William Schaffner Turns Over EIP Program After Decades of Leadership

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of Health Policy and primary investigator for the Tennessee Emerging Infections Program has begun to turn over his responsibilities to Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, a transition that began in late 2022.

Dr. Schaffner has been the PI for the multi-state program for more than 10 years, and has been with VUMC since the 1960s, effectively making him one of the longest tenured physicians ever at VUMC. Under his leadership, the EIP Program has grown in scope, staffing and focus, adding disease surveillance activities often.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dr. Schaffner,” Talbot said. “He has so much insight and experience.”

Dr. Talbot has been at VUMC since the 1990s, and since has worked closely with the Department in research and training, and graduated from the Department’s Master in Public Health Program in 2005. She has been deeply involved with the EIP Program, including serving as a leading faculty member organizing the Tennessee EIP Scientific Presentation Day, and being instrumental in the addition of COVID-19 surveillance since 2020.

“These past few years have been a whirlwind of research.  EIP was uniquely structured to study a pandemic (the name is Emerging Infections) and did just that,” Talbot said.

Schaffner will formally retire in the next few years, but his mark on VUMC and the Department of Health Policy will live on.