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Raiford named Health System chief of staff

May. 8, 2014, 9:39 AM

David Raiford, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs, senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, professor of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s chief compliance officer, has been named chief of staff for the Vanderbilt Health System. His appointment becomes effective July 1.

David Raiford, M.D.

Raiford will assume the responsibilities when Allen Kaiser, M.D., professor of Medicine and the Health System’s first and current chief of staff, steps down from this leadership role at the end of the fiscal year. Kaiser, who has been a member of Vanderbilt’s faculty since 1972, has served as overall Health System chief of staff since 2011. Kaiser will continue part-time helping to guide utilization management and working on the inpatient operating model and acute episodes of care management bundles.

As Health System chief of staff, Raiford will report to C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System, and will assist with administrative, clinical and programmatic leadership responsibilities across all of VUMC’s hospitals and clinics.

Allen Kaiser, M.D.

Raiford will continue in his role as senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs; however, during this transition he will relinquish his responsibilities as the Medical Center’s chief compliance officer.
Kaiser has served in numerous leadership roles. In addition to Health System chief of staff, he has also served as interim chair of the Department of Medicine, vice chair for Clinical Affairs for the Department of Medicine, chief of staff for Vanderbilt University Hospital and associate chief medical officer for VUMC.

“I want to express my gratitude to Allen for his many years of steadfast service to Vanderbilt. His thoughtful leadership has contributed significantly and in numerous ways to the success of the Department of Medicine and our hospitals and clinics. He has been a great partner,” Pinson said. “As Allen steps down, I want to welcome David into the role of Health System chief of staff. His appointment to this position is a logical expansion of responsibilities for a highly respected and valued member of the Medical Center’s senior leader team.”

In his new role, Raiford will be responsible for patient and physician advocacy and day-to-day inpatient operations of the medical practice at VUMC.

“Given the fundamental and growing importance of the overall integration among the clinicians in our School of Medicine departments and the staff in our hospitals and clinics, we are fortunate to have David succeed Allen in this role,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

“With David maintaining his responsibilities as senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, this will help create greater continuity for our clinical services through coordination between the School of Medicine clinical department leaders and our health system leadership.

“I also want to express my sincere appreciation to Allen for his many years of service and countless contributions to the Medical Center and School of Medicine. His friendship and guidance serve as an anchor in the life of our Medical Center,” Balser said.

Kaiser is a “double Dore,” having earned both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt. His wife, Joan, is a research nurse in the Division of General Surgery. The Kaiser family affiliation with Vanderbilt runs deep, as Joan Kaiser has her master’s in Counseling from Vanderbilt, a daughter was an undergraduate here, two sons attended VUSM, and their daughter-in-law graduated from Vanderbilt School of Law.

After graduating from VUSM, Kaiser trained first at Johns Hopkins and later at Vanderbilt, while in between doing service in the epidemiology of hospital infections at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After joining Vanderbilt as a faculty member, he held leadership roles at Saint Thomas West Hospital, including hospital epidemiologist, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and chair of the Department of Medicine.

“One of the joys of being part of the life of Vanderbilt Medical Center has been my engagement with the wonderful people who work here. The friendships, quality of character, and commitment are simply the best in the world. And I am truly honored that David Raiford has accepted the opportunity to lead as chief of staff. It validates the important work of this position and paves the way for further expanding our reach and commitment to those who seek their care within our health system,” said Kaiser.

Raiford is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He came to Vanderbilt in 1991 to help found and lead an interdisciplinary program in liver diseases. He maintains a clinical practice in hepatology and is board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. Among other distinctions, he has served in a variety of leadership roles with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, the American College of Gastroenterology and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Raiford was named associate dean for Faculty Affairs in 2006, and was promoted to associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs, senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs and chief compliance officer in 2009.

Among his many contributions is the creation and implementation of VUMC’s conflict of interest policy, which has garnered national attention for being principled, practical and comprehensive.

“It’s an honor to be asked to succeed Dr. Kaiser as Health System chief of staff. I look forward to the privilege of continuing my advocacy for all our faculty and department chairs while helping to evolve Vanderbilt’s clinical enterprise,” Raiford said.

“We can accomplish much by discerning and exploiting opportunities in the midst of current challenges that academic health systems are addressing. Our emphasis on patient-centered excellence in clinical service will not change as we adapt and lead in this emerging new era.”

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