Emory cardiologist, creator of Georgia's 1st public health school, dies at 90

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Charles Hatcher, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and former vice president of health affairs at Atlanta-based Emory University, died March 27 at Emory University Hospital. He was 90. 

A Georgia native, Dr. Hatcher was a key player in cultivating Emory's reputation as one of the country's largest and most respected heart surgery programs. He performed many cardiac surgery "firsts" for the state during his time at Emory, including Georgia's first double and triple-valve replacements, as well as the first coronary bypass in 1970. 

Often called Atlanta's first "health czar," Dr. Hatcher founded the Emory University System of Healthcare in 1994 and served as its CEO. He is also the former vice president of health affairs at the school's health sciences center, and launched the Rollins School of Public Health, Georgia's first public health school. 

Dr. Hatcher earned his medical degree from the University of Georgia School of Medicine, now known as the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. He completed an internship and surgery residency at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital and prior to Emory, served as a captain in the Medical Corps at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. 

Dr. Hatcher is survived by many friends and family, including his wife, children and grandchildren. 

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