October 31, 2003

Buerhaus, Moses join Institute of Medicine

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Dr. Harold L. Moses

Buerhaus, Moses join Institute of Medicine

Peter I. Buerhaus, Ph.D.

Peter I. Buerhaus, Ph.D.

Two Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty members have been elected into the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The elite group of scientists called upon for independent analysis and recommendations on issues related to human health has elected Dr. Harold L. Moses, director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Peter I. Buerhaus, Ph.D., senior associate dean for Research at the School of Nursing.

Buerhaus and Moses join 1,382 active members in the prestigious organization. Individuals are elected to the Institute on the basis of professional achievement and of demonstrated interest, concern and involvement with problems and critical issues that affect the health of the public.

“The quality of our faculty here at the Medical Center is a continuing source of pride to me, and the elections of Peter Buerhaus and Hal Moses into the Institute of Medicine is yet another indication of that quality,” said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

Moses is a 1962 graduate of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine and did research training at the National Institutes of Health from 1965-68. In 1973, he joined the faculty of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he stayed for 12 years. In 1985, he returned to Vanderbilt to become chair of the department of Cell Biology.

“Dr. Moses’ election into the Institute of Medicine is a reflection of his outstanding research and his national leadership in the field of cancer research and treatment,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, dean of the School of Medicine. “He is truly deserving of this honor.”

In 1993, Moses became the first director of the newly formed Vanderbilt Cancer Center and the Frances Williams Preston Research Laboratories of the T.J. Martell Foundation. In 1998, he stepped down from the chairmanship of Cell Biology to devote his full attention to his research and to directing what became known the following year as the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).

Under his leadership, the VICC has grown in size, scope and stature, including achievement in 2001 of the coveted designation by the National Cancer Institute as one of only 39 Comprehensive Cancer Centers, and the only one in Tennessee. Its competitive funding by the NCI has jumped from less than $5 million in its first year to more than $42 million per year today.

Moses is internationally known for his research in growth factors, particularly transforming growth factor-beta, which Moses’ team discovered as the first growth factor to act as both a cell growth stimulator and suppressor under different circumstances.

A past president of the American Association for Cancer Research, Moses recently began a two-year term as president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI). He is a member of the National Dialogue on Cancer, a broad-based initiative to shape the ongoing fight against cancer, and is vice-chair of its Cancer Research Team.

Moses is the former chair of NCI’s Parent Committee, which reviews cancer centers that seek award or renewal of NCI designation, and has served on the NCI’s Board of Scientific Counselors.

In 1986 and 1993, he received the Outstanding Investigator Award from the NCI, the Esther Langer Award for Meritorious Cancer Research from the University of Chicago in 1986, and the Rous-Whipple Award from the American Association of Pathologists in 1991.

“I am honored to have been selected for membership,” said Moses, Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and professor of Cancer Biology. “It is particularly meaningful because it is a recognition from my peers, and it is a recognition that I humbly share with my colleagues here at Vanderbilt.”

Buerhaus, Valere Potter Professor of Nursing, joins Colleen Conway-Welch, Nancy Hilliard Travis Professor of Nursing and Dean of the School of Nursing, as an IOM member.

“I am delighted that Dr. Buerhaus’ work in healthcare workforce issues has been recognized by the members of the Institute of Medicine. As one of 67 nurses in the IOM, he will continue to make valuable contributions to the healthcare dilemmas we face,” said Conway-Welch.

Buerhaus has published nearly 50 peer-reviewed articles, numerous book chapters, and various papers on topics concerned with the nurse labor market and changes in the healthcare system. In 2000, he co-authored a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Implications of an Aging Registered Nurse Workforce,” which described the reasons for the aging of the RN workforce, and projected future trends in the supply of registered nurses, which continues to garner national and international attention.

Buerhaus is the leading expert on issues relating to the national nursing shortage. In addition, he co-authored another landmark article in 2002, “Nurse-Staffing Levels and the Quality of Care in Hospitals,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article described results of a major study co-funded by four federal agencies, and received significant attention in Congress and by the Bush administration.

Buerhaus maintains an active research program involving studies that analyze trends in employment and earnings of nursing personnel; effects of managed care on the nurse labor market; implications of the rapidly aging RN workforce; changes in nurse staffing and the impact on quality of patient care; nurses’ and other providers’ opinion of how changes in the healthcare system are affecting patients; and, evaluating the results of a $30 million national campaign by Johnson & Johnson to increase the number of people in the nursing profession.

“Election to the IOM acknowledges the value of the work I have been doing. I’m grateful and humbled because I realize that not many people receive such public recognition of their efforts. I am pleased with the support that Vanderbilt has provided me; I look forward to doing more research and hope that this recognition will help further the School and University’s research mission,” said Buerhaus.

Buerhaus earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mankato State University in Mankato, Minn. and began his career as a staff nurse in a community hospital in southeastern Ohio. After obtaining a master’s degree in nursing health services administration at the University of Michigan, he completed his doctoral education at Wayne State University in Detroit. There, Buerhaus concentrated his studies on the economics of health care and nursing.

In 1990, Buerhaus joined the faculty of the College of Nursing at the University of Iowa and developed and taught courses on public policy-making and the economics of health care and nursing. He then became a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation faculty fellow in health care finance at The Johns Hopkins University in 1991. A few years later he developed the Harvard Nursing Research Institute and its post-doctoral program in nursing health services research and served as assistant professor of health policy and management at Harvard School of Public Health. Buerhaus held those positions until his move to Vanderbilt in 2000, when he accepted his current appointment with VUSN.

Buerhaus is a member of the American Academy of Nursing, the National Institutes of Health National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, and is a Board of Director of Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society.

“Peter Buerhaus and Hal Moses have brought great distinction to Vanderbilt,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee. “I am very pleased that both will now be recognized by the Institute of Medicine, and deservedly so.”