship, prayer, meditation, and support through spiritual communities, educational programs, confidential pastoral care, and connections with service and social justice efforts. Staff support contact information is available here.



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

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