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Strategic planning, career development ahead: Brown

Jun. 9, 2016, 9:44 AM

Nancy Brown, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, presents the annual State of the Department in Langford Auditorium, outlining past successes and future plans. (photo by John Russell)
Nancy Brown, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, presents the annual State of the Department in Langford Auditorium, outlining past successes and future plans. (photo by John Russell)

Nancy Brown, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, ticked off a wealth of accomplishments for the 2016 academic year at the recent State of the Department of Medicine Address, outlined opportunities that include the department’s leadership in academic strategic planning, and focused on career and leadership development.

Through the department’s Schaffner Society, a new series of career development workshops are being offered for faculty on topics such as promotion and tenure, mentorship, and time management and burnout. Additionally, department members can visit the Schaffner Society website to request personal consults in specific areas of career development.

“I would posit that there’s not a Department of Medicine in the country that has a stronger group of division directors, and that means we can get a lot done in the next few years,” said Brown. “We have this great faculty, and recruiting and retaining our faculty is part of it, but we also have to develop our people.”

The department is also creating a leadership development “toolkit” with multiple resources to help faculty members improve areas such as organizational awareness, self-awareness and communication.

“Another thing we heard from faculty is that, beyond career development, there is a real desire to have more leadership development,” Brown said. “This exists more at Vanderbilt than perhaps at other institutions. We have the Newman and the Neilson and the Schaffner societies, and there are Office of Faculty Affairs events for beginning faculty. For division directors and above, we have the Vanderbilt Academic Leadership Program, but there was a feeling that we weren’t doing a very good job of developing folks in the middle of their careers.”

Brown reviewed the department’s accomplishments in education and training, the clinical enterprise, and research. She appraised the incoming internship class, noting that seven interns are members of the prestigious Harrison Society and 20 are Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society members. She also complimented residents trained at Vanderbilt, noting that they were joining prestigious medical programs throughout the country.

In terms of the Department of Medicine’s clinical enterprise, volumes remain high, and reducing patients’ length of stay continues to improve, but will remain a focus, Brown said. The department’s Quality Council is addressing several areas for continued improvement in patient care, including better transition communication, post-operative follow-up with patients, mortality reviews, and consistency throughout the department regarding opioid prescribing.

Brown discussed the department’s ongoing research, which has current funding of $250 million. The impact of this work can be measured by faculty members’ recognition and representation in national societies, which continues to increase; the increasing number of publications in high impact journals; as well as an increase in number of citations those publications receive, she said.

Next steps for research include increasing the use of BioVU, Vanderbilt’s collection of de-identified DNA samples; diversifying of the department’s funding portfolio; and increasing participation in investigator-initiated, multicenter clinical trials. An example is the recently announced $11.6 million grant awarded to VUMC, the University of Miami and Meharry Medical College to launch a new center that will enable research using precision medicine to eradicate health disparities, specifically among African-Americans and Latinos. In addition, Brown directed faculty members to look to the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN) for opportunities for transformative research.

In closing, the 2016 Department of Medicine awards were presented. They are:


  • Roger DesPrez Award for Teaching Excellence: Robert Lentz, M.D.
  • Judge Sidney Reiss Faculty Award for Excellence in Pulmonary Medicine: Meredith Pugh, M.D., MSCI
  • Sam Marney Award for Excellence in Allergy & Immunology Training: Mark Wurth, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Allergy & Immunology Faculty Teaching Award: James Duncavage, M.D.


  • Cardiovascular Medicine Faculty Teaching Award for Best Overall Teacher of the Year: Michael Baker, M.D.
  • Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Teaching Award: Ricardo Lugo, M.D.
  • Cardiovascular Medicine Rhodes Scholarship Award: Tyler Bloomer, M.D.

Clinical Pharmacology

  • Clinical Pharmacology Faculty Teaching Award: Björn C. Knollmann, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Clinical Pharmacology Fellows Teaching Award: Joseph K. Prinsen, D.O., Ph.D.
  • Jason D. Morrow Clinical Pharmacology Chief Fellow: Scott A. Hubers, M.D.


  • Lloyd E. King, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award Resident Educator of the Year: Anna K. Dewan, M.D.
  • Lloyd E. King, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award Faculty Educator of the Year: Jami L. Miller, M.D.


  • William D. Salmon, Jr. Faculty Teaching Award: Gisella Carranza Leon, M.D.
  • William J. Kovacs Endocrine Fellow Award: Jessica R. Wilson, M.D.


  • Richard P. Schneider Teaching Award: Alexis Calloway, M.D.
  • Division of GI Outstanding Teaching Award: Natasha Schneider, M.D.


  • Most Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award: Sanjay Mohan, M.D.
  • Kenneth R. Hande, M.D. Most Outstanding Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching Students & Residents: Leila Saied, M.D.

Infectious Diseases

  • William Schaffner Teaching Award in Infectious Diseases: Cody Chastain, M.D.
  • Infectious Diseases Outstanding Fellow Award: Bryan Harris, M.D., MPH

Internal Medicine

  • Outstanding Preceptor Award: Melissa Scalise, M.D.
  • F. Tremaine (Josh) Billings Faculty Teaching Award: Jule West, M.D.

Medicine Housestaff Awards

  • Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award Best Faculty Teacher VUH: Cody Chastain, M.D.
  • Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award Best Faculty Teacher Veterans Affairs: Jay Bhave, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award Best Faculty Teacher Ambulatory: John Sergent, M.D.
  • Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award Best Fellow Teacher: Eric Kerchberger, M.D.
  • Hugh J. Morgan Teaching Award Best Resident Teacher: Mona Mashayekhi, M.D.


  • Nephrology Faculty Teaching Award: Thomas Golper, M.D.
  • Nephrology Professionalism Award: Iheanyichukwu Ogu, M.B.B.S.
  • Nephrology Chief Fellow Award 2016-2017: Katie Akers, M.D.


  • Rheumatology Faculty Teaching Award: April Barnado, M.D.
  • Rheumatology Fellow Teaching Award: Carolyn Casey, D.O.

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