Sheryl Gabram-Mendola Receives Inaugural Appointment to Academic Chair

July 2019

Ada Lee Correll and Sheryl Gabram-Mendola

Ada Lee Correll and Sheryl Gabram-Mendola

Nationally recognized expert in the surgical treatment of breast cancer and management of patients at high risk for breast cancer, Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA, has been named the Ada Lee Correll Chair in Surgery. Dr. Gabram-Mendola is Surgeon-in-Chief, Chief of the Division of Emory Surgery, and Deputy Director of the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady Memorial Hospital. She also directs Grady Health System's AVON Comprehensive Breast Center.

"Dr. Gabram-Mendola's research focus on decreasing disparities for breast cancer patients through community education outreach and by providing access to high quality care for all breast cancer patients in the Grady Health System has been direct and impactful," says John Sweeney, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair of the Emory Department of Surgery. "As a clinician, her efforts to improve community awareness of the earlier detection of breast cancer in underserved minority women and to alleviate the distress levels frequently associated with late stage cancers have also been effective. She is an exemplary academic surgeon and a superlative candidate to serve as the inaugural recipient of the Ada Lee Correll Chair."

This academic chair is the most recent installment in Ada Lee Correll's extensive history as a fundraiser and donor to various Atlanta-based and national entities. Her husband Alston "Pete" Correll Jr., Chairman of the Correll Family Foundation and retired Chairman and CEO of Georgia-Pacific, has often been her partner in these philanthropic ventures, which have not only benefited Emory and Grady, but also the American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Fox Theater, the Alliance Theater, the Atlanta Symphony, UNICEF, Leadership Atlanta, University of Georgia, and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, to name a few.

The Correll family's association with Grady has been particularly significant. Mrs. Correll co-founded the Annual White Coat Grady Gala in 2011, which has become an esteemed and widely anticipated celebration of the physicians and medical professionals who have aided in making Grady one of the leading public academic healthcare systems in the country. Mr. Correll led the successful effort to save the hospital from financial crisis in 2007. After chairing the Greater Grady Task Force formed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to spearhead this campaign, he became the inaugural chair of the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation Board of Directors. Upon completion of his tenure on the board in 2016, Mr. Correll began chairing the board of the Grady Health Foundation, which raises funds in support of the health system.

Dr. Gabram-Mendola was a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Scholar from 2007-2012. She received the Outstanding Performance Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer in 2011, was honored with the Grady Healthcare Heroes Trailblazer Award in 2018, and has been regularly recognized by Castle Connolly, Atlanta magazine, and other publications as a top doctor. Her research has received funding from such sources as the AVON and Merck Foundations and Georgia Cancer Coalition, and has included projects that addressed the rehabilitation needs of breast cancer patients and measured the impact of various quality metrics and algorithms on patient care at Grady. Her bibliography contains more than 100 publications in such journals as Cancer and Journal of Clinical Oncology, and she has spoken at over 250 invited presentations.

"My 14-year appointment in Emory's Department of Surgery has been the most meaningful journey of my surgical career, and being named the inaugural Ada Lee Correll Chair is an incredible culmination," says Dr. Gabram-Mendola. "I intend to apply this gift to expanding our faculty's research capabilities at Grady and to adding additional research opportunities for our fellows, residents, and medical students. This heightened commitment to Grady's academic mission will pave the way for recruitment of even more accomplished faculty members in all of the surgical specialties at Grady."