September 12, 2012

Medical Center mourns loss of Lemonds

Brent Lemonds, M.S., R.N., EMT-P, administrator for Service Improvement at Vanderbilt University Hospital, died Sunday from a pulmonary embolism while recovering at his home from a recent orthopaedic surgery. He was 50.

Brent Lemonds (Vanderbilt University)
Brent Lemonds (Vanderbilt University)

Brent Lemonds, M.S., R.N., EMT-P, administrator for Service Improvement at Vanderbilt University Hospital, died Sunday from a pulmonary embolism while recovering at his home from a recent orthopaedic surgery. He was 50.

An experienced educator, nurse, paramedic and administrator, Mr. Lemonds dedicated his life to helping others through his work in emergency services, serving Vanderbilt in a variety of roles for 11 years.

Mr. Lemonds first worked at Vanderbilt as Emergency Department Leader from 2000-2001. He then became director of Emergency, Flight and Trauma services at Johnson City Medical Center before returning to Vanderbilt as administrative director of Emergency Services, a position he held from 2003-2012 before assuming his current role of administrator for Service Improvement.

In 2009, he became responsible for Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight program as part of his Emergency Services role. He served Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for more than 30 years, holding positions throughout the state including EMT, surgical intensive care nurse, paramedic educator and ambulance service director.

“The Vanderbilt community, along with the many he touched personally and professionally, feels a tremendous loss through Brent’s untimely passing,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.

“Brent was a pillar in our Emergency Services area, a consummate leader as a hospital director, a compassionate provider and a great friend. He brought innovation to the Vanderbilt enterprise, as countless improvements in emergency care can be attributed to his vision. We all will miss our talented colleague, and my heart goes out especially to his family,” Pinson said.

David Posch, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinics, said, “Brent was one of the earliest leaders to adopt elevate principles. Collaborating with other leaders in Emergency Services, he showed true leadership establishing patient service as a cornerstone of the Emergency Department, a legacy which lives on today. He was thoroughly dedicated to our patients and always looked for ways to improve our care and service.”

Mr. Lemonds was as an adjunct faculty member at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and often spoke nationally on patient safety and improving patient satisfaction.

A consultant to the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services Board since 1991, he was the first paramedic educator appointed by the governor to the board.

“Brent was a true servant leader,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, R.N., Executive Chief Nursing Officer. “He worked in service to his patients, staff, the community and to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He will be missed by all who knew him.”

“Brent was a gifted leader with a particular ability to connect with people,” said Pam Jones, MSN, R.N., Chief Nursing Officer and associate hospital director of Patient Care Services. “He provided guidance and mentorship for emerging leaders throughout the organization. He touched many lives and will be sadly missed. “

Mr. Lemonds earned a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from the University of St. Francis in 1999, a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Memphis in 1993 and an associate’s degree in Nursing from Union University in 1985. Board certified in health care management by the American College of Healthcare Executives, he advanced to the organization’s fellow status in 2007.

“Brent’s unexpected passing creates a great void in so many of the lives that he touched,” said Jeanne Yeatman, MBA, BSN, EMT, director of Vanderbilt LifeFlight. “He was a dedicated and loving father, a fantastic teacher and a brilliant and ‘out-of-the-box’ health care manager. We are devastated by his loss but comforted that we had the chance to know Brent and learn so much from him.”

Mr. Lemonds is survived by his three children, Chase (Erin), Bekah and Anna Rachel; mother Betty Levister; step-mother Jewel Lemonds; and sister Cheri Hollingsworth.

A service was held Sept. 13 at Granny White Church of Christ in Nashville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Shalom Foundation – Brent Lemonds Fund, or Alive Hospice – in memory of Brent Lemonds.