June 22, 2007

Heart and Vascular Institute names CEO

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Jeffrey Samz

Heart and Vascular Institute names CEO

Jeffrey Samz has been appointed chief executive officer of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI).

He will assume the newly created position in August. Samz comes to Vanderbilt from Duke University Hospital, where he is the associate operating officer for Heart Services, a position he has held since 2005.

“In Jeff we have found an executive leader with the skills and knowledge and strong record of success that we had sought for this key position in the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “We are glad that he has agreed to step into this new position, and we welcome him to VUMC.”

In his new role, Samz will be responsible for the overall business administrative management of VHVI, including inpatient and outpatient activities, along with oversight of strategic development and the financial growth and success of the program.

He will work collaboratively with Douglas Vaughan, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; John Byrne, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery; Tom Naslund, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery; and Robert Deegan, M.D., director of the Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, to execute the vision for cardiovascular medicine at VHVI. Samz will report to Larry Goldberg, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital.

“The Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute has a wonderful structure already in place, and I am thrilled to join the team and build upon its momentum,” Samz said. “It is well on its way to becoming a premier institute, and I am looking forward to being a part of the collaborative effort that is under way.”

The comprehensive national search to fill the newly created position evaluated individuals with varied backgrounds including experience in heart programs, academic medical centers and practice plans. Unanimous feedback indicated that Samz was the right fit.

“Jeff stood out as having the right mix of leadership, experience and vision for the position,” Goldberg said. ”Jeff's experiences in managing a nationally recognized Heart Program at a top academic institution, along with the leadership roles he has held in hospital operations, will serve as an excellent background.”

At Duke University Hospital, Samz is responsible for all cardiac departments and the administrative leadership of the Duke Heart Center, which provides comprehensive cardiac services such as heart transplantation, cardiac MRI and CTA, pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery, electrophysiology and mobile cardiac catheterization.

At Duke his service line responsibilities include more than $400 million in gross revenue, and operational areas include $100 million in direct expense and 1,000 staff members.

“Jeff Samz comes from a very successful academic cardiology program,” Vaughan said. “I am thrilled he has decided to join our team. He has the right mix of experience and energy to make VHVI successful.”

“'Jeff will be a great addition to help us build a top 10 cardiac program,” Byrne added.

Until 2005, Samz served as vice president of Clinical Operations at Mission Hospitals in Asheville, N.C. He joined Mission Hospitals in 1998 as service line director for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences and was promoted to associate vice president in 1999, and to vice president in 2000. Prior to his work at Mission Hospitals, he was business manager for Inpatient Services at St. Joseph's Hospital, also in Asheville.

A Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Samz received his bachelor's degree in public health administration. He received his M.B.A. from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.

“We are delighted that Jeff has joined VUMC as the new CEO of VHVI. He brings a lot of experience from his position at Duke,” said Martin Sandler, M.B., Ch.B., associate vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to strengthen our patient services to treat cardiac and vascular diseases.”

VHVI is part of a comprehensive program designed to deliver state-of-the-art care for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and is at the forefront of bringing research to bedside care. Vanderbilt supports the largest cardiovascular medicine training and research programs in Tennessee.

Samz is a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association and the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is past Board Chairman of Asheville Specialty Hospital (Long Term Acute Care). He and his wife, Jill, have two children, a daughter Paige, 6, and a son Riley, 3.