Emory Report

January 26, 1998

 Volume 50, No. 18

Emory and Wesley Woods
discuss expanded relationship

Emory and Wesley Woods administrators have begin study and negotiation of the possible integration of the existing Clifton Road campus of Wesley Woods into Emory Healthcare. The Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead to Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Johns in December, and the Board of Directors of Wesley Woods approved a similar action at its November meeting, according to Wesley Woods President and CEO Larry Minnix Jr.

Under the proposed merger, the components of Wesley Woods located on Clifton Road would be combined into an entity called The Wesley Woods Center of Emory University Inc., and this center would be integrated into Emory Healthcare.

Such an agreement would make more formal a longstanding collaborative relationship in which Emory physicians have staffed The Emory Clinic at Wesley Woods, Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital and Budd Terrace of Wesley Woods. Dozens of medical and allied health students, residents and interns train at Wesley Woods each year, and Wesley Woods and School of Medicine faculty and employees are involved in numerous research projects related to aging.

The Clifton Road operations of Wesley Woods include the geriatric hospital, Wesley Woods Long Term Care Hospital, Wesley Woods Towers, Budd Terrace, the Health Center and administrative offices. This new entity would become an operating unit of Emory Healthcare like Emory Clinic, Emory Hospital, Crawford Long and the Emory Children's Center.

There would be overlapping board members between Emory Healthcare and The Wesley Woods Center of Emory University. Johns and Minnix believe this move is a logical progression of the Emory/Wesley Woods relationship and offers immense benefits to both institutions-and to the Atlanta community.

"This merger would position Wesley Woods and Emory Healthcare to deliver comprehensive, state-of-the-art services for the elderly and those facing specialized chronic care problems," said Minnix. "Together we will achieve breakthroughs in treating conditions so costly to individuals, families and the community."

"As we've moved through strategic planning in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center this past year, it's been increasingly clear that our strong relationship with Wesley Woods-and with Wesley Woods CEO Larry Minnix and his staff-are great strengths in today's healthcare and research environment," Johns added. "The expanded relationship would provide Emory Healthcare with an aging and chronic care component for its comprehensive healthcare program. Wesley Woods would gain a strong partner in the fulfillment of its mission."

At Emory, this proposed change comes on the heels of the creation earlier this year of the Emory Children's Center, the largest pediatric multispecialty group in Georgia. Negotiation and planning could be completed as early as next month, according to Johns and Minnix. The final plan would need to return to the Wesley Woods Board of Directors, the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and to the Emory trustees. Pending their approval, the plan could be effective by July.

The existing Wesley Woods Inc. would continue as a corporation, encompassing Wesley Homes, Wesley Woods of Newnan-Peachtree City, Wesley Woods of Athens, The Cathedral of Christ the King-Wesley Woods and the Foundation of Wesley Woods. The existing management of Wesley Woods Inc. would become senior management of the new Wesley Woods Center of Emory University.

-Sylvia Wrobel

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