Dr. Christy J.W. Ledford, professor and research director in the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, has been named Curtis G. Hames, MD, Distinguished Chair in Family Medicine.
Ledford also is director of MCG’s HamesNet, an Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality practice-based research network, or PBRN. These networks, some of which have existed for more than 20 years, are groups of primary care clinicians and practices working together to answer community-based health care questions and translate research findings into practice.
Both the Hames Chair and HamesNet honor the 1944 MCG graduate and family medicine physician from Claxton, Georgia, who received some of the first National Institutes of Health Funding awarded to study cardiovascular disease in ethnically diverse communities. The Evans County Heart Study, which was funded from 1958-95, examined how environment and genetics impacted the development of heart disease in black and white Americans. In 1981, the late Gerald Achenbach, then-president and chair of Piggly Wiggly Southern Foundation, Inc., and other friends of Hames established a professorship, now an endowed chair, and a lectureship in his honor.
Ledford joined the Department of Family Medicine in January as part of a departmental effort to grow its primary care research programs. Prior to joining MCG, Ledford was the research director in the Department of Family Medicine at Uniformed Services University, where she was also director of the Military Primary Care Research Network, a nationwide PBRN that links the 15 military family medicine training sites.
Ledford also was principal investigator on a $1 million grant to develop a diabetes intervention program that addresses health disparities through personalized diagnosis and communication; and a $1.1 million grant to grow the military primary care research network — both from the U.S. Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
She is a member of the Steering Committee for the U.S. Health and Resources Services Administration’s Life Course Intervention Research Network, which supports researchers in identifying opportunities for developing, implementing and evaluating new approaches to interventions that create disruptive and transformational change in health outcomes. She also serves on the technical expert panel for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s surveys on patient safety culture.
Ledford serves as associate editor of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine and came to MCG when the journal relocated its offices to the medical school. Dr. Dean Seehusen, family medicine chair, is the journal’s deputy editor. She is also an assistant editor of Family Medicine, the official journal of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.
Ledford earned a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1996; a master’s degree in technical communication from Colorado State University in Fort Collins in 2000; and a doctoral degree in health and strategic communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, in 2011. She completed the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine fellowship in medical journalism in 2015.