October 5, 2001

Strauss outlines future goals for Children’s Hospital

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Dr. Arnold W. Strauss

Strauss outlines future goals for Children’s Hospital

Dr. Arnold W. Strauss came to Vanderbilt with one goal in mind—to make Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital one of the nation’s premier clinical and research facilities.

Already seen as a regional leader in pediatric medicine, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, according to Strauss, is “standing on the edge of becoming among the nation’s best.”

Strauss, James C. Overall Professor and Chair of Pediatrics and director of Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, has been at Vanderbilt for just over one year and recently spoke about VCH accomplishments and future goals during the “State of the Department of Pediatrics at VCH” speech.

Vowing that the state of VCH is “very good,” he said the past year had been a good working year and that VCH had “turned the corner in many ways.”

Focusing on four areas—education, academic affairs, clinical affairs, laboratory and clinical research—Strauss has reorganized the department of pediatrics to reflect that new focus and emphasized the need to become more service-oriented in each of the four areas.

“We absolutely must become more service-oriented,” he said. “We must learn to treat each other like we’d like to be treated.”

With the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital under construction, Strauss said research funding needed to be doubled over the next three years, and laboratory space needed to be expanded.

“We must build upon our strengths,” he explained. “We have to become more innovative and develop more research breadth and depth.”

In order to become one of the nation’s top 10 children’s hospitals, Strauss summed up his plan, citing the following major goals:

•Build upon the current base of researchers.

•Expand academic productivity by the faculty (through published research and memberships in professional medical societies).

•Build a stronger community base (with area pediatricians and community outreach/advocacy programs).

•Become more service-oriented.

•Expand clinical services (not only on the VCH campus, but also throughout the Middle Tennessee area by establishing off-site outpatient and ambulatory clinics).

•Establish a Children’s Foundation and use development funds judiciously.

•Streamline promotions and establish four vice-chair positions (clinical sciences, laboratory sciences, education and advocacy, and community affairs).

“We do a lot of things extremely well,” he said. “I am delighted to be here and working with everyone. I value all contributions made by the faculty and staff.”

While recognizing academic excellence and stressing faculty involvement, Strauss pointed to Dr. Mildred T. Stahlman as a guiding light.

Stahlman, professor of Pediatrics and professor of Pathology, has been a part of the Vanderbilt faculty for 50 years.

“Dr. Stahlman is one of seven Vanderbilt physicians elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine,” Strauss said. “She has published over 200 manuscripts and serves as a great academic example for all to follow.”