Campus News

January 25, 2010

Report From: Health Sciences

Community impact at an all-time high

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

The economic downturn of the past year has posed a challenge for all of us, and it has left more Americans in need than at any other time in recent history. We’re all being asked to do more with less, but when a neighbor is in need, we somehow pull together to do what we can to help. That’s just what has happened here in Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) over the past year; as the need in our community has grown, we’ve risen to the occasion to meet it, providing more benefit to others than ever before.

“Meeting the Need,” the recently released 2009 Community Benefits Report, shows that last year WHSC provided millions of dollars in compassionate, cutting-edge and high-quality care to those who need it most — throughout the city, the state and the world. In fact, as more people than ever before turned to us for help, we responded in kind, and the more than $48 million in charity care — nearly $20 million more than in 2008 — that we provided to the poor, the uninsured and underinsured, children, seniors, veterans, and many others in need made a lasting and tangible difference in the lives of many thousands of people.

Why do we do it? Because, quite simply, it’s the right thing to do and it’s our mission as an academic health center. As health care providers, we feel not only a passion for providing care to all people — but also an obligation to do all that we can to serve the needs of everyone who turns to us for help.

But the benefits of our efforts aren’t limited to the patients we serve; they also extend throughout our community in a host of positive and meaningful ways. For example, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center creates more than 18,000 jobs in the metro Atlanta area, making Emory the largest private employer in Atlanta and the second largest in Georgia.

The research dollars we generate extend far beyond the laboratory, as well. Every $1 million of research funding generates an average return of $2 million and 32 jobs in our state, meaning that WHSC’s $446 million in research funding generates more than $892 million in economic impact and more than 14,000 jobs for Georgia. We also invest 24 percent of WHSC’s tuition income — $14 million last year — in financial aid for students across the breadth of the health sciences. All told, our research, education and patient care missions have a $5.7 billion impact on the community – in addition to the immeasurable value of providing help and hope to people in need.

To learn more about how the Woodruff Health Sciences Center is transforming health and healing together — in spite of a challenging external environment — please read “Meeting the Need."

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