William W. Stead, MD, FACMI, FIAHSI

McKesson Foundation Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics
Department of Medicine
2525 West End Ave.
Room / Suite
Rm 12512

William Stead, MD, FACMI, is McKesson Foundation Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) and Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). He is recognized internationally as one of the founders of biomedical informatics and he has built his career on envisioning the long-term potential of informatics and computation to transform health, biomedicine and research, and testing those ideas. 

Dr. Stead received his B.A., M.D., and residency training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology from Duke University.  He joined Duke’s faculty in Nephrology where he co-developed The Medical Record (TMR), one of the first practical electronic medical record systems, and established a NIH-funded research program on advanced information system architectures. 

Dr. Stead was recruited to VUMC in 1991 and guided the development of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and operational units providing information infrastructure to support health care, education, and research programs of the Medical Center.  He aligned organizational structure, informatics architecture and change management to bring cutting-edge research in decision support, visualization, natural language processing, data mining, and data privacy into clinical practice. 

In the 2000’s, Dr. Stead implemented the DesignShop methods for rapid-cycle group creative work to support the shift to system-based care, learning and research to move toward Vanderbilt’s goals of personalized medicine and population health management.  As VUMC’s Chief Strategy Officer during the 2010’s, he scaled this work to facilitate fundamental shifts in governance and operation of organizational processes, quality improvement and research, and medical education and training. 

In 2021, Dr. Stead stepped down from his executive role to focus on mentoring the next generation and pursuing research to explore the feasibility of scaling rigorous diagnostic and prognostic prediction research across the health system by annealing population scale data and high throughput computational methods with targeted EHR-enabled clinical epidemiology studies. 

Dr. Stead is a founding fellow of both the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) and the American Institute for Engineering in Biology and Medicine, a founding member of the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He is a recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including being named the first recipient of AMIA’s Donald AB Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics in 2005, receiving ACMI’s Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence in 2007, and in 2013, being named the first recipient of the AMIA’s William W. Stead Award for Thought Leadership in Informatics, which was created in his honor.

He has served many other leadership roles throughout his career, including president of the American College of Medical Informatics, founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, chair of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine, presidential appointee to the Commission on Systemic Interoperability, chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Engaging the Computer Science Research Community in Health Care Informatics, chair of the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and chair of the American Medical Association’s Journal Oversight Committee.

In addition to his academic and advisory responsibilities, Dr. Stead is a Director of HealthStream, a health care solutions organization aimed at improving patient outcomes through clinical workforce development, management, and training.

Read more about Dr. Stead here