FAQs & How-Tos

Frequently Asked Questions & How-Tos

Below you will find a list of common questions about the department and its internal operations. If you have suggestions to add to this list, please send your suggestion to hpresearchadmin@vumc.org

  • The box folder below has the department logos, powerpoint template, and letterhead.


    Note: if you are ordering branded products from an approved vendor, place the order at least 4 weeks prior to when you need the product. The Brand Governance/Merchandise Order Request team will need at least two weeks to review and approve the proofs prior to printing.

  • The Conference Rooms at 2525 are scheduled via Outlook calendars which are shared among certain administrative staff in IMPH, while the rooms at Light Hall use a separate online scheduling system.

    2525 IMPH Rooms

    Includes: 12th floor West, 12th floor East, 12th floor Grand, 6th floor boardroom, and the 6th floor Glass Conference Room. Used for small meetings, Takeout Thursday, and Grand Rounds.

    1. Email imphmeetingrooms@vumc.org to request access to the conference room calendars.

    2. Open Outlook and choose the calendar tab, then choose Open Shared Calendar. Start typing in the search bar, “2525 12th floor…” or “2525 6th floor…” and add the desired calendars.

    3. Fill in details as needed:

    • Name of the meeting in the “Subject” box
      • Name and email of the meeting scheduler in the “Location” box
      • Name of the faculty member for whom the meeting is scheduled in the text box if applicable

    4. Details about each room can be found in the IMPH Meeting Rooms instructions PDF.

    Other 2525 Rooms

    • 8th Floor Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Boardroom; 14th Floor Parthenon Room
      • Contact: Teresa Gillespie
      • Capacity: 40
      • Layout: classroom style/rows of tables
    • 8th Floor Epi Video Conference Room
      • Contact: Marshal Younger
      • Cap: 20
      • Layout: conference room style; U-shape table in center
    • 4th Floor Biomedical Ethics Boardroom
      • Contact: Denise Lillard
      • Capacity: 20
      • Layout: conference room style; couches around perimeter
    • 10th Floor VICTR Boardroom
      • Contact: Gregg Hauck
      • Capacity: 50
      • Layout: T-shape room/various possible layouts

    Light Hall Rooms

    *Includes all large lecture hall-style rooms used for RIPPL or other big events. You will first need to check room availability via the online calendar, and then submit a room reservation form if the room is open at the time you need it. If requesting a lobby for a RIPPL reception, add the request in the “Remarks” field of the Room Reservation form*

    1. Check Room Availability

      • Log in at https://www.vumc.org/oss/room-availability; User: GUEST. Leave the password field blank.
      • Choose which size room you need. For RIPPL, Light Hall 208 is preferred, since it is the largest, but LH 202 and 214 may also be used. These are all >100 cap rooms.
      • Rooms on the 3rd floor may also be reserved as “green rooms” or as overflow rooms if RSVPs have capped, and the other two 2nd floor rooms are booked.
      • Once the scheduling calendar opens, go to the toolbar > View > Go To Date > and select the date you wish to reserve.
      • If the date and time are open, you will now need to submit a reservation form.

    2. Submit a Room Reservation Form

    • Log in at https://www.vumc.org/oss/room-availability
      • Fill out the required fields.
      • If requesting the North or South lobby of Light Hall for a RIPPL reception, make sure to add it in the Remarks.
      • Submit the form and look over the details in the confirmation email.

    For questions, contact Room Scheduling: room.schedulingsom@vanderbilt.edu

    Other Event Space around campus

  • Contact Marché Hicks for all matters related to maintenance or supplies within the department or suites

    Phone: 615-936-7609


    Address: 2525 West End Ave., Nashville, Tennessee 37203

    Suite 1200

    Contact Hank Vest for issues related to or within Suite 700


    Address: 2525 West End Ave., Nashville, Tennessee 37203

    Suite 700

  • Creating Expense Reports

    Note: faculty and staff cannot be reimbursed for local sales tax. For this reason, they should try to take a Tax Exemption form with them or pay with a Department P card or T&E card. Tax exemption is not required when traveling.

    1. Login to Concur.

    2. Select the drop-down menu from the top right “Profile” button and choose the faculty member and “start session.”

    3. Select “Start a Report.”

    • Name the report (must be brief)
    • Select the appropriate cost center
    • Select the expense category & business purpose category
    • Write a brief business purpose description.

    4. Click “New Expense” and choose the correct Expense Type. Fill out the fields in red and attach receipts to anything over $75. All receipts must show the method of payment (last 4 digits of credit cards are required), or a credit card statement snip may substitute for it.

    5. Attach the Business Purpose (meeting agenda, invitation email, etc) at the report level.

          • Select the blue Receipts drop-down menu
          • Click Attach Receipt Images
          • Upload pdf file(s).

    6. When all expenses are entered, select Notify Employee at the top right. The faculty member will need to approve it, and then the financial administrator will approve it.

    7. The reimbursement will appear as a direct deposit into the faculty member’s bank account.

    Things to Note

    For help, contact Clay Wilson: email (clay.wilson@vumc.org) or phone (6-1295).

    • Only Coach class flights are reimbursable, but upgrades such as seat fees or Early Bird Check In are valid (use Airline Fees expense type).
    • All airfare should be booked thru Concur
    • Hotels cannot be reimbursed ahead of time, as the faculty member’s card is not charged until after the trip. In some cases, they may call and fax a credit card authorization form to the hotel to pay ahead of time.
    • Hotel bills must be itemized per night. In cases where the room rate varies depending on the night, the totals nights should be averaged. Concur will only allow the same rate for every night.
    • If the nightly average amounts to a few cents off the total bill, edit it to match the bill. The expense reviewer will accept it.
    • Make sure all meal receipts are itemized (if over $75) and include the tip if one was added.
    • Alcohol + liquor tax (if itemized on the receipt) must be put in a separate entry, with the same meal receipt attached if over $25. Alcohol cannot be reimbursed with Federal grant money – only APS.
    • The "Group Meal" category is never used – use "Business Meal (attendees)" instead and list everyone in attendance.
    • For federal grants, reference the GSA per diem for approvable rates
    Office Supplies
    • Tax cannot be reimbursed on office supplies, books, etc. and should be bought through Guy Brown or the Department Amazon account whenever possible.
    Personal Car Mileage
    • Go to the "Personal Car Mileage" expense type and click on the Mileage Calculator. Home addresses auto-populate, so you will only need to enter the destination address. Then click "Calculate Route."
    • Click "Add Mileage to Expense." Only click "Round Trip" if the whole trip happened in 1 day. Otherwise, enter one leg at a time and change the date for each entry.
    • The date of travel is important as the rate of reimbursement changes daily based on gas prices.
    • You can add detours for personal travel by clicking the "Personal" box in the mileage calculator.
  • iLab is the program used most commonly for printing research posters for conferences via the Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET) office in Light Hall. It can also be used to pay for programming and lab services. All services available through iLab are called cores.

    Setting Up An iLab Account

    Note: To use the BRET core, you must submit requests through a VU lab because it is a University service. This also means you need a University dual identity. Melinda has both VU and VUMC labs, but the VUMC counterpart is usually not relevant to us.

    1. iLab registration instructions found here.

    2. Select Instructions for VU Users.

    3. Follow the instructions to register with your University VUnet ID and join the Buntin, Melinda (VU) Lab.

    4. Suzanne will receive a joining request in her iLab account which she will need to accept. Alternatively, Suzanne can go to the Membership Requests and Billing Numbers tab and go to Link existing user if the person already has an account.

    Assigning Billing Numbers to Members

    Note: To gain access to a billing number in a lab, you must contact a Department Manager. Suzanne, Sydika, and Ron all have this ability.

    1. With the Department Manager, log in to iLab (VU).

    2. Have her select the top left menu and drop down to My Group.

    3. Select VUMC – Health Policy.

    4. Select the Groups tab.

    5. Select Buntin, Melinda (VU) Lab.

    6. Then, go to Membership Requests and Billing Numbers.

    7. Under the section with lab members, click the box under the desired billing number you want to give access to. If you don’t see the desired billing number, then the Department Manager will need to activate it (see below).

    8. You will now be able to charge posters to the added billing number.

    Activating New Billing Numbers

    1. With the Department Manager, log in to iLab (VU).

    2. Select the top left menu and drop down to My Group.

    3. Select VUMC – Health Policy.

    4. Select Buntin, Melinda (VU) Lab.

    5. Click on Billing Numbers.

    6. Within the group, you will see all Health Policy-related cost centers. You can now click Add New Billing Number and fill in the center number and name. The Total Amount and Expiry columns can both be skipped.

    7. Be sure to assign it to the appropriate labs. Since we are working in Melinda’s VU lab, only other VU labs may be added.

    Ordering a Research Poster

    Note: Before ordering a poster, make sure the dimensions of the Powerpoint slide or PDF are the dimensions you want your poster to be. If you want to order a large poster (i.e. 96”x48”), make the dimensions scalable (i.e. 48”x24”).

    1. Log in to iLab for VU with your University VUnet ID.

    2. In the search bar at the top, search for “BRET” and select the BRET Poster Printing Core.

    3. Go to the Request Services tab and scroll down to the request service button.

    4. Select the lab for which the request is needed. Reminder: this must be a VU Lab since the BRET Core is a University service.

    5. On the poster request form, enter your phone number.

    6. Under poster information, enter the number of posters and sizes in inches.

    7. Choose the printing option the faculty member desires and whether they want a poster tube.

    8. Choose the date and time you need the poster; there is an extra charge for Rush requests but typically the office will have it done within 24 hours anyway. Contact Karen Perry (2-3835) after 24 hours to see if the poster is ready.

    9. Name your file according to the convention listed in the File Name box (Last Name_First Initial_File Name_YYYY_MM).

    10. Select whether your design comes from a Mac or PC and upload the file to Dropbox. Again, make sure your slide/PDF dimensions match the dimensions you want your poster to be.

    11. Poster Base Price

    • Paper Charge: longest side of poster
    • Poster Print: square inches of poster (length x width)
    • Add selected services

    12. Poster Tube: add “1” if you selected a tube then click add selected services.

    13. The form will calculate your cost and then you will select a cost center to charge.

    14. Once the form is completed and all charges itemized, scroll to the top of the poster request form and click Submit. You may also select Save Progress and come back later.

    15. The BRET Core will review your submission and complete your request typically within 24 hours and often with 1-2 hours. Watch for the status of your request on the iLab home page to show as “Completed” or call Karen Perry if it has been 24 hours and the status is unchanged.

    16. Pick up the poster and tube in the boxes outside of Light Hall 307.

  • All software purchases must be made through the VUMC Software Store if they are available there (exceptions can be made for subscription-style programs like Dropbox or GoTo Meeting). For help, contact Karen Montefiori, karen.montefiori@vumc.org, or at 3-1630.

    Ordering Software for Self

    1. Login to the VUMC Software Store.

    2. Choose desired software – note that some programs are annual licenses and some are perpetual licenses.

    3. Enter VUNet ID on following screen.

    4. Accept license terms and advance.

    5. On payment screen, enter appropriate cost center or P card information.

    6. Forward order confirmation email to Ethelle Fitch for approval.

    7. Follow installation instructions from Software Store account (look at Order History).

    Ordering for Others (Proxy Orders)

    Note: the user must log into the software store at some point, so that their ID is activated prior to purchasing. They only need to login once.

    *Adobe Creative Cloud*: these programs are licensed by user and can be transferred to different machines as needed. Keep in mind if someone needs more than 1 Adobe program, it is likely most cost effective to bundle and purchase the “For Teams” option.

    1. Login to Software Store

    2. Choose software and enter user’s VUNet ID instead of your own.

    3. Follow payment steps and forward confirmation email to Ethelle Fitch for approval.

    Ordering SAS

    Since SAS requires a database connection, the steps are slightly different than other types of software.

    1. Login to Software Store

    2. Search for “SAS Office Analytics.”

    3. Select Proxy Order, and enter the individual’s VUNet ID.

    a. Remember: the user must log into the software store at some point so that their ID is activated prior to purchasing. They only need to login once.

    4. Fill out the contact info and enter the cost center number.

    5. Forward confirmation or invoice to Ethelle and request approval.

    6. The software store will take 1-2 days to connect the new user to the VUMC SAS server.

    7. If 2+ days pass with no confirmation of the user’s new account, contact the software store, software.store@vumc.org.

  • VVX411 User Guide                                               VVX601 User Guide                                        CX600 User Guide


    Phone Reset Instructions

    The key to the reset is when you press and hold * and # and unplug the network cable, do not release * and # when plugging the cable back in. You can release those keys when you see the message on the screen that says do you want to erase all user data and continue, Then you can release * and # and continue with the on-screen prompts. If you have any problems in the reset process please contact telephone repair at (42)1-1611.

    1. Press and Hold the * and # key and unplug the network cable.

    2. Still holding the * and # plug the network cable back in.

    3. Additional steps found below.

    At this step you need to sign into your Lync program on your computer (next picture) If you are not tethering your device the phone will ask for the extension and the pin (the pin will be the last 6 digits of the phone number.

  • IMPH: Institute of Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt

    Connection to Health Policy:


    The Department of Health Policy shares locations and sometimes works with the Vanderbilt Institute of Medicine and Public Health, which exists to connect research and teaching with policy and practical solutions. The IMPH is charged with re-imagining and amplifying collaborations among all ten schools and its work reaches across the state, nation, and the global community to translate knowledge into better health.

    You can access their website and more information by clicking here

  • Purpose of the IMPH Staff Council:

    • Provide a forum for staff and leadership to discuss ideas
    • Share pertinent information
    • Engage research stakeholders
    • Evaluate and contribute to process improvements
    • Offer feedback to administrators, IMPH Leadership, and IMPH Leadership Council

    Their website and more information can be found here

  • Concur is the system used by VUMC for reimbursement of business-related expenses.


    Faculty and staff members alike can create and submit expense reports once they have a receipt for a business expense. Faculty members must designate expense delegates in Concur before anyone can create reports on their behalf. Everyone must fill in their profile and bank information in order to receive the reimbursement deposit.


    If you are going to a restaurant or store and using a personal card, be sure to take a tax exemption form with you as tax cannot be reimbursed for local transactions in Concur.

    For detailed instructions on Concur and Expense Reports, click here

  • Office and Kitchen Supplies: Guy Brown

    Examples: pens, notebooks, binders, scissors, tape, paper plates, utensils, dish soap, cleaning supplies.

    Note: we prefer recycled/sustainable products whenever they are not prohibitively expensive.

    1. Log in to eProcurement

    2. Go to Shop eCatalogs.

    3. Choose Guy Brown from the righthand column.

    4. Add kitchen and office supplies to cart ($25 minimum).

    5. Hit Submit Order on the cart page, then Checkout.

    6. Under Ship-To Search, enter 25WE and click our address from drop-down menu.

    7. Skip the Supplier Search section and scroll down to the requisition list.

    8. Fill in account codes and cost centers appropriately; for general office and kitchen supplies, use Buntin APS: 1046259180. If ordering for specific faculty members, use respective APS centers. Account code for office supplies: 60040.

    9. The Narrative Chart of Accounts can help you locate an account code.

    10. Click Continue and enter business purpose on following page: “Office supplies for use in suite 1200 or 1275, Health Policy.” Skip other questions on page.

    11. Click Submit on final page; copy Requisition ID number and email Sydika McKissic requesting approval.

    Tea and Coffee Accessories: Webb Refreshments

    *As of May 2019, Webb no longer carries raw sugar or tea.*

    1. Email Penny Thurmond pthurmond@webbsrefreshments.com with orders.

    2. Reference our Account Number, 364183.

    3. Once you receive the order, scan the receipt and email to Leslie Dysinger.

    Copy Paper: American Paper & Twine Co.

    1. Log in to eProcurement

    2. Go to Shop eCatalogs.

    3. Choose American Paper & Twine Co. from the righthand column.

    4. Select needed paper products – we typically order Georgia-Pacific Spectrum Multipurpose Recycled Copy Paper (8.5x11”).

    5. Complete requisition process in eProcurement; send ID # to Sydika McKissic for approval.

    Printer Toner: VUMC Managed Print

    1. Managed Print services summary here

    2. Go to Pegasus, sign in, and select Submit a Request.

    3. Search "Toner Request."

    4. Be specific about which kind and how many units of toner you need. Include the printer AB number (listed on sticker on front of machine) and device make and model.

    5. Managed print will deliver the toner.

    For RICOH MP-C-3504

    1. Go to VUMC Smart Print

    2. Go to Ordering Supplies

    3. Select the types of Toner you will need

    4. Process Order

    Preferred Brands & Products

    • Plates: Sustainable Earth by Staples 9" Paper Plates, White, 250/Pack (GB)
    • Cutlery: Jaya 100% Compostable 6.5" Heavy Duty, 500- or 1000-pack (Amazon)
    • Bowls: Sustainable Earth by Staples Bowls, 12 oz, White, 125/Pack (GB)
    • Hot Cups: Sustainable Earth by Staples Hot Cups, 12 oz., White/Green, 50/Pack (GB)
    • Cold Cups: Sustainable Earth by Staples Cold Cups, 16 Oz., Translucent, 300/Case
    • Cleaning Products: Seventh Generation; Lysol (for stronger anti-bacterial products) (GB)
    • Hand Soap: Mrs. Meyer’s varieties (Amazon – GB does not carry hand soap)
  • For updates and corrections to payment processes, PTO and personal information, go to your Workday VUMC account

    You can access your VUMC Workday account by clicking here

    For all other matters, please reach out to Marché Hicks

    • Phone: 615-936-7609
    • Email: Marche.l.hicks@vumc.org
    • Address: 2525 West End Ave., Nashville, Tennessee 37203
      • Suite 1200
  • VUMC does not have a gym but VUMC employees have the option to buy access to the Vanderbilt University Recreation and Fitness Center for $45 per month.

    Employees must present their VUMC ID badge and have a VUMC email to purchase and/or renew membership.

    VU Recreation Center
    • Phone: (615) 343-6627
    • Address: 2700 Children’s Way, Nashville, TN 37212