Lauding our DEI initiatives

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August 26, 2022

Lauding our DEI initiatives

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is one of the core values of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). This month marks the one-year anniversary of Health Sciences Update’s monthly feature DEI Highlights, which shines a spotlight on some of our most meaningful efforts, such as the outstanding example from the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing shared below.

These stories, prepared by DEI professionals throughout the institution, highlight some of the innovative and effective initiatives being implemented across the breadth of the health sciences to recognize and embrace the many ways in which people differ from one another; to create a fair playing field in which every team member has equal opportunity to succeed; and to build a community in which all members feel valued, respected, and welcome and in which we all share a sense of belonging.

I look forward to reading these highlights each month, and I hope you do as well. Our very deliberate and comprehensive work to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our campus and our community is one of WHSC’s most impressive and impactful accomplishments. Thanks to all who are leading our DEI efforts, and to all who live our DEI values in your daily work.

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 | SON FIND program

This past June, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (SON) Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with other campus partners, launched the Fellowship in Nursing Development (FIND) program. FIND provided a two-week immersion experience with observational components focusing on nursing specialty practice areas, research, and community engagement. After a competitive application and interviewing process, a committee of faculty and staff members chose five fellows from partnering HBCUs and one from Emory College for this opportunity. The inaugural fellows, pictured above l - r, were Anthony Udell (Clark Atlanta University), Valerie Atieno (Spelman College), Brenda Ramirez (Emory College), Joseph Fonseca (Morehouse School of Medicine), Jasmine Ofodu (Seplman College), and Kennedy Payne (Spelman College). The common thread each of these fellows shared was their desire to work with underserved populations, locally and/or abroad.

Through rigorous and accelerated nursing education and observations, combined with interactive activities that facilitated reflection, fellows also had the opportunity to hone their leadership skills as they received an interactive overview of the nursing profession from SON leadership and faculty. The fellows also met with leaders from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM), Emory University Hospital (EUH), and Emory Hillandale Hospital (EHH). These six fellows committed to weekly seminars, clinical observations, and hands-on simulation experiences with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists program leaders. They also participated in the school's social responsibility initiative, the Farm Worker Family Health program, in Moultrie, Georgia.

This year’s Farm Worker Family Health program provided an immersive experience that consisted of interprofessional collaboration with local government, various neighboring academic institutions, faith-based agencies, and more importantly—faculty leadership and peer coaching. FIND fellows assisted faculty, nursing students, and the farm workers’ leadership with interpreting, setting up, and breaking down camp at various farms and at a local elementary school, passing out materials/supplies, light packing/unpacking, and any other non-medical assistance needed. They also observed the dental team providing oral care, the pharmaceutical team dispensing meds, and nurse practitioners providing medical check-ups and prescribing meds. Finally, they witnessed how this interprofessional team of professionals had to quickly move to secure a COVID-19 pop-up testing area and quarantine section.

Throughout this experience the FIND fellows had a front-row seat to the incredible care and contributions that bedside to administrative nurses show their patients and the health care field daily. We look forward to following our six fellows as they explore future career opportunities, hopefully leading them back to nursing, which is celebrating a 20-year run as the ‘most trusted profession’ according to and

In Brief
Three Emory hospitals ranked best in Georgia

For the eleventh year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked EUH the No. 1 hospital in Georgia and metro Atlanta in the regional rankings in U.S. News Best Hospitals issue. (EUH includes Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital and Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods.) Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (EUSJ) ranked No. 2 in Georgia and metro Atlanta for the seventh consecutive year, while EUHM ranked No. 5 for a third year in a row. Read more.

Gift aims to strengthen nursing workforce and education

As the nationwide nursing shortage lingers and as nurse staffing challenges grow, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation hopes to bolster the nursing workforce and advance nursing education at Emory with an $8.5 million grant to Emory Healthcare and the SON. The gift will be used to expand the nurse residency program at Emory Healthcare and create a nurse fellowship program for continued nursing education at the SON. Read more.

Seeking proposals for Long COVID studies

The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance is offering seed grants for studies of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 or Long COVID. It is soliciting proposals that generate preliminary data and refine research strategies for subsequent extramural grant applications. Studies can involve basic, translational, or clinical studies of any aspect of Long COVID. The deadline for proposals has been extended to October 3. Read more.

Request for WHSC Synergy Award proposals

WHSC is seeking proposals for next cycle of the WHSC Synergy Awards to support new collaborative projects between the schools, centers, and faculty of the WHSC. The Synergy Awards support the WHSC strategic plan by bringing researchers together across organizational boundaries to catalyze innovation and discovery. Proposals are due September 30. Read more.

Marcus interim VP for research in WHSC

Adam Marcus will serve as the interim vice president for research in WHSC when David Stephens steps in as interim executive vice president of health affairs of Emory University. Marcus currently is a Winship 5K Research Professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology and is the deputy director for the Winship Cancer Institute. Within the SOM, Marcus serves as the interim associate dean for novel technology and research cores. He will begin his appointment on Sept. 1, 2022. Read more.

New CEO of Emory Rehabilitation Hospital

After a nationwide search, Renee Hinson-Smith has been appointed chief executive officer of Emory Rehabilitation Hospital, a 66-bed rehabilitation facility that provides comprehensive medical rehabilitation. Hinson-Smith joins Emory Healthcare from Saint Alphonsus Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise, Idaho, where she served as CEO of a joint venture inpatient rehabilitation facility between Encompass Health and Saint Alphonsus Health System. Read more.

Winship named among world's top Cardio-Oncology Centers of Excellence

The International Cardio-Oncology Society (ICOS) has designated Winship Cancer Institute a gold-level Cardio-Oncology "Center of Excellence," one of fewer than 35 gold-level centers worldwide. The gold-level designation is the highest status awarded by ICOS and follows a rigorous application process and review by an international certification committee. Read more.

Novel SON program receives accreditation

The SON has earned accreditation for its novel Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program from the South Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Post-BSN DNP candidates will have the opportunity to learn more about the mental health field and help close the current care gap. The US, and in particular Georgia, faces a crisis-level shortage of qualified mental health professionals. Read more.

Join an Em-WELL virtual focus group

The WHSC Office of Well-Being (Em-WELL) was established in January to lead the design, direction and implementation of well-being programs that address the current environmental stressors among clinicians, health professionals, faculty, and staff in clinical, research and academic health sciences areas. Em-WELL will be hosting virtual focus groups in which people can share their experiences and thoughts. Click on the date and time to join the Zoom: Tuesday, 8/30, 3 p.m.; Thursday, 9/1, 11 a.m.; Wednesday, 9/7, 4 p.m.; Saturday, 9/10, 10 a.m.; Monday, 9/12, 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9/15, 11 a.m.

Emory named Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence

Emory has been named Georgia’s first and only Comprehensive Radiopharmaceutical Therapy Center of Excellence by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. The designation recognizes Emory's expertise in providing patients at Winship Cancer Institute with advanced radiopharmaceutical therapies with the guidance of advanced imaging technology. Radiopharmaceutical therapies are radioactive drugs that are injected into the bloodstream to deliver radiation directly and specifically to cancer cells for the treatment of cancers such as thyroid, neuroendocrine and prostate cancer. Read more.

Sunil Badve, SOM vice chair for pathology cancer programs and professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, has been named associate editor for npj Breast Cancer. The open access, multidisciplinary Nature Portfolio journal covers breast cancer research and treatment.

Jodie Guest, RSPH epidemiology professor and vice chair, is serving on the Atlanta Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Board as co-chair of the LGBT health committee. Guest is also the City of Atlanta public health advisor for monkeypox.

Jessica Harding, SOM assistant professor in the division of transplantation, will be the 2022 recipient of the Harry Keen Memorial Award, which is awarded by the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group to recognize young leaders in diabetes epidemiology.

Tracey Henry, SOM internist and assistant health director in Grady’s Primary Care Center, is a new Climate and Health Equity Fellow sponsored by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health in cooperation with National Medical Association. Read more. Henry also recently became a new member of the Joint Commission Board of Commissioners, the Joint Commission's governing body, providing policy leadership and oversight. Read more.

Tené Lewis, RSPH associate professor of epidemiology, was elected president of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Colleen McBride, RSPH professor of behavioral, social, and health education sciences, received the Outstanding Research Award from the APHA Genomics Forum.

Amina Salamova, RSPH assistant professor of environmental health, received the Joan Daisey Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the International Society of Exposure Science.

Jason Schneider, SOM associate professor of general medicine and geriatrics, received the 2022 Excellence in LGBTQ Health Award (Physician) from the American Medical Association Foundation Board of Directors. This annual awards program honors physicians who represent the highest values of altruism, compassion, and dedication to patient care.

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