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Emory Healthcare honors 2014 Second Century Awards recipients

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Janet Christenbury

Award recipients

Top row (l-r):
Donald Wells, John Garrett

Bottom row (l-r):
John Henry, Rein Saral

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 of people whose dedication, commitment and leadership have been instrumental in providing excellent patient care, support and direction. Those people were recently honored at the ninth annual Second Century Awards at the Atlanta History Center.

The honorees, one from Emory Johns Creek Hospital, one from Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, one from Emory University Hospital Midtown and one from Emory University Hospital, were selected because of their significant impact in caring for patients or for their leadership roles within the hospitals. Emory Healthcare leadership, as well as previous award recipients, nominated them.

The recipients are as follows:

Donald Wells | John Garrett | John Henry | Rein Saral

Donald E. Wells

2014 Recipient of the Emory Johns Creek Hospital Legacy Award
Emory Johns Creek Hospital

The son of a Baptist minister, Donald E. Wells inherited his father's compassion and a mission to contribute to society. Drawn to health care, he worked as an orderly in high school and drove an ambulance in college. "I belonged in health care," he says. "It was my mission."

In 1961, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and attended the Naval Hospital Corps School and the navy's Cardiopulmonary School in California. He served in Virginia and Naples, Italy, as a cardiopulmonary tech and corpsman.

After his stint in the navy, Wells returned to Georgia and began working in Emory

Hospital's Cardiovascular Research and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory while earning his bachelor's degree in business administration. In 1970, he took the first of many administrative roles at Emory University Hospital, while also earning a master of health administration degree from Georgia State University.

Wells found his calling in hospital administration. "I saw the administrative side of the hospital as a support system to the clinical side," he says. "By running the hospital efficiently, I ensured that clinicians had the resources to care for people."

Wells served as executive director of Emory University Hospital for seven years, director of business development for Emory Healthcare for five years, and chair of the Emory Johns Creek Hospital board of directors for seven years. Taking the helm before Emory Johns Creek Hospital opened its doors, he helped instill the hospital's focus on quality and patient-centered care. He led efforts to recruit top staff and build a partnership between the hospital and the Johns Creek community.

About Emory Johns Creek Hospital
In February 2007, Johns Creek Hospital opened for the first time, and with that presence, the promise of a new hospital offering new avenues for health and wellness to the Johns Creek community. From 68 flat, brush-filled acres, grew a  parkling 110-bed community hospital, one complete with emergency care, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and exceptional medical, cardiology, oncology and surgical services. In March 2011, Johns Creek Hospital joined Emory Healthcare bringing another dimension of education and research to the region. Now integral to the fabric of the Johns Creek community, the Emory Johns Creek Hospital staff, physicians and Auxiliary are building a legacy to serve the community for generations.

John C. Garrett, MD

2014 Recipient of the Sister Valentina Sheridan Award
Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

A pioneering orthopaedic surgeon, John C. Garrett, MD, fulfilled his childhood dream of helping people overcome injury and adversity. "Fulfillment doesn't come from a title or published articles," he says. "It comes when patients get better."

Specializing in the knee, Garrett helped advance arthroscopic surgery with new surgical techniques and instrumentation. He was the first surgeon in the U.S. to transplant the meniscus (the cartilage in the joint), and he led the movement to repair the knee biologically and delay replacing it with an artificial joint.

As team physician for the Atlanta Falcons for 12 years, Garrett treated professional athletes for injuries that previously would have ended careers. Using arthroscopic surgery, Garrett helped injured athletes get back into the game within the season. He also treated amateur athletes for similar problems. "This kind of surgery is a marvel," Garrett says. "We can help people return to their lives."

In collaboration with his wife, Joy, he founded Resurgens Orthopaedics in 1986. Now one of the largest and most successful orthopaedic practices in the country, the group offers subspecialized treatment of orthopaedic problems using in-house imaging, physical therapy and surgery.

Resurgens moved to Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital in 1991. The practice needed space, and the hospital needed an enhanced orthopaedic presence. It turned out to be a perfect match, as both focus on patient-centered care.

About Sister Valentina Sheridan
As director of mission integration at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Sister Valentina Sheridan is deeply committed to her ministry of service. She makes friends of strangers and serves innumerable patients and their families. Her spirit of service will live on through this award, which recognizes and furthers her legacy. A Macon native, she entered the Sisters of Mercy religious community after high school. She earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees, teaching for 13 years before becoming principal of Sacred Heart School (Augusta), then principal of Our Lady of the Assumption School (Atlanta). She was Director, then Superintendent of Education for the Archdiocese of Atlanta and in 1980 became the Archdiocese's first female parish administrator.

John D. Henry, Sr., LFACHE

2014 Recipient of the Wadley R. Glenn Award
Emory University Hospital Midtown

John D. Henry, Sr., began his relationship with Emory in 1953 as a 15-year-old college freshman. Now CEO emeritus of Emory's two largest hospitals and Wesley Woods Center, he has a distinguished history of leadership and vision that helped Emory Healthcare take its place among the nation's best health care providers.

A gifted administrator with an eye for detail, he led Emory Hospitals for 40 years.

Henry began his administrative residency in 1963 at Crawford Long Hospital (now called Emory University Hospital Midtown). Named CEO of Crawford Long in 1985, he continued the legacy of hospital leaders, Wadley Glenn and W. Daniel Barker. "I believe in taking care of people," he says. "If you take good care of your employees, they'll take good care of your patients."

Henry faced the greatest challenge of his career when he was appointed CEO of Emory Hospitals and tasked with uniting Crawford Long Hospital and Emory University Hospital in 1995. Each hospital had its own policies, information systems, and cadre of more than 40 clinical and nonclinical departments. He worked with leadership to meld the best of both hospitals into an efficient whole.

Henry's greatest achievement is the $270 million redevelopment of Emory Crawford Long Hospital in 2002. He worked with staff and physicians to create the state-of-the-art, 20-story building.

Retiring from Emory Hospitals in 2003, Henry served first as COO then as CEO of the Grady Health System because he wanted to give back to the community. Fully retired since 2007, he now serves on three hospital boards.

About Wadley R. Glenn, MD
Under Dr. Wadley R. Glenn's leadership, Crawford W. Long Memorial Hospital, now Emory University Hospital Midtown, created Atlanta's first blood bank and first premature baby nursery, established a nuclear medicine unit, and facilitated the creation of the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center. A skilled surgeon known for his advocacy of the patient and his commitment to clinical excellence, Dr. Glenn became the hospital's second medical director in 1953. His life's work reflects the impressive
accomplishments of Emory University Hospital Midtown's past and present. His family's generosity made possible the Wadley R. Glenn Chair of Surgery at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Rein Saral, MD

2014 Recipient of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award
Emory University Hospital

Rein Saral, MD, discovered his affinity for science at a young age. His family had left USSR-occupied Estonia and settled in Iowa when he was five. Aptitude tests revealed his natural talents, and he took accelerated programs in math, physics and chemistry.

A renowned researcher, clinician, and leader, Saral pioneered the use of bone marrow transplants to treat leukemia and transformed Emory's emergent bone marrow transplant program into one of the best and largest in the nation. Also, in a variety of top leadership positions, he led and expanded Emory Healthcare.

Saral earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital. After a stint as a basic researcher at the National Institutes of Health, he decided that he wanted to work directly with patients, and he returned to Hopkins.

Emory recruited Saral in 1991 to direct its Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. He introduced better immune-suppressive agents, more reliable immune system match testing and state-of-the-art post-transplantation patient care. Saral brought hope and healing to hundreds of patients during his career. "I can't tell you the joy you have when you eradicate a fatal disease and the individual goes back to living," he says. "There is no greater reward."

Saral's fellow clinic physicians elected him director of the Emory Clinic, where he served from 1993 to 2004. Now the senior associate director at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and professor of hematology and medical oncology at Emory, Saral helped Winship earn its National Cancer Institute designation by supporting the development of critical infrastructure and translational research programs.

About Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans
As one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola, Joseph B. Whitehead and his family achieved great business success. Following Mr. Whitehead's death, his widow, Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, and two sons carried on the family business and quietly
joined the ranks of the nation's foremost charitable benefactors. The family's largesse has been a vital part of Emory University Hospital's transformation into a leading medical center for patient care, research and education, as evidenced
by the Whitehead Biomedical Research Building, the Joseph B. Whitehead Chair of Surgery and the Conkey Pate Whitehead Surgical Pavilion of Emory University Hospital, which includes the Whitehead Memorial Room.

About the Second Century Awards

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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