How to “Live Long and Prosper:” Avoiding COPD

Leonard Nimoy COPDBy now you’ve probably heard that the world lost a beloved actor, poet and photographer today. Some of you know him as “Spock,” while to his family he was Leonard Nimoy, a husband and father. Nimoy passed away from the third leading cause of death in the United States: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Nimoy was open with his fans about his COPD diagnosis and often used Twitter to highlight the importance of quitting smoking, tweeting things such as: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had. LLAP.” Nimoy signed all of his tweets with “LLAP,” a nod to Mr. Spock’s signature catchphrase “Live Long and Prosper.” In honor of his work raising awareness around smoking and COPD, we’d like to help shed some light on this disease:

What is COPD?

COPD is a type of lung disease that can cause breathing-related problems due to the blockage of airflow through the lungs caused by irritation and damage of the lung tissue. Tens of millions of people suffer from lung disease in the US alone. While airway, lung tissue and lung circulation disease are the most common forms of lung disease, many diseases can involve a combination of those.

Types of COPD include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and in some cases asthma. It is often caused by the exposure to tobacco smoke. Other contributing factors include exposure to air pollutants in the home and workplace, genetic factors and respiratory infections.

How do I prevent COPD?

Leonard Nimoy maintained an active voice against smoking after his diagnosis. Not only are smokers at an increased risk, but also those who have been exposed to tobacco through second-hand smoke. Avoiding air pollutants at both home and work can also reduce your risk of developing COPD.

How do I know if I have COPD?

COPD is diagnosed by a simple test called spirometry, which measures lung function. If detected early, it is possible to change the progression of the disease. If you experience difficulty breathing, you should consult your physician.

To learn more about COPD, click here. To make an appointment with a thoracic specialist, call 404-778-7777.

“Live long and prosper.”
– Leonard Nimoy


Emory Healthcare: Always Growing and Improving

EUH construction update 2015If you’ve visited Emory University Hospital (EUH) or Emory Clinic on Clifton Road, you’ve noticed a lot of changes happening! Several construction projects are taking place to prepare for the arrival of a new hospital tower, which will provide additional beds and clinical space on the Clifton Campus.

The new bed tower will be patient- and family-centered facility, which we anticipate will open in 2017. It will include:

  • 210 patient beds
  • 450,000 square feet and nine levels
  • Patient care units for cancer and transplant (liver, pancreas, kidney)
  • Diagnostic and treatment spaces
  • ICU rooms
  • General Medical/Surgical rooms
  • 500 underground parking spaces
  • A new pedestrian bridge concourse that will connect EUH, Emory Clinic and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University to the new building

With some services relocating to the new tower, services currently at Emory University Hospital will relocate to newly renovated space in the existing EUH location. The Emergency Department at EUH will remain in its recently expanded location.

What’s been accomplished?
Access to and around EUH and Emory Clinic buildings has already been improved due to the completion of the following projects:

  • Reconfiguration of Woodruff Circle to centralize shuttle pickup/drop-off areas, which eased traffic congestion by removing 500+ shuttles per day off of Lowergate Drive
  • EUH Emergency Department expansion and renovation, which now boasts 34 beds in an 18,300 square-foot space
  • Third floor EUH operating room expansion and renovation
  • EUH valet improvements that doubled the size of the operation
  • Build out of new Admissions and Care Initiation Unit on the 2nd floor of EUH
  • Reconfiguration of the Emory Clinic valet area, which provides better traffic flow, coverage for patients waiting for their cars, a spacious lobby, better wayfinding and a covered pedestrian bridge from the parking deck.

For updated information on our progress with these projects and more, be sure to visit often!

Emory Johns Creek Hospital Recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures

Joint Commission Top PerformerEmory Johns Creek Hospital is pleased to announce it has been recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures for 2013 by the Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of healthcare organizations in the United States.

The hospital has been recognized for achieving excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care measure sets during 2013. It was one of 1,224 hospitals in the United States to achieve the 2013 Top Performer distinction.

“Emory Johns Creek Hospital is very proud of receiving Top Performer designation from The Joint Commission,” says Laura Lang, Director of Quality and Patient Safety at Emory Johns Creek. “It demonstrates our commitment to the highly reliable use of evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for our patients.”

To make the list, Emory Johns Creek Hospital had to meet three performance criteria based on 2013 accountability measure data, including:

  • Achieving cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;
  • Achieving performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure where there were at least 30 denominator cases; and
  • Having at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above, and (within that measure set) all applicable individual accountability measures had a performance rate of 95 percent or above.

Lang explains, “There has been a tremendous effort by staff, physicians, and administration to work collaboratively and establish the processes to deliver the right care at the right time. We will work to continuously improve this level of performance and work diligently on new quality measures.”

Emory Johns Creek Hospital, a 110-bed acute care hospital serving communities in Northeast Atlanta, provides immediate local access to more than 700 physicians in 54 specialties and is part of Emory Healthcare’s broad network of six hospitals, 1,800 physicians and 200 provider locations.

Other Emory hospitals recognized as Top Performers by the Joint Commission are Emory University Hospital, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods, formerly Emory Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital. Emory University and Emory Saint Joseph’s were recognized for achieving excellence in accountability measure performance for heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care measure sets. Emory Wesley Woods was recognized for achieving excellence in accountability measure performance for the hospital-based in-patient psych measure set.

For more information, visit the Joint Commision’s Top Performer program website.

Emory’s Stroke Rehabilitation Clinical Trial Chosen as Top International Trial

Rehab Clinical TrialAt Emory, clinical trials are at the core of our mission and we are proud to offer them to our patients. Groundbreaking scientific advances and medical treatments available today have been made possible because of volunteer participation in clinical trials and research.

In fact, one of the thousands of clinical trials conducted at Emory was just identified as one of the 15 top international clinical trials ever published for physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The EXCITE (Extremity Constraint-Induced Therapy Evaluation) trial, led by Emory University’s Steven Wolf, PhD, PT, professor of rehabilitation medicine at Emory University, was created to teach stroke patients to use their stroke-affected arm rather than their “good” arm. Conducted almost a decade ago, the clinical trial was found to have a significant impact in stroke rehabilitation, which set the stage for many future trials.

Each year, more than 795,000 people in the United States suffer from a stroke and many stroke survivors experience partial paralysis on one side of the body. The EXCITE trial enrolled 222 patients who had suffered a stroke, predominantly an ischemic stroke, within the previous three to nine months.

During the trial, participant’s less-impaired hand was restrained and/or immobilized by placing a mitt around the “good” arm in an effort to encourage use of the affected extremity. Participants engaged in daily repetitive tasks and behavioral therapy sessions, which included training in tasks such as opening a lock, turning a doorknob or pouring a drink. Only use of the affected arm was allowed during exercise.

“Often, stroke rehabilitation focuses on teaching patients how to better rely on their stronger limbs, even if they retain some use in the impaired limbs, creating a learned disuse,” says Wolf. “This trial was just the opposite and focused on the impaired limb, which proved to be a valuable form of rehabilitation. We are so pleased and honored that this clinical trial has been found to be a top 15 trial amongst an international jury of experts.”

Wolf, and other Emory University researchers partaking in the national trial, studied participants to determine if the intervention improved motor function, as compared to no therapy at all. Patients were evaluated using the Wolf Motor Function Test (named after Wolf), which is a measure of laboratory time, strength-based ability and quality of movement.

Research investigators found that over the course of a year from the beginning of therapy, the group undergoing constraint-induced therapy showed greater improvements than the control group in regaining function.

“Results showed that constraint-induced movement therapy produced statistically significant and clinically relevant improvements in arm motor function that persisted for at least one year at follow-up,” says Wolf. “This trial was the first large multi-center, randomized controlled trial in stroke rehabilitation that lay the ground work for many other trials to follow.”

The EXCITE trial was funded by the National Institutes of Health from 2000-2005 and the results were published in JAMA in 2006. For the past 15 years, PEDro, a database located and supported within the George Institute for Global Health in Australia, has reviewed clinical trials, guidelines and reviews of work related to rehabilitation and physical therapy. During that time period, around 28,000 trials and manuscripts dating back as far as 1929 were reviewed. The free database is used by thousands of physiotherapists and others interested in rehabilitation from more than 200 countries. Out of the 15 trials highlighted by PEDro, only two were clinical trials based in the U.S.

Click to learn more about clinical trials at Emory, or call 404-778-7777.

Related Resources

Emory Healthcare Ranks Nationally for Quality and Safety Excellence

UHC Quality Leadership Winner 2014University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC), a national organization comprised of most of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, has ranked Emory University Hospital (which includes Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital) eighth in the nation in the 2014 UHC Quality Leadership Awards. This is the fourth consecutive year that Emory University Hospital has ranked in the top 10 for demonstrating superior performance in delivering high-quality care and safety excellence.

Emory University Hospital Midtown, which is Emory Healthcare’s second academic and eligible hospital, ranked in the top quartile as 22nd nationally.

The Quality Leadership Award honors top performers in UHC’s Quality and Accountability Study, which ranks performance in the areas of: mortality, effectiveness, safety, equity, patient centeredness and efficiency. These rankings are the most rigorous in health care and look at how major teaching hospitals are doing in multiple dimensions of quality and safety. They are traditionally looked upon as providing the best, most non-biased national quality measurement system available for teaching hospitals.

Since 2006, we have been on a journey to have our two academic hospitals – Emory University Hospital and Emory University Hospital Midtown – rank highly by the UHC. In 2012, we met our goal as Emory University Hospital ranked number two and Emory University Hospital Midtown ranked number six. We have made outstanding progress, and ranked 2nd and 3rd last year. “We are proud of our successes, as our number one priority at Emory Healthcare is to provide safe, high-quality care for our patients,” said John Fox, president and CEO of Emory Healthcare.

A top ranking by UHC means more than just great care. Since UHC ranks only academic medical centers that typically treat America’s sickest, most complex patient cases, and a disproportionate number of patients who are uninsured, underinsured or indigent, ranking highly on the list of the 101 participants reflects the ultimate assessment of organizational performance in setting the standard in quality and safety.

Fourth Patient with Ebola Virus Disease Will Be Transferred to Emory University Hospital

Emory Healthcare New BrandEmory University Hospital is expecting to receive a patient from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas later today, Oct. 15. The patient is the second of two health care workers infected while caring for a patient at the Dallas hospital.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Health Resources specifically requested that the patient be transferred to Emory Healthcare.

The patient will be treated in the same isolation unit at Emory University Hospital in which three patients have already been treated. The first two patients were discharged in late August and a third patient is still being treated.

Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for this type of patient.

Emory is bound by patient confidentiality and has no additional information regarding this patient.

UPDATE: October 28, 2014

Emory University Hospital physicians, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are pleased to report that the Ebola patient from Dallas that arrived on Oct. 15, Amber Vinson, will be discharged today and is free of the virus.

Emory University Hospital will hold a news conference today at 1 p.m., where Bruce Ribner, MD, medical director of Emory’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit, will discuss the discharge of Amber Vinson from the hospital and answer media questions. Amber Vinson will also be present and will make a statement, but will not take questions.

UPDATE: October 20, 2014

A patient who was transported to Emory University Hospital on Sept. 9 with Ebola virus disease was discharged from the hospital on Oct. 19, 2014.

In coordination with the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health, the patient was determined to be free of virus and to pose no public health threat. The patient has asked to remain anonymous and left the hospital for an undisclosed location. He will make a statement at a later date.

The patient was treated in the Serious Communicable Disease Unit in Emory University Hospital. Two other patients who were treated for Ebola virus disease were discharged from the hospital on Aug. 19 and Aug. 21. A fourth patient, who arrived on Oct. 15, 2014, is still being treated for Ebola virus disease in Emory’s Serious Communicable Disease Unit.

UPDATE: October 15, 2014

A patient with Ebola virus disease arrived at Emory University Hospital on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET. The patient was transported by air ambulance from Dallas, Texas.

The patient will be treated in the special isolation unit in which three other patients have been treated. Two of those patients were discharged in late August and a third is still being treated.

Emory is bound by patient confidentiality and has no information regarding the status of the patient.

UPDATE: October 15, 2014

Emory is currently caring for a third patient with Ebola virus disease who arrived at Emory University Hospital on Sept. 9. Emory is bound by patient confidentiality and has provided no information regarding the status of the patient.

Given the recent news regarding the diagnosis of Ebola virus disease in health care workers, the patient has requested that we release the following statement, but continue to maintain anonymity:

Statement From Emory University Hospital Patient Recovering From Ebola

“Given the national focus on Ebola, particularly with the diagnosis in two health care workers, I want to share the news that I am recovering from this disease, and that I anticipate being discharged very soon, free from the Ebola virus and able to return safely to my family and to my community.

As a result of the virus, my condition worsened and I became critically ill soon after I arrived at Emory. Through rigorous medical treatment, skillful nursing, and the full support of a healthcare team, I am well on the way to a full recovery. I want the public to know that although Ebola is a serious, complex disease, it is possible to recover and return to a healthy life. I wish to retain my anonymity for now, but I anticipate sharing more information in future weeks as I complete my recovery.”

Emory Expansion Update: Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital Campus Announces New Practice Locations!

Emory on the Move

To provide a better patient care experience and align demand with available capacity, many Emory Clinic and Emory Healthcare practices are relocating to redesigned clinical space and/or new locations. The new spaces will be more inviting for patients and more accommodating to the needs of our physicians as well. As of October 6, 2014, the providers below will be seeing patients at the new corresponding locations:

Emory Clinic Gastroenterology

875 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30342

5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30342

Tanvi Dhere, MD
Julia Massaad, MD
Sonali Sakaria, MD
Kavya Sebastian, MD
Nikrad Shahnavaz, MD

If you have any questions, please call 404-778-3184.

Emory at Saint Joseph’s Pulmonary Medicine (formerly Emory Atlanta Pulmonary Group

5667 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 350
Atlanta, GA 30342

5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30342

Juan Carlos Armstrong, MD, FCCP
Juan C. Cadavid, MD
Joyce Crook, NPC
Eliana Gonzalez, MD
Paul Scheinberg, MD
Leslie Watters, MD, FCCP

If you have any questions, please call 404-252-7200.

Emory Clinic Anticoagulation Management Services

875 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30342

Emory Heart & Vascular Center
5671 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 300B
Atlanta, GA 30342

If you have any questions, please call 404-778-4451.

Emory Clinic Internal Medicine

875 Johnson Ferry Road
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30342

5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30342

Dipak Vashi, MD
Sanjay Khant, MD
Shabnam Shah, MD
Christine Stoltz, MD
Kimberly Shumate, MD
Meekyung Kim, MD
Paul Baird, MD
Jennifer Morgan, MD, MPH
Cheryl Buck-Patterson, MD

If you have any questions, please call 404-778-6100.

Emory Clinic Geriatrics

1821 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30342

Thomas Price, MD, CMD (Will see patients once a week at Wesley Woods for routine visits.)
Khurram Khan, MD
Sara Sambandham, MD (effective November 1)
Karen Kress, NP
Scott Akins, NP (effective October 1)

If you have any questions, please call 404-728-6363.

For more information, visit

President Obama Meets Emory Ebola Team

Obama at EmoryPresident Barack Obama met with Ebola experts from Emory Healthcare as part of his Sept. 16 visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Obama visited the Atlanta-based CDC for an update on the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and the U.S. response to it. The president met with Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and others involved with the treatment of Ebola patients here before giving an address where he announced a significant expansion of U.S. efforts to combat the disease.

The president’s meetings with the Emory Healthcare team were closed to the press, but he discussed Emory’s efforts in his public remarks, saying, “Here I have got to commend everybody at Emory University Hospital. I just had the opportunity to meet with Doctors Gartland and Ribner and members of their team and the nurses who — sorry doctors, but having been in hospitals, I know they are the ones really doing the work — and I had a chance to thank them for their extraordinary efforts in helping to provide care for the first Americans who recently contracted the disease in Africa.”

Last month, Emory University Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to treat patients with Ebola virus disease. Emory’s first two Ebola patients, both American citizens who became infected with the virus while providing humanitarian aid in West Africa, were cared for in a special isolation unit. Both were discharged in late August after Emory physicians determined, in collaboration with the CDC and state health departments, that they had recovered from Ebola virus infection and posed no public health concerns.

A third patient with Ebola arrived at Emory from West Africa on Sept. 9 and is being treated in the same isolation unit.

Related Resources:


Emory and Ebola – FAQ’s

Emory Healthcare New BrandEmory Healthcare has been given the privilege of treating multiple patients infected with Ebola virus.  Emory University Hospital physicians, nurses and staff are highly trained in the specific and unique protocols and procedures necessary to treat and care for these type of patients. We are honored to have the privilege of caring for these patients who contracted Ebola while serving our global community. It is our moral obligation to always use our expertise, training, knowledge and gifts to provide such extraordinary care for others.

We have prepared the following FAQs to provide more information on the topic of Ebola and Emory’s care for patients infected with this deadly virus. You can also watch this Video Q&A from Emory Healthcare Physicians on Ebola.

About Ebola

About Emory University Hospital

Related Resources:


Emory Expansion Update: Emory Clinic at Flat Shoals is On the Move!

Emory on the MoveTo provide a better patient care experience and align demand with available capacity, many Emory Clinic and Emory Healthcare practices are relocating to redesigned clinical space and/or new locations. The new spaces will be more inviting for patients and more accommodating to the needs of our physicians as well.

As of September 15, 2014, the providers from Emory Clinic at Flat Shoals will be available at the locations and schedules below:

Harold Moore, Jr., MD

Hillandale: Monday through Friday

Nicholas Church, MD
Decatur: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Hillandale: Wednesday

William Bryson, PA
Decatur: Monday, Tuesday
Hillandale: Friday

Beginning September 15th, patients will be seen at the below welcoming locations:

Emory Clinic at Decatur
2801 N. Decatur Rd, Suite 295
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone: 404-778-6400

Emory Clinic at Hillandale
5461 Hillandale Drive, Suite 100
Lithonia, GA 30058
Phone: 404-778-8600

For more information, call 404-778-8600 or get details online, at