News Roundup | 7.11.17

DUC Demolition Continues

Demolition of the west wing of the Dobbs University Center (DUC) began May 2017. The site will house the future Campus Life Center, set to open May 2019./Alexis Sutton, Contributor

Old Theology Building to Become Offices for Sterk, Univ. Execs

EMORY — Construction has begun on the Old Theology Building, which once housed Pitts Theology Library, to convert the facility into offices for the University president and University executives, Senior Director of Operations David Payne wrote in a July 11 email to the Wheel. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, but has been vacant since 2013. Construction is expected to continue through late 2018, Payne said. The building was erected in 1916, originally serving as the Candler School of Theology, the Chancellor’s office and an academic library. The Administration Building, which currently houses the University president’s office, is being repurposed but the new tenants are not yet known, according to a July 11 University press release. — Richard Chess

Emory Medical School Grad Named CDC Director

ATLANTA — U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price has appointed Georgia’s public health commissioner and Emory alumna Brenda Fitzgerald (77M) as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director, according to The New York Times. Before her appointment, Fitzgerald, an obstetrician-gynecologist, headed initiatives to combat infant mortality and increase literacy for hard-of-hearing and deaf children, according to the Times. She completed her residency at Grady Memorial Hospital before joining the U.S. Air Force, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Fitzgerald officially assumed her position July 7, replacing acting director Anne Schuchat, who took over after Thomas Frieden resigned in January.

Woman Sues Emory Hospital for Leaving Camera Inside Her Body After Surgery

UPDATE (7/12/17 at 6:30 p.m.): This brief has been updated to include Emory Healthcare’s statement. 

EMORY — A woman is suing Emory University Hospital, Emory Healthcare, Emory Clinic and two doctors after doctors allegedly left a camera in her body after surgery, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Lacrystal Lockett underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant in 2014, during which doctors used a medical camera. According to a lawsuit filed in DeKalb County State Court, Lockett became aware the camera was still inside her torso during an exam at the hospital six months later. A second surgery was required to remove the device. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in June and is asking a jury to determine a settlement, according to the AJC. In a July 12 statement to the Wheel, Director of Media Relations for Emory Healthcare Janet Christenbury said, “Emory University Hospital is dedicated to providing the highest quality health care for our patients. Because of patient confidentiality and pending litigation, we are not able to provide any comment on this case.”

Researchers Develop Microneedle Patches to Treat Flu

EMORY— Researchers from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have designed microneedle patches as an alternative to flu shots in an effort to immunize more people by creating a more widely used treatment, according to Business Insider. The patches consist of several tiny pain-free needles that contain the vaccine and dissolve when the patch is stuck on the body, generating an antibody response. Individuals will be able to apply the patch on themselves without assistance from medical professionals, according to Business Insider. Results of the first phase of human trials showed that skin reactions were minimal and immune responses generated by the vaccine were still present after six months, according to a June 27 Georgia Tech press release. About 70 percent of subjects indicated that they would prefer patch vaccinations.

Child Found Dead in Hospital Parking Deck

EMORY — After receiving a 911 call regarding a medical emergency, DeKalb County Police found Dijanelle Fowler and her one-year-old daughter Skylar in a parked vehicle in an Emory University Hospital parking deck June 15, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother was taken to the hospital for treatment and released. Police have identified the child’s death as “suspicious” and are investigating the circumstances, Lieutenant Police Lonzy Robertson told the AJC.

Graves Appointed Interim Dean of Law School

EMORY — Jury trial lawyer and Emory alumnus Judson Graves (75L) was appointed interim dean of Emory University School of Law, effective Aug. 1, according to a June 20 University press release. Graves, a partner at law firm Alston and Bird, specializes in “liability, medical malpractice, defamation and intellectual property.” He was named one of the top-10 U.S. trial lawyers in 2000, according to the press release. Incoming Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dwight McBride will conduct an official School of Law dean search during the 2017-18 academic year. Former School of Law Dean Robert A. Shapiro stepped down March 2017 to return to teaching.

Marthers Named First Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

EMORY — In the newly created vice provost for enrollment management role, Paul P. Marthers will work to shape enrollment and retention rates in Emory College of Arts and Sciences, Oxford College, Goizueta Business School and the Nursing School, according to a June 22 University press release. Prior to his appointment, Marthers held a similar position at the State University of New York and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.). He will assume the role July 1.

CORRECTION (7/12/17 at 6:30 p.m.): The “Emory Medical School Grad Named CDC Director” brief originally stated that Thomas Friedman had resigned from being CDC director in January. Thomas Friedman is a journalist, not a CDC director. The brief has been updated to reflect that Thomas Frieden was the CDC director.