News Release: Emory Healthcare

Jun. 18,  2010

Emory Wesley Woods' Thomas Price Named Practice Change Fellow

Thomas Price, MD, chief of medicine at Wesley Woods Center of Emory University, has been chosen as one of eight prestigious Atlantic Philanthropies and John A. Hartford Foundation-Supported Practice Change Fellows. He is the first Georgian to receive this honor.

The Practice Change Fellows program is a two-year opportunity for nurses, physicians and social workers to develop leadership skills and content expertise in order to positively influence care for older adults. Fellows complete a project aimed at implementing a new geriatric program or service line integrated within their organization, allowing them to remain at their full-time job throughout the two-year program.

"Dr. Price has committed his life and career to the betterment of America's senior population through his research and clinical care," says Frank Brown, MD, chief medical officer for Wesley Woods. "Being named a Practice Change Fellow certainly underscores his service now and in the future to improving the lives of these men and women - as well as their loved ones who care for them. A Practice Change Fellowship is an honor for any physician and researcher, and we are, in turn, honored for Dr. Price. This opportunity will provide him a platform to improve health care at the local and national levels."

The Practice Change Fellows program is designed to expand the number of health care leaders who can effectively promote high quality care to older adults in a wide range of health and health care organizations. Building a cadre of health care professionals who possess the essential leadership skills and understanding of promising innovations in care for older adults will ensure that this country will be prepared to meet the challenges of an expanding aged population.

The short-term goal of this program is to transform health care professionals working within the broadly defined delivery system into effective leaders. These leaders will have strong management skills and content expertise to effectuate practice improvement within their organizations to better meet the needs of older adults. The long-term goal is to establish a vigorous network of health care practice change specialists with the capacity to influence care for this population on a national scale. Recently, Price helped develop at Wesley Woods a first of its kind partnership to detect and shelter the victims of elder abuse within DeKalb County, Ga. The collaboration between Emory Healthcare and DeKalb County will help identify the victims of elder abuse, provide temporary shelter, and administer state-of-the-art medical care for the treatment of their injuries - all in an effort to help senior citizens to work towards regaining their independence.

Albert Blackwelder, Wesley Woods Center chief operating officer, says, "Through collaboration with local law enforcement and the DeKalb County government, Dr. Price has helped to provide a new level of safety, security and care to the most vulnerable of our citizens. Health care is a constantly evolving and ever-changing profession, as new methods of care are identified and applied to patients and their medical needs.

"And as a Practice Change Fellow, I am certain that Dr. Price and the tremendous team of physicians, researchers and nursing professionals at Wesley Woods, will continue the cutting edge research and medicine that will positively change the lives of many," says Blackwelder.

Through participation in this two-year program, fellows will receive $90,000 and the support of local and national mentors to further develop their leadership skills and to complete a project aimed at implementing a new geriatric service line or aging program. Complementing their development as individual leaders, the fellows will be joining a collegial network of dedicated professionals.

Price's fellowship project, titled "The Safety Action Plan - Assessment and Sheltering of the Victims of Elder Abuse," will tie in closely with his ongoing work of identifying and caring for senior citizens who are victims of abuse in the home environment - whether the abuse be physical, mental, financial or otherwise. 

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
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Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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