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New members of Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine selected

Dec. 15, 2023, 3:15 PM

by Kathy Whitney

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Academy for Excellence in Clinical Medicine (AECM) has selected 25 new members. 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 in 2021 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 chose the new members based on nominations.

In addition to receiving this recognition, members in the academy are expected to give back to the institution. Academy members act 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 is planned for early 2024.

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, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Faculty Development, Rick Wright, MD, professor and chair of Orthapaedic Surgery and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs, and Cecelia Theobald, MD, MPH, associate professor of Medicine and Chief of Staff for Corporate Clinical Affairs and Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

The 25 faculty to be inducted into the AECM in 2023 include:

Uchenna Anani, MD, Pediatrics

Kristen Ancell, MD, Medicine

Jennifer Andrews, MD, MSc, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

Kristina Betters, MD, Pediatrics

Gautam Bhave, MD, PhD, Medicine

Lindsay Bischoff, MD, Medicine

Brian Bridges, MD, Pediatrics

Catherine Burger, MD, Emergency Medicine

Gisella Carranza Leon, MD, Medicine

Kristen Ciombor, MD, MSCI, Medicine

Paul Dressler, MD, MPH, Pediatrics

English Flack, MD, Pediatrics

Arthur Fleischer, MD, Radiology & Radiological Sciences

Katherine Freundlich, MD, Pediatrics

Louis Garrard III, MD, Vascular Surgery

Tracy Hills, DO, Pediatrics

Sean Hughes, MD, Medicine

Rebecca Hung, MD, PhD, Medicine

Carrie Lind, MD, Pediatrics

Emily Morris, MD, Pediatrics

Roy Neeley, MD, Anesthesiology

My-Linh Ngo, MD, Pediatrics

Derek Pae, MD, Medicine

David Parra, MD, Pediatrics

Melinda Sanders, MD, Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

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