October 18, 1996

Networking operations consolidated

Networking operations consolidated

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is strengthening its commitment to networking and business development with the formation of Vanderbilt Health Services (VHS).

The new operating unit brings together several different networking and business functions currently housed in various locations across the medical center and centralizes them in one office on the 17th floor of the Palmer Plaza office building on West End Avenue.

"There was a need to consolidate these business activities and house them in one location. We are bringing a number of diverse elements together," said Dr. James K. Geraughty, associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

"Vanderbilt Health Services will be the hub of all networking and managed care activities of the medical center."

The mission of VHS will encompass such activities as managed care operations and contracting, physician practice development and affiliations, strategic alliances with other non-profit health care entities, primary care networking, business development, sales and customer service.

"We will be handling much of the development activity that deals with the medical center's operations," Geraughty said. "Our goal is to manage all of these different functions as a single unit in an integrated fashion. It's basically going to be one-stop shopping for the medical center's business activities."

The availability of suitable space for a staff of 60 people was the primary reason for its location off-campus in the Palmer Plaza office building. Its corporate setting will also help create an atmosphere more familiar to the managed care companies and other business entities VHS officials will deal with, Geraughty said.

"Being in a more formal business environment rather than here at the medical center will help facilitate relationships with payors," he said.

VHS becomes VUMC's fifth operating unit, joining the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Medical Group.

Geraughty is president of VHS. Donald E. Hancock is vice president for Business Development, Ronald W. Hill is vice president for Strategic Development and Janet S. Meeks is vice president for Operations. Recruitment is currently under way for a vice president of Finance, Geraughty said. VHS leadership will report to a board of directors chaired by Dr. Roscoe R. Robinson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, and Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs.

VHS is set to open its doors on the 17th floor of the Palmer Plaza building on Oct. 22, Geraughty said.