As a pediatrician with additional academic preparation in public health and preventive medicine, Dr. Robert Henry Curry has had a stellar career as an educator, administrator and researcher. His expertise is in program development, implementation, evaluation and accreditation. Administratively, he helped develop quality improvement programs for physicians and other health care providers in managed care.
In 1975, Dr. Curry was recruited to Emory University in Atlanta, GA, as program and medical director of the Physician Assistant Program, replacing Dr. Robert Jewett who left Emory to become the first dean of the new East Tennessee State University Medical School in Johnson City, TN. As a PA educator, Dr. Curry served as a member of the board and later president (1984) of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs (now the PAEA). In 1981 he became associate professor of Community Health and the Winship Cancer Center. As a faculty member in the department of Community Health, he directed four, community-based, primary clinics attached to Grady Memorial Hospital. In 1991, he was appointed professor and chair of the newly named Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. As chair, he was able to redirect the department’s focus on community-oriented primary care, prevention and health services and policy research.
Dr. Curry earned a BA degree in English from Emory University (1965) and received a Masters of Public Health in Management and Health Policy from Emory University (1980). He obtained his MD degree from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine in Miami, FL (1970) and completed his postgraduate training in pediatrics at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB, 1970-1973). After completing a one-year fellowship in pediatric infectious disease at the National Institute of Health (NIH), he returned and joined the UAB medical faculty.
He has published in Public Health Reports, Gerontology and Geriatric Education, Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, Academic Medicine, Cancer Practice, Social Science and Medicine, and Medical Anthropology Quarterly. His latest research projects involve evaluation of Medicaid managed care programs, including Georgia Better Health Care and the Medicaid HMO Program.
Prior to retirement, Dr. Curry was Professor and Director of the Center for Health Services Research, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA. He maintained his interest in the PA profession by serving on the board and as chair (1988-1989) of the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA, then JRC-PA). In 1992, he was chosen to work with The Atlanta Project as liaison for the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Also, that same year, he was asked to serve on Georgia’s Advisory Council on Rural Health.
Dr. Curry is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Georgia Chapter), American Public Health Association, Medical Association of Georgia and Medical Association of Atlanta. He is also a former board member of the Kerr L. White Institute, Decatur, GA and the Atlanta Regional Health Forum. Dr. Curry received the Secretary’s Award of Excellence of the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Health Promotions Program in 1988 and the Outstanding Service Award of the Association of Physician Assistant Programs in 1990.
Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Reginald Carter and submitted to the Society in August 2020. The photographs are courtesy of the PAHx Society, Johns Creek, GA. Information for this biography was extracted from online biographical information accessed on August 11, 2020 from the Atlanta Regional Health Forum – Board of Directors. Robert H. Curry, M.D., M.P.H. at www.arhf.net (4 Feb 2007) [cached] and from biographical files provided by Ashley D. Stevens, Archivist at the WHSC Historical Collections, Woodruff Health Sciences Center Library, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.