Children's Healthcare of Atlanta to Open Marcus Autism Center

    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
 with autism.
 
     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
 disorder.
 
     "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
 autism.
 
     "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
 Georgia."
 
     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

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