April 29, 2010

Balser holds VUSN town hall meeting

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Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., fields questions at a town hall meeting at VUSN. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Balser holds VUSN town hall meeting

Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., convened a town hall-style meeting at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing on Tuesday, reaching out to the School just as he has to the 25 other academic entities that report to him as vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

He spent most of the time discussing the University and Medical Center leadership teams and how they were restructured to enhance communications, teamwork and turn the concept of “one” university into reality.

“We needed to create a structure that would support our tremendous academic endeavors and push them to the next level,” said Balser. “That is exactly what we have done this year.”

Balser tackled tough subjects such as Vanderbilt’s response to the recession and strategy for recovery, the Medical Center’s uncompensated care levels and Vanderbilt’s affirmation position on health care reform (despite its imperfections).

He also fielded questions about the relationship between the Schools of Nursing and Medicine. He strongly believes that the two schools have “distinct yet complementary approaches,” something he thinks is crucial to the future of health care.