News Release: School of Medicine

Nov. 5,  2010

Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Co-Host Luncheon on Children's Health Issues

Atlanta philanthropists Stephanie Blank, Laura Seydel and Lisa Tush have created a series of Enlightenment Luncheons designed to inform audiences about the environmental health issues facing children and to inspire a call to action to make a difference. “Childhood Obesity: An Issue Plaguing Our Nation’s Youth,” the fourth luncheon in the series, is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Four Seasons Hotel in midtown Atlanta.

William H. Dietz, MD PhD, director of the division of nutrition, physical activity and obesity at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will serve as the keynote speaker. He will discuss the childhood obesity epidemic followed by a panel of experts in a question-and-answer session.

The panel of experts will include:

  • Veda Johnson, MD, is an assistant professor in the Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics. Johnson is co-founder of the Whitefoord Community Program, which provides medical and other services to disadvantaged members of the community. She has participated in the development of national standards for comprehensive school-based health programs to improve the quality of school health services.
  • Christi Kay is executive director of Georgia’s HealthMPowers organization Kay has been a leader in health education in Georgia for more than 25 years. She has been instrumental in developing the curriculum for HealthMPowers, as well as authoring materials, including a program that integrates physical activity and math with a student fitness portfolio. She is a national trainer with the CDC’s School Health Index and a member of the Georgia Department of Education’s Health Education Advisory Committee.
  • Alice Rolls is executive director of Georgia Organics where she leads efforts to integrate healthy, sustainable and locally grown food into the lives of all Georgians. She has completed five years of a farmer-to-farmer mentoring program to grow more farmers; launched a farm-to-school program to educate kids about health foods and gardening; and published the Local Food Guide to connect consumers with local, sustainably-grown foods in Georgia.
  • Stephanie Walsh, MD, is medical director of Childhood Wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and assistant professor in the Emory School of Medicine. Walsh has been instrumental in building the obesity clinic at Children’s and is committed to the expansion of its current efforts. She is responsible for the medical direction of the overall Child Wellness strategy at Children’s, including implementation of evidence-based methods toward the prevention and treatment of obesity. She is also responsible for tracking and measuring data to determine the clinical effectiveness of these efforts.

Special Interest Speaker:

  • Leslie Rubin, MD, is president and founder of the Institute for the Study of Disadvantage and Disability as well as a research associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and co-director of the Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit in the Department of Pediatrics at the Emory School of Medicine. Rubin and Georgia State University law student, Raymond Lindholm, will be presenting their "Break the Cycle" project, which examines environmental health disparities with a focus on research relating to childhood obesity and the built environment.

Tickets for the luncheon are $60 per person. To register, call 404-727-3232 or use the online registration form.


Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 16 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 30 pediatric specialties and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by Parents magazine and U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit for more information or follow us @childrensatl.


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:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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