Administrators and faculty from throughout the
Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) were recognized in five categories
of achievement by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in its 2003 Health
Care Heroes Awards.
Emory Hospitals CEO John Henry was the winner of the Lifetime Achievement
Award, presented on May 15 at a dinner at the Atlanta History Center,
and vaccine researcher Harriet Robinson was named “Hero”
in the Health Care Innovations category.
Henry was recognized for his 40 years as administrator and then
CEO of Emory Hospitals, for his leadership in overseeing the merger
of Crawford Long and Emory hospitals, and for leading Crawford Long’s
recent redevelopment. He cited the teamwork within both his administrative
staff and his own family—more than 40 members of these two
groups were on hand to watch Henry receive the award—as being
critical factors in his successful career.
Robinson, who is chief of microbiology and immunology at Yerkes
National Primate Research Center and a faculty member of the Vaccine
Research Center, was recognized (along with colleagues at Emory
and the National Institutes of Health) for development of an AIDS
vaccine candidate, and for the successful testing of the vaccine
in rhesus macaque monkeys at Yerkes.
The vaccine, which entered a Phase I clinical trial this year under
development by the biotech company GeoVax, is considered to be a
leading candidate for containing HIV infections and preventing progression
to AIDS. Robinson and her team also are developing a version of
the vaccine they plan to use in clinical trials in India, targeting
the particular form of HIV prevalent in that country.
Other WHSC faculty members were honored as finalists in four categories
at the awards competition.
Neurologist Jerrold Vitek was a finalist in the physician category,
with recognition for his role in developing groundbreaking therapies
for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and
dystonia, and for his caring relationship with his patients.
Transplant surgeons and immunologists Chris Larsen and Tom Pearson
were finalists in the Health Care Innovations category, with recognition
for successfully conducting the first islet transplant in Georgia
to treat Type I diabetes, and for their ongoing innovative research
in working to achieve true im-mune tolerance in organ and tissue
James Eckman and Alan Platt of the Georgia Comprehensive Sickle
Cell Center at Grady Health System also were finalists in the innovations
category for their development of technology that allows health
care providers to assess and document pain levels and thus direct
treatment more effectively.
Linda Spencer, director of the Public Health Nursing Leadership
Program at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, was a finalist
in the Allied Health category. She was recognized for her 22 years
of work to improve nursing and health care in underdeveloped countries.
Psychologist Nadine Kaslow was a finalist in the Community Outreach
category for her efforts to build programs at Grady Hospital to
help abused women and their children.