Saturday, September 8, 2012

Emory Leading the Way

Emory University with CDC initiated the study “Community-Based Telemedicine to Reduce Risk to Georgia Veterans with PTSD” (NCT01623219) to help veterans that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans will receive prolonged exposure therapy which has been shown to be effective in reducing PTSD symptoms. The purpose for the study is to determine if this treatment is effective when given via telehealth technologies.

For this study, nine weekly 90 minute sessions will be given over a period of up to three months. The first two sessions of each treatment will involve education and treatment preparation. Sessions three to nine will involve veterans recounting their traumatic events out loud to rethink the experience.

The study is currently recruiting participants from 18 to 65 years old and will eventually enroll up to 20 individuals who will access their treatment and therapists through Georgia’s Telehealth Network.

Information on the study was first received June 2012 and the study will be completed by January 2014.  Information on the study is available at or email Michelle Hammond-Susten at

Recently, the university received several federal grants. Emory’s research center is a recipient of one of the NIH grant awards for $100 million to study Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The ASD study will identify factors associated with positive outcomes or social disabilities. Through parallel studies in model systems, the study will chart brain development of neural networks involved in social interaction.

Emory also received a $10.7 million Health Care Innovations Award by CMS to build a collaborative network supporting intensive care units in North Georgia. The funding provides specialty training for nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide more telemedicine intensive care services for patients in rural and underserved areas.

To initiate the project, Emory Healthcare is partnering with the Saint Joseph Health System, Northeast Georgia Health System, Southern Regional Medical Center, and telemedicine provider Philips Healthcare. The program is expected to greatly improve access to quality community ICU healthcare and to save more than $18 million over three years.

Emory will bring in more than 40 critical care professionals including 20 nurse practitioners and physician assistants from local hospitals and communities for advanced training for six months. After the training, the tele-ICU team will give patients, families, and community hospitals the benefit of around-the-clock, two-way audiovisual consultations, monitoring, and advice from  highly experienced ICU doctors and critical care nurses working with a specialty trained provider in the community ICU. The telemedicine team will also support additional clinical, technical and administrative professionals who form the local hospital critical care teams.