April 12, 2004

Emory Clinic, EHC name new leaders          

By Ron Sauder

The state's largest and most comprehensive physician group practice is getting new leadership, effective Sept. 1.

Wright Caughman has been named director of the Emory Clinic and executive associate dean for clinical affairs/Emory Clinic within the the School of Medicine. The joint position is half-time, which means Caughman will continue to serve as Alicia Leizman Stonecipher Professor and Chair of Dermatology and chief of the clinic's dermatology section when he assumes the director's role this fall.

As director, Caughman will be responsible for clinical leadership and medical oversight, as well as management and administration of the clinic's affairs, subject to the control of the Board of Directors (BOD). He will report to John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare, for clinical operations issues, and to School of Medicine Dean Tom Lawley for faculty and clinical department strategic development efforts.

Caughman's nomination was approved by a vote of the clinic's members and ratified by the BOD. He will succeed Rein Saral, an oncologist, who will serve as senior associate director of the Winship Cancer Institute and associate medical director of Emory Hospitals.

The BOD also approved the appointment of Ira Horowitz, a gynecologic oncologist, to a new part-time position as the clinic's associate director. He will continue to serve as Willaford Ransom Leach Professor and vice chair of gynecology and obstetrics, director of the gynecologic oncology division, associate section chief of gynecology and obstetrics in the clinic, and a member of the Winship Cancer Institute.

In this new position, Horowitz will support Caughman in overall strategic planning and operations management for the clinic and serve in various liaison duties related to the clinic's interactions with Emory Hospitals and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, as well as perform other duties.

"It's a great day for the Emory Clinic and for all of us," said Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC).

Elsewhere in Emory Healthcare (EHC), Jimmy Hatcher, chief financial officern for Emory Hospitals, has been named to the newly created position of EHC chief financial officer. In this new position, Hatcher will report jointly to Fox and Ronnie Jowers, CFO of WHSC and vice president for health affairs.

EHC is the clinical services arm of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. As the largest, most comprehensive health care system in Georgia, EHC includes the Emory Clinic, Emory Children's Center, Emory and Crawford Long hospitals, Wesley Woods, the jointly owned Emory-Adventist Hospital, and EHCA, a limited liability company created in collaboration with HCA-The Healthcare Company.

Hatcher has been CFO for Emory Hospitals since 1995, when Emory Hospital and Crawford Long came together under that name. He served as Crawford Long controller from 1990-92, then was named the hospital's CFO.

Johns said creation of the new position and other changes in the financial management structure were made in response to WHSC's continuing growth (it now has an annual budget of more than $1.76 billion) and the growing size and complexity of EHC, whose annual budget has risen to more than $1.1 billion.

The changes are part of an ongoing restructuring in WHSC that began last fall with the creation of a new leadership council and standing committees. The restructuring is intended to make all components of the WHSC operate as an integrated system, without the "silos" that can prevent academic health sciences systems from reaching their maximum potential.

"We are fortunate that Jimmy Hatcher was willing to step into this new position," Johns said. "He is a superb professional who has been a tremendous asset to Emory Hospitals. His experience and knowledge of Emory Healthcare, and his can-do team spirit, will allow us to move to a new level of achievement in Emory Healthcare's financial operations."