April 9, 1999

Graham to serve as interim Pediatrics chair

Graham to serve as interim Pediatrics chair


Dr. Thomas Graham, named interim chair of Pediatrics, has always had a way with children. (photo by Donna Jones Bailey)

Dr. Thomas P. Graham Jr., Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Professor of Pediatric Cardiology and director of the division of Pediatric Cardiology, has been named interim chair of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Department of Pediatrics.

He succeeds Dr. Ian M. Burr, who recently was named Associate Vice Chancellor for Children's Services.

In that new position, Burr oversees the design and development of the new Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, the design and organization of its inpatient and outpatient clinical activities, the management of the network of community services and will coordinate aspects of the project with fund-raising leader Monroe Carell Jr.

Graham, who's new responsibilities become effective May 1, will continue to serve as director of Pediatric Cardiology during his stint as interim chair of Pediatrics.

A search committee for a permanent chair for the department will be named shortly.

"Vanderbilt is fortunate to have a leader like Tom Graham," said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. "Under his watch, the division of Pediatric Cardiology has become one of the most respected in the country. His commitment and contributions to pediatric cardiology go far beyond Vanderbilt, having national and international implications."

Graham welcomes his new role.

"I look forward to the challenge," Graham said. "Something that I have done well is juggle various responsibilities and manage my time efficiently. I'll have to double my efforts to take on my new duties.

"We have a very strong, dedicated and high quality faculty. I want to keep us enthused about the future and help the faculty continue on the path it has started. I want to maintain the focus and productivity of our faculty so that we can stay strong and attract a new chair."

Graham received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from Duke University, in 1959 and 1963 respectively. He came to Vanderbilt in 1971 after spending two years on Duke's faculty.

The changes in the leadership of the Department of Pediatrics come as Vanderbilt progresses with its plans to build a new free-standing facility for children's health services. The new Children's Hospital, to be located at the corner of 22nd Avenue South and Pierce Avenue, will replace the existing facility created in 1971.

"Out patient numbers continue to increase and we are outgrowing our present facility," Graham said. "We have new ways of treating patients and providing state-of-the-art care. I see incredible changes in the way we will treat patients in the next century and Vanderbilt will be on the cutting edge."

Vanderbilt Children's Hospital is the region's only health care facility dedicated to the care of children. Services range from basic primary care to specialty treatments to home health care and long-term follow up of chronic illnesses.