December 7, 2022

Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine adds 21 new members

Vanderbilt’s Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine has selected 21 new members.

Last year, leaders with Vanderbilt University School of Medicine announced the creation of the Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine (AECM). The mission of the academy is to recognize and advance exceptional patient care.

This initiative grew out of a proposal from the Physician Council for Clinical Service Excellence and was formed to “honor exemplary clinicians who combine humanism, professionalism and a passion for patient care with a scholarly approach to improving patient health and establish a community of leaders to promote clinical excellence.” The AECM selection committee, comprised of members from 2021’s inaugural class, has selected 21 new members to the academy.

In addition to receiving this recognition, members in the academy are expected to give back to the institution. Current academy members are acting as mentors, giving presentations on professionalism, and leading discussions with care givers on how to help elevate patient care throughout the medical center.

Faculty members elected to the AECM undergo a rigorous, multi-step vetting process that included the following steps:

  • Calls for nominations were sent to all VUMC-employed faculty members via email with a description of the Academy’s mission and the eligibility criteria, along with a link to a REDCap survey so they could suggest nominees.
  • Faculty who received three independent nominations through the REDCap system were then vetted by the Office of Faculty Affairs to ascertain that they spent at least 50% of their effort in clinical practice and met patient satisfaction score metrics — for those in patient-facing disciplines.
  • Faculty who met these criteria were then invited to submit a full nomination package, which included their CV and personal statement, as well as references from peers, learners, patients and families and staff.
  • Nominees who submitted a complete packet were each reviewed by two current AECM members. The nominees were then discussed in a Zoom meeting with the whole selection committee to determine those who were accepted into the academy.

A reception to celebrate the members inducted in 2021 and 2022 is planned for early January 2023.

The AECM is led by Howard Baum, MD, associate professor of Medicine in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism and Brent Graham, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics. The academy’s executive sponsors are Maureen Gannon, PhD, arofessor of Medicine and associate dean for Faculty Development, David Raiford, MD, professor of Medicine, chief of Clinical Staff for VUMC and senior associate dean for Faculty Affairs, and Paul Sternberg Jr. MD, George Weeks Hale Professor of Ophthalmology, Chief Medical Officer for Vanderbilt Medical Group and associate dean for Clinical Affairs.

The 21 faculty to be inducted into the AECM in 2022 include:

Christopher Baron, MD, associate professor, Radiology

Anna Dewan, MD, associate professor, Dermatology

Ryszard Dworski, MD, PhD, associate professor, Medicine

Maria Gillam-Krakauer, MD, associate professor, Pediatrics

Antonio Hernandez, MD, MSCI, professor, Anesthesiology

Alison Herndon, MD, MSPH, assistant professor, Pediatrics

Irene Hong-McAtee, MD, MS, associate professor, Pediatrics

DeOnna Johnson, MD, assistant professor, Pediatrics

Holly Kniery, MSN, CRRN, FNP-BC, assistant in, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Susan Kroop, MD, associate professor, Medicine

Patrick Maynord, MD, associate professor, Pediatrics

Lisa Mendes, MD, professor, Medicine

Melinda New, MD, associate professor, OBGYN

Shilpa Reddy, MD, assistant professor, Pediatrics

Heidi Schaefer, MD, professor, Medicine

David Schwartz, MD, professor, Medicine

Carlenda Smith, MD, associate professor, Pediatrics

Christopher Sobey, MD, associate professor, Anesthesiology

Laura Sorabella, MD, assistant professor, Anesthesiology

Kenneth Watford, MSN, DNP, associate professor, Otolaryngology

Benjamin Womack, MD, assistant professor, Medicine