Emory University | Woodruff Health Sciences Center
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New Michael M.E. Johns M.D. Chair in Health Policy

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Michael Johns, here with Jim Curran, is being honored with a chair in his name in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

The O. Wayne Rollins Foundation has funded the Michael M.E. Johns M.D. Chair in Health Policy to honor Johns’ leadership of Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC). Johns himself will be the inaugural holder of the chair.

An otolaryngologist and head and neck cancer surgeon by training, Johns served as Emory’s fifth chancellor from 2007-2012. Prior to that post, he was CEO of WHSC and Emory executive vice president for health affairs.

He left Emory in 2014 to return to his medical school alma mater, University of Michigan, as interim executive vice president for medical affairs and interim CEO of its health system. The next year he came back to Emory to serve as interim executive vice president for health affairs until Jonathan Lewin assumed that position earlier this year.

During Johns’ tenure as WHSC CEO, he led a comprehensive strategy that positioned the Woodruff Health Sciences Center as one of the nation’s preeminent academic health centers in education, research, and patient care. He initiated the drive that resulted in National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Designation for the Winship Cancer Institute.

The chair is just the latest honor for Johns. He received the 2015 Castle Connolly National Physician of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was the 2006 recipient of the Charles R. Hatcher Jr. M.D. Award for Public Health. And in 2009 Dean Curran established the Michael M.E. Johns M.D. Lecture in Health Policy to honor Johns’ leadership of WHSC. Johns is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly called the Institute of Medicine) and has served on several committees and as vice chair of the NAM council.

“Dr. Johns has played an important role in the growth of our school and of the entire Woodruff Health Sciences Center,” says Dean James Curran, who attended medical school with Johns. “He is widely recognized as a catalyst of new thinking 
in many areas of health policy and health professions education. He is well deserving of this chair in his honor.”

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