December 5, 2008

Heart Institute CEO takes role at Huntsville, Ala., hospital

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Jeff Samz

Heart Institute CEO takes role at Huntsville, Ala., hospital

Jeff Samz, CEO of Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute since August 2007, will be leaving to accept a new role as the chief operating officer at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Ala., effective early January.

“I leave with very mixed emotions — excited about this great opportunity but knowing I will miss the camaraderie and excellence in the VHVI leadership team,” Samz said.

As CEO, Samz is responsible for the overall management of VHVI, including inpatient and outpatient activities, strategic development and the financial growth and success of the program.

“We greatly appreciate the caliber of professionalism, expertise and leadership that Jeff provided to Vanderbilt Heart. He has positioned us well for continued growth and success,” said Martin Sandler, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

During his tenure, VHVI was named to the U.S. News & World Report list of best heart and heart surgery programs and was recently recognized for the first time among the top 100 U.S. hospitals that are setting the nation's benchmarks for cardiovascular care in a study by Thomson Healthcare.

“Jeff's efforts have been instrumental in helping the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute become one of the top programs in the country,” said John Byrne, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery. “His contributions have helped to set the strategic vision and plan for the institute, to enhance our outreach programs and to create a culture of teamwork and collaboration.”

In his new role, Samz will be responsible for the operations at the 881-bed Huntsville Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center and the regional referral center for Northern Alabama.

“We will miss Jeff's leadership, wisdom, sense of humor, and unwavering enthusiasm. We wish him well, and look forward to seeing him succeed in this new phase of his career,” said Doug Sawyer, M.D., Ph.D., interim chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.