50th Edition

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50th EditionJune 29, 2018

State Update

Two key state lawmakers joined Emory and other state partners this week for the first Georgia Memory Net (GMN) Summit at Lake Lanier Islands. The summit is an annual conference hosted by Emory that brings together all the partners working on the GMN both at Emory, the Georgia Department of Human Services, and others around the state to address the state’s growing need for definitive diagnosis and care of those with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from Representative Terry England (R-Auburn), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford), Chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee (pictured below), on their passion for the program and their vision for GMN in the future. Sen. Unterman and Rep. England have been champions for Alzheimer’s disease and were integral to the creation of the GMN. Funded by the state legislature in 2017, GMN has established five regional diagnostic centers across Georgia that evaluate, diagnose, and assess current and future needs of affected individuals and their families. Staff and clinicians from each Memory Assessment Clinic (MAC), state agency staff, and other field experts gathered to learn from one another by sharing processes, challenges and future goals for GMN. The Emory OGCA team will continue to advocate for Georgia Memory Net, and we look forward to working with state legislators on this important program.

Emory in the Community

On June 22, twenty DeKalb County educators from Chapel Hill Elementary School visited the Emory campus to tour the WaterHub. They learned about the operation of the Waterhub and the water reclamation process. The purpose of this visit was to inspire instructional development and advance thinking related to lessons, activities, and careers. As an AdvancEd Certified STEM school, the teachers and administrators have been charged with furthering their knowledge base. Emory is proud to support Chapel Hill Elementary in improving STEM education for the underrepresented students in the DeKalb County School District. A special thanks to Matt Vinson, Manager of WaterHub Operations, for hosting the group.

Federal Update

The June 28 retirement announcement from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has triggered a furious confirmation battle that is likely to dominate politics over the next few months. Meanwhile, Congress remains intent on completing the national defense authorization bill, passing appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 2019), and advancing legislation to address opioid abuse.

On June 22, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a legislative package aimed at combating the nation’s opioid crisis; measures include expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, cracking down on over-prescribers of opioids, increasing telehealth services for treatment of substance use disorder, and encouraging non-opioid pain management techniques. The Senate is working on its own package, which will be reconciled with the House version.

Immigration policy continues to roil the nation’s capital. On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold the Administration’s travel ban. President Claire E. Sterk issued a statement expressing concern that such a ban impacts Emory’s ability to fulfill its mission as a global research university.

On June 27, the U.S. House of Representatives defeated a compromise immigration measure that Republican leaders had hoped would unite moderates and conservatives. The bill would have provided a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers,” funded a border wall, curbed legal immigration, and prevented families from being separated at the border. The House may try to pass a narrow measure aimed at ending family separations, although the form for that is unclear. Competing immigration efforts remain in limbo in the Senate. The Association of American Universities, with which Emory is actively engaged, released a statement expressing disappointment in Congress’ inability to advance a policy solution for our Deferred Action Childhood Arrival (DACA) students.  

The Administration continues to promote its drug-pricing plan, advance new regulations on association health plans, and grapple with rising health insurance premiums. In addition, the Administration has released its plan for restructuring the federal government. The proposal would merge the Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL) into a single Cabinet agency, the Department of Education and the Workforce (DEW). While congressional Republicans remain interested in legislation to reduce health care costs, there appears to be little appetite for restructuring the federal government.

Congress will recess today for the week of July 4th.  

For those in DC on July 11th, we hope you will join Emory in celebrating its partnership with the Georgia congressional delegation.

In Other News

On June 26, MARTA board members met with Emory leadership to discuss the Clifton Corridor Transit Initiative.

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