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Directorships honor leaders, philanthropic partners

Apr. 25, 2019, 9:23 AM

Holders of new directorships at VUMC are (front row, from left) Rakesh Chandra, MD, MMHC; Marie Griffin, MD, MPH; Louise Mawn, MD; David Haynes, MD, MMHC, (back row, from left) David Schwartz, MD; Benjamin Byrd III, MD; David Stevenson, PhD, SM; Christopher Wootten, MD, MMHC; Sean Collins, MD, MSc; and Robert Labadie, MD, PhD, MMHC. (photo by Steve Green)

by Kelsey Herbers

On April 16, Vanderbilt University Medical Center held its second Directorship Celebration to honor 10 leaders from across the enterprise in clinical care, research, education and administration.

“We’re here today to recognize people in our Medical Center who have led the charge in their respective fields to impact medicine here and nationally — a reminder of our leadership and our mission in health care,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Endowed directorships support the unsurpassed commitment of our leading physicians and scientists to provide compassionate care, to advance innovative research and to train the next generation of pioneers.”

Individuals and families who support VUMC’s mission were crucial philanthropic partners to fund several of this year’s endowed directorships through gifts.

The endowed directorships can also be funded by the Medical Center or a specific department.

This year, the Department of Otolaryngology created four new directorships to support leaders in relationship development, leadership and education, mission-critical pediatric otolaryngology care and translational research.

“We’re thrilled that VUMC has allowed this new endowment mechanism so we could make an investment to support these individuals through additional resources,” said Roland Eavey, MD, Guy M. Maness Professor and chair of Otolaryngology and director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center.

Holders of VUMC’s new endowed directorships are:

  • Marie Griffin, MD, MPH, holder of the Endowed Directorship in Public Health Research and Education;
  • David Stevenson, PhD, SM, holder of the Endowed Directorship in Health Policy Education;
  • Benjamin Byrd III, MD, holder of the R. Glenn and Virginia Greene Directorship in Cardiovascular Imaging;
  • David Schwartz, MD, holder of the McClain Family Directorship in Gastroenterology;
  • Rakesh Chandra, MD, MMHC, holder of the Endowed Directorship in Otolaryngology for Leadership and Educational Development;
  • David Haynes, MD, MMHC, FACS, holder of the Endowed Directorship in Otolaryngology for Relationship Development;
  • Robert Labadie, MD, PhD, MMHC, FACS, holder of the Robert H. Ossoff, DMD, MD, Directorship for Translational Research in Otolaryngology;
  • Christopher Wootten, MD, MMHC, holder of the Endowed Directorship in Pediatric Otolaryngology;
  • Louise Mawn, MD, holder of the Jean Ewing Love and James Randle Love Directorship in Ophthalmology; and
  • Sean Collins, MD, MSc, holder of the Endowed Clinical Directorship for Emergency Medicine Research.

Griffin directs the Vanderbilt University Master of Public Health Program, a two-year interdisciplinary program offered by the School of Medicine that trains future research scientists and public health professionals to be leaders dedicated to improving public health.

As a researcher, Griffin focuses on vaccine-preventable diseases, including influenza, pneumonia and human papillomavirus-associated cervical cancer. She is a professor of Health Policy and Medicine in the Department of Health Policy.

Stevenson is vice chair for Education in the Department of Health Policy. A former faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Stevenson’s primary research interests are long-term and end-of-life care. His work focuses on the intersection of research and policy, such as the evolution of Medicare’s hospice benefit and regulatory oversight and quality assurance.

Stevenson also directs the Health Policy Track in the Master of Public Health Program.

A leader in the field of echocardiography, Byrd’s knowledge guided the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine’s Echocardiography Laboratory through major transitions to new technologies. Byrd is a past president of the American Society of Echocardiography and played a key role in the growth and success of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.

Byrd’s directorship was established in January 2018 by R. Glenn Greene, MD, and his wife, Virginia, to support the Medical Center in mentoring clinicians about innovations in cardiac imaging and diagnostic tools. Greene, who began his career as a physician through an Internal Medicine residency at VUMC, helped pioneer echocardiography.

Schwartz is director of the Vanderbilt Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center. As a world leader in the treatment of IBD, he focuses on the use of endoscopic ultrasound to improve the care of and outcomes for patients. He is a graduate of the Meharry Medical College School of Medicine and completed advanced fellowships in IBD and endoscopic ultrasound at Mayo Clinic.

Schwartz’s directorship was established in August 2018 by Lorri and Forrest McClain, who came to VUMC in search of life-enhancing care for their daughter, Reilly. Grateful for the bond they developed with Reilly’s caregiver, the McClains created the directorship so other patients and families would continue to receive the same compassionate care and benefit from innovative research in IBD.

Chandra serves as chief and fellowship program director of Rhinology and Skull Base Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology. His current areas of focus are nasal, sinus and skull base surgery and research in respiratory inflammatory disease.

Chandra earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed a fellowship in rhinology and sinus surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his Master of Management in Health Care from Vanderbilt University.

Haynes is chief of the Division of Neurotology, director of the Neurotology Fellowship program and a professor of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery and Hearing and Speech Sciences. He also serves as co-director of the Cochlear Implant Program and Skull Base Center.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Haynes focuses on hearing restoration, cochlear implants and skull base tumors. He completed a fellowship in otology and neurotology at The Otology Group/The EAR Foundation, which is now the Otology Group at Vanderbilt.

With a clinical specialty in otology with a concentration in cochlear implantation, Labadie is vice chair and chief research officer in the Department of Otolaryngology. He is the author of more than 135 peer-reviewed publications and a textbook and serves as principal investigator of multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants.

Labadie’s directorship was established by VUMC in August 2018 in honor of Robert H. Ossoff, DMD, MD, who retired at the end of 2018 after a 32-year career at the Medical Center. Ossoff founded the Vanderbilt Voice Center and helped establish the Medical Center’s role as a world-class leader and partner to performers in the entertainment industry.

Wootten is an associate professor of Otolaryngology and director of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship and service at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. His clinical work focuses on the management of aerodigestive diseases in children, ear and hearing concerns, anatomical speech disorders and refractory obstructive sleep apnea.

Wootten earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and his Master of Management in Health Care from Vanderbilt University.

Mawn is a professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Neurological Surgery. A graduate of Wake Forest School of Medicine, she focuses on advances in surgical treatment of orbital disorders.

Mawn’s directorship was established in January 2018 by the late Jean Ewing Love and James Randle Love to support training and programs at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. A grateful patient with a typically blinding condition who retained her eyesight through her care at the Institute, Jean Ewing Love made a gift in her will on behalf of herself and her husband to ensure the same invaluable support for others with life-changing eye disease.

The Loves’ support joins others who have given through their wills, trusts and other ways to make a long-term impact on the future of health care.

Collins is executive vice chair and professor of Emergency Medicine and director of the Center for Emergency Care Research and Innovation. His research focuses on acute heart failure and Emergency Department-based clinical trials.

In addition to earning his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Collins completed a research fellowship and earned his Master of Science in Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.

For more information about directorships, contact

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