April 19, 2004

SOM dedicates Grady faculty building        

By Sylvia Wrobel

Medical faculty at Grady Hospital celebrated their new home--and a bricks-and-mortar symbol of Emory's longstanding commitment to and support of the public hospital--when the Emory Clinical Training and Faculty Office Building was dedicated April 8.

In this 150th birthday year for the School of Medicine (SOM), the building dedication highlighted the medical school's history and its symbiotic relationship with the teaching hospital. A large display on the first-floor walls traces the evolution of the medical school since its founding in 1854 as the Atlanta Medical College and its commitment to Grady since the hospital's founding in 1892.

The four-story, 68,000-square-foot building is located across the street from Grady at the historic intersection of Armstrong Street and Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, site of Atlanta's first medical school, which became the site for the Emory School of Medicine in 1915. In fact, as Dean Tom Lawley told the audience, that location was the critical factor in siting the original Grady Hospital nearby.

But for Emory doctors at Grady, the building also has a personal impact. Its upper three floors include 160 faculty offices plus 81 cubicles for administrative staff, providing welcome relief from cramped quarters in clinical space at Grady or in the Glenn Memorial, Steiner and Woodruff buildings on the Emory campus at Grady.

Representing the faculty at Grady, Assistant Professor of Medicine Erica Brownfield said the building "empowers us as educators and healers by giving us needed space for teaching, mentoring, collaboration, creativity and innovation." She said faculty who probably never would have met each other in the large Grady complex now are talking about patient care and partnering opportunities--and even becoming friends.

"[This building] serves as an inspiration to the faculty that Grady and Emory will have a long future together and that we will be an integral part of that relationship," Brownfield said.

The second-floor offices are for general pediatrics, neonatology and child psychology, while the third floor is occupied by neurology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, psychiatry and radiology. The fourth floor houses general internal medicine, endocrin-ology and nephrology.

The new building also provides the first real home for medical students at Grady; the first floor is dedicated entirely to education, with five classrooms, a computer laboratory, medical student and resident lounge space, and a significant amount of space dedicated to training students to take patient histories and perform exams, using standardized clinical encounters involving local actors.

The faculty had special reason to be proud, having contributed a sizeable share of the $15 million building out of their own resources. The building was constructed with funds from the University, SOM and the Emory Medical Care Foundation (a nonprofit organization through which money earned at Grady through patient care by Emory faculty is reinvested into programs to benefit the hospital).