Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 2, 1996

Legacy of excellence:
Dean Michael Johns Accepts Post at Emory 

Steve Libowitz

     You have to invest a bit of time to get a sense of what Mike
Johns has done for and at Hopkins since becoming dean of the
School of Medicine five and a half years ago. His
accomplishments, interwoven with those of the faculty and staff
on his watch, stretch through 29 typewritten pages. Single
spaced. Double sided.

     On Dec. 20, Dean Michael M. E. Johns announced his intent to
leave what he called the best medical school in the world for the
post of executive vice president for health affairs and director
of The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory
University, a health system of 1,400 faculty, 1,700 volunteer
faculty and collaborative scientists, more than 11,000 staff,
almost 3,000 hospital beds and more than 2 million inpatient and
outpatient visits annually. The operating budget reaches
approximately $1 billion a year.

     It was the ultimate offer that could not be refused.

     "He had discussed with me the offer, and clearly it was one
of those circumstances where he simply could not turn it down,"
said Interim President Daniel Nathans in an open letter to the
employees of the Medical Institutions. "All of us who have worked
with Mike will miss him very much." 

     In the days since his announcement, he said, everyone has
been very supportive.

     "I have received dozens of letters and phone calls from
faculty and colleagues," said Johns who also serves as vice
president for medicine at Hopkins. "People realize the size and
scope of this opportunity and the personal challenge it presents.
While leaving is bittersweet because of the people I have worked
with, I am comfortable it's the right decision."

     In his new position, which he will assume on July 1, Johns
will oversee Emory's health sciences schools of medicine, nursing
and public health, the Yerkes Regional Primate Center, The Emory
Clinic, Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital. 

     He also will have oversight of Emory's affiliate
relationship for patient care, teaching and research with
Egleston Children's Hospital, Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital,
Grady Memorial Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
As CEO of the Emory University System of Health Care, Johns will
head a clinical enterprise that stretches throughout the region.

     It's a remarkably broad and substantive undertaking, one
that colleagues believe suits Johns just right.

     "It was his record of achievement here that led to such an
outstanding opportunity for him at Emory," said James A. Block,
president of the Johns Hopkins Health System. "Mike's devotion to
excellence is unflagging."

     The quest for excellence is a phrase that comes up
frequently in conversation with Dean Johns. It has been a
constant throughout his career. 

     In 1981, Johns, an otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon,
was named Young Surgeon of the Year by the Virginia Chapter of
the American College of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck
Surgeons. He was recruited to Hopkins in 1984 to become professor
and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck
Surgery, a department he built into one of the country's largest
and most prestigious. 

     He also is credited with reorganizing the faculty practice
plan and helping to plan and develop the Johns Hopkins Outpatient
Center. Colleagues said Johns' most enduring legacies also
include his reform of the medical school curriculum, his advocacy
of government-sponsored medical research, development of new
technology transfer guidelines and his department chair

     In Emory, Johns sees many of the same complexities that
permeate Hopkins: the challenge of managed care, the need to
maintain high levels of quality academic research and the
importance of boosting legitimate revenue sources, all while
maintaining excellence in patient care.

     "All of medicine is subject to change within the existing
environment of healthcare reform," Johns said. "The challenge, at
Hopkins and at Emory, is to be successful in healthcare delivery
while staying focused on academics and research. Even though this
is a time of great change, it is also a time of great
possibilities, and I think Emory is well-positioned for what has
been for them a decade of tremendous growth.

     "That said, I have been deeply honored to serve as dean
here, and over the next six months, I look forward to continuing
our work to position Hopkins Medicine for the challenges of the
21st century."

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