May 8, 2023

Harris named Department of Medicine’s executive vice chair for Clinical Affairs

Bryan Harris, MD, MPH, MMHC, has been named executive vice chair for Clinical Affairs for Vanderbilt’s Department of Medicine, effective July 1.

Bryan Harris, MD, MPH, MMHC

by Jill Clendening

Bryan Harris, MD, MPH, MMHC, assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named executive vice chair for Clinical Affairs for the department, effective July 1.

He succeeds Cecelia Theobald, MD, MPH, who is moving into new roles as VUMC’s Chief of Staff for Corporate Clinical Affairs and Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

In his new role, Harris will provide leadership and strategic direction for all clinical service lines of the Department of Medicine. He will lead efforts to sustain and promote quality and safety, enhance clinical operations in outpatient and inpatient settings, and support clinical faculty and staff as they deliver care that is personal, evidence-based and of the highest value for patients.

As executive vice chair for Clinical Affairs, Harris will collaborate with other faculty within the Department of Medicine and across the Medical Center’s departments and centers, and with VUMC’s regional hospitals to develop new integrated clinical programs as well as expand existing programs. In addition, Harris will lead efforts to enhance the patient experience across the Department of Medicine.

“Dr. Harris is well-equipped to step into the role of executive vice chair of Clinical Affairs for the Department of Medicine,” said Kimryn Rathmell, MD, PhD, MMHC, Hugh Jackson Morgan Professor of Medicine and chair of the department. “He has unfailingly and increasingly demonstrated his strong leadership skills and consensus-building ability, working across a range of medicine practices and alongside other department programs throughout the Medical Center.

“His capabilities were amplified as he served as medical director for the Medicine Patient Care Center and associate hospital epidemiologist during the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic. His dedication to keeping patients safe in our hospitals and clinics is noted and appreciated by all. That commitment will continue to benefit our patients as he takes on this new leadership role.”

Harris began serving as the executive medical director of VUMC’s Medicine Patient Care Center in 2018. In this role he worked with departments and divisions across VUMC to improve alignment of services and enhance growth in Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, Nephrology and Rheumatology. He has also worked to reduce barriers to care for patients by improving access and enhancing efficiencies, often using creative and team-based approaches to achieve outcomes.

In addition to serving as an associate healthcare epidemiologist for the Medical Center since 2016, he served as chief health system epidemiologist for the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System from 2016 until 2021. Harris also served as medical director of Antimicrobial Stewardship for the VA from 2016 until 2018.

“I’m excited to serve in this new role, and I look forward to partnering with our clinicians and department leadership to further strengthen our clinical operations,” said Harris. “I’m inspired and motivated by the incredibly talented, hardworking individuals in the Department, and I am dedicated to supporting our faculty and staff and enhancing the experience of our patients.”

As an associate health care epidemiologist, Harris has been an important and trusted voice at VUMC during the COVID-19 pandemic and has frequently led town halls and answered questions for diverse groups throughout the Medical Center and across the state. He has served on many committees and work groups at VUMC and is currently a member of VUMC’s Medical Executive Committee, Infection Prevention Executive Committee, Patient Experience Committee and VIVID (LGBTQ Health) Advisory Committee.

A native of Middle Tennessee, Harris earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, then continued on to earn his MD, as well as a Master of Public Health and Master of Management in Health Care, all at Vanderbilt. He completed his Internal Medicine residency, including serving as chief resident, and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt.