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White Coat Grady Gala

In Its First Two Years Combined, The White Coat Grady Gala Raised Nearly $2 Million For Grady Health Foundation

ATLANTA – Grady Health Foundation is pleased to announce the awards and respective recipients for the 3rd Annual White Coat Grady Gala, a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony set for Saturday, March 16 at the Georgia Aquarium. Hosted by WSB-TV’s John Bachman, the event benefits Grady’s non-profit arm and shines the spotlight on the hospital system’s outstanding physicians and philanthropists who serve metro-Atlanta.

“We are at 98% of our fundraising goal that began in 2008, with $319 million out of $325 million raised, and this success could not be possible without the support of the community and the dedication of Grady’s exceptional employees,” says Lisa Borders, President of Grady Health Foundation. “Each honoree has a unique story, and we hope you will join us to celebrate their achievements and help us reach our financial goal.”

Senior Sage Award | Walter L. Ingram, MD  – Doctor Walter L. Ingram has been the Director of the Grady Memorial Hospital Burn Unit since 1992 and is also Associate Professor of Surgery, Trauma/Surgical Critical Care at Grady Memorial Hospital, Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine. Recently, Doctor Ingram began working towards obtaining verification from the American Burn Association (ABA), the highest recommendation a burn center can receive. Following a very successful site visit, verification was granted in May 2012, officially acknowledging the GradyBurn Center for providing high quality adult and pediatric patient care and meeting the ABA’s demanding standards for organizational structure, personnel qualifications, facilities resources and medical care services.

Inspiring Mentor Award | Nadine J. Kaslow, Ph.D, ABPP – Doctor Nadine J. Kaslow is the Chief Psychologist at Grady and current President-elect of the American Psychological Association. She is also a professor at Emory School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and has held a plethora of previous academic appointments at University’s including Georgia State and Yale. Her area of specialty is clinical psychology and mental illness. Doctor Kaslow was a professional ballerina during her doctoral studies (a former member of the Houston Ballet) and is the resident psychologist for the Atlanta Ballet. Her current  focus is on battered women, suicide prevention and ensuring quality mental health services for the underserved.

Next Generation Healer Award | L.Joy” Baker, MD – After working in the field of clinical laboratory science for two and a half years, Doctor Joy Baker left laboratory medicine to pursue medical school. She studied at the Morehouse School of Medicine where, as a first year medical student, she was elected class president. As a result of her Health Policy Advocacy work surrounding healthcare for undocumented pregnant women and the Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative, Doctor Baker was tapped as a member of the Board of Directors for Health Students Taking Action Together (HealthSTAT), most notably responsible for the “Grady is Vital” campaign to preserve Grady Hospital and its legacy in the city of Atlanta.

 Ada Lee and Pete Correll Healthcare Legacy Award | The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC)  – From recruiting business to tackling quality of life issues, MAC’s efforts are designed to promote prosperity and growth for businesses. In the past decade, more than 500 companies have been successfully recruited to the metro-region, creating 55,000 jobs. The Chamber campaigned to expand Grady in 1910 and re-engaged almost century later, in 2007, to ensure its survival.

Recognized as one of the premiere fundraising events in Atlanta, the White Coat Grady Gala has been featured by Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Atlanta Charity & Social Datebook, Atlanta Social Seasons, Jezebel, Southern Seasons, Points North, WSB-TV and more. Last year’s gala sold out, so we advise you to encourage your readers to buy tickets in advance. For pricing and to purchase, visit or contact 404-489-1550 for more information.

The 3rd Annual White Coat Grady Gala is presented by Delta Air Lines, The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, The Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority, Kaiser Permanente, AdCare, The Home Depot Foundation, Newell Rubbermaid, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power, Regions, Wells Fargo, Waffle House, Yancey Bros, King & Spalding LLP and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

March of Dimes working to prevent preterm births


Grady Health Foundation

ATLANTA – About one out of every eight babies in this country is born too soon. Many of those newborns will spend their first months of life in an intensive care unit. For their parents, the experience can be overwhelming.

Becoming first-time parents was scary for Robert and Michelle Williamson. Their baby, Michelle, was born by emergency caesarean section three months early. She weighed 15 ounces and could fit in the palm of her dad’s hand.

“When she first came out, it just really touched my heart. Almost brought me to tears, when I first saw her, that small,” said Robert Williamson.

Since then, Michelle has been in Grady Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, gradually learning to breathe without a ventilator, to nurse and to grow. She has tripled her weight.

“It’s amazing to see her from 15 ounces up until 3 pounds and two ounces. You know that transformation, because she was so small, and now she’s really big,” said Michelle Williamson.

Emory/Grady neonatologist Dr. Bill Sexson says medicine has gotten much better at helping the tiniest preemies like Michelle survive.

“But I think the real issue to talk to folks about is that oftentimes, even if you’re to survive, there’s going to be some residual, there’s going to be some problem with development,” said Sexson.

Premature babies are at higher risk of lung problems, developmental delays, and other complications that Sexson says concern him.

“Because they’re the things you may not know about for a year, or two years, five years,” Sexson said.

A major focus of both Grady and the March of Dimes is preventing pre-term births. Sexson says they’re working with mothers who’ve had one very premature baby and are at high-risk of having another to delay getting pregnant again for at least a year and a half, giving them time to get as healthy as possible.

“Then you’ve optimized your chance for that next baby to be normal and not a preemie,” said Sexson.

And Dr. Sexson encourages parents to look beyond the NICU, imagining their babies at 2, or 4, or 6, because he says no matter how small, or sick a preemie is in the NICU, “the best predictor of how a child will do long-term is how well they’re nurtured, and educated, cared for at home.”

If all goes well, Michelle Williamson will leave the NICU in about week. Michelle and Robert can’t wait to take her home.

“And read her little stories, and change her diapers like we do here, and be able to feed her and hold her,” Michelle Williamson said.

March of Dimes is working to get a better idea of what causes preterm deliveries and what can be done to stop them. The organization is working with Georgia and other states to dramatically reduce the number of preterm births by 2014.

To read more about preterm births, and get pregnancy tips, visit

Whitney Houston’s sax man and Monica Pearson partner for charity


Whitney Houston’s longtime saxophonist, Kirk Whalum, and Monica Pearson, longtime Channel 2 anchor, team up for charity Saturday night.

Whalum will perform and Pearson emcees at Travel In Pink, benefiting the Grady Health Foundation. The event, presented by Delta, with Grey Goose Cherry Noir serving as the official liquor sponsor, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum, Hangar 2, 1060 Delta Blvd. Individual tickets start at $150 and you must purchase in advance. Click here for details.

“I’m happy to be a part of it,” said Whalum, an 11-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist whose latest album is “Romance Language,” in honor of his wife of 32 years.

He was also to share stories of his working relationship with Houston, who died this year at age 48.

383623_10150413202914597_2129292215_n“I toured with her for seven years,” Whalum said. “I think those were her best years. She knew we had her back. It was a lot more than just, we worked for her. We were a family. When you’re on the road, you are by default a family. You’re out there and you really develop a long-term relationship.”

Whalum and Houston connected spiritually as well as professionally.

“I used to do Bible studies for her and the band,” he said. “She called me ‘Bishop.’ It was my mission to keep me connected.”

His most famous saxophone solo on Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You,” has been heard countless times, especially shortly after her death. At her insistence, the song was performed live for the movie “The Bodyguard.”

“When she did the song she was very specific, she said she wanted to do the song live for the film,” Whalum recalled. “That was a big no-no. They do those scenes a million times and with a singer, you have to watch her vocal chords.They said, ‘no we can’t do it.’ She said, ‘then you’re going to have to find a singer.’ She said, ‘if I sing it we’re going to have to do it live for the film and my band is going to play.’ Sure enough we were able to do it. The rough mix of that song is what made the record.”

430025_10151107282299597_1562380744_nWhalum was introduced to Houston through a colleague, and described his time with her as a “detour” from his recording career. He was sad, but not shocked, to hear of his friend’s passing.

“It was a mixture of incredulity and ‘I’m not surprised,’” he said. After playing with her on so many occasions it was heartbreaking to play for Houston one final time, at her memorial service. Hearing the song “I Will Always Love You” took on a tragic new meaning, he said.

“I’m connecting with this song on a different level,” he said. “Spiritually speaking it’s a horizontal love scenario. Vertically I look at it spiritually, like God saying, ‘I love you more than any other human.’ This whole message was a completely different meaning. It was indescribably difficult.”

He looks back on his time with Houston with gladness, though.

“It was such a blessing to back up a world-class artist,” he said. “It paid a lot of money of course. It was a great opportunity. We traveled all over the world. She was great.”



Grady Health Foundation

ATLANTA – With more than 600 guests in attendance, the 2nd Annual White Coat Grady Gala raised $866,000 for the Grady Health Foundation this past weekend. The money raised was a solid repeat performance of the inaugural event in 2011. A black-tie dinner and awards ceremony held at the Georgia Aquarium, the fundraising event also honored Atlanta’s Healthcare Heroes who support Grady. Toasts and standing ovations were given as the honorees accepted their awards and their inspirational stories were told through video tributes. Recipients included:

  • Ada Lee and Pete Correll Healthcare Legacy Award | Mr. Tom Bell  – Credited for raising $320 million for Grady, Pete Correll explained that without Mr. Bell, the doors of Grady would not be open.

  • Senior Sage Award | Dr. Alfred W. Brann – Pioneered neonatal and perinatal care around the world, even while battling cancer. His mother died while giving birth to him and he dedicated his life to his practice.

  • Next Generation Healer Award | Dr. Tamara R. Espinoza – Dreamed of becoming a veterinarian as a child, but chose a career as an emergency medicine physician instead, specializing in traumatic brain injuries.

  • Inspiring Mentor Award | Dr. Ken L. Wilson – Served at Grady and in the military in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. A real-life hero who, while in the Middle East, started a program that provided shoes to Afghan civilians.

The event was co-chaired by Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher along with June and Michael Tompkins. WSB-TV Anchor, John Bachman was the emcee. Notable business leaders in attendance included: Philanthropists Ada Lee and Pete Correll, Grady Health System President & CEO John Haupert, Delta VP Tad Hutcheson, FDHA Chair Tommy Dortch and many more.  Funds raised at the event will go towards new equipment, technology, and medical research for Grady Memorial Hospital, the metro region’s premier Level 1 Trauma Center and largest public hospital in the southeast.

The Grady Health Foundation is once again counting on support from the community. A tribute video shown at the Gala, created by Turner Broadcasting, has been nominated for a People’s Telly Award. To help Grady Health Foundation and Turner earn a spot among their peers, click the link and rate the video with a “thumbs up”:

The Gala was presented by The Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority in conjunction with Delta Air Lines, AdCare Health Systems, Alston + Bird, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Kaiser Permanente, King & Spalding, Turner Broadcasting, Ada Lee and Pete Correll, AGL Resources, Coca-Cola Enterprises, The Marcus Foundation, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power, Norfolk Southern, ICE, Regions Bank, WSB, AT&T, Chamberlin Edmonds, Compass Group USA, Inc., EPIC Systems, James Starr Moore Foundation, June and Michael Tompkins, Kelly Loeffler and Jeff Sprecher, SKANSKA, Waffle House Foundation and Yancey Bros. Co.



The Atlanta Community Comes Together For Grady Health Foundation Fundraiser Event

Grady Health Foundation

ATLANTA – Save the date for the 2nd Annual White Coat Grady Gala, a black-tie dinner and awards ceremony benefiting the Grady Health Foundation and honoring Atlanta’s healthcare heroes. The gala raised more than $869,000 for the health system in its inaugural year, and the hospital was able to give $227 million of uninsured care in 2011. This would not have been possible without the generosity of the community, and we invite you to join us on March 17, 2012 at the Georgia Aquarium as we recognize our outstanding philanthropists and awe-inspiring physicians.

Tom D. Bell, Jr. | Ada Lee and Pete Correll Healthcare Legacy Award – Currently the Chairman of Mesa Capital Partners, Mr. Bell has developed a wealth of experience in corporate management, governance and leadership in both the public and private sectors during his 40 year career. He presently serves on seven boards, including Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, Regal Entertainment Group, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Alfred W. Brann, Jr., M.D | Senior Sage Award – Dr. Brann is a Professor of Pediatrics and Gynecology/Obstetrics and Global Health at Emory University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Emory University Center for Ethics and is the Director of the Global Collaborating Center in Reproductive Health in Atlanta (GCC/RH/ATL).  He served as a senior surgeon in the U.S. Public Health Service and chairman of the Committee on Fetus and Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics, among many roles in his career.

Tamara R. Espinoza, M.D. | Next Gen Healer Award – Dr. Espinoza is a practicing emergency medicine physician at Grady Memorial Hospital. She is a co-investigator in the multicenter Progesterone for Traumatic Brain Injury (ProTECT) and is involved in a second trial funded by the Department of Defense. Additionally, Dr. Espinoza volunteers at Grady High School to discuss teenage alcohol abuse.

Kenneth L. Wilson, M.D., FACS | Inspiring Mentor Award – Dr. Wilson was a Deputy Clinical Commander at the 344th Combat Support Hospital in Salerno, Afghanistan from 2010-2011. He spent several months at the 801st Combat Support Hospital in Kuwait City, Kuwait in 2007 and was the Chief of Surgery at the 948th Forward Surgical in Al Kut, Iraq in 2003.  He is an Attending Surgeon and Trauma Resuscitation Committee member at Grady Memorial Hospital, and an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine.

From patron sponsor to table sponsor, the White Coat Grady Gala has a number of opportunities for individuals and businesses to support this local institution. “Every gift truly makes a difference and helps us continue to meet our mission of caring for those without health coverage and ensure our medical availability 24/7/365 for the entire community,” says Lisa Borders, President of Grady Health Foundation. Visit or contact 404-489-1550 for more information.

The 2nd Annual White Coat Grady Gala is presented by The Fulton-DeKalb Hospital Authority in conjunction with Delta Air Lines, AdCare Health Systems, Alston + Bird, The Coca-Cola Company, General Electric, Kaiser Permanente, King & Spalding, Ada Lee and Pete Correll, The Marcus Foundation, Georgia-Pacific, Georgia Power, Norfolk Southern and ICE.  More sponsors:

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