160th Edition

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160th EditionFebruary 15, 2024

State Affairs

Session Update 
The General Assembly is over halfway through the 2024 legislative session. The state affairs team has been at the Capitol every day since January 8 promoting Emory’s goals, sharing Emory’s perspectives, and finding opportunities to serve as an expert resource for legislators. One of Emory’s priority bills, HB 1035 by Rep. Sharon Cooper, passed on the House floor unanimously. This bill removes barriers to supplying opioid antagonists and allows pharmacists to refill vending machines stocked with opioid antagonists.

Another piece of legislation, HB 924 by Rep. Mandi Ballinger, has been discussed in subcommittee, and Emory has offered a letter of support. If passed, HB 924 would prohibit insurers from discriminating against a hospital facility’s administration of provider drugs—a practice also known as white-bagging. Only one Certificate of Need (CON) bill has been introduced, SB 442 by Sen. David Lucas. It provides a CON exemption for all health care services in counties with a population below 35,000. The state affairs team will continue to monitor these and any other issues impacting Emory. The legislative session will conclude on March 28, 2024. 

Go Red for Women 
On February 3, Rep. Doreen Carter hosted the 9th Annual Go Red for Women breakfast event at Chapel Hill Middle School in Decatur. Her goal is to educate people on women’s heart health. Emory cardiologist Anne Van Beuningen (pictured below 3rd from left) spoke on the importance of heart health, and the event included onsite heart monitoring machines. Approximately 100 people attended, including Rep. Omari Crawford and Rep. Dewey Mcclain.

Dr. Smith-Graziani at the Capitol for Cancer Day 
On February 6, medical oncologist and assistant professor of hematology/medical oncology Demetria Smith-Graziani spoke at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Cancer Action Day at the Gold Dome. The event aimed to highlight screening, detecting, treating, and surviving cancer. Dr. Smith-Graziani reinforced issues critical to cancer care, including closing the health coverage gap. View media coverage of the event here.

Emory Rural Tele-EMS Demonstration at the Capitol 
On February 12, emergency medicine physician Michael Carr and his team at Emory Rural Tele-EMS (ER-TEMS) Program, in conjunction with the Southern Regional Disaster Response System (SRDRS), held a hands-on demonstration in front of the State Capitol. The interactive experience included an ambulance equipped with their state-of-the-art telehealth technology, and the ER-TEMS team educated legislators on how the program supports ambulance crews treating patients across rural Georgia. Funded through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) award, ER-TEMS utilizes early comprehensive telemedicine assessments via video technology to reduce unnecessary transports and optimize the use of hospital resources to deliver the right care at the right time and the right place.

Federal Affairs

Emory Researcher Provides Expertise in Roundtable with the First Lady of the United States 
On February 7, leaders in the investment, health care, education, and research spaces gathered for an exclusive roundtable discussion with first lady Dr. Jill Biden as part of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research. Emory’s Tené T. Lewis, professor of epidemiology, was one of 10 women included in the all-women roundtable, and the only person in the group to identify as an active health researcher. Professor Lewis provided valuable insight from her current research projects focused on women’s health. Read more about Lewis’ involvement in the roundtable.  

Dr. Colleen Kraft Advocates for Research Funding on Capitol Hill 
Earlier this month, Emory’s Colleen Kraft, who serves as a professor in the Department of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases and assistant professor in the Department of Pathology, visited Capitol Hill to share her expertise in infectious disease with policymakers. The OGCA team is proud to work with Dr. Kraft as she provides a critical perspective to members on Capitol Hill.  

Upcoming House Hearing on Patient and Caregiver Support 
On February 14, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled “Legislative Proposals to Support Patients and Caregivers.” During the hearing, members of the subcommittee will examine proposed legislation related to delivering solutions to support patients and caregivers. The OGCA team is working closely with our members on the committee to ensure Emory’s priorities are represented in the hearing. 

College Cost Reduction Act Passes House Committee 
On January 31, the House Education & the Workforce Committee held a marathon markup for Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) recently released College Cost Reduction Act (H.R 6951). After nearly eight hours of partisan fireworks, the bill passed along a party-line vote. The OGCA team is working closely with our partners in the House to prevent this bill from passing on the House floor as it contains harmful provisions to students seeking federal financial aid.  

March-In Rights 
On January 31, Emory responded to a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) request for comments regarding Draft Interagency Guidelines pertaining to March-In Rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. Emory has concerns that the proposal will increase barriers for life-improving, federally funded research and appreciated the opportunity to share expertise related to Emory’s commitment to collaboration and innovation, as well as good stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

Community Affairs

Outstanding Citizen Award 
Congratulations to Kendra Price, who recently received the prestigious Outstanding Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador recognition from the Secretary of State for Georgia! This award was presented by Rep. Doreen Carter (D-93) and underscores the power of collective actions in fostering positive change. A heartfelt thank you to Rep. Carter for her work and for championing community engagement. The OGCA team is proud of Kendra’s recognition.

Pictured above from left to right are Greg Levett, Emory Healthcare board member, Kendra Price, associate director of community programs, and Rep. Doreen Carter.

DeKalb Health Summit
On February 8, OGCA partnered with Emory Healthcare on the 2nd DeKalb Health Summit at House of Hope Atlanta. The focus of this event was to nurture healthy communities by connecting resources, exploring health equity issues, and creating partnerships to implement solutions. More than 37 community organizations were on site to share information with the 100 attendees.

Pictured above is Jen Schuck, CEO of Emory Decatur, Hillandale, and Long-Term Acute Hospitals, providing opening remarks.

DeKalb County Voting Site
Emory is once again hosting a DeKalb County voting location in the 1599 building on Clifton Road. Advance (early) voting will begin on February 19 and continue through March 8, 2024. The 1599 building will also serve as an Election Day voting precinct on March 12 for those registered voters assigned to this location. Find more information about DeKalb County voter registration and elections. Please use this link if you are interested in serving as a volunteer at the polling site.  

Dr. Joon Lee joins CAP Board
Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), the influential downtown business and civic association, approved its new board of directors at its annual meeting and awards luncheon on January 31. Emory sponsored a table for the well-attended event and is proud to have Dr. Joon Lee representing Emory Healthcare on the CAP board.


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