Emory University Hospital in Atlanta is the core facility of one of the nation’s leading university-based health systems, with nationally and internationally recognized faculty physicians in more than 100 specialty and subspecialty areas. The adult, tertiary care facility is a component of Emory Healthcare, the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia. Approximately 24,000 inpatients and more than 200,000 outpatients visit Emory University Hospital each year. The hospital contains 751 beds and is staffed by more than 1,500 practicing physicians, who are also faculty members at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Providing a full range of specialized care, Emory University Hospital is annually included in U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Hospitals” and is conistently ranked as the top hospital in metro Atlanta and the state. It is known for its excellence in cardiology and cardiac surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, ophthalmology, organ and tissue transplantation, and orthopedics.
The hospital’s relationship with Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center has had a significant impact on patients. Through this partnership, advances have been made in medicine that will affect the lives of Georgians for the next several decades.
Emory University Hospital dates back to March 1904, when its predecessor, Wesley Memorial Hospital, was chartered with fifty beds. The hospital was housed in a downtown Atlanta mansion that had been spared from destruction by Union general William T. Sherman’s army during the Atlanta campaign in 1864. By November 1922 the hospital had grown too large for its quarters and was moved to its current DeKalb County site on the Emory University campus. The new 275-bed facility was a gift from Asa Candler, philanthropist and founder of the Coca-Cola Company.
In the mid-1930s, the name was changed to Emory University Hospital. The university and the hospital bear the name of Bishop John Emory, who presided over a meeting of the Georgia Methodist Conference in 1834 at which delegates decided to establish a Methodist college, which later became Emory University.
Emory University Hospital “Firsts”
A number of revolutionary medical procedures have been performed in the state for the first time at Emory University Hospital:
—1947: Georgia’s first cornea transplant
—1963: Georgia’s first aortic valve replacement
—1966: Georgia’s first kidney transplant
—1970: Georgia’s first coronary bypass
—1979: Georgia’s first bone marrow transplant
—1982: Georgia’s first injection of a clot buster to treat heart attack
—1985: Atlanta’s first heart transplant
—1987: Georgia’s first liver transplant
—1987: Georgia’s first insertion of an implantable defibrillator
—1989: Georgia’s first pancreas transplant
—1996: Georgia’s first coronary artery bypass graft “keyhole” surgery
—1997: Georgia’s first implantation of a dual-pump ventricular-assist device
—1999: Georgia’s first implantation of a biventricular pacemaker
—2003: Georgia’s first islet cell transplant to cure diabetes
—2011: Georgia’s first hand transplant
The hospital’s other notable accomplishments include recruiting Andreas Gruentzig, inventor of the balloon angioplasty, from the Medical Policlinic in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1980, and the nation’s first coronary stent implantation in 1987. In 1992 a team of Emory neurologists and surgeons performed a pallidotomy, using brain mapping to guide the placement of lesions and electrodes, on a Parkinson’s patient. In 2002 the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a protein that stimulates bone growth and provides an alternative to painful bone grafts, an outgrowth of work by Emory orthopedic surgeon Scott Boden.
In 2014 Emory neurologist Mahlon Delong received the Lasker Award for his work using deep brain stimulation to restore motor function in patients with Parkinson’s. That same year, Emory University Hospital made national news when it became the first U.S. hospital to treat a patient with Ebola. The hospital would eventually treat four patients during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak, all of whom survived.