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Second annual Hidden VUMC Figures event set for Oct. 29

Oct. 24, 2018, 2:39 PM


On Monday, Oct. 29, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office for Diversity Affairs will present the second annual “Hidden VUMC Figures” event — a tribute to employees who have made significant long-term contributions to the Medical Center, often behind the scenes.

The event will be held at noon in 208 Light Hall and is open to all Medical Center employees.

“We are trying to work on building a culture and environment around understanding the value of diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt,” said André Churchwell, MD, Chief Diversity Officer for VUMC.

“It is clear that symbols and those who you honor reflect your value system. We are committed to building a culture that respects and values all who work at VUMC. This program is just one ‘brick’ in the metaphorical building of VUMC diversity and inclusion that we are constructing.”

The four honorees are Jesse Britton, Rosamond Gabrielson (posthumous), Odessa Settles and Martha Young.

“It is an honor to be able to recognize these individuals who have served and continue to serve the Medical Center with distinction, dedication and commitment. Such individuals are the lifeblood of our organization,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

Britton, a VUMC employee for over 55 years, was initially hired by the Anatomy/Pathology Department where he assisted pathology residents with autopsies for decades. Later, as a research assistant, he established a porcine wound model integral to Lillian Nanney’s, PhD, ongoing research program.

Gabrielson arrived at VUMC in 1976 as the director of Nursing. She voiced the need to be more attentive to the value of direct care nursing. “Gabe” also recognized the distinctive contribution of advanced practice nursing and her protocols laid the groundwork for what is now known as shared governance.

Settles joined VUMC in 1969 as a nursing assistant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She has been a part of numerous research projects leading to improved neonatal outcomes. While working in infant transport, she co-founded a clinic for infants discharged with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Young joined VUMC in the Fertility and Reproductive Clinic in September 1992. At that time, she was the first and only African-American nurse for several outpatient clinics and departments. She has remained in the internal medicine acute care practice for the past 21 years.

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