Type to search

Biz bits: Fernbank Museum launches new exhibits, Emory nursing school receives $11.8 million in grants

Business Decatur Metro ATL Trending

Biz bits: Fernbank Museum launches new exhibits, Emory nursing school receives $11.8 million in grants

Fernbank Museum has announced an out-of-this-world exhibit, “Journey to Space,” on view from Oct. 8, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023. Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum.

Atlanta, GA — Here’s a look at business news in our community.

— Fernbank Museum launched two new exhibits on Oct. 8. 

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA (Sept. 6, 2022) On the horizon of Fernbank’s 30th anniversary, the museum announces an out-of-this-world exhibit, “Journey to Space,” on view from Oct. 8, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023. This new exhibit highlights the excitement of cosmic travel, the physical issues that arise with space exploration, the challenges of gravitational weightlessness, what it would be like to live and work outside of Earth’s atmosphere and more! Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a hands-on experience that explores the challenges and solutions surrounding space travel and, inevitably, humankind’s future.

“Journey to Space” delights science enthusiasts with a combination of impressive objects and hands-on opportunities that allow patrons to better understand the science of traveling to, living in and working from space. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore historic space-related attire and protective gear, including Neil Armstrong’s gloves, an Apollo helmet, space suit sleeves, meteoroid shields and more. They will also gain the unique perspective of how spacesuits are engineered to protect astronauts from the many dangers they encounter while in orbit.

Interactivity abounds in “Journey to Space,” including the chance to launch a water rocket to see how much hydropower it takes to reach its maximum height, turn on an ion engine to watch ionized air molecules in action, view Earth as only astronauts can through a large projection of images taken from an orbiting space craft, control a robotic arm using hand controllers and video monitors to complete a task as astronauts do and more.The exhibit also offers interactive, pressure-related experiments to explore, including a Vacuum Bell Jar that demonstrates how objects behave in zero pressure, an orbit table that allows guests to simulate what it would be like to launch a puck into space and a 16-foot drop tower that explores the effects of momentary weightlessness on objects.

“For space enthusiasts who considered becoming an astronaut, this exhibit will be a taste of what life would be like in orbit,” said Educational Manager, Sarah Arnold. “Journey to Space really gives our guests the full experience of life as an astronaut, not just the lives we see portrayed in the movies. It explores not only the educational aspects of getting up to space, but the challenges that can arise on this journey.”

The exhibitoffers guests a real-time view into the intricacies of space travel as it currently stands and what this means for the future among the stars. With objects including everything from space food to shuttle era urinals, guests can compare the complexities of everyday life on Earth when juxtaposed against long-term galactic living, ultimately gaining an understanding of what it’s like to eat, sleep, and even go to the bathroom in space. From earth-living to moon travel to voyages on Mars, “Journey to Space” enthralls visitors with the intensity required of space travel and will find themselves asking, “where to next?

Presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the California Science Center. With support from NASA.

Local presentation made possible in part by Genuine Parts Company.

Additional support provided by Atlanta Falcons, Delta Air Lines, Novelis, and Romanoff Renovations.


Also opening on Oct. 8 is the giant screen film, “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit.” Planned to open alongside the space-themed exhibit, this film explores the ways NASA uses underwater environments to simulate life and work in space. Offering a fascinating look into the high-tech world of astronauts, “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” includes footage of renowned astronaut, Jeanette Epps living underwater for ten days and details the intricacies of extensive space-walk training. Specific showtimes vary by date. One giant screen movie is included with general admission (subject to availability).

To kick-off the out-of-this-world exhibit, Fernbank is making plans for a galactic adventure into family fun with a special Discovery Day on October 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., commemorating the launch of “Journey to Space” and “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit,”complete with fun activities for all ages. This event is included with general admission.

Fernbank Museum will also be bringing back a fan-favorite special exhibit, “Sun, Earth, Universe” which will allow visitors to engage in hands-on content about our closest star, our planet, the universe and how they interact. Exhibit activities include a Mars Landscape Play Table, a Spacecraft Model Building Activity, Your Mission to Space Board Game and more. To view this exhibit, please visit the Naturalist Center, Lab B. The “Sun, Earth, Universe” special exhibit created by the National Informal STEM Educational Network (NISE Net) in collaboration with NASA.


Journey to Space is included with general admission at Fernbank and with CityPASS. General admission tickets include three floors of exhibits in the natural history museum, choice of one giant screen film, and 75 acres of nature explorations in Fernbank Forest and WildWoods. Fernbank is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta, minutes from midtown Atlanta and downtown Decatur.

For more information, visit FernbankMuseum.org. General admission tickets are $24.95 for adults, $23.95 for seniors, $22.95 for children ages 3-12, free for children ages 2 and younger, and free for Fernbank Members. These prices are for tickets purchased online at FernbankMuseum.org. Tickets not purchased in advance are offered, if available, at a higher price.

More information is available at FernbankMuseum.org.

*Fernbank Museum’s 30th anniversary is Oct. 5, 2022.

Image provided by Emory University

— Emory’s School of Nursing has received over $11.8 million in HRSA funding for health delivery and training programs in Atlanta, the state and the Southeast.

Here is the full announcement:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing four grants totaling more than $11.8 million for work in health delivery and training programs for underserved areas of Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the Southeast.

The grants will advance the public health workforce in the Atlanta area, establish a mobile health presence in South Georgia and Atlanta, increase the numbers of clinical nursing faculty and preceptors in the Southeast, and prepare students and practicing nurses to advance culturally sensitive acute care in Atlanta communities.

The projects will be part of the community programming work of the School of Nursing’s Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, charged with helping improve the health of vulnerable people worldwide through nursing education, research, practice and policy.

“The community is where much of care happens, and this funding will play a tremendous role in preparing our future nurse leaders to serve communities,” says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “We have a responsibility to be part of the solution of making sure every individual has access to care, and we are grateful for such a breadth and depth of funding to bolster this work.”

Supporting the community health workforce

A $3 million, three-year HRSA grant will create the Atlanta Region Community Health Workforce Advancement (ARCHWAy) program, which aims to expand and support the work of community health workers (CHW) including health educators, community organizers, capacity builders and care delivery team members.

In a recent health care ranking of the nation’s top 20 cities, Atlanta ranked second to last for health cost, quality and access. Meanwhile, Atlanta is the eighth largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation but is not among the 10 metro areas with the highest CHW employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The program will address these challenges by providing a 12-week training program for new and existing CHWs, coupled with recruitment and retention initiatives such as field placements, tuition support/stipends, job placement and wrap-around services including early care and education, financial literacy support and mentoring. The training will feature simulated experiences and hands-on learning involving topics such as patient advocacy, community outreach, service coordination, health promotion, emergency response, and heart disease, stroke and HIV prevention and treatment.

Beth Ann Swan, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean and vice president for academic practice partnerships at the School of Nursing, received the grant and will be directing the program. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3 million with 0.05 percent financed with non-governmental sources.

Making health care mobile

Mobile health benefiting underserved communities is the focus of the more than $3.9 million, four-year “Nurse Education, Practice Quality and Retention – Mobile Health Training Program” grant.

With the funding, the School of Nursing will establish the Emory in MOTION mobile health program, which will provide two nurse-led mobile health units serving South Georgia and the Atlanta area and allow Emory nursing students from diverse backgrounds to gain clinical experience while providing care on the units.

Emory in MOTION will work with the Ellenton Migrant Farmworker Clinic, a long-standing clinical partner in Moultrie, Georgia, to purchase and staff a nurse-led mobile health van providing care to the area’s migrant farm workers. In Atlanta, Emory in MOTION will work with several partners to establish nurse-led teams providing mobile care to communities in need. Partnering organizations include Boat People SOS, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, the Mexican Consulate, the DeKalb County Board of Health and the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale district public health departments.

The grant was awarded to assistant professorsQuyen Phan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC; Erin Ferranti, PhD, MPH, RN, FAHA; and Roxana Chicas, PhD, RN; and Laura Kimble, PhD, RN, FNP-C, FAHA, FAAN, professor and associate dean for academic operations. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3,908,760 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.

Increasing clinical faculty, preceptors

Like all professionals, nurses benefit from insight and guidance from experienced colleagues as they start their careers. That reality is the heart of a four-year, more than $3.9 million grant that will recruit and train nurses to be clinical nursing faculty and preceptors in the Southeast.

Clinical nursing faculty teach and evaluate nursing students during their on-site training in hospitals and other clinical settings, and preceptors are experienced, licensed nurses who supervise students during clinical rotations.

The HRSA grant will create the Clinical Instructor and Preceptor Excellence in the Southeast (CAPES) Academy, which will prepare 128 nurses to serve as clinical nursing faculty and preceptors to newly hired licensed nurses for a variety of care settings in health professional shortage areas in eight states in the Southeast.

The academy will create and implement a training curriculum, provide services to facilitate clinical faculty and preceptor success, financially support clinical faculty and preceptors to promote retention, place newly trained clinical faculty and preceptors with employment opportunities, and enhance or create new academic-clinical partnerships.

The CAPES Academy is designed to increase the capacity of the nursing workforce, as the increase in nurse educators will enable nursing schools to enroll more students and prepare more nurses.

The program will be directed by Quyen Phan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3,923,317 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.

Strengthening culturally sensitive acute care

A nearly $1 million, three-year grant will create “Toward Health Equity and Literacy: Training for Optimal RN Efficacy in Acute Care” (2HEAL) — a program to increase the number of undergraduate nursing students trained in acute care settings to address and manage social determinants of health.

Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect health and quality of life.

Through 2HEAL, approximately 135 bachelor of science in nursing students from diverse backgrounds will take part in hands-on learning, simulation scenarios with manikins and patient-actors, and training alongside community partners that serve marginalized populations — all to strengthen students’ capacity for high-quality, culturally sensitive care in acute care settings, where patients receive active but short-term care for severe injury or illness.

The School of Nursing is one of the first nursing schools in the U.S. to systematically integrate social determinants of health across its curricula. 2HEAL will build upon that momentum, expanding how students address social determinants of health in clinical training and bolstering student insight into health equity and health literacy for underserved populations in metro Atlanta.

The program will also partner with Emory Healthcare to deliver professional development learning modules as part of its registered nurse preparation.

The grant recipient is Roxana Chicas, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $945,776 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.

The contents of HRSA-supported grants are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

Fernbank Museum will launch “WildWoods: AGLOW” this fall in celebration of the museum’s 30th anniversary. Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum.

— In celebration of Ferbank’s 30th anniversary, the museum announced a new, immersive convergence of nature and technology in “WildWoods: AGLOW.”

This all-new, limited-run nighttime experience is set to open in the 10-acre woodlands of WildWoods in late fall 2022.

Highlighting the complex, connected and sometimes-hidden stories that flourish in the surrounding forest, this innovative experience brings together the vast, natural environment with the latest innovations in immersive design and technology, according to a press release.

“We are always exploring exciting ways to engage audiences with science and nature while tickling the imagination through innovative and fun programming,” said Fernbank President and CEO, Jennifer Grant Warner. “WildWoods: AGLOW is an exciting experience that will reveal nature’s magnificent wonders through beautiful, artistic and intentional uses of projection that enhance our understanding of the ecosystem that connects us all.”

As guests enter the experience, they first discover oversized seeds glowing with interactive light, signaling the origin of forest growth and inspiring a deeper connection with nature. Throughout the experience, guests will encounter nocturnal animals, forest projections, and interactive lighting integrated with the surrounding plants and woodland environment. Another zone features larger-than-life incandescent mushrooms that can respond to guest movement with a musical symphony of illuminated communication.

Developed in partnership with Thinkwell, a leading design and production agency creating immersive, content-driven experiences for brands and companies around the world, “WildWoods: AGLOW” is the third endeavor between the two organizations. Thinkwell has also previously designed and opened outdoor, nighttime experiences, including Omega a la Nuit and Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Fernbank once again, this time with creative and technical development driven by our teams in Montréal. The focus on innovation, along with strategic partnership and shared creative vision has allowed this project to flourish,” said Joe Zenas, Thinkwell’s CEO. “Wildwoods: AGLOW highlights the best of nature, immersion and engagement in a unique and beautiful way, and we’re so excited to bring it to the public later this fall.”

“WildWoods: AGLOW” will be offered from late fall 2022 through early spring 2023.

Former DeKalb County Board of Health District Health Director Sandra Elizabeth Ford,
M.D., M.B.A., F.A.A.P., speaks before the first frontline workers with the board of health receive the COVID-19 vaccine at the T. O. Vinson Health Center Auditorium on Winn Way in Decatur on Dec. 31, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

— CaringWorks is celebrating 20 years of breaking the cycle of homelessness in metro Atlanta.

CaringWorks, one of the largest providers of supportive housing in the metropolitan Atlanta area, is marking 20 years of breaking the cycle of homelessness, one person, one family, at a time. By providing quality supportive housing, behavioral health, and a myriad of support services that empower clients to achieve stability and reach their full potential, CaringWorks has helped more than 10,000 individuals and families in metro Atlanta escape homelessness, according to a press release.

To commemorate their anniversary, the city of Atlanta has recognized Oct. 27 as CaringWorks Day. Additionally, Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford, Special Assistant to the President for Public Health and Science, and former District Health Director and Chief Executive Officer of the DeKalb County Board of Health, will provide remarks about important efforts underway to address health disparities in communities across the country – an important issue throughout metro Atlanta and particularly for the people CaringWorks serves.

“At CaringWorks, we are honored to be celebrating 20 years of serving those exiting homelessness in metro Atlanta and are excited about the possibilities for breaking the cycle of homelessness over the next 20 years,” said CaringWorks CEO Carol Collard. “Since our inception in 2002, CaringWorks has grown exponentially to become one of Georgia’s leaders in providing permanent supportive housing. But our commitment extends beyond housing support. As an advocate for equitable access to housing and health services, we also offer support to help clients optimize their physical and mental wellness, increasing their chance at remaining stably housed.”

CaringWorks seeks to remove barriers to health and stability through its unique programs that are specifically tailored to the needs of those facing chronic homelessness. To address growing unmet behavioral health and other health needs, CaringWorks continues to grow in its capacity and effectiveness to serve by launching innovative programs and services – and enhancing existing ones – to integrate health services more seamlessly with its housing and essential supportive services.

— Latino Community Fund Georgia’s “Estamos Aqui Fiesta” attracts hundreds to Atlanta Beltline to kick off Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month. The inaugural event held “inside the perimeter” brings awareness to city of Atlanta’s Latinx community as part of LCF Georgia’s Get Out the Vote campaign.

Here is the full press release:

Hundreds of people recently gathered at the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park along the Atlanta Beltline’s busy Eastside Trail to celebrate the inaugural “Estamos Aqui” fiesta sponsored by the Latino Community Fund Georgia, a nonprofit group focused on supporting and amplifying the voices of the state’s Latinx community.

The “Estamos Aquí Fiesta” on Sept. 10 kicked off a calendar of events for Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, celebrated through October. Live music, vendors selling food from several Latin American countries, and traditional dance created a space to celebrate culture.

Holding the fiesta along the Atlanta Beltline where thousands of people, especially young people, walk, bicycle and skate, is one way LCF Georgia plans to increase awareness of Atlanta’s Latinx residents living inside I-285, or ITP. Nearly 5% — or 25,000 —of the city of Atlanta’s population is Hispanic or Latino, according to 2020 Census data. The median age of metro Atlanta Latinx residents is 26, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission. Throughout the state, there are close to 1.2 million people of Latin American descent, or nearly 11% of the population.

“I loved that LCF chose to host the event in the city in a high-profile park,” said Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi, who attended the event and whose district includes the Old Fourth Ward.

“Our metro Atlanta Latinx population tends to live and convene OTP (outside the perimeter of I-285). But Atlanta, as a global city, is a proper is home for everyone,” he said. “It was a beautiful, joyous event that reflected the richness of our region. Next year, I’d like to see more immediate residents to the park come out to enjoy the festival. But that will come from early outreach and word of mouth.”

LCF Georgia fiesta also celebrated its “Estamos Aqui” Get Out the Vote campaign at the fiesta. Atlanta-based rapper Victor Mariachi performed his song “Estamos Aqui” at the fiesta and a video of him performing the song is also part of LCF Georgia’s voter outreach to younger Latinx residents.

In 2020, LCF Georgia partnered with Panamanian artist Nino Augustine, a Panamanian artist who has been featured in Rolling Stone and People, on its “Me Toca a Mí, Te Toca a Tí” campaign to encourage Latinx people to participate in the 2020 Census. The campaign included a video of Augustine performing an original song. It was nominated for a SouthEast Emmy Award.

“I’ve been part of the Atlanta creative community since 2012, as a curator of events and as a performer. It’s amazing to see the growth looking back 10 years,” said Augustine, who recently moved to the East Coast but returned to Atlanta to perform at the Estamos Aqui fiesta.

“I’m proud of what’s been accomplished … and I feel very good about the future of Atlanta’s Latinx scene,” he said. “I had to be present at this year’s “Estamos Aqui” fiesta because I feel part of the mission, and even though I’m currently working out of the state to further my career, I will forever look at Atlanta, LCF Georgia, and my community as my family, and wherever I’m at, I’m a representation of them,” Augustine said.

Juan Mendoza, president of the Old Fourth Ward Business Association, said plans are in the works to hold the second Estamos Aqui fiesta at the park along the Beltline again next year.

“We’re aware that there is a need to build a space here in town, specifically in the Old Fourth Ward, for a richer Latinx culture,” he said.

Mendoza, who is of Mexican descent, said he often finds himself traveling “outside the perimeter” to places such as Norcross and Duluth to find Hispanic and Latinx cultural events. The Estamos Aqui fiesta was “amazing and successful” in reaching a broader audience of people in the city of Atlanta to learn more about Latinx culture, he said.

“The attendees of the fiesta were very diverse, and it was a joy to see people from all walks of life enjoying themselves, immersing themselves and learning more about Latinx culture,” Mendoza said. “It was just a tender moment for me to see the Latinx community being able to celebrate their culture and have others celebrate their culture in that beautiful and historical part of Atlanta.”

Nonprofit and civic groups registered voters, informed residents of various ways to contribute to their neighborhoods and city and provided resources on how to remain civically involved in their communities. Many more events are planned to celebrate Hispanic/Latinx events and are available at this link.

If you appreciate our work, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here.