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Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH named James Robert McCord Chair in Gynecology and Obstetrics

"With this chair position," she said, "I pledge to embrace and promote scientific inquiry and scholarship; strive for academic and clinical excellence; motivate and inspire medical students to pursue their passions; and teach, mentor, and support the next generation of obstetrician-gynecologists."

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, colleagues, faculty, residents, and friends joined in celebrating Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH, being named the James Robert McCord Chair in Gynecology and Obstetrics. Emory University School of Medicine Dean, Vikas P. Sukhatme, MD, ScD, who is also the Chief Academic Officer of Emory Healthcare, offered his sincerest congratulations to Dr. Jamieson referencing her commitment and leadership within the Emory School of Medicine faculty community. Only the third person to be honored with this appointment, Dr. Jamieson has spent 20 years working with the CDC and searching for the next iteration of her career commitment to women’s reproductive health.

“I looked all over the country,” Jamieson explained. “The more I interviewed elsewhere, the more I began to realize how deeply I cared about Emory and our Department (of Gynecology and Obstetrics).” Her commitment to shaping the future of medicine, and her dedication to Emory as the Division Director for Gynecologic Specialties and Vice Chair of Population Health, is the foundation of Dr. Jamieson’s many years of service.

The history of the James McCord Chair begins with one woman’s commitment to the furtherance of reproductive research, a sentiment that is mirrored by the career trajectory of Dr. Jamieson. Heiress to the Mellon Fortune, Mrs. Cordelia Scaife May donated 9,925 shares of Gulf stock in 1966. Her enthusiastic support of women’s rights and health and her commitment to Emory were the impetus for the creation of the James McCord Chair. 

John D. Thompson Professor, Executive Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development for Emory University School of Medicine, and Interim Director of The Emory Clinic Ira R. Horowitz, MD, identified Dr. Jamieson as a natural extension of the original intent of the endowment, which emphasized research and service responsibilities directly related to advancements in the field of fertility control. This appointment was based on Dr. Jamieson’s impressive commitment to these missions and to the GYN-OB Department’s research, teaching, and clinic missions.

The Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics currently has more than 13 CDC scientists who occupy adjunct appointments within the department. These physicians, under the leadership of Dr. Jamieson, represent 30% to 60% of the GYN-OB Department’s resident research projects. Dr. Jamieson is a vital part of both Grady Memorial Hospital and departmental leadership.

“I could not think of a better recruit to join our department and to assist in establishing a health services research program,” Horowitz said.

“Denise has started to shift the landscape for population health in our department, leveraging existing models at Grady to harness data so that we can begin to look at emerging disease trends and identify priorities for improving health in our patient population,” said Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics Professor and Interim Chair, Associate Clinic Director and Chief Medical Officer, Emory Healthcare Physician Group Practice, Penny Castellano, MD, FACOG. Dr. Castellano recalled that even as she on-boarded Dr. Jamieson into the role of full-time faculty, her enthusiasm for residents and her energetic commitment to educational content remained unwavering. As Dr. Castellano reminded the celebration’s attendees, whether it be her progressive research on Ebola or Zika or snow closures, Dr. Jamieson is a dedicated and cheerful constant. Her ability to foster intellectual curiosity amongst medical students and her compassion for patients remains steadfast and at the core of her work.

In an interesting commentary on the well-deserved path to being named the James McCord Chair, Dr. Jamieson noted that Dr. McCord’s portrait hangs just outside her office at Grady Hospital. This image joins the company of other paintings such as that of Dr. Luella Klein, the first female chair of a clinical department at Emory and the first female president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In hallways lined with pioneers in medicine and research, Dr. Jamieson continues to both uphold and perpetuate this long tradition of academic and clinical excellence.

Standing in front of her friends, colleagues and fellow researchers, Dr. Jamieson humbly offered to continue to build upon the great work being done at Emory.

“With this chair position,” she said, “I pledge to embrace and promote scientific inquiry and scholarship; strive for academic and clinical excellence; motivate and inspire medical students to pursue their passions; and teach, mentor, and support the next generation of obstetrician-gynecologists.”

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