ATLANTA, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and
Bernie and Billi Marcus announced today that they are joining forces in the
fight against autism. Children's will develop a new wholly owned
subsidiary, Marcus Autism Center, which will offer services for children
Children's plans to collaborate with Emory University, Georgia Tech and
other academic and community-based organizations who are already serving
the needs of children with autism in Georgia. Together, there is an
opportunity to leverage the extraordinary research, resources and
capabilities already available in Georgia to help improve the lives of
these children and their families.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the country -- 1 in
150 children nationally are diagnosed as having an autism spectrum
"We've got a real issue on our hands. My wife, Billi, and I recognize
the important need for a center that will bring together educators,
researchers, the medical community, and others," said Bernie Marcus,
founder of The Marcus Institute. "Children's was the ideal partner for this
endeavor, given its proven track record as a clinical provider and focus on
caring for Georgia's kids."
In July 2008, Children's will begin offering services at the Marcus
Autism Center, located on Briarcliff Road where the Marcus Institute
currently operates. Services will include programs designed to diagnose,
treat and provide support for children who have been diagnosed with, or
exhibit signs of autism.
"We will build upon Bernie's and Billi's vision and will strive to add
value to the fight against autism," said Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
President and CEO Donna Hyland, noting that the incidence of autism is even
greater in Georgia -- 1 in 136 children. "With this new endeavor, we will
build upon the great work already taking place to help children with autism
here in our state."
Children's will seek to utilize its resources in developing the Marcus
Autism Center to continue diagnosing and treating Georgia's children with
"We believe Children's must address autism in a meaningful way in order
to support our continued pursuit to become a world-class pediatric health
care system," said Douglas J. Hertz, Chairman of the Children's Board of
Trustees. "This collaboration will be a great building-block toward us
achieving one of our long-term strategies in caring for the children of
Many autistic children also are diagnosed with other medical conditions
and Children's aims to improve the coordination of care for these patients
and their families.
"Developmental disorders like autism often cause families many
unanswered questions," said Marcus. "The Marcus Autism Center is a big step
toward the evolution of autism care here in Georgia that will hopefully
begin answering these questions."
About Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization, is
committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient
care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient
visits annually at three hospitals and 15 neighborhood locations,
Children's is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in
the country. Children's offers access to more than 30 pediatric
specialties, and has been consistently ranked among the top children's
hospitals by Child magazine and U.S. News & World Report. With generous
philanthropic and volunteer support, Children's has made an impact in the
lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world.
Visit www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS for more information.
SOURCE Children's Healthcare of Atlanta