July 9, 2020

Kripalani to lead Center for Health Services Research

Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been appointed director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research.


by Bill Snyder

Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been appointed director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research.

Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc

The center, a critical component of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH), engages with more than 160 scientists and other professionals across VUMC to conduct research and discover, implement and disseminate workable solutions for modern-day problems in health care delivery, health care quality and patient-centered outcomes.

Kripalani succeeds Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Health Policy and Ingram Professor of Integrative and Population Health, who was named IMPH director and Senior Vice President for Population and Public Health in February.

Rothman, in turn, succeeded Robert Dittus, MD, MPH, the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine and founding director of the Center for Health Services Research and the IMPH, who took a new leadership role as Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer for the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network.

Kripalani currently directs the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research and co-directs the Center for Effective Health Communication within the Center for Health Services Research.

He has developed, implemented and evaluated novel interventions to enhance care management with attention to health communication, medication safety and transitions of care.

“We are confident that under Sunil’s leadership the Center for Health Services Research will continue to thrive and perform important research, education and community engagement to improve individual and population health,” Rothman said.

“I’m honored and excited to take on this new leadership role, following Drs. Rothman and Dittus, who have built a world-class interdisciplinary center over the last 20 years,” Kripalani said.

“I look forward to working across the Vanderbilt community to continue to develop our research and training programs focused on improving health and health care delivery by optimizing quality, value, equity and patient-centeredness.”

Kripalani earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Emory University, where he also completed a Hospital Medicine Fellowship and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Research.

In 2007 he joined the faculty at VUMC, where he founded and served as chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine.

Kripalani’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

He is principal investigator of the Vanderbilt Scholars in T4 Translational Research program, a faculty career development program in implementation research funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.

He is a co-investigator for the Learning Healthcare System platform in the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, and leads the Implementation Core of an NIH-funded Precision Medicine & Health Disparities Collaborative.

Kripalani also serves as a VUMC site-principal investigator of the ADAPTABLE pragmatic clinical trial that is comparing the effectiveness of two different daily doses of aspirin in preventing heart attacks and strokes in people with heart disease.

He is chair of the AHRQ Health Care Effectiveness and Outcomes Research study section and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

The Center for Health Services Research is focused on finding interdisciplinary solutions that improve health care outcomes for patients, families and the community.

Research areas include clinical epidemiology, health promotion and disease manage- ment, behavioral health and health communication, clinical quality and implementation research, comparative effectiveness research, population health, community health and health policy.

“Given the current complexities of the health care system and rapid transformation of the system to create value-based health care, the role of the center will remain essential for the promotion of translational and health services research in the years ahead,” Rothman said.