Emory Report
February 11, 2008
Volume 60, Number 19

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February 11, 2008
Transforming health and healing is both a vision and a promise

Fred Sanfilippo is executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of Woodruff Health Sciences and chairman of Emory Healthcare.

“Transforming Health and Healing.” You’ve probably seen this phrase on banners around campus, but it’s more than just a tagline. Transforming Health and Healing is both the vision and the promise of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, and it’s the reason I was so excited to join the Emory team a few months ago.

Transforming Health and Healing means pioneering discoveries that advance our understanding of disease prevention and treatment. It means preparing the next generation of health professionals to save and improve lives in communities worldwide. And it means continuously improving the quality of care for our patients.

If you think that sounds like a tall order, you’re right. But it’s one we’re uniquely prepared – and determined – to fill. Our past record of achievement is proof positive that we can accomplish the extraordinary, and we have a focused and attainable plan to develop a new model of health and healing for the 21st century. By working with our collaborating partners here in Atlanta, nationwide, and around the world to take full advantage of the academic and clinical programs throughout the University and beyond, we will become the prototype academic health center in the country — the model others will try to follow.

Components of the plan that will get us there include enhanced focus on providing evidence-based, patient-centered care; re-evaluating and re-engineering our definition of health to create a model that is not reactive, but predictive; devoting resources and talent to addressing the most pressing health challenges around the world; and continuing to attract and prepare the most promising students through innovative, interdisciplinary curricula.

Through these and other efforts, Emory’s faculty, staff, students and other thought leaders will pioneer new solutions that will make a tangible and lasting difference on the health of real people in communities around the world — and that will positively shape the future of health and health care.

Of course, Transforming Health and Healing is an ambitious and far-reaching vision, and we all have a role to play in achieving it. In the coming months, I’ll use this column to keep you aware of our progress — highlighting achievements, announcing groundbreaking new initiatives, introducing some of the extraordinary people who are making our vision a reality, and letting you know how you can help.

I hope you’re as excited as I am about Transforming Health and Healing. It’s an inspiring and compelling vision, and together we can make it happen.