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Health Care Heroes Lending Helping Hands

If you follow us on Twitter or are friends with us on Facebook, you may have seen some of our recent “storm stories,” spotlighting acts of heroism our Emory Healthcare team members demonstrated this past week despite the snow. While this past week’s storm was one of the worst in Atlanta’s history, it didn’t stop our EHC team from stepping up to do what we do best– put patients first.

Larry Hodges, Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, Kathy Charles, Michael Cobb, Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, and Chrissy Day are stellar examples of what it means to be part of the Emory Healthcare team:

Emory Healthcare Employees Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

Chrissy Day, Jewell Lazzette, Brenda Wilbanks, & Nicole Bansavage

Brenda Wilbanks, Jewell Hudson, Nicole Bansavage, & Chrissy Day

When Brenda Wilbanks, EUH Hematology 6E, saw the storm was coming, she knew her motor home had a new use – accommodations for her and a few of her co-workers during the days to come! Therefore, her husband drove the family motor home down on Sunday night. Brenda set up shop across the street from CRM in an area where Emory University is getting ready to tear down aging dormitories. This put the motor home within easy walking distance of our tunnel system via CRM. On Sunday and Monday night, co-workers Jewell Hudson and Nicole Bansavage joined Brenda. On Tuesday night, Chrissy Day headed over, as well.

Michael Cobb

The storm may have made transportation via an automobile a challenge, but it didn’t deter Michael Cobb, EHC Office of Quality and Risk, from figuring out a way to make it to the nearest EHC location. Michael lives about a quarter of a mile from EUOSH, so he decided to walk in each day – Monday through Wednesday – to see how he could help. On Tuesday, he took on a new role outside of his everyday EHC responsibilities. He sat with a patient – referred to as 1:1 observation – to ensure the patient remained in bed and had everything he needed.

As Michael said, “I stayed with him until about 7:30 on Tuesday night. We talked about all kinds of things and I made sure he was comfortable. … I was really impressed with the way the nurses cared for him. There is definitely a patient-centered focus here – and now I have had a chance to see it in action.”

Emory Healthcare Payroll Team

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce & Kathy Charles

Marion Oglesby, Demetrice Fullard, Marsha Bruce, & Kathy Charles

Just because there is a storm doesn’t mean that our team members can go without getting paid. And EHC Payroll made sure payroll was still processed in time. In fact, they were hard at work beginning Sunday evening and continued into Tuesday to ensure our team members received their compensation on time.

EHC Cooks in the Kitchen

Larry Hodges with Nutrition Assistant, Vernon Mathis

Larry Hodges

During the storm, Larry Hodges, from EHC Human Resources, jumped into a new role to help Food & Nutrition Services at Emory University Hospital Midtown. Larry not only served customers during lunch, but he also helped prepare food – peeling eggs to make egg salad. He’s a shining example of how our team members showed extreme flexibility to help things run smoothly during tough times!

If you have an EHC team member to recognize for their efforts during the storm, please post your story in the comments below. We will continue to feature stories on our employee intranet and on Emory Healthcare’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. Thank you to the whole EHC team for all that you do!

Giving Thanks to Our Community – The Year in Review

Emory Healthcare CommunityThe holidays are a time for friends, families, loved ones and communities to come together, celebrate, and give thanks for our blessings and reflect on the year. At Emory Healthcare, we do all we can to promote and celebrate health year-round. But the holidays are a poignant time to celebrate and honor you, our community, for playing a key role in our accomplishments. With you as our partner, together we have proven we can achieve great things to improve the lives of so many. Over the course of any given year at Emory, there are innumerable accomplishments and developments to be excited about. In 2010, together we’ve seen some wonderful things happen in our Emory community:

  • We performed our 300th lung transplant, and saw Jo Ellen Kimball celebrate her new found health.
  • We watched our 500th heart transplant patient, Terry Green, serve as Grand Marshal for the Emory Healthcare 500, one of the biggest NASCAR events of the year! On race day, we were able to touch the lives of hundreds of race attendees from Georgia and states throughout the nation with free health screenings.
  • We partnered with our community and participated in the 2010 Atlanta Heart Walk, and for the 9th year in a row, led the way in fund raising by raising almost $300,000 to give back to the American Heart Association to aid in their fight against heart disease and stroke.
  • Our doctors performed more than $48.9 million in charity care for our community over the past year, and more than $20 million in uncompensated care at Grady.
  • For the 20th year in a row, Emory University Hospital and many of its specialty programs were ranked as top in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 list of America’s Best Hospitals.
  • We participated in and sponsored the AJC Peachtree Road Race, an annual community event  for the 16th year in a row.
  • We were recognized for being one of the only health care systems in the state to implement a mandatory flu vaccine policy for all employees in an effort to minimize the spread of influenza from caregivers and employees to patients and visitors. For our achievement of 100% compliance in 2009-2010, we were honored by the Georgia Medical Care Foundation. We were also honored by the Joint Commission with Gold Tier Status for our influenza vaccination rate.
  • We partnered with Georgia Tech as the official health care provider for Georgia Tech Athletics, and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, as the official health care provider of the facility.
  • We were honored with three Beacon Awards for Nursing Excellence. Only 300 ICUs (out of about 6,000) across the U.S. have received the prestigious award, and only 6 Beacon Awards have been given to programs in Georgia.
  • We launched our blog, http://advancingyourhealth.org, which you’re reading now! It brings together our overall health care blog, as well as thematic blogs for heart & vascular, cancer, transplant, vision, weight management, and orthopedics, with more to come in 2011!
  • We work with and support more than 20 local organizations through monetary and volunteer support, including the Atlanta Community Food Bank through our annual Virtual Can Food Drive.  Check out the full list of organizations we support!
  • Every year our nursing students provide free health screenings and health clinics for migrant farm workers and their families in South Georgia.
  • You — our community — named Emory University Hospital the “Consumer’s Choice” for the 13th year in a row.

We accomplished all of these things (and many more!) under the umbrella of our promise to deliver not just the best health care available, but the best patient-centered care around. This means that with every step we take and every goal achieved, our focus is on you — our community, our patients, and our families. So it is you, our community, who deserves the thanks this holiday season. We thank you for giving us the opportunity to focus on working with you, rather than on you, and we look forward to the opportunity to continue partnering with you in 2011 and for many years to come.

Together Everyone Achieves More – The Emory Difference

Emory Healthcare CommunityWith our reach and community involvement growing by the day, we at Emory Healthcare have spent a lot of time discussing what it is that makes our Emory Healthcare community such an important part of what we do. Who is part of our community? How many lives are we touching? Where can our community be found?

The answer to these questions are simple. The Emory Healthcare community is more than just a network of hospitals, affiliated and community hospitals, clinics, and telehealth locations. Our community is the people that make Emory Healthcare so special. It’s about our nurses, physicians, and staff that work with our patients, rather than on them. It’s our patients, families, and the communities that rely on the outstanding patient-centered care and innovative research taking place at Emory Healthcare every day.

Despite the fact that we have hospital and care facilities across Atlanta and the state of Georgia, our community extends beyond state lines and even globally.

Our community has taken shape on the Web, where we are able to get valuable feedback from interacting with our patients, families and people like you all over the world. We use tools like our YouTube channel to provide free educational videos, and our blog, to give our community free and easy access to doctor expertise and advice.

Our medical advances, clinical trials, research and educational efforts allow us to embrace the health care community as a whole, and play a role as a leader in advancing the possibilities of patient centered care. In an environment where we empower patients, their families, and our community to participate in and embrace their own health and care, everyone benefits. That’s the Emory difference.

Emory University Hospital, the Consumers’ Choice

Consumer Choice Award Emory HealthcareHospitals and health systems all over the country are constantly advancing when it comes to innovation in the latest diagnoses and treatments. But what good are these advancements if they don’t help and please the people we serve, our patients and communities? We are honored that our advancements are being recognized. For the 13th straight year, Emory University Hospital has been recognized as one of the nation’s top hospitals by the National Research Corporation’s (NRC) Consumer Choice Awards.

The Consumer Choice Award identifies hospitals chosen by healthcare consumers as having the highest quality and image in more than 300 markets throughout the U.S. This is the 15th year NRC has awarded hospitals whose consumers have recognized them for providing the highest quality healthcare.

“Having an opportunity to once again share this tremendous honor with the men and women who care for our patients and visitors each day is certainly a special and rewarding part of my job,” says Robert Bachman, Emory University Hospital chief operating officer. “Being recognized for what you do – and how well you do it – by the very consumers you are in the business of serving each day is an accolade that cannot be topped. I want to thank our entire team of physicians, nurses, support and business staff, volunteers and vast network of stakeholders and donors who strive to make Emory University Hospital a great center for care and discovery. Our customers have again spoken, and we will use this award as motivation to continue improving service in a safe, patient- and family-centered environment of care.”

Ginny Martin, president of NRC’s Ticker Division, says winners are determined by consumer perceptions on multiple quality and image ratings collected in the company’s Ticker study. Of the 3,200 hospitals named by consumers in the study, the winning facilities rank highest in their Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Ticker study surveyed over 250,000 households representing over 450,000 consumers in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

“Healthcare has become an increasingly important issue across the country and empowered consumers are making decisions for themselves and their families when selecting their healthcare facilities and services,” Martin says. “As care options multiply and financial challenges remain strong, consumer perception of quality continues to grow in importance. Dedication to providing high quality healthcare has become essential for all hospitals. In the face of adversity, these Consumer Choice award winners exemplify the dedication it takes to provide quality healthcare to their communities, and we are pleased to honor them through the eyes of their patients.”

Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is at the heart of one of the nation’s leading university-based health systems, Emory Healthcare, with nationally and internationally recognized faculty physicians in a broad range of specialty areas. The hospital is staffed by more than 950 practicing physicians who are also faculty members of the Emory School of Medicine.

Center for Translational Cardiovascular Nanomedicine – Emory & Georgia Tech Researchers Receive new $14M contract from NIH

Georgia Tech and Emory University have received a five-year $14.6 million contract from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue the development of nanotechnology and biomolecular engineering tools and methodologies for detecting and treating atherosclerosis.

The Center for Translational Cardiovascular Nanomedicine will be directed by Dr. Gang Bao, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Emory University and Georgia Tech.

Contributors from Emory University include: Dr. W. Robert Taylor, Director of Cardiology; Department of Medicine chair Dr. R. Wayne Alexander; Division of Cardiology faculty including Dr. David Harrison, Dr. Young-sup Yoon, and Dr. Charles Searles; Department of Biomedical Engineering Faculty including Dr. Michael Davis, Dr. Hanjoong Jo, Dr. Shuming Nie, and Dr. Xiaoping Hu; and Department of Radiology professor Mark Goodman. Contributors from Georgia Tech include: Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering faculty including Dr. Don Giddens, Dr. Niren Murthy, and Dr. May Dongmei Wang.

Goals for this five-year study include the following:

  • Using nanoparticle probes to image and characterize atherosclerotic plaques
  • Diagnosing cardiovascular disease from a blood sample
  • Designing new methods for delivering anti-atherosclerosis drugs and genes into the body
  • Developing stem cell based therapies to repair damaged heart tissue

We’ll continue to keep you posted on the developments of the Center and on diagnoses and treatments of atherosclerosis that come from the study.

Emory Neurosciences Taking Steps to Expand Reach and Capacity

In response to the recent surge in neurological patients and an increased demand for neurological treatment, Emory Healthcare’s Neurosciences program has made strides over the last year in broadening the program’s reach and capacity.

Emory Neurosciences, which includes Emory Healthcare’s Neurosurgery and Neurology divisions, is a leader in neurological treatments and services and consistently ranked as one of the industry’s best. Both the Neurology and Neurosurgery divisions were recently ranked 12th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, many of Emory’s neurologists and neurosurgeons are consistently recognized as Atlanta’s Top Doctors by Atlanta Magazine and as America’s Top Doctors.

In an effort to further accommodate the increase in patient demand, Emory Neurosciences has implemented several key improvements over the last year:

State-of-the-Art Neuro ICU Renovations

In May of this year, Emory’s Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Emory University Hospital Midtown was completely renovated to increase patient and family comfort and incorporate the latest innovations in medical technology.

All 12 rooms of the Neuro ICU were overhauled and each now includes continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) capabilities to constantly measure and record electrical brain activity, and a physician viewing station to monitor each patient. Additional renovations such as new flooring, furniture, and even flat screen TVs were also incorporated to improve patient and family care and comfort. The renovations also incorporated the latest technology in patient lifting equipment and glass doors that block sound and allow our nurses to keep a close eye on patients from their nursing stations.

Expert Neuro Doctor Additions

The addition of two new physicians at The Emory Clinic at Kennestone, physiatrist Hassan Monfared, MD, and neurosurgeon Kenneth Hill, Jr., MD have also allowed Emory Neurosciences to further expand its service offerings and geographic reach.

Monfared, assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, is the first physiatrist at the clinic’s Marietta location. He brings 20 years of experience in physical medicine and rehabilitation services and has particular expertise in pain medicine and chronic spinal pain. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain medicine.

Hill, assistant professor of neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine, graduated from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and served his residency at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He was a neuro-oncology fellow at Emory. His surgical interests are in brain and spinal tumors, degenerative spine diseases and general neurosurgical procedures.

“With the addition of Monfared and Hill, we are able to strengthen our commitment to provide excellent patient care and services to the residents of Marietta and surrounding communities,” says Barrow. “At the same time, they will help us proudly continue to advance the surgical treatment of neurological disorders and the tradition of excellence in medicine that Emory has come to be known for the world over.”

New Technology – Myriad System

Opening a completely renovated ICU, and the addition of new physicians are not the only changes being made at Emory. New technology is also being incorporated into neurosciences offerings at Emory.

The Myriad system, is one of several new high-tech systems installed in the recently opened neuro-endoscopic operating room suite at Emory University Hospital Midtown. The device’s superior control allows for extremely precise surgical work in removing both malignant and non-malignant tumors. Because the majority of the surgeries performed are endoscopic procedures, with small cameras projecting the surgical site in the brain onto monitors, clear and well-defined, high definition images are vital. The specialty operating room also consists of four high-definition monitors, two overhead high-definition cameras and a state-of-the art control system that can conference out live procedures for teaching purposes.

The combination of these advancements has allowed Emory Healthcare to better partner with community physicians in providing neurological care. We will continue to keep you updated on breakthroughs from Emory Neurosciences. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Innovation, Emory Healthcare Shine at Healthcare Internet Conference

Vegas is an exciting place. With a nickname like Sin City, it’s probably not the first place you think of for a health care conference. But that’s exactly what took place this week in Las Vegas, Greystone’s annual Healthcare Internet Conference, which I must say has been one of my most exciting experiences in not only health care, but also web marketing, to-date.

I won’t deny that I’m a skeptic when it comes to most conferences. Lots of conferences each year are touted as the “best in the industry,” but rarely do the presentations and information covered actually reflect that. Greystone’s conference was different.

There were over 550 individuals at this year’s conference, representing a large number of health care and hospital systems across the country. For three days, we shared, spoke and listened about innovative changes taking place in the web presence of the health care industry. I was thrilled to be able to speak on a panel of experts who discussed successes, strategies, and challenges faced when using social media in health care. The panel opened up a good discussion of what being social really means in health care, and how we an embrace and leverage tools like blogs and microblogs to share information our community wants.

The Greystone conference demonstrated that innovation in health care doesn’t only take place in hospitals and research labs, it also takes place on the Web. Emory Healthcare was honored for its web innovation at the conference with three different awards, two of which were Best in Class Awards, a Gold Award for Best Redesigned Intranet and a Silver Award for Best Redesigned Website (Microsites) for the work we did on our Heart and Vascular Center hub site. We also were bestowed with a Silver eHealthcare Leadership Award for the best integrated marketing campaign.

We’re looking forward to the opportunity to continue to improve and develop our web resources to give our community the information they want in the way they want it. If you’d like to see some of the points covered at the conference, check out hashtag #hcic on Twitter. And if there’s ever a topic you’d like to see us cover, please don’t hesitate to let us know by using the comments below.

Not Your Standard Facelift

Facial Center Atlanta

I’m often asked what makes my facelifts different. Why choose the Emory Facial Center for facial rejuvenation? Our focus is on making patients look naturally more beautiful. We enhance your natural beauty, taking years off your face so that you’re noticeably refreshed and more attractive. What we don’t do is make you look unnaturally “lifted” or stretched—something you see all too often in facelifts.

At Emory, we’re constantly advancing the possibilities of medicine—innovating, learning, teaching new methods as well as perfecting tried-and true-techniques. To achieve a naturally beautiful facelift, a surgeon has to have artistic vision as well as technique. I look at a face and see what could be, and I carefully apply an artist’s touch to every facelift procedure I perform. It’s that artistry, in addition to skill and experience, that truly sets the Emory Facial Center apart.

A youthful face is shaped like an egg. There’s more volume at the top and middle, tapering down to the chin and neck. As women age, the egg flips. The muscles and skin sag, dragging down the jaw line and neck. During facial rejuvenation, I flip the egg, reestablishing a youthful, heart-shaped face. Often, subtle changes can produce spectacular results.

These days, you hear a lot about “mini lifts” and other quick fixes. If you have small problems, perhaps you’re still in your early 40s, a mini lift may be just what you need. If you’re in your mid 50s and you see a sagging, heavy neck when you look in the mirror, a full lift may be the answer. A well-done facelift will take years off your face, leaving you looking and feeling brighter, fresher, and more attractive. I don’t want to make you look like a different person. I want you to restore the most beautiful you.

If you’re thinking about having a facelift and you’d like to learn more, or if you’ve had a lift, we’d love to hear from you. Please share your questions or thoughts in the comments section below.

About the Author:

Seth A. Yellin, MD, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, is the Director of the Emory Facial Center. Dr. Yellin is a nationally recognized expert on creating a “natural look” when performing facial rejuvenation procedures and has appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and Fox Television News.

Less is More to be Thankful For

For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of the most meaningful and special holidays of the year. We all get to spend time with our family and loved ones, gathered around a table, sharing stories and reconnecting. Thanksgiving also brings around some of the best (and most!) food of the year. We often over indulge during the holiday season, which is the reason many of us vow to make New Year’s resolutions to lose the winter weight. But, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

We’ve prepared a line-up of Thanksgiving recipes that bring as much nutrition as they do flavor and variety to the table. Check out or Thanksgiving dinner menu below, full recipes for each item are available on our website by using the links below:

Pomegranate Berry Cup RecipeDessert – Pomegranate-Berry Crème Cups

Both pomegranates and fresh berries bring lots of antioxidants and nutrients to any dessert, the benefits of which range from fighting cancer to preventing heart disease. Try our Pomegranate-Berry Creme Cup recipe in place of one of the traditional Thanksgiving pies to save calories and add a dessert to the menu that’s as tasty as it is nutritious!

Cornbread Crusted Turkey RecipeMain Course – Cornbread-Crusted Turkey

This recipe is great for Thanksgiving, but also consider incorporating it into your dinners year round! It calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor. Try incorporating other healthy vegetables such as sweet potato.

Healthy Cornbread RecipeSide dish – Good-For-You Cornbread

This healthier twist on the classic cornbread recipe means you can have your comfort food and eat it too! With only 178 calories per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about adding this good-for-you cornbread as a Thanksgiving side item.

Top 5 Reasons to Try Avocado Spring Rolls

The Emory Facial Center periodically shares new recipes that are good for the skin and overall health. This month, try our Avocado Spring Roll recipe. It’s easy to make, and avocados bring lots of great health benefits to the table. Below, you’ll find our top five reasons to give this delicious recipe a try!Avocado Spring Roll Recipe

1. Good Fat

We’ve all heard of good fats and bad fats, but rarely do we hear information about what foods we can get our good fat from, and what the benefits of doing so are. While they do contain a substantial amount of fat, the fat in avocados is monounsaturated or “good” fat. Monounsaturated fatty acids can actually help to reduce cholesterol levels. In addition, oleic acid, one of the monounsaturated fatty acids present in avocados, has actually been shown to help fight breast cancer.

2. Fight Prostate Cancer

The combination of high levels of vitamin E and carotenoid lutein in avocados makes them a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fighting prostate cancer. In a recent study, when prostate cancer cells were exposed to avocado extract including these two components, the extract was shown to inhibit the growth of these cancerous cells.

3. Support Eye Health

The carotenoid lutein found in avocados and mentioned above provides substantial eye health benefits. Lutein helps protect the eyes from eye diseases such as cataracts and macular generation.

4. Support Heart Health and Prevent Stroke

Those who consume diets rich in folate demonstrate a much lower rate of heart disease than those who don’t. Avocados are packed with folate. In fact, one cup of avocado has almost 25% of the recommended daily value for folate. Consuming folate rich diets is also shown to lower the risk for stroke.

5. Regulate Blood Pressure

Avocados are a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Most foods high in potassium (such as potatoes) are eaten cooked. Cooking these vegetables removes about 30% of their potassium content, giving the avocado, which is eaten raw, an extra leg up on the potassium competition.

We hope this gives you an even better reason than just their taste to incorporate avocados into your diet. Let us know what you think of our spring roll recipe in the comments below!