Northside Man: Greg Swayne, medical illustrator, entrepreneur
City of Residence: Milton
Hometown: Grosse Point, Michigan
College: University of South Carolina; Medical College of Georgia (masters in Medical Illustration)
Career: Co-creator and founder of A.D.A.M. and other technology-based companies
Family: Wife, Lisa; 2 daughters, Blake and Nora; son, Tanner
If you’ve ever clicked on WebMD or other health-related sites, chances are you’ve seen the work of Greg Swayne. In the early 1990’s, Swayne and a team
of medical illustrators created the first computer-based drawings of the human body, and established his first business venture. That led to several other projects and new adventures that have kept him busy ever since. His most important role currently is “father of the bride,” as he helps plan the upcoming wedding of his daughter, Blake, who graces our cover this month.
When did you move to North Fulton, and for what reason?
We moved to North Fulton in 2000 to get out of the bustle of Buckhead and enjoy the openness of the land and smaller town feel of the area which we wanted for our children. Combined with its excellent public and private schools, close enough to Atlanta and close enough to the mountains of North Georgia where we spend much of our time on weekends.
How did your career in medical illustration begin?
As a young medical illustrator doing freelance work in the late 1980s, I began experimenting with early digital illustration. Many of my clients were seeking anatomy illustrations and it seemed a digital library might be a very useful tool. I assembled a team of 10 illustrators, and after several years we assembled an entire human body in computer format, which allowed the user to see the entire body, layer by layer. A.D.A.M. (Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine) quickly became the industry leader, used by Yahoo health, AOL health and WebMD to name a few.
What keeps you busy today?
Following my retirement from A.D.A.M. in 1999, I joined up with Jeff Arnold, who founded WebMD, and worked closely with him to build several other companies including HowStuffWorks.com and Sharecare, a social Q&A healthcare platform created by Jeff and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Today, I work with innovative startup companies in the area to assist them in navigating the various growth phases that start-ups and middle-stage companies move through.
So what is it like to be the Father of the Bride?
I am happy and proud to see Blake getting married, but I am also very grateful she has found a man who I know will always put her first. They are a great pairing and I am looking forward to the wedding day itself and to the many family times ahead with Blake and R.T.
And finally, what advice are you giving to your daughter as she starts a new life chapter?
My hope for Blake and R.T. is that they always grow together. My advice for them is to build shared interests and never lose sight of what makes a successful marriage which is to put each other first…before work… before children…before all else…put each other first. ■
Jennifer Wood, Erica Tarnacki, Jamie Roney, and Melissa Pinkston all share the common bond of having a child with Cystic Fibrosis. Their work with Shamrockin’ for a Cure aims to find the cure. Read more on page 20.