Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, SFHM
Director, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research
Director, Implementation Science Core
Co-Director, Center for Effective Health Communication
Dr. Kripalani is an Associate 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, 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. In 2005, he received the Society of Hospital Medicine Young Investigator Award of Excellence. In 2009, he was inducted into the inaugural class of Senior Fellows in Hospital Medicine. He was named a Top Hospitalist by the American College of Physicians in 2012. 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.
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
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). 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
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.
Kate Clouse, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Dr. Kate Clouse joined the faculty of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health in 2014 with a decade’s worth of experience in global health research. While completing her MPH at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Clouse spent time working with the Reproductive Health and HIV Unit (now MatCH) in Durban, South Africa. Dr. Clouse’s research focuses on HIV/TB implementation science, with a particular interest in operational issues related to improved HIV treatment and care, including patient retention in care and TB/HIV integration in South Africa. 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.
Robert Dittus, MD, MPH
Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine
Associate Vice Chancellor 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, Associate Vice Chancellor 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
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 is 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 is 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.
Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology
Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Associate Professor of Surgery
Director, Vanderbilt Anesthesiology & Perioperative Informatics Research (VAPIR)
Medical Director, Perioperative Quality
Director, Program for LGBTI Health
Dr. Ehrenfeld is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Biomedical Informatics, and Surgery. He serves as Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Anesthesia, Director of the Perioperative Data Systems Research Group, and Medical Director for Perioperative Quality. He also co-leads the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Program for LGBTI Health. Dr. Ehrenfeld holds an MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, and an MD from the University of Chicago. He completed residency and served as informatics fellowship director for the Department of Anesthesiology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. For the past decade, Dr. Ehrenfeld has conducted clinical research in biomedical informatics, with specific research interests including perioperative systems design, real-time decision support via pragmatic applications of process monitoring and control, and the development/application of intraoperative outcomes measures. Dr. Ehrenfeld serves on several distinguished national committees, including the American Medical Association (AMA) Public Health Committee. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF), and the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER).
Daniel France, PhD
Research Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Medicine
Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety
Dr. France is a Research Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Medicine and works in the Center for Research and Innovation in Systems Safety here 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.
Pamela Hull, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine Epidemiology
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 12 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.
Cathy Ivory, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor of SON Informatics
Dr. Ivory completed her PhD at Vanderbilt in 2011 with a focus of health services research. Her current research interests are focused on how the use of standards and interoperability in electronic health records (EHRs) can illustrate each care provider’s unique contribution to patient outcomes. She is also interested in the use of technology to engage patients and the role of nurses in teaching patients to use technology. Dr. Ivory’s clinical interests are in women’s health, obstetric and neonatal nursing and she speaks and writes on topics relating to perinatal safety, normal physiologic birth, and the impact of healthcare technology on her specialty. Other topics of interest include implementation science/quality improvement, nursing administration, and nursing professionalism.
Heather M. Limper, PhD, MPH
Research Assistant Professor of Medicine
Associate Director, Implementation Science Core
Dr. Limper recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty as a Research Assistant Professor. She graduated from University of Illinois with a PhD in Epidemiology. Dr. Limper joins us from the University of Chicago whereas the inaugural Epidemiologist in the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science and Innovation she lead the implementation and evaluation of quality and safety initiatives in the hospital setting, specifically focusing on healthcare provider behaviors. Her research interests include in the integration of technology and human behaviors to improve the delivery of healthcare and supporting the need for safety-net services among populations with limited access to traditional healthcare services. Dr. Limper is the Associate Director of Implementation Core.
Christopher Lindsell, PhD
Professor of Biostatistics
Director, VICTR Methods Program
Co-Director, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research
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 235 papers, holds several patents, and has served as the PI or the principal biostatistician on 23 federally-funded clinical trials, epidemiological studies and health services research programs, as well as numerous other projects.
Lorraine C. Mion, PhD, RN, FAAN
Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing
Dr. Mion is the Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing for the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University. She serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Gerontological Nursing, and is a manuscript reviewer for a number of medical, nursing, and gerontology journals. Dr. Mion also serves on the geriatric advisory board for the Society of Hospital Medicine and the Nurses Improving Care of Health Systems Elders Program through the John A. Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing. She has been funded as a co-investigator or principal investigator on a number of studies which examined structural and/or practice issues impacting geriatric patient outcomes in acute care settings. Her major focus of work has been on the use of physical restraints with additional studies in patient falls, delirium, and patient-initiated device disruption.
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 Tennessee Valley VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Care Center in 2010. She graduated from Earlham College with a BS and from Texas Tech University with an MD degree. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine, VA Quality Scholars Fellowship, and Master 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, and medication errors following hospital discharge. Her research is funded by a VA Career Development Award.
Don Moore, PhD
Professor of Medical Education and Administration
Dr. Moore serves as both the Director of Evaluation in the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education (VU) and Director of the Office for Continuing Professional Development, which includes the Division of CME and MOC Portfolio Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Moore received his Ph.D. in education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1982. He has published almost 50 articles and book chapters and presented over 200 lectures and workshops at national and international conferences. He was inducted into the Academy for Excellence in Teaching at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2013 and will be designated a Fellow of the Society for Academic CME in May 2017. He currently serves as Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. Don continues to work on the CME/CPD Outcomes Framework (Moore, Gallis, Green, JCEHP 2009) as well as learning in the healthcare practice setting and a conceptual model of the Master Adaptive Workplace Learner.
Laurie Novak, PhD, MHSA
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
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 lie 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 investigations examine communication, coordination and articulation during sociotechnical transitions. Other areas of interest include 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.
Rangaraj (Ranga) Ramanujam, PhD
Professor of 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 serves on the editorial boards of Organization Science and 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 was recently appointed as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Population Health Research at Vanderbilt, 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 140 faculty members across the University, with over $50 million annually in extramural funding related to health services research, implementation science, behavioral research, health disparities research, quality improvement research and other areas aimed at improving health outcomes. He is the Principal Investigator of the PCORI funded Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network, which engages over 35 hospitals and 2000 ambulatory practices, and of the new CMS funded Mid-South Practice Transformation Network, which is engaging 4,000 clinicians in quality improvement. He also serves on the PCORI Health Disparities Advisory Board. 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
Dr. Roumie is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. She received her bachelor’s from Rutgers University, her medical degree from the 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 Assistant 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 development and implementation of a research portfolio that evaluates 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 standing member of the Food and Drug Administration's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC).
Jonathan S. Schildcrout, PhD
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
Dr. Schildcrout is an Associate Professor of Biostatistics. He 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.
Jack F. Schnelle, PhD
Professor of Medicine
Hamilton Chair in Geriatrics
Director, Center for Quality Aging
Dr. Schnelle is the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging and Professor at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He has been the principal investigator on 9 NIH clinical trial intervention grants designed to improve care and management in nursing homes and has received awards for his outstanding contributions to behavior therapy. Dr. Schnelle has published extensively in the areas of quality control in institutional settings and quality of life issues in the frail elderly, with over 200 publications. In addition to this research, he has over 30 years of experience in clinical care and staff management in nursing homes. Dr. Schnelle’s most recent research has focused on the staffing requirements needed to implement care processes in nursing homes that improve resident outcomes and in developing a standardized measurement system needed to meaningfully implement quality improvement activities in long term care.
Sandra F. Simmons, PhD
Associate 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.
Theodore Speroff, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics
Center for Health Services Research
VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center
Dr. Speroff is a Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine, a VA Senior Scholar, and Associate Director of the Nashville site for the VA National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program. His primary focus has been advancing the underlying science for clinical quality improvement work and the measurement of quality. Dr. Speroff is a graduate of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics program at Case Western Reserve University, and he is an expert in quality improvement measurement and analysis. He has 25 years of professional experience in quality improvement, spanning hospital and community settings. Dr. Speroff has mentored multiple post-doctoral and pre-doctoral student, fellows, and junior faculty, as well as faculty with career development awards. Currently, he serves as board member for the VA HSR&D Scientific Review and Evaluation Board, as well as the Academy for Healthcare Improvement. Dr. Speroff’s research interests include health services research and outcomes assessment; continuous quality improvement and patient safety in health care; assessment of patient preferences and clinical decision analysis; applied clinical informatics; and methodological reviews and meta-analysis of the literature.
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
Associate 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
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. Her research and teaching interests focus on improving the safety of care transitions, teaching quality improvement skills and helping providers integrate evidence-based medicine into bedside care. She has been recognized for excellence in teaching ambulatory medicine as well as for her work evaluating the implementation of various improvement initiatives.
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
Associate 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.
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.
Kathryn Goggins, MPH
Research Programs Manager
Kathryn Goggins is a Research Programs Manager at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After graduating from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience and Psychology, Ms. Goggins earned her Master of Public Health degree from Saint Louis University where she concentrated in the Epidemiology and Behavioral Science & Health Education tracks. During graduate school, her work focused on health literacy training in federally qualified health centers in rural Missouri. After working as a consultant forecasting disease rates, Ms. Goggins joined Vanderbilt four years ago and has continued her research on health literacy, health disparities, and quality improvement. Ms. Goggins also serves as a consultant for the Implementation Science Core.
Erin Acord, BS
Research Analyst II
Erin Acord is a Research Analyst at Vanderbilt University Medical Center supporting a number of operational and research initiatives across the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health, and has six years of clinical experience. She is currently in a Master’s in Public Health program. Mrs. Acord works closely with Drs. Kripalani, Limper, and Spain on initiatives ranging from pragmatic clinical trials to educational opportunities associated with the MidSouth Practice Transformation Network.
Vivian Yeh, PhD
Senior Research Specialist
Dr. Yeh is a Senior Research Specialist at the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research. She is a clinical psychologist with a PhD from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is interested in how emotions impact health behavior change and how behavioral health practices can be optimized in medical settings. Prior to joining Vanderbilt in 2017, Vivian worked in healthcare consulting and helped systems identify practice transformation opportunities to harmonize workplace culture and achieve operational efficiencies. She is currently a Project Manager for the Centers of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health’s implementation efforts to engage underserved populations. Additionally, Vivian is conducting research on health literacy and depression in the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) cohort with The Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network (CDRN).