Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, SFHM
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research
Co-Director, Center for Effective Health Communication
Dr. Kripalani is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research. He previously founded and served as Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine at Vanderbilt. Dr. Kripalani has developed, implemented, and evaluated numerous interventions to improve the quality, safety, and value of health care delivery, with a focus on health communication, social determinants of health, medication management, and transitions of care. He has experience in the development of evidence-based toolkits, mentored implementation programs, qualitative and quantitative evaluation of interventions in clinical practice, and de-implementation of wasteful practices. He graduated from Rice University, received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine, and trained in Internal Medicine at Emory University, where he also completed a Hospital Medicine Fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Research. Dr. Kripalani’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He is Principal Investigator of the Vanderbilt Scholars in T4 Translational Research (V-STTaR) K12 career development program, serves as a Co-Investigator for the Vanderbilt CTSA Learning Health System platform, and is Chair of the AHRQ Healthcare Effectiveness and Outcomes Research (HEOR) study section.
Muktar Aliyu, MD, DrPH, MPH
Associate Professor of Health Policy and Medicine
Associate Director for Research, Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health
Dr. Aliyu is Associate Professor of Health Policy and Medicine and Associate Director for Research with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health. Dr. Aliyu attended medical school at the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria and completed graduate training in public health at the George Washington University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He joined Vanderbilt University after completing residency and fellowship training at Meharry Medical College and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His research interests are in developing evidence-based implementation science approaches to improving quality and coverage of HIV services in international settings (especially services for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission). He is a principal investigator on research and training grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and is the recipient of several awards, including the Mayo Foundation’s William H.J. Summerskill Award for Outstanding Research Achievement, the American College of Preventive Medicine’s William Kane ‘Rising Star’ award, and the UAB Alumni Award for Scientific Excellence, among others. Dr. Aliyu is board-certified in General Preventive Medicine & Public Health and is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Carolyn Audet, PhD
Assistant Professor of Health Policy
Assistant Director for Community Implementation, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research
Dr. Audet is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and the Institute for Global Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In 2008 she joined the Institute for Global Health as a Post-Doctoral Fellow and began research on barriers to HIV testing and treatment uptake in Mozambique. As a faculty member, she has received funding from ViiV Health Care to pilot a male engagement in antenatal care services in rural Mozambique (2011-2014), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (through a sub-contract from UCSF) to assess a Positive Prevention clinical training intervention (2010-2014), a career development award (K12) from Vanderbilt University to gather information on traditional treatment practices in South Africa and increase traditional healer referrals of patients with suspected mental illness, TB, HIV, and diarrhea in Mozambique (2012-2015), and the National Institutes of Health (National Institute for Mental Health K01 Award) to assess feasibility of engaging traditional healers as HIV treatment partners in Mozambique (2015-2019), and an NIMH R01 award to study the impact of couple-based care and treatment for HIV-positive partners expecting a child (2017-2022). Her research has led to changes in national health policy. Traditional healers, recently recognized as potential allies in health care delivery, use low-literacy patient referral forms piloted by her team in 2012-2013. Male partners, traditionally excluded from antenatal, delivery, and post-natal care in Mozambique, are now formally invited to participate in couples-based services, including HIV counseling and testing after a pilot intervention increased male engagement, leading to higher proportion of women testing for HIV, accepting treatment (if positive), and delivering at the health facility. Working with the Ministry of Health and PEPFAR framework, Dr. PEPFAR framework, Dr. Audet is testing new education and counseling systems to safely and effectively engage family members in the HIV care of patients.
Carol Callaway-Lane, DNP, ACNP-BC
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Associate Director for Quality Improvement Projects for Nashville VA Quality Scholars Program
Dr. Callaway-Lane is the Director of Quality Improvement Workshop & Practicum within the National Geriatric Scholars Program, Associate Director for Quality Improvement Projects for the Nashville VA Quality Scholars Program, co-Director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and remainds on faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Dr. Callaway-Lane has been at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System since 1996 and is passionate about improving healthcare quality for the Veteran population.
Neesha Choma, MD, MPH, FACP
Executive Medical Director of Quality and Patient Safety, VU Hospital & Clinics
Associate Chief of Staff, VUH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Choma is the Executive Medical Director of Quality and Patient Safety for Vanderbilt University Hospital (VUH) and Clinics, and Co-Director of the Adult Performance Management & Improvement Department. She also serves as one of the Associate Chiefs of Staff for VUH, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Choma graduated with an MD with Distinction in Research from Albany Medical College in Albany, NY, where she stayed to complete her Residency and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine. In 2006, she joined Vanderbilt as faculty in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Choma went on to complete a VA Quality Scholars Fellowship, and received her Masters of Public Health degree from Vanderbilt. Her primary academic interest is improving the quality and safety of healthcare delivery for patients at both local and national levels.
Rosette J. Chakkalakal, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine and Public Health
Dr. Chakkalakal joined the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2012 and became the Medical Director for Health Plus (the workplace wellness program for faculty and staff of VU and VUMC) in 2017. Dr. Chakkalakal's research focuses on reducing the burden of type 2 diabetes in high-risk populations. Her research has evaluated weight management for the prevention of type 2 diabetes among women with a history of gestational diabetes and implementation of the National Diabetes Prevention Program in diverse settings. In addition, Dr. Chakkalakal conducts secondary analyses of large datasets (AHRQ Healthcare Utilization Project, State Birth Certificate Data, PCORI CDRN Data) to evaluate health disparities and study healthcare utilization for patients with type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions to further inform interventions focused on behavior modification. Dr. Chakkalakal's current research includes evaluating the use of telehealth as an implementation strategy for the National Diabetes Prevention Program in partnership with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Faculty and Staff Health and Wellness Diabetes Prevention Program offered through Health Plus.
Kate Clouse, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Dr. Kate Clouse’s research focuses on HIV and TB in South Africa, with a particular interest in operational issues related to improved HIV treatment and care, including patient engagement in care and TB/HIV integration. Her work has helped to recognize that women who are diagnosed with HIV during antenatal care in South Africa fall out of care at alarmingly high rates, and that the risk of loss is greatest after delivery. Throughout her extensive field experience in low-resource settings, Dr. Clouse has led data collection efforts and deployed data capturing systems, coordinated medical record review audits, overseen data quality assurance efforts, and led capacity-building efforts via collaborative partners. In 2015, Dr. Clouse was awarded a K01 award from the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH) to explore the impact of frequent population mobility on retention in pregnant and postpartum HIV care in South Africa. This work was followed by a three-year R34 award (2019) from NIMH to assess the feasibility, acceptability and initial efficacy of CareConekta, a novel smartphone app that characterizes population mobility while providing an opportunity to improve engagement in HIV care among peripartum women in South Africa. An epidemiologist by training, Dr. Clouse shares an Assistant Professor appointment with the Institute for Global Health and the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases.
Robert Dittus, MD, MPH
Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Public Health and Health Care
Senior Associate Dean for Population Health Sciences
Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Director, VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center
Director, VA Quality Scholars Program
Dr. Dittus is the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine, Executive Vice President for Public Health and Health Care, Senior Associate Dean for Population Health Sciences, and Director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt. He also serves as the Director of the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and Senior Quality Scholar and Director of the Quality Scholars Program at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. He received his MD from Indiana University, where he also completed his internship and residency. He received his MPH from the University of North Carolina. Dr. Dittus has combined training in industrial engineering; the advancement of healthcare quality improvement through medicine and epidemiology; outcomes of care; and overall individual and population health through his research on the effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, safety and equity of health care. He has advanced the methodology of medical decision-making and conducted numerous studies delineating the comparative effectiveness of alternative strategies for clinical care. He has also conducted studies on health care microsystems that have improved health care delivery, and on health care macrosystems that have led to improvements in health policy. Dr. Dittus has led or been co-investigator of over $300 million in research and training funding, and has authored over 200 publications. He has trained over 100 fellows and junior faculty, served as the President of the Association for Clinical Research Training, received the 2013 Distinguished Educator Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, and served as the founding President of the Academy for Healthcare Improvement.
Rowena Dolor, MD, MHS
Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine
Rowena J. Dolor, MD, MHS is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine. The focus of her research pertains to primary care clinical and outcomes research. Dr. Dolor has contributed to the development and methodology of Practice-based Research Networks (PBRNs). She has served as a co-investigator on the Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network, a PCORnet awardee, to build the partnership with the community practices for comparative effectiveness studies that will utilize the electronic health records/information system infrastructure of the CDRN. She was also a co-investigator on the MidSouth Practice Transformation Network (PTN), part of the CMS Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), working with the Stakeholder Engagement and Practice Engagement teams to support nearly 4,000 clinicians and over 100 practices as they transform their practices to prepare for value-based payment models.
Daniel France, PhD
Research Professor of Anesthesiology, Medicine & Biomedical Engineering
Dr. France is a Research Professor of Anesthesiology and Medicine and works in the Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety at Vanderbilt. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in 1997. Dr. France’s research interest is in health systems engineering with a primary focus on computer modeling to explain the relationships between hospital efficiency, provider performance, and patient safety. He is particularly interested in applying knowledge from other high-risk industries and methods from human factors and systems engineering to study and improve operational efficiency and individual and team performance in complex, high-risk clinical environments. He is a member of the Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety (CRISS).
Pamela Hull, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Director, Community Outreach and Engagement for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Dr. Hull is a medical sociologist with expertise in the development, testing, and dissemination of behavioral interventions to promote cancer prevention behaviors in youth. Her research specifically focuses on increasing HPV vaccine use, healthy eating, and physical activity, using implementation science and technology-based applications. Much of her work addresses health disparities among African American, Hispanic, and low-income populations, in collaboration with community partners. Dr. Hull has over 15 years of experience as an investigator conducting community-engaged research. She earned a Bachelor degree in Sociology from Duke University and a Masters and Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University.
Ruth Kleinpell, PhD, RN, FAAN
Assistant Dean for Clinical Scholarship, Professor of Nursing
Independence Foundation Chair in Nursing Education
Senior Nurse Scholar, VA Quality Scholars
Dr. Kleinpell has conducted research related to patient outcomes in hospitalized older adults and post-discharge follow-up interventions using telehealth for vulnerable populations including elderly patients at high risk for hospital readmission. She has also conducted research focusing on outcomes after ICU treatment and role development of acute care nurse practitioners, among other funded studies. She recently served as principal investigator on an AHRQ-funded dissemination and research implementation grant aimed at disseminating patient-centered outcomes research and as PI on a PCORI funded 2-year initiative to promote patient-centered outcomes research in ICU settings, using a national collaborative with 63 hospital ICU teams to implement patient and family centered initiatives. As the Assistant Dean for Clinical Scholarship, she serves as a mentor to junior faculty for clinical scholarship and research initiatives, collaborates on Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) clinical projects, and provides consultation to the VUMC advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) through the Office of Advanced Practice for various scholarship initiatives. She also serves as PI for a national collaborative through the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Advanced Practice for a national Choosing Wisely- APRN initiative.
Heather M. Limper, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Limper is a health services researcher specifically focusing on technical and operational methods of behavioral intervention to improve patient safety and quality in healthcare environments. Dr. Limper has a particular interest in cognitive factors affecting uptake of common interventions. Additionally, she has pragmatic experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions intended to improve the quality and safety of care delivered in real-world settings as well as implementation of best practices and de-implementation of poor care practices through operational innovation, systems-based change, and implementation science approaches. She has served as Director of Evaluation for the MidSouth Practice Transformation Network and Director of Implementation Science for the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network.
Christopher Lindsell, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics
Director, VICTR Methods Program
Associate Director, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research
Co-Director, Health Data Science Center
Dr. Lindsell has dedicated his career to collaborative biostatistics, research design, and clinical research operations. His research interests target the acute care environment with emphasis on the role of emergency medicine in improving health and healthcare at the individual and population level, and on risk stratification, medical decision making and biomarker development. He is nationally recognized for building clinical research infrastructure and for designing and implementing clinical research in the prehospital and acute care settings. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed manuscripts, holds several patents, and has served as the PI or the principal biostatistician on numerous single and multi-center clinical trials, epidemiological studies and health services research programs.
Lindsay Mayberry, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Effective Health Communication Core
Dr. Mayberry received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in 2006. In 2008, she received her master’s degree in Community Counseling, with an emphasis on couples and families from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She completed her Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary program called Community Research and Action in the department of Human and Organizational Development at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University in 2012, and began a postdoctoral fellowship in Health Services Research at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her research focuses on families’ experiences with the health and mental health care systems, and interactions between family members and health care providers in the context of chronic illness. Her current work focuses on the role of family member support in diabetes self-management behaviors among adults to inform the development of family-based interventions.
Allison McCoy, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Dr. McCoy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at VUMC and a member of the Vanderbilt Center for Clinical Informatics (VCLIC). She is also a founding member and Director of Technology for the Clinical Informatics Research Collaborative (CIRCLE). She received her MS and PhD in Biomedical Informatics from Vanderbilt University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics in Houston. Her research, funded by NLM and AHRQ, focuses on developing and implementing novel, generalizable approaches to evaluating and improving electronic health records and clinical decision support using existing data sources to promote safer and more affordable healthcare.
Amanda S. Mixon, MD, MS, MSPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Hospital Medicine
Dr. Mixon is an Assistant Professor who joined the Vanderbilt faculty and the VA Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Care Center in 2010. She graduated from Earlham College with a BA and from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with an MD degree. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine, VA Quality Scholars Fellowship, and Masters of Science in Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Her research interests focus on care transitions, the effect of social determinants on readmission rates, medication errors across care settings, and deprescribing in patients with polypharmacy. Her research is funded by VA Health Services Research & Development, PCORI, and NIH and has led to notable invitations including serving as an expert for the WHO’s Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medications without Harm.
Don Moore, PhD
Professor of Medical Education and Administration
Director, Office for Continuous Professional Development
Director of Evaluation, Re-imagining Residency Project
Dr. Moore is professor of Medical Education and Administration in the School of Medicine (VU) and serves as both the Director of the Office for Continuing Professional Development, which includes the Division of CME and MOC Portfolio Program and Director of Evaluation for the AMA-funded Re-Imagining Residency project. Dr. Moore received his Ph.D. in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982. He has published almost 60 articles and book chapters and presented over 230 lectures and workshops at local, national, and international conferences. He was inducted into the Academy for Excellence in Teaching at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2013 and was designated a Fellow of the Society for Academic CME in May 2017. He currently serves as advisor for the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions and as a member of the Editorial Committee for the Journal of European CME. Don continues to work on the CME/CPD Outcomes Framework, learning in the healthcare practice setting, including the Master Adaptive Workplace Learner, and outcomes of surgical simulation education.
Laurie Novak, PhD, MHSA
Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI)
Director, DBMI Center of Excellence in Applied Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Novak is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. She graduated from University of Michigan with a MHSA in Health Management and Policy. She then went on to graduate from Wayne State University with a PhD in Medical and Organizational Anthropology. Her research expertise lies in qualitative research and evaluation of the relationship between information systems and work in clinical settings, especially activities related to the design and implementation of large-scale clinical informatics systems. Her current focus is on the implementation of predictive analytics in clinical settings. Other areas of interest include the structuring of routines to support everyday chronic illness self-care, the social construction of risk and safety among clinicians and patients, and strategies employed by clinicians to create safety during the implementation of new technology. In the biomedical informatics training program, Dr. Novak lectures on organizational studies, methods in qualitative research, and economic evaluation. She is a member of the Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety (CRISS).
Rangaraj (Ranga) Ramanujam, PhD
Richard M. and Betty Ruth Miller Professor of Healthcare Management
Owen Graduate School of Management
Dr. Ramanujam is a Professor of Management in the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Ramanujam graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000 with a PhD in Electrical Engineering. Professor Ramanujam is a leading researcher and consultant on the organizational causes and consequences of operational failures in high-risk work settings. His current research examines the role of leadership, communication, and learning processes in enhancing the quality and safety of healthcare. Professor Ramanujam is currently the co-editor of the Stanford University Press series on High Reliability and Crisis Management.
Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
Professor, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics & Health Policy
Vice President for Population Health Research
Chief, Internal Medicine & Pediatrics Section
Director, Center for Health Services Research
Dr. Rothman is a Professor of Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Health Policy. He serves as Vice President for Population Health Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and he is Chief of the Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Section in the Department of Medicine. As Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research, Dr. Rothman oversees a Center that engages more than 160 faculty members involved in health services research, implementation science, behavioral research, health disparities research, quality improvement research and other areas aimed at improving health outcomes. He currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the PCORI funded STAR Clinical Research Network, which engages Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, Meharry Medical College, Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, Health Sciences of South Carolina and Mayo. The network includes electronic health record data on over 12 million patients and supports pragmatic clinical research and real world evidence research. Dr. Rothman also led the CMS funded Mid-South Practice Transformation Network, which engaged over 4,000 clinicians in quality improvement in the Mid-South region. Dr. Rothman received his bachelor's, medical, and public policy degrees from Duke University, where he also completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency. His current research focuses on preventing, managing, and improving care for adult and pediatric patients with chronic diseases, with particular focus on health literacy and numeracy in patients with diabetes and obesity.
Christianne Roumie, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
Deputy Director, VA TVHS Quality Scholars Program
Co-Director, Epidemiology Track Masters in Public Health Program Vanderbilt University
Dr. Roumie is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her bachelor’s from Rutgers University, her medical degree from the Rutgers University-New Jersey Medical School, and her public health degree from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Roumie also completed her Internal Medicine and Pediatrics training at Vanderbilt. After residency, she joined the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship Program at Vanderbilt, for which she currently serves as Deputy Director. Dr. Roumie’s area of research has been the design and execution of interventions to improve cardiovascular risk factors among patients and ultimately lead to decreases in cardiovascular morbidity. A major focus of her work has been the evaluation of implementation of appropriate medication utilization as a barrier to optimal patient outcomes, and as risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Roumie has participated in multiple expert committees on appropriate medication prescribing including: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Diabetes Multi-Center Research Consortium Executive Committee, the Veterans Health Administration Geriatrics Pharmacy taskforce on appropriate prescribing, and serves as a member of the Food and Drug Administration's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC). She serves as Principal Investigator of the Learning Health System Scholars (LHS K12) and the Patient/pRactice Outcomes Research in Effectiveness and Systems Science (PROgRESS) T32 Programs. Dr. Roumie is Program Director of The Vanderbilt Scholars in T4 Translational Research (V-STTaR) K12 Program.
Rebecca Selove, PhD, MPH
Research Associate Professor
Tennessee State University
Behavioral Scientist, Meharry-Vanderbilt-TSU Cancer Partnership
Dr. Selove has served as a Research Associate Professor in the Center for Prevention Research at Tennessee State University (TSU) since 2013. She was recruited as a Behavioral Scientist for the Meharry-Vanderbilt-TSU Cancer Partnership. She previously worked as a clinical psychologist in community mental health centers, public schools, inpatient and outpatient medical settings. In those settings she became aware of challenges within organizations that aim to implement new interventions to support individual provider, patient, and family behavior changes. This led her to her current focus on implementation science in research activities that include promoting tobacco use prevention and cessation among African Americans, and improving quality of life for rural cancer survivors.
Jonathan S. Schildcrout, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics
Dr. Schildcrout received a BS in Mathematics from Indiana University, a MS in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina, and a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Washington. He joined Vanderbilt University in 2004 and has collaborated extensively in research involving personalized medicine, health services research, biomedical informatics and applications in anesthesiology. His methodological research pertains to prediction modeling, efficient study designs, longitudinal data analyses, analyses of electronic health records data, and planned (by design) and unplanned selection mechanisms. Dr. Schildcrout develops resource efficient epidemiological study designs for longitudinal data that extend scalar response data designs (e.g., case-control design and case-cohort design) to the longitudinal data domain wherein within-person changes over time can be observed. He also has a keen interest in predictive modeling of patient outcomes with electronic health records data. He is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association.
Sandra F. Simmons, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Dr. Simmons is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics. Her educational background is in clinical psychology with an emphasis in gerontology. Her current clinical appointments include staff member at the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging and the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) Veterans Administration. Dr. Simmons has received a number of grants and fellowships from sources such as the National Institutes of Health and Aging, National Alzheimer’s Association, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Her most recent work has focused on nutritional care quality and staffing issues in long term care. Most recently, Dr. Simmons received an award from the American Medical Directors Association and Pfizer in recognition of her work to translate research into practice to improve nutritional care quality in nursing homes. Her research interests include clinical interventions to improve quality of care and quality of life for older adults in a variety of care settings, in particular long term care.
Thomas Spain, MD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct) of Medicine and Pediatrics
Dr. Spain is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics. He received his B.S. in Physics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. After completing a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center he joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2014. He completed the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship in Nashville, TN and earned an M.P.H. from Vanderbilt University in 2016. Dr. Spain works with healthcare clinics and businesses to design systems and tools that enable excellent patient care and improve how health professionals do and enjoy their work. He currently serves as the Director of Practice Improvement and Transformation at the MidSouth Practice Transformation Network, a collaborative organization that supports and guides ambulatory practices as they become ready to thrive in a value-based healthcare environment.
Deonni Stolldorf, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Dr. Stolldorf is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt, who recently completed the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship Program in Nashville. She trained as a nurse in South Africa and as a nurse practitioner in the United States. She holds degrees from the University of the Free State and Johannesburg University (South Africa) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Stolldorf is a healthcare systems researcher with a focus on the sustainability of innovations. Her work seeks to understand and improve the sustainability of innovations in hospitals to enhance organizational performance related to patient safety and the quality and effectiveness of care. She draws on Organization Theory and Implementation Science in the development of research proposals and uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
Thomas R. Talbot, MD, MPH, FSHEA, FIDSA
Professor of Medicine
Chief Hospital Epidemiologist
Dr. Talbot is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He also serves as the Chief Hospital Epidemiologist for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Talbot is a recognized expert in the field of healthcare epidemiology and infection control, as he currently serves as a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) and recently served on the Board of Directors for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA). As a part of his role as the Chief Hospital Epidemiologist, he oversees the surveillance of hospital-acquired infections, the development of education for staff and physicians, and the implementation of various quality improvement interventions designed to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections at Vanderbilt. Dr. Talbot graduated with his bachelor’s from Duke University, and earned his medical degree at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins, and returned to serve as an Assistant Chief of Service on the Osler Medical Service. He completed his training in Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt; where he also received his MPH. Dr. Talbot’s research interests include the risk of secondary transmission from live vaccines, influenza vaccination of healthcare workers, and the prevention of nosocomial infections, particularly surgical site infections.
Cecelia Theobald, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Medicine
Dr. Theobald is an Assistant Professor of Medicine. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia and completed her residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Vanderbilt University. Following residency, she completed both a Quality Scholars fellowship at the Nashville VA and her Master’s in Public Health from Vanderbilt University. She has been at Vanderbilt University Medical Center since 2008 and practices outpatient primary care and inpatient general internal medicine including supervising resident trainees. She is Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine and has been recognized for her work evaluating the implementation of improvement initiatives. Her research interests focus on improving the safety of care transitions, the implementation of evidence-based strategies into bedside care, and teaching quality improvement skills.
Kim Unertl, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Dr. Unertl is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Unertl graduated from Vanderbilt University with a PhD in biomedical Informatics. Her current research focuses on inter-organizational collaboration and cross- organization workflow among academic medical centers and community-based healthcare providers. She is working with Dr. Michael DeBaun as part of the Vanderbilt-Meharry-Matthew Walker Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease Care. She is interested in the interaction between clinical workflow and health information technology. Her primary research interest is improving the fit between technology and work practices through the development of health information technology design and implementation strategies.
Eduard E. Vasilevskis, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Chief, Section of Hospital Medicine
Director of Medical Student Education
Dr. Vasilevskis is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and staff physician with the Tennessee Valley VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Care Center. He completed medical school at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, followed by residency and chief residency at the University California, San Francisco. He completed fellowship training at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Division of General Internal Medicine and Hospital Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. During fellowship he trained in health services research methods, including risk-adjustment modeling, quality metric development, and clinical epidemiology. Currently Dr. Vasilevskis’ clinical focus is in hospital medicine and geriatrics, where he now serves as a medical inpatient and consultation attending, and a physician provider on the Geriatric Evaluation and Management team. His research to date has focused on quality and efficiency measurement in the hospital and intensive care unit setting. Currently, Dr. Vasilevskis is working with the ICU delirium group and the Center of Quality Aging to improve efforts in the translation of important clinical research findings into broader clinical practice in order to reduce the burden of delirium and adverse safety events among hospitalized patients.
Timothy Vogus, PhD
Brownlee O. Currey Jr., Professor of Management
Owen Graduate School of Management
Dr. Vogus is an Associate Professor of Management, and has been on faculty at the Owen Graduate School of Management since 2004. Dr. Vogus graduated in 2004 from Ross School of Business at University of Michigan with a PhD in Management and Organizations. He currently teaches a course in the MBA core curriculum. Professor Vogus' research focuses on the mechanisms through which organizations create and sustain a culture of safety as well as how they enact highly reliable performance through mindful organizing – a set of behaviors by which collectives detect and correct errors and unexpected events. He is especially interested in these dynamics in health care settings and their effects on the incidence of medical error at the point of care delivery.
Michael Ward, MD, MBA
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Dr. Ward is Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a K12 Scholar. Prior to medical school, Dr. Ward served as a consultant with Stockamp & Associates. He attended medical school and obtained his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Emory University in 2006. He pursued residency training at the University of Cincinnati and served as Chief Resident, completing residency in 2010. He recently completed a three-year operations research fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, which was funded by a two-year Emergency Medicine Foundation Research Fellowship. The focus of Dr. Ward’s current research is on the operational performance of acute care health systems, including organizational factors that affect the timeliness of care delivery. He is recipient of a K23 Career Development Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Matthew Weinger, MD
Norman Ty Smith Chair in Patient Safety & Medical Simulation
Professor of Anesthesiology, Biomedical Informatics, and Medical Education
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Department of Anesthesiology
Senior Physician Scientist, Geriatrics Research Education & Clinical Center
Tennessee Valley VA Healthcare System
Director, Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety (CRISS)
Dr. Weinger holds the Norman Ty Smith Chair in Patient Safety and Medical Simulation and is a Professor of Anesthesiology, Biomedical Informatics, and Medical Education at Vanderbilt. He is the Director of the Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety (CRISS) that specializes in human factors, informatics, simulation, and quality improvement research and implementation. He holds a Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a Master's degree in Biology from Stanford University. He completed his MD degree at the University of California–San Diego and did his anesthesiology residency training at the University of California–San Francisco. Dr. Weinger has been teaching and conducting research in patient safety, human factors, health services research, biomedical informatics, healthcare simulation, technology development/evaluation, and clinical decision making for a quarter century. Other active projects address issues of teamwork and communication, the effects of interruptions of care, and the analysis of patient safety events. Dr. Weinger has received nearly $7 million in direct research support from federal agencies and major non-profit foundations. He has mentored dozens of junior faculty (two currently on foundation grants), as well as 12 post-doctoral fellows, 3 PhD students, and almost 100 pre-doctoral, medical, and undergraduate students.
Asli Ozdas Weitkamp, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director, Clinical Decision Support and Knowledge Engineering
Asli Ozdas Weitkamp, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Director of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) and Knowledge Engineering Portfolio in HealthIT. In this role, she oversees the development and maintenance pipeline for all CDS integrated into VUMC’s clinical systems. Dr. Weitkamp’s area of expertise focuses on Clinical Decision Support (CDS) design and delivery specifically leveraging CDS best practices to integrate evidence-based as well as Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven solutions that aim to improve key organizational performance metrics including quality, safety, and resource utilization. Her expertise is to utilize sustainable and data driven approaches to CDS and implement it in a fashion that brings the largest value to organizations, providers and patients while creating the least possible disruption. Dr. Weitkamp is an expert in implementing operational processes for CDS governance and lifecycle management. More recently, Dr. Weitkamp has been focusing on clinical knowledge management solutions to create mobilized and sustainable CDS solutions and have given multiple workshops and tutorials on this topic.
William Wester, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
C. William (“Bill”) Wester, who is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, studies HIV care outcomes and implementation science with a focus on HIV –associated kidney disease, a significant healthcare disparity given that certain HIV-related kidney emerge exclusively or largely in persons of African descent (~20-fold greater risk than non-African descent counterparts). In his research, he seeks to identify improvements including the design and implementation of tailored interventions at the health facility, population, and individual patient-level. The vast majority of his work is in sub-Saharan Africa and specifically southern Africa. In addition to his research interests, Dr. Wester also is actively involved in the training and mentoring of post-graduate trainees engaged in research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Kathleene Wooldridge, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Wooldridge is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Hospital Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University and her medical degree from the University Of Tennessee Health Science Center College Of Medicine. Following her Internal Medicine Residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, she joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2014. Dr. Wooldridge completed both the VA Quality Scholars Fellowship through the Nashville VA and a Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from Vanderbilt University in 2016. Dr. Wooldridge also serves as the Medical Director of Patient Flow for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Her academic interests include quality improvement initiatives in patient care transitions and hospital flow.
Adam Wright, PhD, FACMI, FAMIA, FIAHSI
Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director, Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center
Dr. Wright is Professor of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and serves as the director of the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center (VCLIC). Dr. Wright has led NIH, AHRQ and ONC-funded projects on clinical problem lists, malfunctions in clinical decision support systems, approaches for sharing clinical decision support nationally and adverse event detection using machine learning. Dr. Wright is also a founding member and director of research for the Clinical Informatics Research Collaborative and directs clinical decision support operations at VUMC. He is active nationally, serving as a board member of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), an Associate Editor for Applied Clinical Informatics, and an Editorial Board Member for Methods of Information in Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.