December 21, 2007

Year in review 2007: Leadership team evolved during year

Featured Image

VUSM students involved with the Shade Tree Clinic include (front row, from left) Amaka Agochukwu, Alan Peltz and Sue Churn, and (back row, from left) Suzanne Bryce, Eve Henry, Caitlin Toomey and Charles Phillips. (photo by Neil Brake)

Kevin Churchwell, M.D., was named chief executive officer and executive director of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Churchwell, 45, held the interim position since January, when he replaced the hospital's first CEO, Jim Shmerling, who left to become president and CEO of The Children's Hospital of Denver.

As CEO, he is responsible for the hospital's day-to-day operations, financial performance, development, advocacy, community relations and strategic planning.

Marilyn Dubree, M.S.N., R.N., was named to the newly created position of Chief Nursing Officer for all Vanderbilt University Medical Center operations.

In her new position, she sets the strategic mission and vision for nursing, evidence-based practice, innovation and quality improvement. She will continue to oversee nurse leaders and VUMC’s 3,000 nurses.

Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., was selected to lead the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center as interim director.

Pietenpol, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of Biochemistry, is guiding the center while a national search is under way for a successor to Ray DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., who left to become provost and executive vice president at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Alvin Powers, M.D., was named director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center (VDC), a comprehensive center that coordinates all diabetes treatment, prevention and research efforts at VUMC.

He succeeded Daryl Granner, M.D., who served as director since the center's establishment in 1993.

Powers is the current director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC), an NIH-funded grant within the VDC that provides infrastructure support for diabetes-related research and training programs at Vanderbilt.

Brent Polk, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and the Vanderbilt Digestive Diseases Research Center, was named interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Polk filled the role vacated by Arnold Strauss, M.D., who left Vanderbilt to take the chief executive role at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Jeremy Kaye, M.D., was appointed chair of the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at VUMC.

Kaye succeeded Martin Sandler, M.B., Ch.B., who was named associate vice chancellor for Hospital Affairs in 2006. Kaye was also named to hold the Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Chair in Radiology.

Ronald Emeson, Ph.D., was named deputy director of the Center for Molecular Neuroscience (CMN). In the newly created position, Emeson assumed responsibility for maintaining and expanding the center's research resources, and will launch a new Program in Nervous System Engineering.

The CMN directly supports three research resources with expertise in neurogenomics, neurochemistry and imaging. Emeson will oversee the development of those cores, identify new sources of revenue, and improve and extend the services and customer base.

Jeffrey Samz was appointed to the newly created position of chief executive officer of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute (VHVI).

Samz, formerly associate operating officer for Heart Services at Duke University Hospital, is 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.

Rick Barr, M.D., was named chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Barr, associate professor of Pediatrics and Anesthesiology, joined Vanderbilt in 1995 and also serves as co-director of Pediatric Critical Care services.

Health care executive Luke Gregory joined VUMC as assistant vice chancellor for Health Affairs, senior vice president, and chief business development officer.

Gregory's position combined components of those formerly held by Norman Urmy and Jeff Kaplan. After 25 years at Vanderbilt, Urmy stepped down last year from leadership of the clinical enterprise to focus on strategic business issues. Kaplan, an associate vice chancellor, left Vanderbilt this year to become chief advancement officer and senior vice president for an Ohio hospital network.

Robert Ossoff, M.D., will transition from his role as director of the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences, effective next June.

Ossoff, the Guy M. Maness Professor of Otolaryngology and chair of the Department of Otolaryngology, will become assistant vice chancellor for Compliance and Corporate Integrity after James Snell, M.D., retires in December 2008.

Kevin Myatt, associate vice chancellor and chief Human Resource officer, left Vanderbilt University to accept a position as senior vice president of Human Resources at Yale-New Haven Health System in New Haven, Conn.

Gordon Gee left after seven years as Vanderbilt University's chancellor to return to The Ohio State University as president, a position he held from 1990 to 1997. Gee came to Vanderbilt in 2000 as the seventh chancellor in the university's 134-year history.

Susan Cooper, M.S.N., assistant dean for Practice at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, was named Commissioner of the state Department of Health by Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. She is the first nurse ever to hold the position.