February 2018 — Known as a healthcare hub, Atlanta is nationally recognized not only for its patient care but also for its research in the healthcare industry. As the home of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and leading research institutions like Emory University and Georgia Tech, Atlanta paves the way in innovation within the industry. In fact, former Mayor Kasim Reed said that Atlanta would become the health technology capital of the Southeast after seeing the impact that the recently opened Atlanta Center for Medical Research has had on its surrounding community.

Focus: Atlanta spoke with a number of city leaders in the healthcare sector to get their insights on this. Here’s what they said:

Dr. Jonathan Lewin, President and CEO and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

“At Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center, we are conducting more than $540 million of externally funded research in 2017. The Emory Vaccine Center is performing clinical trials for Zika virus vaccines,  we have made groundbreaking progress on HIV vaccines and antibiotic resistance. The Winship Cancer Institute, recently designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute, has participated in clinical trials for all the newest immunotherapy drugs. Our Brain Health Center is conducting research on Alzheimer’s, PTSD, stroke, and depression. We are leading the largest clinical trial ever in Atlanta, the Emory Health Aging Study, which will be enrolling healthy aging people across the city, looking at brain health development and dementia. It’s going to be one of the biggest trials ever conducted in the U.S. for brain health.”

Dr. Walter Curran, Executive Director, Winship Cancer Institute

“The National Cancer Institute considers several features of an institution when it designates CCCs. It looks at the quality of laboratory cancer research, the quality of clinical trials, the efforts to understand cancer in the community, including cancer prevention or early detection methods, educational training programs and the positive impacts of research on the local community. Our mission is to lessen the burden of cancer in Georgia. We do that by aligning our research and educational programs with our cancer care and prevention.”

Anne Meisner, CEO, Cancer Treatment Centers of America

“We have a presence of large academic institutions, and that is a driver of medical education as well as research.”

John Haupert, President and CEO, Grady Health System

“The Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center came online in 2010 and has become one of the leading stroke centers in the country. It is the largest in Georgia and a leading research facility. The Marcus Trauma Center has given us the capacity to manage larger numbers of trauma patients. Additional investments have been made in cardiology that allow Grady to be a 24-7 cardiac center and allow a 24-7 catheterization lab available to respond to ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a serious type of heart attack. Most recently, we have undergone a significant expansion and renovation of our emergency department. Because of the population we serve, we have created the state’s first psychiatric ER as we see a significant number of psychiatric patients.”

To find out more about our interviewees above, visit their websites at:

Emory Healthcare: https://www.emoryhealthcare.org
Winship Cancer Institute: https://winshipcancer.emory.edu
Cancer Treatment Centers of America: https://www.cancercenter.com
Grady Health System: https://www.gradyhealth.org