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September 21, 2018

Meeting more patients at their point of need

After many months of planning and collaboration on the behalf of hundreds of stakeholders, DeKalb Medical joined the Emory family on September 1. With the addition of three DeKalb facilities—now officially Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital, and Emory Long Term Acute Care—Emory Healthcare has grown to a 10-hospital system.

By the numbers, this expansion means that Emory Healthcare is now an even more incredible resource for the people of Georgia. Our health system now offers 2,673 beds and 250 locations served by some 2,800 physicians. The addition of 4,000 new employees brings the Emory Healthcare total to 21,000 and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center total to almost 30,000, which only adds to our already impressive economic impact on the community.

Beyond the numbers, the addition of these new facilities and team members means we can meet more patients and families at their point of need—when they need help and where they need help. This partnership expands not only our health system, but also our opportunity to provide uniquely compassionate, cutting-edge care to more people than ever before.

We look forward to working together to take advantage of this unique chance to learn from each other, grow, and most important, improve the health of the people we serve. 

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

Blankets, scrubs, pillow cases, and more

It's an ongoing "spin cycle" for Emory Healthcare's Laundry and Linen Services, a round-the-clock operation handling more than 600,000 pounds of laundry every month for 12 locations throughout the system.

Each day soiled linens are collected and taken to Emory's distribution center in Clarkston, where they are loaded onto large trucks and driven to Crothall Healthcare in Rome, Georgia, for washing, sanitizing, drying, and folding. The linens are then returned to Clarkston for sorting and loading for delivery back to Emory. To minimize traffic delays and elevator usage, most drivers come in at midnight each night to bring clean linens back to the hospitals and clinics.

Totaling more than $5.5 million a year, the service is a crucial one for both providers and patients. "This is basically a 24/7 operation," says Jerry Lewis, director of the service. "If you have delays on the distribution of carts, then patient care could be affected, so staying on a tight and consistent schedule is really important."

Sindy Charles, assistant director, says turnover among the 29-member team on the service is very low. "Our staff members take a lot of pride in their job, with many of them staying with us until they reach retirement," she says.

Watch a short video showing how these team members do their job.—Janet Christenbury

Left: Michael Konomos leads the office of Visual Medical Education. Right: A new lung anatomy app (developed by Andy Matlock).

Teaching and learning through visualization

If a picture is worth a thousand words, an animation at 30 images per second is worth considerably more. Such images and other forms of visual communication are the purview of the medical school's Visual Medical Education team, led by illustrator Michael Konomos. With four medical illustrators, this office produces elegant multimedia tools ranging from apps and illustrations to iBooks and video animation for teaching trainees and patients alike.

"Our core mission is education—solving practical problems, providing teaching aids, improving something measurable," says Konomos.

Some of the more recent projects his office has produced include the following:

The lung app can be used by clinicians to illustrate anatomy, calculate lung capacity, and explain tumor involvement, cancer staging, and therapeutic strategy, says Konomos. The video and iBook were produced in part to show students and trainees how basic science can be a game-changer in developing new avenues for therapy.

In brief
$29 million to Emory Veterans Program
The Wounded Warrior Project has awarded the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program a five-year, $29.2 million grant to further its work with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and anxiety. Read more.
A gift from Hemophilia of Georgia has funded opening of a newly renovated clinic at Emory University Hospital Midtown and will help expand clinical services, assist in training physicians, and advance research on hemophilia in pediatric and adult patients. Read more.
EUH receives Magnet redesignation
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) has awarded Emory University Hospital its second Magnet designation, which signifies that the care patients receive will be of the highest caliber. Three of the many people who helped achieve this honor include Nancye Feistritzer, EUH chief nursing officer; Sharon Pappas, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare; and Polly Willis, manager of Magnet and Nursing Support Operations.
ADRC renamed
Emory has added "Goizueta" to the name of its Alzheimer's Disease Research Center in recognition of The Goizueta Foundation's ongoing support, including its most recent grant of $25 million. This latest gift will help develop a clinical trials unit to expand testing of new drug treatments and will support research in the neuroinflammation discovery unit to combat neuro-inflammation and related mechanisms contributing to neurodegeneration and disease progression. Read more.
Academy to help disadvantaged students
The medical school received five-year funding to support a National Health Careers Opportunity Program to create a comprehensive continuum of learning, mentoring, college/health career readiness, and health profession exposure activities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Bill Eley, executive associate dean for medical education, and Yolanda Hood, director of Multicultural Medical Student Affairs, will administer the program.
Latest Synergy Awards announced

The WHSC announced recipients of the fifth round of Synergy Awards, selecting 10 proposals out of 54 submitted for funding. These awards support collaborative projects among faculty across the health sciences. Since the Synergy Awards were initiated in 2016, more than $3.2 million in funds have been awarded to more than 90 researchers, supporting 34 proposals. Read more.

Jim Forstner, who served as executive VP and COO of DeKalb Medical Center since 2016, has been named CEO of Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Hillandale Hospital, and Emory Long Term Acute Care.

Bryce Gartland was named Emory Healthcare Hospital Group President.

Linda McCauley was selected by Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 2018 Women Who Mean Business.

Walt Orenstein is one of four co-editors of a textbook, Plotkin's Vaccines, that won first prize in the Public Health category at the British Medical Association Awards earlier this month.

Dane Peterson was named Emory Healthcare COO. 

Paula Reed is the new executive director of development at Winship.

Jen Schuck was named VP of operations for Emory Decatur Hospital.


Oct. 13: 8th Annual Winship Win the Fight 5K. 8:30, Quadrangle, Emory University campus. More info.

Feb. 28 - March 1, 2019: GCTSA Science Conference, Callaway Resort and Gardens. Register.

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