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Chang named Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center chief surgical officer

Aug. 26, 2020, 2:37 PM


by Tom Wilemon

Sam Chang, MD, MBA, has been named chief surgical officer at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), a new leadership position responsible for advancing excellence in surgical care in cancer patients, expanding service locations, maximizing resource efficiencies and maintaining high-quality standards among other duties.

Sam Chang, MD, MBA

Over the past decade, VICC has experienced growth in surgical volumes and added highly specialized surgical procedures, which led to the need for the new leadership position. VICC is also increasingly offering surgical care at more places than its Nashville campus.

Chang, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Urologic Surgery, is a world-renowned surgeon with the expertise to serve as chief surgical officer, said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, director of VICC and Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Our continued success is dependent on delivering a seamless, integrated experience across the medical, surgical and radiation oncology disciplines that serve the cancer patient, while also advancing research discoveries,” said Pietenpol, B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and holder of the Brock Family Directorship in Career Development. “As we embark on further network expansion, it is critical that we establish a leadership structure that positions us to work across our academic departments to deliver a multidisciplinary clinical approach for patients in our catchment area. We are excited to announce that Dr. Chang will become our first chief surgical officer at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.”

Chang has been principal investigator of clinical trials that have led to practice-changing care models for prostate cancer and bladder cancer and, in the process, orchestrated the initiation and expansion of multiple cancer-related treatment protocols at VICC and elsewhere. He has led efforts in the integration of evidence-based medicine in clinical pathways, enhanced national guidelines and improved urologic cancer staging.

“Dr. Chang has a proven record of building programs of excellence in urologic cancer surgery to benefit patients and further VUMC’s academic mission. We are excited for him to apply his skills across the entire Cancer Center,” said Seth Karp, MD, H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

Chang has served in numerous national leadership capacities. He currently is chair of the American Board of Urology Examination Committee, a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Bladder Cancer Panel, chair of the American Urological Association Public Policy Panel, assistant secretary of the American Urological Association and a member of the Scientific Board of Directors for the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. Previously, he chaired the Genitourinary Task Force of the American Joint Committee on Cancer from 2004 to 2013 and several other guidelines committees. He serves on multiple journal editorial boards, and he is section editor of bladder cancer and general oncology for the Journal of Urology. His editorial contributions encompass more than 300 journal publications and multiple book chapters.

“For many with cancer, quality surgery is essential, but prioritizing comprehensive therapy for each patient continues to drive my clinical practice,” Chang said. “Cancer treatment has become too complex to be given in a fragmented manner. An essential component of individualizing care is an integrative approach — our vision of teamwork at VICC emphasizes that whatever multidisciplinary diagnostic, surveillance and therapeutic component that a patient may need, VICC can and will provide world class options. I am incredibly excited to work closely with all of my colleagues to expand our scope of care.”

Chang received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and his MBA from the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Business Management. He became a physician in 1992, completing residencies in general surgery and urologic surgery at VUMC from 1992 to 1998. Chang completed a fellowship in urologic oncology from 1998 to 2000 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

He was the recipient of the first Distinguished Service Award bestowed by the Society of Urologic Oncology, CaPCURE (now Prostate Cancer Foundation) National Young Investigator Award and in 2011 received the American Urological Association Gold Cystoscope Award.

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