The Catching Point: Gaining Enough Momentum to Make Weight Loss Easier

One thing is clear regarding healthy diet and exercise: it is much easier for those who are already lean to do it for body maintenance than it is for those who are obese trying to make a change. People hoping to lose pounds quickly by abruptly starting to exercise and eat well ignite a survival response that turns hundreds of thousands of would-be dieters back each year.

The nature of the survival response is a subject for another article, but for now – how can we overcome it? How can we get that critical amount of momentum, after which things are so much easier? How can we stay on track long enough so that habits “catch?”

The traditional teaching is to push through it and overcome the early entry barrier with “mind over matter” techniques. Unfortunately, that approach has contributed to notoriously high diet failure rates and continually increasing incidences of obesity. In recent years, the obesity medicine literature has provided us with new options that address sustainability. These principles help patients stay engaged long enough so that healthy living gets easier; long enough to reach a “catching point.”

1. Something is better than nothing.

The American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control, and the American College of Cardiology (among others) categorically agree that “progress, not perfection” should be the goal. Time and time again, the pursuit of perfection leads to failure. The inability to keep a predetermined schedule leads to the all-or-nothing decision to “quit your diet.” Dieters should strive to accumulate as much change as possible in the long run. That is, successful weight loss will come for the person who is persistent about accumulating 15 workouts or 15 healthy meals or 15 recoveries in total, rather than necessarily in a specified amount of time (i.e., 10 pounds in 10 days).

2. Flexibility is associated with success in weight loss.

Rigid structure leads to failure. People cannot follow generalized day-by-day schedules for a host of reasons: the body rebels, life gets in the way, motivation wanes, etc. Weight Watchers® is endorsed by many medical groups and has been successful largely because of its implementation of flexibility to obtain the long-term goal. The same principle is helpful for staying on track regarding fitness, recovery, and diet.

3. Recovery is essential for actual body change to take place.

Successful people in the fitness space attend to recovery. Obese individuals generally lack the exercise capacity to significantly affect calorie balance. These individuals should employ exercise in this space to induce adaption, so that they will improve their ability to burn absolute calories and their bodies will initiate neural signals from the periphery to the brain (outside-in) that will ease their burden of exercise.

4. Concepts are proven effective in weight loss.

The concepts of self-monitoring, stimulus control, specific nutritional choices, motivational interviewing, and physical activity are proven effective in weight loss. A combination of these techniques may accelerate dieters through the stages of change toward long-term effect.

5. The hunger hormone system can be bypassed and appetite can be changed.

A complex system of hunger hormones exists that drives human beings to eat in order to survive. This system is responsible for the intense hunger pangs, fatigue, and motivation “zap” that follow the onset of calorie restriction and new exercise. This system can be modified, through careful (intentional) activity and supplemented recovery, to keep dieters on track.

The goal of these principles is to change failure rates. There is no question that the great majority of available diet and exercise programs would indeed lead to weight loss if completed. The pandemic issue is that people quit them. Attention to these principles may help dieters stay engaged long enough for the lifestyle to “catch” and the survival response to diminish.

About J. David Prologo, MD

J. David Prologo, MD, FSIR, ABOM-D is a dual board-certified interventional obesity medicine specialist. He is a nationally recognized expert in ablative therapies and has pioneered several interventions for the management of obesity through sustainability, including the freezing of the hunger nerve and catching point capacity curve. Dr. Prologo’s research focus is on helping patients “not quit their diets.” Specifically, he works to make dieters successful by managing the body’s resistance to change.



Public Notice: Magnet Recognition Program – Site Visit



Emory University Hospital was designated as a Magnet organization in 2014 by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®. This prestigious designation recognizes excellence in nursing services. In August, 2018, Emory University Hospital is applying for re-designation.

Patients, family members, staff, and interested parties who would like to provide comments are encouraged to do so. Anyone may send comments via e-mail and direct mail. All comments received by phone must be followed up in writing to the Magnet Program Office.

Your comments must be received by the Magnet Program Office by Friday, July 27, 2018.

NOTE: All comments are CONFIDENTIAL and are not shared with the health care organization. Comments may be anonymous, but they must be sent in writing to the Magnet Program Office.


8515 Georgia Ave., Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3492
E-Mail: magnet@ana.org
Phone: 866-588-3301 (toll free)

All comments received by phone must be followed up in writing to the Magnet Program Office.


Congratulations to Emory’s 2018 Atlanta Top Doctors

Once again, Atlanta magazine’s July 2018 Top Doctors issue features the annual listing of Top Doctors in the metro Atlanta area. We are proud to announce that of all the health systems represented on the list, Emory Healthcare has more Top Docs than any other health system in Atlanta. Emory physicians represented 42% of the total doctors recognized – 329 Emory physicians to be exact.

These physicians include those who practice at one of our six hospitals and over 200 provider locations, as well as those who hold faculty positions at the Emory University School of Medicine.

We honor, celebrate and thank all of our 2018 Atlanta Top Doctors—and their outstanding care teams—for providing exceptional care to our patients and families, and for truly making patient- and family-centered care their priority each day. Congratulations to you all!


To compile the annual “Top Doctors” list, Castle Connolly uses a survey and research process involving tens of thousands of top doctors across America and the medical leadership of leading hospitals. Atlanta’s top doctors are selected after peer nomination, extensive research, careful review and screening by Castle Connolly’s doctor-directed research team. Atlanta magazine uses the research by Castle Connolly to provide detailed information about education, training and special expertise of Atlanta doctors. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled as Castle Connolly “Top Doctors.”

As our Emory Healthcare family continues to grow, so too does our ability to provide Atlanta and Georgia residents access to more top healthcare providers. Communities all over Georgia now have access to more Emory top doctors. Big or small, major or minor, if you have a reason to seek medical care, there is an Emory Healthcare facility and an Emory Healthcare Network physician near you.


The Emory Healthcare Network is a clinically integrated network through which we provide access to coordinated patient- and family-centered care. With six hospitals, over 200 provider locations and 2,000 physicians in more than 70 specialties, the Network delivers care through a full range of hospitals, clinics and local practices, including more than 120 primary care locations, over 20 urgent care locations, and 38 MinuteClinics.

Exercising While Pregnant

  • “I’m worried if I run, that I will hurt my baby.”
  • “If I continue to do Pilates, will I squish my little one?”
  • “Can I keep doing Cross Fit?”
  • “I’ve never really exercised before…can I start now that I’m pregnant?”

These are some common questions pregnant patients ask during visits and understandably so as there is so much conflicting information out there. Hopefully, this will shed some light on the subject.

What is exercise? Why should I make it a part of my routine?

Exercise, defined as a planned activity with the intention of improving one or more components of physical fitness, has been shown to have many positive benefits for a person in pregnancy. Pregnant patients who have maintained a regular exercise schedule have shown to gain a healthier amount of weight during pregnancy, lose excess weight more quickly after delivery, reduce the risk of medical conditions related to pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and cesarean sections, as well as, an overall improved feeling of well-being during pregnancy itself.

To Exercise or Not to Exercise

First, before starting an exercise program, it is important that you speak with your provider and understand if your pregnancy is high or low risk. There are certain conditions in which exercise in pregnancy may be unsafe, such as:

  • Significant heart or lung disease
  • Incompetent cervix or cerclage
  • Multiple pregnancies at risk for preterm labor
  • Bleeding in the second or third trimester
  • Placental concerns
  • Premature labor during the current pregnancy
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure in pregnancy
  • Severe anemia

For those who are considered to have a low-risk pregnancy, there are very few limitations on what you can do. It is recommended that healthy pregnant people get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity divided over the course of a week, (i.e., brisk walking, water aerobics, bicycling slower than 10mph).

If one has regularly participated in more vigorous-intensity activity or who may be considered highly active prior to pregnancy, they may consider continuing these activities during pregnancy, safely, with modifications as needed. Some examples of vigorous-intensity include: running, swimming laps, hiking uphill, bicycling more than 10mph, or high-intensity interval training.

If one has not been very active prior to pregnancy, it is ok to start during pregnancy. It is just important to start slowly and build up. Consider setting a time goal for yourself for about 10-15 minutes for the first few weeks, adding about 10 minutes or so until you hit the goal of about 30 minutes. It may take a few weeks to achieve your goal, but that’s ok. Consistency is key.

Activities to consider avoiding when pregnant:

  • Skydiving
  • Scuba diving
  • Activities with a high risk of falling/abdominal trauma, ie. Water skiing, surfing, off-road cycling, horseback riding
  • Contact sports
  • Hot yoga or hot Pilates

How much is too much?

It used to be thought that a pregnant person should not increase their heart rate above a certain level with exercise. However, this has been proven to be inaccurate. It is more accurate by monitoring your level of exertion – if it feels hard, it likely is (see table 1 below). Another way is to do that is by the “talk test.” If you are able to carry on a conversation while exercising, it is likely that you are not overexerting yourself.

While performing physical activity, it is encouraged that you rate your perception of exertion. This feeling should reflect how heavy and strenuous the exercise feels to you, combining all sensations and feelings of physical stress, effort, and fatigue. Do not concern yourself with any one factor such as leg pain or shortness of breath but try to focus on your total feeling of exertion.

Try to appraise your feeling of exertion as honestly as possible, without thinking about what the actual physical load is. Your feeling of effort and exertion is important, not how it compares to others. Look at the rating scale below while you are engaging in an activity; it ranges from 6 to 20, where 6 means “no exertion at all” and 20 means “maximal exertion.” Choose the number from below that best describes your level of exertion. This will give you a good idea of the intensity level of your activity, and you can use this information to speed up or slow down your movements to reach your desired range.

Table 1: Borg Exertional Scale – from CDC


Borg RPE scale © Gunnar Borg, 1970, 1985, 1994, 1998

Important Considerations

With pregnancy, your center of gravity changes as the curve in the lower back increases. Therefore, modifications to your exercise practice may be needed. Additionally, laying on your back for prolonged periods of time should be avoided. Working with your instructor and listening to your body is very important. If it hurts, you feel unbalanced, dizzy, or any other concerns, then consider stopping that particular movement and moving to the next one. Or, you may want to stop completely. Persistent pain or discomfort warrants evaluation by a health care provider.

Remember that it is important to stay adequately hydrated while exercising and to ensure adequate caloric intake, especially before engaging in high-intensity or prolonged exercise. Again, listening to your body is very important!

Stop exercising if you experience…

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Contractions that are regular and painful
  • Concern for the leaking of fluid
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing before exercise
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Concern for balance
  • Calf pain or swelling

Staying Motivated

Again, consistency is key! Sometimes having a partner to work-out with may be helpful. Group prenatal exercise classes may offer the social setting to accomplish the goal of achieving physical fitness while establishing relationships with other expectant parents. Prenatal exercise DVDs or streaming prenatal work-outs may also help, giving the option of convenience to working out.

Bottom Line

It is safe to start exercising or continue to exercise in low-risk pregnancies after discussing with your health-care provider. Exercise is an important part of maintaining good physical and mental health and has been shown to have positive benefits during pregnancy.

To schedule an appointment with an Emory Women’s Center Obstetrician,
call our appointment line at 404-778-3401.

Sexual Dysfunction

What you may have been labeling as “lack of sexual interest” or “painful sex” is a form of sexual dysfunction, a common and frequently treatable issue. The term “sexual dysfunction” refers to a recurring or persistent problem that interferes with a person’s ability to have sex or enjoy a sexual experience.  Sexual dysfunction can occur at any point in a woman’s life.  The process of sexual enjoyment is complex, especially in women.  There are multiple points at which the “dysfunction” can occur, and many times there is more than one factor at play.

Common problems which can occur include:

  • Low desire or the lack of sexual interest
  • Lack of arousal or difficulty maintaining the arousal
  • Inability to achieve orgasm
  • Pain instigated by intercourse or chronic pain preventing intercourse

Low desire, lack of arousal and inability to achieve an orgasm can be due to:

  • Medications, such as anti-depressants, high blood pressure medication, alcohol, and illicit drugs.
  • Mental state as it relates to the relationship with your partner, cultural or religious issues as it pertains to the act of sex, and issues with body image.
  • Stress and anxiety—This can be situational as well as chronic
  • Hormonal changes, such as menopause or changes in contraception.
  • Medical problems, especially those that affect the nerves and blood vessels (i.e., diabetes, peripheral vascular disease).
  • History of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, or a negative sexual experience.


Menopause is the point in life where the body no longer produces estrogen.  Natural menopause is defined as no menses for one year.  You may be at the point where menses may be present but irregular, which is referred to as peri-menopause.  Sexual function can change both with peri-menopause and menopause, as well as with surgical menopause (when the ovaries are removed surgically).  This is due to the lack of estrogen in the vagina which makes the vagina drier, less elastic or flexible, and decreases the blood flow to the area causing the vaginal skin to become thinner.


Vaginal pain can be caused by other reasons beyond hormonal changes, especially in women who are premenopausal.  Pain disorders can cause sexual dysfunction cycles which can be a challenge to break. One can experience pain with intercourse, vaginal dryness, constant vaginal/pelvic/lower abdominal pain, and vaginal irritation which may be mistaken for vaginal infections or urinary tract infections. However, the negative experience associated with a painful sexual experience can trigger an ongoing sexual dysfunction cycle.

Steps to Addressing Pain with Intercourse

The first step is to identify what is prompting the pain (there may be more than one contributing reason), then to focus therapies (more than one therapy simultaneously is often necessary):

  • An anatomic issue with the vagina—Sometimes if a woman is dealing with a scar tissue band or pelvic organ prolapse/vaginal bulge this may change the anatomy (the shape) of the vagina.  This change in structure may result in painful intercourse. Addressing these anatomical changes may require pelvic floor physical therapy or surgery to correct the issue.
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction—If you have experienced pain with intercourse or even without intercourse, the cause may be abnormally tight pelvic muscles. This inability to relax pelvic floor muscles may cause abnormal feedback to pelvic organs causing pain, bladder dysfunction or anorectal dysfunction.  Pelvic floor physical therapy is the most commonly prescribed treatment, but other therapies may be necessary in conjunction with physical therapy to achieve better sexual function and alleviate pain.
  • Vulvovaginal skin changes— The thinning of the walls of the vagina caused by decreased estrogen levels is a change in the vagina that occurs with menopause, and sometimes during the peri-menopausal period.  There are hormonal and non-hormonal therapies which can be initiated for treatment.  Other times, hormonal changes may not be the issue. Lichen sclerosus is an autoimmune skin condition of the vulva (outside of the vagina) which can cause irritation and pain.  The treatment for lichen sclerosus is different and will need a biopsy first to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) or Bladder Pain Syndrome—This is a condition of the bladder which can cause bladder pain, urinary urgency and frequency, and painful intercourse.  IC often makes one think she has urinary tract infections but will have negative urine cultures.  There are many ways to try to alleviate IC which include diet changes, pelvic floor physical therapy, stress management, or medications.
  • Stress and anxiety, history of sexual abuse—Finding outlets or methods to manage stress and anxiety are paramount to break the pain cycle. Psychotherapy is very important with pain and anxiety disorders, as well as, with a history of sexual abuse to obtain better overall function and strengthen relationships thus helping sexual function.
  • Other medical issues may cause pelvic pain and pain with intercourse such as endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome.  Other specialists may need to be involved in helping manage these issues.

Multidisciplinary approaches with pelvic floor physical therapists, psychiatrists/counselors, gynecologist or urogynecologist, and other specialists such as urologists and gastroenterologists are often required for managing pain disorders or painful disorders.

Talking to your primary care physician or gynecologist openly about your sexual dysfunction, and how it is impacting your life and relationships is a necessary first step.  Your physician may be able to help you or may refer you to a specialist.  Therapy will take time, especially since there is no “magic cure” for sexual dysfunction. However, with positive steps in the right direction, sexual function can be improved.

Call 404-778-3401 to make an appointment or visit emoryhealthcare.org/gyn to learn more.

About Sana Ansari, MD

Sana Ansari, MD is a Urogynecologist and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeon with Emory Women’s Center, and Assistant Professor at Emory University School of Medicine. Her specialties include Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery, Urogynecology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is currently accepting patients at Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

Top 10 Things Care Coordinators Do For You

Care coordinators are there to help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of health care so you can get and stay healthy, or manage chronic disease. Whether you are juggling multiple doctors’ appointments or returning to daily life after a hospital admission, staying on top of your health can seem like a full-time job. That’s where care coordinators come in. Care coordinators are registered nurses, social workers, health educators and case managers who help you manage your chronic health condition and stay in touch with you after a hospital stay or doctor’s appointment to ensure you have the resources you need to get and stay healthy.

Emory Healthcare provides care coordination services through the Emory Coordinated Care Center and Emory Healthcare Network Care Coordination.

Keep reading to learn the top 10 things care coordinators can do for you.

1. Help you set and meet healthy lifestyle goals. Care coordinators can work with you to set achievable health goals and prevent chronic disease, such as diabetes and heart disease.

“We use motivational interviewing skills, health education and lifestyle modification discussions to help patients to improve our patients’ knowledge and get them more engaged in their healthcare,” says Misty Landor, RN, MSN, CNS, ANP-C, manager of Emory Healthcare Network Care Coordination.

2. Keep you accountable to your goals. Your care coordinator may reach out to you on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis depending on your health needs.

“We have a multidisciplinary team of that helps patients get the care they need in the time they have,” explains Landor. This team includes:

  • A registered nurse who serves as care coordinator or case manager to oversee chronic disease management
  • Licensed social workers who support patients with psychosocial needs, like transportation, caregiver support or mental health care
  • Health educators who work with people to develop healthy lifestyle goals
  • Care coordination associates who help patients schedule appointments, get prescriptions filled and complete referral forms

3. Connect you with a primary care provider. Care coordinators can help you find a primary care physician so you can see him or her when you have a health need, rather than visit the emergency department.

4. Help you manage chronic disease. “We bring patients with chronic diseases into our disease management program, which is run by a nurse practitioner,” says Varnette Robinson, RN, BSN, lead case manager at Emory Coordinator Care Center. “The disease management program covers diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and chronic kidney disease (CKD). We also assist patients if they need wound care.”

5. Get your prescriptions filled. Care coordinators can help you get your prescriptions filled and will follow up to ensure you are taking your medications correctly.

“Many times, patients come back to the hospital because they were unable to get their prescriptions filled, perhaps because they didn’t have a caregiver or transportation,” says Robinson.

6. Schedule doctor’s appointments. A care coordinator can help you schedule doctor’s appointments at a time convenient for you.

7. Provide access to mental health care. Care coordinators are trained to identify patients with depression and anxiety, and connect them to mental health resources.

8. Find caregiver or home health services. “We follow patients after they go home and make sure they are connected to appropriate community resources as needed,” says Robinson. “We make sure they have good social support, transportation, food and medication. We go the extra mile to figure out what the patient needs.”

For example, if a patient is discharged from the hospital and does not have anyone to care for her once she is home, the care coordinator will connect her to a community resource that can provide in-home care until she is well again.

9. Prevent hospital readmission. “If the patient is in pain or having recurring issues, we can bring them in to the Emory Coordinated Care Center so they aren’t going to the emergency department. This prevents unnecessary hospital readmission. If we identify any issues during our calls, we bring them to the Center.”

10. Be a source of support. “We are there to support patients 100 percent,” says Robinson. “Getting them what they need when they need it is going to improve their quality of life. We are part of a support system to facilitate them living well.”

To learn more about care coordination at Emory, click here.

Emory Metabolic Camp Helps Young Women Manage Metabolic Disorders

This summer marked the 21st annual Metabolic Camp hosted by Emory University. This camp helps girls and young women with inherited metabolic disorders, including phenylketonuria (PKU) and maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), learn how to better manage and live with their disorders. Metabolic Camp provides the girls with educational opportunities for handling the lifetime responsibility of managing their diets and health along with traditional camping activities.

These disorders are caused by the body’s inability to process proteins normally. In individuals with these rare genetic disorders even one gram of protein can cause irreversible brain damage or death. However through Georgia’s newborn screening program, metabolic disorders can often be detected early on.

“Metabolic Camp has had a tremendous impact not only on the quality of life of girls over the years but also on the outcome of the next generation of their children,” says Rani Singh, PhD, RD, camp director and director of Emory’s Genetics Metabolic Nutrition Program. “Most of these girls can’t attend other camps because of their special dietary needs, and this allows them to interact with others with their conditions and feel less isolated, while learning things that can save their lives and the lives of their future children.”

People with these disorders must learn as children to stick to a special diet of fruits and vegetables along with their specialized medical formula, and they are able to live normal lives if they adhere to this routine. It is important for females to follow specialized diets before and throughout pregnancy in order to avoid maternal PKU (MPKU) and prevent mental disabilities in their children. Emory University Metabolic Camp helps these girls and young women understand the importance of these diets and learn how to fit it into their everyday life.

The Emory University Metabolic Camp allows young women to be around others that can understand what they are going through and show them that they are not alone. The camp helps them learn skills and gain knowledge that will help them throughout a lifetime of managing and living with their disorder.

Metabolic Camp is a collaboration between the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute(ACTSI) and the Department of Human Genetics at Emory University Medicine.

For more information about Emory University Metabolic Camp visit the Emory News Center.

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:


Cochlear Implants Could be a Game Changer for Those Affected by Hearing Loss

Cochlear ImplantAccording to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, hearing loss affects millions of children and adults worldwide. Hearing loss can stem from conductive problems or problems with the external ear canal, ear drum, middle ear space or middle ear bones. Conductive hearing loss often can be treated with surgery to address the structure that is affected; however, this is not an option for nerve hearing loss. Nerve or sensorineural hearing loss is caused by intrauterine infections, congenital malformations of the inner ear, trauma, medication induced, sudden deafness or a progressive hearing loss from genetic predisposition. While many patients benefit from standard hearing aid technology, there are some who do not. Fortunately, a result of decades-long research, in 1985 the FDA approved cochlear implant use in humans to address sensorineural hearing loss. Cochlear implants have now helped more than 300,000 people worldwide.

What are cochlear implants?
Cochlear implants are implantable hearing devices that allow people who are deaf to hear.

How do they work?
Cochlear implantation provides electrical stimulation directly to the cochlea, the auditory portion of the inner ear. This is accomplished by inserting an electrode into the cochlea. It requires surgery under general anesthesia. Most patients go home the same day of the procedure. A cochlear implant is comprised of an internal processor that is attached to an electrode array and lies under the scalp skin. It is not at all visible!

There are external components that have a receiver, microphone and transmitter. The external components relay sound to the internal processor through connection with a magnet, which is under the scalp skin. The external components can be removed at any time, much like standard hearing aids. Once implanted, the expectation is that the implants are permanent; however, the internal components can still be removed surgically if it becomes necessary.

Cochlear implants have revolutionized the quality of life in children and adults. Children who are born deaf can now be implanted as infants and go on to live near normal lives. Adults with profound hearing loss also have benefitted from cochlear implants.

Who is eligible?
The indications for cochlear implants have evolved over the last three decades and are still changing. While, both children and adults can be implanted, the specific criteria is complex. If you are living with hearing loss that is not helped by hearing aids, your otolaryngologist will be able to help you determine your eligibility.

Two Ebola Patients Discharged from Emory University Hospital

In an effort to keep our community informed on the status of the Ebola patients being treated at Emory University Hospital, today we confirm that as of this afternoon, both Ebola patients have been discharged from our Infectious Disease Unit at the hospital.

Nancy Writebol was discharged from the Emory University Hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, and Kent Brantly, MD, was discharged today, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.

“After a rigorous and successful course of treatment and testing, the Emory Healthcare team has determined that both patients have recovered from the Ebola virus and can return to their families and community without concern for spreading this infection to others,” says Bruce Ribner, MD, medical director of the Emory University Hospital Communicable Disease Containment Unit.

Criteria for the discharge of both patients were based on standard infectious disease protocols and blood and urine diagnostic tests. Our team has maintained its extensive safety procedures throughout this treatment process and is confident that the discharge of these patients poses no public health threat.

“The Emory Healthcare team is extremely pleased with Dr. Brantly’s and Mrs. Writebol’s recovery, and was inspired by their spirit and strength, as well as by the steadfast support of their families,” says Ribner.

The mission of Emory University Hospital is to heal and to advance knowledge. The team of health care professionals who cared for these Ebola patients has trained for years to treat and contain the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world. The experience, understanding and learning that Emory’s medical professionals have gained during this process will be applied, not only to Ebola, but to other emergent diseases that the world may confront in the future.

Related Resources: