December 20, 2018

2018 a year of growth, achievement for VUMC

The following is a roundup of the news that made headlines at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2018.

The following is a roundup of the news that made headlines at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2018.


Affiliation agreements

  • Officials with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) and VUMC announced a clinical affiliation agreement that established a collaborative relationship between the two institutions. The agreement provides the ability to form new clinical programs and services to be shared by the two institutions.
  • The University Health Network (UHN), a clinically integrated network and accountable care organization (ACO) based in Knoxville that includes The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) and University Physicians’ Association (UPA), as well as various partnerships and joint ventures with physicians and health care companies across East Tennessee, announced an affiliation with the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network (VHAN).

The new relationship with UHN creates a statewide network that can improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care across Tennessee.


Defining Personalized Care

Medical Center leaders launched a new, two-year initiative called “Defining Personalized Care — Elevating Our Culture of Service.” The initiative is designed to significantly improve the ability to deliver personalized care through exceptional service.


Adult Enterprise structure

A new leadership structure was created for the adult clinical enterprise that has separate leadership teams for inpatient and ambulatory services.

The new structure was designed to help manage growth and to better align the Medical Center’s services to address increasing consumption of health care. The new structure includes leadership of VUAH and leadership of adult ambulatory services inside and outside of Davidson County.

VUMC’s Cardiac Surgery Team performed Tennessee’s first total artificial heart implantation in September on a 56-year-old man with congestive heart failure. The team used a SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, a mechanical solution for a patient’s failing heart. (photo by Anne Rayner)


Rutherford County site

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt broke ground in October on a new 37,500-square-foot facility that will significantly expand pediatric specialty care, outpatient surgery and imaging services to children in Rutherford and surrounding counties.

Leaders with Children’s Hospital and VUMC, joined by members of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, local and state officials and members of the community, held a ceremony to celebrate the launch of the $27.2 million construction project, which is estimated to open in late 2019.


Nashville Biosciences created

Officials with VUMC announced the creation of a wholly owned subsidiary, Nashville Biosciences, to harness the power of its extensive genomic and bioinformatics resources for drug and diagnostics discovery and development.

Through Nashville Biosciences, pharmaceutical and other life science companies are able to leverage the wealth of data contained within the Medical Center’s genomics and health information technology resources to advance their own discovery and development programs while helping to support institutional research efforts.


New inpatient space debuts

The conversion of the eighth floor of Medical Center East (MCE)-North Tower on the VUMC campus from outpatient space to inpatient beds was completed. The new North Tower Medicine/Cardiac Stepdown Unit has 30 patient rooms and seven observation beds.


Preventing viruses across the globe

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed a five-year cooperative agreement worth up to $28 million with VUMC to develop methods for preventing the global spread of viruses like chikungunya and Zika.

The goal of DARPA’s Pandemic Protection Platform (P3) program is to develop protective antibody treatments that can be rushed to health care providers around the world within 60 days after the outbreak of viral disease. VUMC’s is one of four cooperative agreements to be implemented under the program.


Innovation in emergency care

VUMC, through the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), Center for Health Services Research and the Department of Emergency Medicine, established a new Center for Emergency Care Research and Innovation (CERI) to help determine the best care for patients who experience trauma or require emergency services — even before they get to the hospital.


Major stroke award

Vanderbilt’s Kenneth Gaines, MD, MBA, professor of Clinical Neurology, received $15.7 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to determine if stroke outcomes can be improved with a redesigned and better-integrated model of care.


Atrial fibrillation research network

VUMC was selected by the American Heart Association (AHA) to participate in a six-member research network to advance treatment and prevention of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rate that increases the risk of stroke and other heart-related complications.

As part of the AHA Strategically Focused Research Network in Atrial Fibrillation, VUMC will receive $3.7 million over four years to support research.


Cancer Moonshot grant

A trans-institutional team of researchers at VUMC and Vanderbilt University received an $11 million Cancer Moonshot grant to build a single-cell resolution atlas to map out the routes that benign colonic polyps take to progress to colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer among both men and women in the United States.


Telemedicine reaching rural counties

A VUMC telemedicine initiative is seeking to broaden access to advancements in stroke care for residents of rural counties in Tennessee.

Fifteen ambulances were equipped with high-definition camera systems and accessories to set up a telemedicine network, enabling EMS personnel in Overton, Jackson and Pickett counties to consult with neurologists at the Vanderbilt Stroke Center.


Breast Center in Cool Springs

Patients at high risk for developing breast cancer can now be seen by a team of Vanderbilt Breast Center experts in Cool Springs. The new breast health clinic, located at 324 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite B, Franklin, provides a range of medical services for high-risk individuals.


‘All of Us’ leadership

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, was appointed director of a new Engagement Core to support the All of Us Research Program, an ambitious effort led by the National Institutes of Health to accelerate the prevention and treatment of illness through precision medicine.

The new core will select and integrate a diverse group of “participant partners” to ensure the success of the program, which this spring will begin collecting and analyzing health data from 1 million or more volunteers.


Lung cancer grant

Vanderbilt University was awarded a five-year, $8.1-million grant from the National Cancer Institute to serve as a research center in the institute’s prestigious Cancer Systems Biology Consortium.

The new center will focus on advancing the understanding and treatment of small cell lung cancer.


UDN renewed

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN), part of a clinical research initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was funded by the NIH for another four years.

VUMC is one of seven sites around the country selected in 2014 that will continue to participate in a clinical network to develop effective approaches for diagnosing hard-to-solve medical cases.


San Diego Zoo Kids debuts

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt debuted San Diego Zoo Kids, making it the 150th facility to offer the closed-circuit television channel to patients.

San Diego Zoo Kids is an innovative television channel with programs produced primarily for medical facilities that serve pediatric patients and their families. The channel also features animal stories from the Nashville Zoo, which has provided an outreach program at Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years.


More opioid side effects

According to a VUMC study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, opioid users have a significantly increased risk of infections severe enough to require treatment at the hospital, such as pneumonia and meningitis, as compared to people who don’t use opioids.

The study found that people who use opioids have a 1.62 times higher risk of invasive pneumococcal diseases.


Slowing Parkinson’s progression

Analysis of data from a clinical trial conducted at Vanderbilt suggests that deep brain stimulation administered to patients with very early-stage Parkinson’s disease slowed the progression of rest tremor.

The study is the first evidence of a treatment that may possibly delay the progression of one of the cardinal features of Parkinson’s disease.


Ortho services in Franklin expand

Vanderbilt Bone and Joint Franklin expanded its staff with 20 new providers and added pediatric services.

The clinic, located at 206 Bedford Way, also extended its after-hours clinic, offering the convenience of seeing a provider without an appointment from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.


Pet therapy support

Mars Petcare and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt created the Mars Petcare Pet Therapy Fund to support a dedicated facility dog and staff position at Children’s Hospital with a goal of showing how pet visits improve the health of patients — thus getting them home faster.


Custom Children’s Hospital signage

Premier Parking teamed up with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to create custom Children’s Hospital signage that features patient artwork to be displayed in seven select parking lots throughout downtown Nashville.

The seven Premier Parking lot locations are leased from the family of former Central Parking CEO and longtime champion for Children’s Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr., who died in 2008.


Clinic for Transgender Health

Vanderbilt Health opened a new adult Clinic for Transgender Health. The multispecialty clinic provides comprehensive health care services for transgender patients age 18 and older, allowing them to receive their care in one location, including primary care and subspecialty consultations with endocrinologists, mental health experts and surgeons.


Neutralizing norovirus

Researchers at VUMC isolated the first human monoclonal antibodies that can neutralize norovirus, the leading cause of acute gastrointestinal illness in the world.

The antibodies, described in the journal Gastroenterology, “have high potential” for improving diagnosis and treatment of norovirus illness as well as furthering efforts to develop the first effective norovirus vaccine, the researchers concluded.


Delirium study

A Vanderbilt study of more than 1,000 intensive care unit patients around the country, nearly three-fourths of whom experienced delirium, showed that many drugs given to sedate patients in the ICU are actually increasing their chances of — and duration of — delirium instead of helping them recover.


Appointments Direct

VUMC health plan members received access to a dedicated phone number — called Appointments Direct — that gives preferred access to appointments with VUMC providers. Call 855-724-2454 to schedule an appointment with a Tier 1 provider.

Patients can also quickly schedule return appointments through the My Health at Vanderbilt website or mobile app. Through the app or website, patients can see available appointments for Vanderbilt providers and self-schedule a specific date and time for their next appointment.