May 15, 2009

Sandler to transition to new role, responsibilities

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Martin Sandler, M.B., Ch.B.

Sandler to transition to new role, responsibilities

Martin Sandler, M.B., Ch.B., associate vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs, said Wednesday that he is returning to his role as a Vanderbilt clinician and researcher, effective July 1, after nearly a decade of working in senior executive administration roles.

The professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and senior clinical faculty member wants to practice medicine with his colleagues for the rest of his career and, in particular, would like to renew his research focus on hybrid imaging.

“This is a rapidly moving field and something I would like to go back to and help develop for cardiac and oncological disorders,” said Sandler, who served as chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences from 2000-2006.

“There is a need for hybrid imaging, in particular for patients with ischemic heart disease, which affects an estimated 14 million people in the U.S.

“I also believe this is a very important opportunity to be able to spend more time with my family so I am really appreciative of the support from both Harry Jacobson and Jeff Balser when I came to them with my decision.”

Sandler had been overseeing all four Vanderbilt hospitals – Vanderbilt University Hospital, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Psychiatric Hospital at Vanderbilt and Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

Sandler and C. Wright Pinson, M.D., M.B.A., accepted joint VMC leadership roles upon the retirement of Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs Norman Urmy in 2006.

Sandler took over the hospitals and Pinson expanded his leadership role to include the Vanderbilt Clinic and all off-campus clinical activities.

“I have known Martin Sandler for the almost 25 years that I have been at Vanderbilt,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “He has always been interested in and committed to the success of the entire Medical Center.

“As his responsibilities expanded to department chair and then associate vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs, he not only did a marvelous job in each role, he worked tirelessly for the success of the team and the Medical Center as a whole.

“One cannot ask for more,” Jacobson said.

As an administrator, Sandler is credited with fostering an increased working relationship between management and faculty that has improved results across the board. This year the hospitals will achieve their best bottom line performance in VMC history.

“Martin's contributions to our success in the clinical enterprise over the last several years have been extraordinary,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

“We are deeply in his debt, for his energy and his commitment to the excellence of inpatient care at Vanderbilt.”

Pinson, associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer, also credited Sandler's efforts as an administrator.

“Dr. Sandler has been a most affable management team partner,” he said. “I have enjoyed seeing his accomplishments, especially the development of the Critical Care Tower, successful management of uncompensated care, the financial performance of the hospitals and the progress of the Heart Institute, among others.”

Kevin Churchwell, M.D., CEO of Children's Hospital, said “it has been a great honor and privilege to work with Martin over the past two years. He has been an incredible mentor and friend and I am thankful that he will continue to be an important part of the Medical Center in the future.”

Larry Goldberg, CEO of VUH, said Sandler has made many contributions to the Radiology Department as well as VUH.

“I'm grateful for his leadership and happy that he will continue his work here at Vanderbilt,” Goldberg added.

Sandler came to Vanderbilt in 1980 as a fellow in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, switching two years later to the Division of Nuclear Medicine.
He joined the faculty in 1983, in the departments of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and Medicine.

More than 25 years later he is returning to his roots.

“We look forward to Dr. Sandler's return to the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences,” said Steve Meranze, M.D., vice chair of the department.

“His years of service, both as chair and then as vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs, coupled with his clinical expertise, have been fundamental to the growth of our department. With new and evolving innovations in the field of hybrid imaging, his contributions will continue.
“We welcome him back to our team,” Meranze said.