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Emory's former director of State Government Affairs, Linda Womack, wins statewide Hospital Hero Award

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Janet Christenbury
Emory Healthcare
Erin Stewart
Georgia Hospital Association
Video courtesy of the Georgia Hospital Association

Emory University former director of State and Government Affairs, Linda Womack, was posthumously awarded the prestigious Georgia Hospital Heroes Award at the Georgia Hospital Association's (GHA) Annual Meeting on Nov. 11. Womack's sister, Gerry Sutton, and colleague, Emory University Senior Associate Vice President for Government and Community Affairs Betty Willis, accepted the award in her honor. Womack, who passed away in February after a brief illness, was one of only 10 individuals statewide to receive the award. She was recognized for her legislative work on behalf of Emory University and its health care operations.

For the past 40 years, Womack dedicated her professional life to working in governmental and public affairs – a career built upon her reputation for professionalism, integrity and a deep knowledge of the health care industry.

Womack served as an ardent voice for Emory since 2000, when she joined as the director of state and government affairs, with a particular focus in the area of health care. Colleagues remember her for her fierce commitment to the university and her unwavering dedication to her job, which involved meeting with elected officials on the state level concerning issues that affected medical research, health care, students and patients.

Linda Womack

Linda Womack

"Linda did her homework like no one else, which is why so many legislators sought her advice on various issues because they knew she had thoroughly and objectively vetted the subject matter," says Willis, Womack's colleague. "She was the epitome of honesty and credibility and her wise counsel could be trusted without question."

Above all, Womack is remembered as someone who toiled quietly behind the scenes on behalf of the university, its health care system and Georgia's citizens. Though her work affected many individuals, they might have never known it. In recent years, when Grady was in jeopardy of closing, Womack's behind-the-scenes work was credited with helping prevent it.

"Linda Womack was a powerful presence in health care governmental affairs," said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. "While her work on behalf of Emory University and Emory Healthcare will positively affect the lives of countless individuals for years to come, she will be remembered as a staunch advocate for improving lives across the entire state. She is a most-deserving recipient of this award."

About Emory Healthcare

Emory Healthcare, with almost 16,000 employees, is the largest and most comprehensive health system in Georgia. It includes: Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Emory University Hospital at Wesley Woods, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory Rehabilitation Hospital in Partnership with Select Medical, Emory Clinic, Emory Specialty Associates and the Emory Healthcare Network.

In fiscal year 2014, Emory Healthcare had $2.6 billion in annual net revenue and provided $67.4 million in charity care. System-wide, it has 1,870 licensed patient beds.

Emory Healthcare is the only health system in Georgia with two Magnet-designated hospitals, Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and Emory University Hospital, for nursing excellence.

About GHA

Established in 1929, GHA is the state's largest trade organization of hospitals and health systems providing education, research and risk management services to its more than 170 hospital and health system members. Additionally, it represents and advocates health policy issues benefiting Georgia's citizens before the state legislature and U.S. Congress as well as before regulatory bodies.

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