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Emory Healthcare Honors 2013 Second Century Awards Recipients

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Janet Christenbury

For more than a century, Emory Hospitals have provided exceptional care based on the latest scientific advances and research. Each year, Emory Healthcare honors individuals and groups whose dedication and commitment have been instrumental in providing excellent patient care. Those people were recently honored at the eighth annual Second Century Awards at the Atlanta History Center.  

The honorees, one from Emory University Hospital Midtown, one from Emory Johns Creek Hospital, one from Emory University Hospital and one from Saint Joseph’s Hospital were selected for their significant impact on the care of countless Atlantans, hospital patients, staff and physicians, and nominated by Emory Healthcare leadership and previous award recipients.  

The recipients are as follows:  

W. Daniel Barker

2013 Recipient of the Wadley R. Glenn, MD, Award
Emory University Hospital Midtown

Inspired by the joy he saw his father take in being CEO of Georgia Baptist Hospital, W. Daniel Barker found his vocation in hospital administration. An Atlantan since age five, Barker stewarded Emory’s hospitals for more than 30 years, at one point serving as director of both Emory University Hospital (EUH) and Crawford Long Hospital (now Emory University Hospital Midtown).  

After graduating from Emory’s business school, Barker was offered a job as the manager of the EUH business office. In 1965, he successfully managed one of the biggest challenges of his career, the implementation of Medicare.  

In 1978, Barker became the executive director of Emory University Hospital and in 1984, he was named the director of both EUH and Crawford Long Hospital. He retired in 1990.  

Barker is former chair of the board of trustees of the American Hospital Association, past president of the Georgia Hospital Association and former commissioner on the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.  

Emory Johns Creek Hospital Auxiliary

2013 Recipient of the Emory Johns Creek Hospital Legacy Award  

Auxiliary members from Emory Johns Creek Hospital are united by their desire to give back. More than 150 volunteers strong, they serve as patient ambassadors, assist with administrative projects, escort visitors, push wheelchairs and support clinicians and staff in every hospital department. Together, they have contributed more then 134,356 hours to the hospital.  

Founded in 2007 when the hospital opened its doors, the auxiliary has become integral to Emory Johns Creek Hospital. Auxilians serve as the hospital’s ambassadors to the larger community and play a key role in the hospital.  

Auxiliary members also run the hospital’s gift shop and hold multiple fund-raisers each year to raise money for medical scholarships. Last year, they auxiliary gave $12,000 in scholarships. Over the last five years, they have provided a total of $55,000 in scholarship support.  

William C. Wood, MD

2013 Recipient of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award
Emory University Hospital

The son of a protestant minister, William C. Wood knew he wanted to be a doctor when he realized that of all of the visitors his family received, he looked forward the most to seeing the medical missionaries. Fueled by the same impulse to help people, he became an academic surgeon to treat patients, train the next generation of doctors and advance the field of medicine.  

Recruited to Emory University School of Medicine in 1991, Wood raised the department to new heights of excellence in clinical care, education, and research. He served as the Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and chair of the department of surgery for nearly 20 years, while serving as the chief of surgery at Emory University Hospital. He also directed the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University for nine years.  

Wood attended Wheaton College, then Harvard Medical School where he graduated cum laude in 1966. He trained as a surgical resident at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), completed a clinical and research fellowship at the surgery branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), served as a clinical surgery fellow at Harvard, and finished his training as the chief resident in surgery at MGH. He served as the medical director of the MGH Cancer Center and then as the chief of surgical oncology while teaching at Harvard Medical School.  

Wood has chaired and served on numerous NIH boards and steering committees and has earned international recognition for his contributions to cancer therapy and clinical trials. After retiring from clinical practice in August 2011, Wood devoted himself to training surgeons in Africa. He also serves on the board of the Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation, which aims to improve cancer care in Africa.  

Sister Valentina Sheridan, RSM

2013 Recipient of the newly named Sister Valentina Sheridan Award
Saint Joseph’s Hospital 

Sister Valentina Sheridan is director of Mission Integration at Saint Joseph’s Hospital. She began her service at Saint Joseph’s as director of Pastoral Care in 1994, and held that position for 13 years.  

“Sister Val”, as she is known throughout the Saint Joseph’s campus, visits patients and their families on a daily basis, comforting them and praying with them. During her interactions with her co-workers, she reminds members of her health care community of their significant roles in providing compassionate care.  

The mission of Saint Joseph’s Hospital is to provide clinically excellent and compassionate health care in the spirit of loving service to those in need, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. Because Sister Val embodies this mission, the new award, which will now be given annually by Emory Healthcare, has been named after her – the Sister Valentina Sheridan Award.  

A native of Macon, Sister Valentina graduated from Mount de Sales Academy, and entered the Sisters of Mercy religious community. She then earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education Administration from Mount Saint Agnes College in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Master’s from the University of Dayton in Ohio. As an educator, she taught for 13 years before becoming principal of Sacred Heart School in Augusta, then principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School in Atlanta. She was named Director, then Superintendent of Education for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. She is also a past president of the Georgia Association of Independent Schools.  

Emory Healthcare presents the Second Century Awards each Spring to honor community and hospitals leaders whose vision and legacy have made an indelible impact on patients, families, staff and physicians.

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