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Vanderbilt University Medical Center Announces New Endowed Chair

Nov. 20, 2006, 9:33 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center‘s vice chancellor for Health Affairs, Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., has announced the creation of the Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair to be held by Pat Levitt, Ph.D., the director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development.

Eskind has played an active role in supporting public and special education throughout Middle Tennessee for many years. The Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair represents her commitment as the founding chair and a longstanding member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Council and as an advocate for children with special needs.

“There is one true thing to be said of Annette Eskind, she is involved. From her days as a social worker, to her experience with the Board of Education, her leadership in the arts community, and her prominence in advocating for strong cultural and human relations,” said Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “Annette and her late husband, Irwin, have become synonymous with generosity, not only to Vanderbilt, but throughout this community.”

The establishment of the chair was announced Nov. 15 at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Leadership Dinner at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.

A graduate of the Boston University School of Social Work, Eskind worked for many years as casework supervisor for Jewish Family Service in Nashville. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Academy of Certified Social Workers. Throughout her career, she has been involved dozens of civic activities. Eskind served on the Nashville Board of Education for nine years and was founder and president of the Nashville Public Education Foundation. She is the recipient of the Human Relations Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Alexis deTocqueville Award of the United Way, and the Academy of Women of Achievement Award of the YWCA.

Eskind and her late husband have been generous supporters of VUMC for decades. Two facilities on the Medical Center campus bear the family‘s name — the Eskind Biomedical Library and the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Clinic.

Levitt has served as the director of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center since 2002. The Kennedy Center is a national Developmental Disabilities Research Center and a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service.

“The highest honor for anyone in academics at a university is to hold a named chair,” Levitt said. “It reflects recognition, by your colleagues and the community, that you have made significant contributions in your field of study, and they expect this to continue. The Annette Schaffer Eskind Chair has even greater meaning for me, personally, because of the unparalleled dedication and generosity that Annette and her family have exhibited to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and to the university at large.”

Media Contact: Jan Rosemergy, (615) 322-8238
Craig Boerner, (615) 343-7421

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