Emory Report
November 16, 2009
Volume 62, Number 11


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November 16, 2009
Funding is boost for pediatrics partners

From Staff Reports

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has received a $30 million grant from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, a charity focused on supporting organizations and programs that benefit children and youth in metro Atlanta.

The grant consists of $25 million to help fund a new pediatric research building located on the Emory campus, and the remaining $5 million will support the Marcus Autism Center and its strategic vision of delivering excellence in clinical care, expanding research efforts and advocating for improved outcomes for children with autism and related disorders.

“The relationship between Children’s and Emory has never been better, and this incredibly generous grant will allow us to expand our research partnership. This will ultimately lead to medical advancements, which will significantly impact the health of our children in Georgia,” says Doug Hertz, chair, Children’s Board of Trustees.

“The pediatric research facility enabled by this grant will enhance our ability to attract top scientists and to drive discovery of new knowledge. Additionally, this grant boosts our efforts at the Marcus Autism Center as we continue to build on the foundation Bernie and Billi Marcus put in place to help children with autism and related disorders.”

Some of the pediatric research expected to be conducted in the new building will include cardiac, cancer, vaccines and new drug discoveries, as well as serving as an attractive recruiting tool as Children’s and Emory attempt to attract top investigators from around the world.

“We are so pleased about this grant. It will help us build upon the strong partnership between Emory and Children’s as we work together to become a major pediatric research hub in the Southeast and the nation. It also helps our institution in its quest to be a 21st century model for an academic health sciences and service center. Most importantly, this initiative will serve the children of Atlanta, Georgia and beyond, as they’ll get the best of both institutions,” says Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president for health affairs at Emory.

“We are profoundly grateful for this grant, which will further the collaboration between Children’s and Emory University and our efforts to find cures for some of the most common and devastating childhood diseases,” says Donna W. Hyland, president and CEO of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “This grant, which is the largest single gift ever to Children’s, also will have an enormous impact on our two organizations and our goal to grow our pediatric research enterprise in Atlanta.”

Research in the new facility will be dedicated to pediatrics and will provide the necessary infrastructure for investigators conducting pediatric research to improve the quality of care and develop better treatments for Georgia’s pediatric population.The grant has implications for the city of Atlanta as a growing research community, building on collaborations with Emory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morehouse School of Medicine and others.

“This is a significant endorsement of the great assets we have in Atlanta and illustrates the possibilities that can happen for children as we nurture and grow unique collaborations and partnerships,” says Doug Ivester, chairman of the board of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center. “The Woodruff Foundations have long supported some of the greatest efforts to take place in Atlanta, and this grant from the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation will help grow these initiatives, both of which will impact Atlanta as a city, the people of our state and children throughout the world for generations to come.”