News & Happenings


Welcome! This page highlights and celebrates activities of VCLIC members and their teams, across VUMC and beyond! 

Please reach out to Elise Russo with updates and additions to this page.


Read about VCLIC in the VUMC Reporter

Read about our Center Director, Dr. Adam Wright, at HIStalk.

Celebrating the Achievements of our Clickbusters Program Participants

Thank you to all our participants from Rounds I and II of Clickbusters. We had such a great time working with you, and your work has undoubtedly supported improved provider workflow and patient care throughout VUMC. Overall, we “busted” around 60,000 clicks per week!

Collage of Clickbuster Participants



VCLIC Members Present their Work Nationally and Internationally

Several VCLIC Members will be presenting at the 25 By 5: Symposium to Reduce Documentation Burden on U.S. Clinicians by 75% by 2025 , which began Friday, January 15th. The overall goal of the Symposium is to establish strategies and approaches to reduce clinician documentation burden on US clinicians to 25% by 2025. VUMC is one of the sponsors, along with Columbia University, AMIA, and the NLM, and has extensive representation! Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH is Co-Chair of the event, and Kevin Johnson, MD, MS is part of the Steering Committee.

Session One (already took place) “Introduction and Current Challenges Related to What We Document”: Friday, Jan 15th  

  • Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, is a Session Co-Leader  

Session Two “Current Challenges Related to How We Document”: Friday, Jan 22nd  

  • Patty Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC is a Session Co-Leader  

  • Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, will co-present the Symposium Re-Introduction and Overview 

  • Kim Unertl, PhD, is a Keynote Panelist for “Data Entry Challenges,” and will be discussing workflow in her talk entitled “Oh the interruptions.” 

  • Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS, is a Keynote Panelist for “Alternative Data Entry,” and will be discussing Voice recognition in her talk entitled “Computer- are you there?” 

Session Three “Exemplars and Key Successes”: Friday, Jan 29th  

  • Adam Wright, PhD, will be presenting on Clickbusters during the Exemplars panel  

Session Four “Emerging and Future Innovations as Solutions”: Friday, February 5th  

Session Five “Reactor and Prioritization Session for Actions”: Friday, Feb 12th  

  • Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, is the Session Leader  

Session 6 “Plenary Panel on Insights for Action”: Friday, February 19th  


Outside of the 25x5, Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MS, MPH, will give a presentation on “The Explosion of Telehealth and Coming Innovations from Voice and Natural Language Processing” on Friday, Feb 19th. This presentation will be part of an 8-part series as part of The Disruption Lab’s New “Healthcare’s New Delivery Models Post COVID” Weekly Sessions, which begin Jan 22nd.  

Med Alerts Workgroup Wins DBMI Annual Team Award 

Congratulations to the Med Alerts Workgroup, who won the Department of Biomedical Informatics’ First Annual Team Award! VCLIC Members include Scott Nelson, PharmD, MS (who, along with David Mulherin, PharmD, BCPS, led the team), Allison McCoy, PhD, MS, and Adam Wright, PhD. This group is an excellent example of a partnership across operations, research, and clinical practice, with some participants from DBMI, some from HealthIT, and others from clinical departments.  

The Med Alerts Workgroup seeks to provide accurate and meaningful medication alert clinical decision support at VUMC; reduce alert burden and fatigue for clinicians; monitor, report, and analyze medication alert rates; engage stakeholders and subject-matter experts for medication alert decision making and approval; and review, approve, and prioritize medication alert optimization in eStar. 

The team has made substantial improvements at VUMC. For example, they worked together to review alert data and make recommendations on medication alerts shown to users, thus reducing alert burden by: 

  • 2,000 fewer Drug-Drug interaction alerts per week 

  • 6,500 fewer Duplicate med alerts per week 

  • 9,000 fewer Duplicate therapy alerts per week, and 

  • 2,000 fewer Pregnancy alerts per week. 

As a result of their effort, VUMC is now in the top 20 Epic organizations with the fewest number of alerts and lowest override rate.

VCLIC Members Take Action with COVID-19-related Efforts

VCLIC members have been busy creating informatics-driven solutions and developing ways to support COVID-19-related interventions, research, data collection, and analysis. 

The depth and breadth of what our team members have been working on over just the last few weeks is extensive and incredibly impactful! We will continue to add to this page as we are notified of initiatives. 

Here is a sampling of the creative, essential COVID-19-related work being done by VCLIC members: 

  • Dr. Kevin Johnson has been working to obtain national data from Epic about the changes in the demographics of visits pre-and post-COVID-19 to highlight the disparity caused by telemedicine in its current form, and to suggest alternatives. He is working with Pediatrics to improve this disparity. Dr. Johnson is also supporting a project that Drs. Fabbri and Talbert are doing at Tennessee Tech. This project aims to determine a way to incorporate paper-based assessment form data into a standard data set for intake, at scale, regardless of the form’s appearance.  

  • Dr. Melissa McPheeters is an integral part of the VUMC Health Policy team that has developed the COVID-19 Modeling for Tennessee as well as all of the related reports and supporting documents. She has given countless presentations to DBMI, VUMC, VU, and other stakeholders, many of whom are involved in the state’s policy and decision-making processes.  

  • Drs. Adam Wright, Dara Mize, and the Health IT team developed new clinical decision support tools to help identify patients with pending or positive COVID 19 tests and alert healthcare providers to take appropriate precautions.

  • Dr. Allison McCoy created Reporting Workbench reports to help dermatology identify and easily contact patients to reschedule or convert to telehealth visit; extracted Clarity data to help develop models to predict positive COVID tests or worsening outcomes for COVID patients;  extracted Clarity data to help evaluate COVID and other respiratory virus outcomes in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients; implemented the Epic Deterioration Index predictive model; and in the earlier phases of the pandemic, extracted Clarity data to help evaluate travel screening completeness. 

  • Dr. Rob Turer has helped with several projects, including implementing SmartText for ED “E-Pod” (COVID-19 Fast Track) documentation; Implementing a BPA for negative COVID-10 tests in the ED to facilitate throughput; designing and building ED daily reporting tools; designing and prototyping (with Dr. Trent Rosenbloom and Health IT) MHAV COVID-19 dashboard, which was adopted and improved upon by the enterprise analytics team under Bill Harrell; prototyping and implementing visualizations for a CDC-COVID-19 study reporting tool; publishing a perspective in JAMIA: Electronic Personal Protective Equipment: A Strategy to Protect Emergency Department Providers in the Age of COVID-19, co-authored with fellow VCLIC member Dr. Trent Rosenbloom.  

  • Dr. Dario Giuse has worked with the HDR team to do an early export of data for all patients on the census to extend the capabilities of an EDW2 report from daily to near-real-time; develop a real-time dashboard that shows all current inpatients with a reported positive COVID-19 result from the lab (mobile version also available); add a version of the same dashboard that is driven not by positive VUMC lab results but from documentation of positive status from the Word Cloud, which covers patients not tested at VUMC but admitted because of a positive elsewhere; create a report that shows the total number of COVID-19 tests done by the lab, with numbers of pending and positive results (the report also shows how many ventilators are in use and the total number of ventilators VUMC owns); create a version of the same report that shows testing done by the VUMC lab for non-VUMC patients (as part of VPLS), to give a complete idea of the actual testing volume for COVID-19; create some of the early map displays of the geolocation of patients who tested positive; and extend the Census Dashboard in StarPanel to display capacity and occupancy of the various inpatient units, to support resource/bed allocation for COVID-19 treatment.  

  • Dr. Trent Rosenbloom has worked with Assessment Site leadership to adjust their paper intake form (documentation and orders) to make it more computable via OCR and to include content likely to be of interest for research; worked with Health IT (and Dr. Rob Turer) to develop a COVID-19-related MHAV Tableau dashboard that allows operations to track MHAV use among COVID-tested patients to determine whether they have accounts and have reviewed their results in MHAV (MHAV is the primary means for supporting the big increase in telehealth at VUMC); helped Dr. Rob Turer frame out his concept for telehealth-enabled ED assessment (called ePPE), mentioned above and published in JAMIA; worked to modify policy, procedure, and technology approaches to MHAV enrollment to support remote enrollment for telehealth (a medical student he worked with is submitting a manuscript to JAMIA on this topic); worked with fellow VCLIC members, Dr. Josh Peterson and Dr. Melissa McPheeters to establish a COVID-19 registry within the RD to support predictive work; worked with ACMI to develop a common data model for all COVID-19 assessments, which may turn into working with the CDC; worked with Dan Fabbri and team (including Dr. Kevin Johnson and VU medical students) to target the OCR and manual review of COVID-19 assessment forms to digitize the paper-based documentation. 

  • Dr. Lindsey Knake created a research poster abstract for AMIA about a group she and her medical school classmates created to share treatment ideas and new research about COVID-19: Using Social Media as a Clinical Decision Support Tool During the Uncertainty of Covid-19.  

  • Dr. Robert Freundlich and Dr. Sunil Kripalani both mentioned their involvement in a COVID-19-related study being organized through the VICTR Learning Health System. This is a pragmatic clinical trial on the proning of patients with COVID-19, and informatics expertise is being leveraged in data collection, using Clarity/Caboodle, and analysis. 

  • Dr. Yaa Kumah-Crystal has been leading the Outpatient and Inpatient Telehealth initiatives as the Clinical Director for Telehealth. She is working with another VLIC member, Dr. Shane Stenner, on inpatient initiatives, and they are specifically working on pilots for virtual rounding. Regarding outpatient initiatives, Dr. Kumah-Crystal worked with the Redcap team to build out a Redcap/Twilio integration that will allow providers to text their patients Telehealth invitations without revealing the provider’s personal mobile phone or email.  

  • Dr. Wael Alrifai has worked on several initiatives related to obstetrics and newborn care, including creating a number of decision support tools to protect mother and baby as well as team members carrying for the dyad and creating novel views in the labor and delivery grease board where users can determine at a glance which mothers have suspected or confirmed COVID-19, so obstetric and pediatric teams can perform timely planning for urgent and emergent deliveries. His team also collaborated with VCLIC members to utilize a link between mother and infant charts to deliver alerts that appear to newborn providers based on maternal risk factors and recommend the right actions. They updated portals used for babies born outside VUMC to screen their mothers’ clinical and lab information. Dr. Alrifai notes that the VUMC obstetric and newborn COVID-19 tools have attracted attention from Epic representatives, enough that they requested VUMC build information to adopt some of its features.  

  • Drs. Jeremy Warner and Sanjay Mishra are part of the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), whose goal is to collect prospective, granular, uniformly organized information on cancer patients infected with COVID-19 at scale and as rapidly as possible.  

  • Dr. Jon Wanderer has been building reports for tracking surgical cases that were cancelled or delayed due to COVID-19. 

VCLIC Members Support Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital Epic Go-Live

Dr. Rob Turer and Dr. Jon Wanderer supporting VWCH Epic go-live

Congratulations to the many VCLIC Members who supported the extremely successful VWCH Epic Go-Live! We know many of you were both part of the planning and on-the-ground support, including Dara Mize, Sharidan Parr, Rob Turer (pictured), Jon Wanderer (pictured) and others. 

Dario Giuse also let us know that "As part of the VWCH project, the HDR (Health Data Repository) is receiving and uploading close to 9.5 million documents from almost 150,000 Wilson County patients.  The data, which was extracted from the legacy system that was in use at VWCH until we went live with eStar on 4/23/2020, will be visible within the StarPanel Viewer in eStar, and will also be used by the HIM Department for Release of Information of historical data." 

Congratulations on a successful effort, both on the front and back ends of things! 

December 2020

VCLIC Members represented VUMC very prominently at AMIA’s Annual Symposium, showcasing 5 workshops, 13 presentations, and 9 posters.  

  • The following team, led by Carrie Reale, MSN, RN-BC, won the Harriet Werley Award for their presentation. VCLIC Members Laurie Novak, PhD, MHSA, and Colin Walsh, MD, MA, collaborated:  
    • Reale C, Novak LL, Robinson K, Simpson CL, Ribeiro JD, Franklin JC, Ripperger MA, Walsh CGUser-Centered Design of a Machine Learning Intervention for Suicide Risk Prediction in a Military Setting.  
  • Furthermore, Gretchen P Jackson, MD, PhD, was appointed Chair-elect for 2021 and Chair for 2022-23 of the Board of Directors for AMIA. Congratulations to all on an extremely successful AMIA Symposium!

We would also like to highlight Scott Nelson's, PharmD, MS, certification as CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems). This certification spans three main content areas: 

  • General IT and healthcare environment knowledge 

  • Systems knowledge related to analysis, design, selection, implementation, testing and evaluation, and privacy and security 

  • Administration, including leadership and management 

Congratulations, Dr. Nelson! 

November 2020

Promotion to Senior Associate Dean for Informatics in the VU School of Nursing 

We are also thrilled to announce that Patty Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, FAAN, has recently been promoted to Senior Associate Dean for Informatics in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) beginning January 1, 2021. Please see the letter celebrating her promotion, written by the Dean of the Nursing School, Dr. Linda Norman: 

I am pleased to announce that we will welcome Dr. Patricia (Patty) Sengstack. DNP, RN-BC, FAAN, into the role of Senior Associate Dean for Informatics beginning January 1, 2021. She will succeed Dr. Betsy Weiner, who is retiring at the end of the year.  

Patty was in the first cohort of students in the DNP program at VUSN, and since graduation in 2010, has taught informatics here at both the doctoral and master’s level. She has served as academic director for the Nursing Informatics specialty since 2018. Patty has more than 20 years of experience in the field of informatics and has established herself as a leader in the field both locally and nationally. Her roles prior to coming to Vanderbilt full time include appointments as the Deputy CIO and Chief of Clinical Informatics at the NIH Clinical Center and the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer for the Bon Secours Health System. She currently has a joint appointment at VUMC and serves as their Nursing Informatics Executive, providing strategic direction in the use of technology for nurses.  

Her focus over the last several years has been health information technology’s impact on patient safety. Her master’s and doctoral work addressed evidence-based strategies in the configuration of computerized provider order entry systems (CPOE) to ensure patient safety. She now leads VUMC’s Health IT Safety Program. Many of her publications address the need to focus on safety aspects in the use of technology 

Patty was inducted as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in October 2016 and was recently appointed to serve on AAN’s Institute for Nursing Leadership’s National Advisory Council, as well as its Informatics and Technology Expert Panel. She is a past president of the American Nursing Informatics Association and remains active in the organization. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the most powerful women in health IT by Health Data Management. 

As the use of technology in health care and academia continue to advance at a rapid pace, Patty will help us ensure that our students acquire the necessary competencies that drive innovative and transformative care. Please welcome her to our leadership team. 

Congratulations, Patty! 

October 2020

We would like to highlight Scott Nelson, PharmD, MS’ achievement of completing 5 Epic Trainings. Congratulations, Scott—we know this took a lot of time and effort!   

  • Cogito Certified 

  • Caboodle Certified 

  • Clarity Data Model Certified 

  • Clinical Data Model Certified 

  • Cognitive Computing Badge 

In addition, Eric Tkaczyk’s, MD, PhD, FAAD, team (VDTRC) landed the most recent cover article in Microcirculation, for their article “Individual cell motion in healthy human skin microvasculature by reflectance confocal video microscopy.” Way to go! 


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September 2020

  • Eric Tkaczyk, MD, PhD, FAAD ‘s post-doc Dr. Inga Saknite's article landed the cover of the journal Microcirculation.  While Dr. Tkaczyk did mention this is not necessarily related to informatics, we decided it is a success worth celebrating! Dr. Saknite studied the patterns and distributions of leukocyte motion by taking videos of them in the skin of live human subjects. 

August 2020

Patty Sengstack, DNP, RN-BC, FAAN is giving a keynote presentation for the annual (virtual) American Nursing Informatics Association conference on 8/21/20. What’s an Informatics Nurse Worth? Using Data to Elevate Your Career 

Patty was also appointed to serve on the American Nursing Association’s ANCC (American Nursing Credentialing Center) Informatics Nursing Continuous Item Writer Panel for the nursing informatics board certification exam. 

July 2020

Alvin Jeffrey, PhD was recently elected to serve a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses starting July 1st, 2020. This organization has over 125,000 members and is typically considered the 2nd or 3rd largest nursing organization in the world. While acute & critical care nurses have long used technology in patient care, the organization has not had an explicit emphasis on the role of informatics. Therefore, one of his personal goals is to have the organization become a formal member of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics where they can more formally work on recognizing the important role informatics plays in nursing care delivery.  

 More information can be found here. Congratulations, Alvin!  

BPA Clickbusters Round 2 Winners Announced

The Health IT Clinical Decision Support Team partnered with the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center (VCLIC) to complete a second round of the Clickbusters program. The BPA Clickbuster program helped review Epic BPAs (Best Practice Advisories) in use at VUMC. Many BPAs that were reviewed were found to be functioning well and up to date with current clinical guidelines. Health IT and the Clickbusters also found several BPAs that could be improved in this round and, over the course of two rounds, Clickbusters has reduced alerts by more than 62,000 per week! 

Participants earned points based on how many of the steps of the process they completed for each of their BPAs and how well they documented their work. We awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place “Golden Mouse” trophies based on these point totals.  

Additionally, we awarded prizes to the participant whose work reduced the most clicks, to the one whose work was most innovative, and to the one who Scott Nelson, PharmD (and Clickbusters Round 1 Winner) judged to be the most impactful (“Judge’s Choice”).  

Without further ado, we present our winners! 

First Place 

Second Place 

Third Place 

Robert Turer, MD 

Wael Alrifai, MD, MS 

Cheryl Cobb, MD 





Busted several ED-related BPAs 

Modified two neonatal BPAs 

Determined that a psychiatry BPA could be replaced by a dashboard metric 


Most Clicks Reduced 

Most Innovative 

Judge’s Choice 

Chetan Aher, MD 

Barron Patterson, MD 

Aileen Wright, MD 




Turned off the signed and held or saved orders BPA, saving approximately 700 clicks per day 

Determined that the pediatric ambulatory hypertension BPAs could be replaced by Epic Storyboard features 

Vastly improved the readability and accuracy of the Immunocompromised and Live Virus BPA 


Thank you to everyone who in Health IT and VCLIC who participated in any way in Clickbusters Round 2, which wrapped up officially on September 8th, 2020. We had 20 participants who reviewed 55 BPAs, which reduced clicks by more than 12,787 per week! 

Thank you especially to:  

Clickbusters Leadership Team: Allison McCoy, Adam Wright, Dara Mize, Neal Patel, Elise Russo, Jon Wanderer, Kevin Johnson 

Clickbuster Participants: Chetan Aher, Wael Alrifai, Jennifer Andrews, Chery Cobb, Daniel Cottrell, Sara Horst, Dave Johnson, Lindsey Knake, Adam Lewis, Scott Nelson, Laura Parks, Sharidan Parr, Pratik Patel, Barron Patterson, Lorraine Patterson, Patty Sengstack, Christine Smith, Krystle Suszter, Rob Turer, Stuart Weinberg, Lyndy Wilcox, Aileen Wright 

Health IT CDS team: Tina French, Jon Jackson, SyLinda Littlejohn, Debbie Preston, Audra Rosenbury, Charlie Valdez 

Health IT Additional Participants: Dan Albert, Marc Beller, Kristen Berutti, Austin Brown, Julia Cartwright, Jared Cobb, Susan Conner, Heather Freeman, Michael Friebe, Fred Hargrove, Carrie Hobby, Jo Ann Howell, Joseph Huenecke, Karen Hughart, Christopher Kleymeer, Yaa Kumah-Krystal, Joey LeGrand, Sylinda Littlejohn, Raymond Mayer, Christine McWatters, Natasha Miller, David Mulherin, Patrick Norris, Keith Norton, Travis Osterman, Spring Prince, Nancy Rudge, Ashley Spann, Shane Stenner, AJ Teare, Jason Williams, Liu Wing, Randy Winstead.

BPA Clickbusters Round 1 Winners Announced

We would like to formally recognize the winners of Clickbusters Round 1! As a reminder, participants earned points based on how many of the steps of the process they completed for each of their BPAs and how well they documented their work. We awarded 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place “Golden Mouse” trophies based on these point totals. 

Additionally, we awarded prizes to the participant whose work reduced the most clicks, to the one whose work was most innovative, and to the one who Dr. Kevin Johnson judged to be the most impactful (“Judge’s Choice”).  

First, Second, Third Place

most innovative, judge's choice, most clicks reduced


Thank you to everyone who participated in any way in Clickbusters Round 1, which wrapped up officially on June 6th, 2020. We had 17 participants who “busted” 58 BPAs, which reduced clicks by 49,026 per week! If you “Busted” a BPA, we have a framed Certificate for you! We distributed as many as we could but will figure out how to get the remainder out despite the COVID19-related work from home policies.  

The Clickbuster participants would not have been able to complete their work without help from HealthIT, whose staff partners closely with participants and VCLIC leadership to move changes to BPAs into production. Thank you, HealthIT!  

Please also see the Clickbusters section of this website for more information, or read the VUMC Reporter article Clickbusters program takes on EHR alert fatigue

VCLIC Announces 2020-2021 Focus Area

For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center (VCLIC) will focus on Making Health Care More Equitable through Technology. Each year, VCLIC will choose a theme to focus its activities, and this year the choice was clear – as VUMC seeks to provide more equitable care and to improve the patient experience through technology, VCLIC would like to position clinical informatics and the expertise of its members to be at the forefront of these changes.  

VCLIC members Dr. Trent Rosenbloom, from biomedical informatics, and Dr. William Martinez, from internal medicine, will lead the charge. VCLIC has designed a year’s worth of programming around using technology to improve health care at and delivered by VUMC. To kick off the year, the group has invited Dr. Consuelo Wilkins to give a keynote address providing an overview of the racial and ethnic disparities in care that exist in our community and what informaticists, providers, researchers, students, and others can do towards addressing and improving health equity.  

Will Martinez Trent Rosenbloom
William Martinez, MD, MS Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH


Beyond the initial seminar, we hope to cover a wide array of topics through this lens, from increasing adoption of telemedicine, making My Health at Vanderbilt increasingly accessible in more languages and through new platforms, to eliminating barriers to accessing health systems through technology. We will explore these topics through seminars and lectures, and where possible through hands-on learning activities and virtual field trips.  

Dr. Wilkins talk will be on Friday, September 18th at 2:00 pm. VCLIC hopes to see you there. Please find the details of this talk on the Events page of our website. If you have any questions or are interested in either presenting or participating as part of this theme, please reach out to  

Recap: Focus Area Kickoff Seminar with Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI 

On Friday, September 18th, VCLIC opened our curriculum for the year with a talk from Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, co-organized as part of DBMI’s retreat week.  Dr. Wilkins is the Vice President for Health Equity at VUMC as well as the Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and a Professor of Medicine at VUMC. She spoke on a range of topics regarding equity and health care, making sure to point out that what we are really striving for is equity in health among all people. For our audience, she focused especially on ways technology helps and hurts the movement towards health equity. 


Dr. Wilkins’ talk was extremely engaging and enlightening, and we hope you were all able to attend! Thank you so much to Dr. Wilkins and her staff for making this possible. We hope to have her back soon!  

 Stay tuned for more information on next months’ activities related to our theme!  

MSACI Program and Fall 2020 Students 

The Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MSACI) program at Vanderbilt provides a 36-credit hour curriculum in 21 months, with a coursework-intensive first year, and followed by a second year devoted to a mentored capstone project. The curriculum emphasizes a deep theoretical and practical understanding of informatics concepts developed through coursework and over 240 hours of practicum experience using real Health IT data and systems. The MSACI program will also satisfy educational certification requirements for physicians seeking subspecialty board recognition in Clinical Informatics. 

What really sets our program apart is that we provide innovative clinical informatics education though an online format intended for working professionals in the healthcare field. Our instructors are drawn from the largest Informatics department in the nation, as well as lecturers from other departments. This provides a breadth of experience and expertise, as well as excellent networking opportunities. Our goal is for graduates to assume leadership roles in the application and innovation of clinical informatics nationally. 

More information here: 


Welcome, Fall 2020 Student Cohort! 

VCLIC (and DBMI/VUMC) is thrilled to welcome the 7 students joining the program this fall. We asked each to share a bit about what they are most looking forward to learning or doing in the program and would like to introduce:  


Christopher Abraham, MD 


Johann Brandes, MD 


Jacob A. Franco, MD 


Geevan George, MD 


Stephen Charles Gradwohl II, MD, MSCI 


Vikas Jain, MBA 


Troy Kurz, MD 


Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology 

Washington University in St. Louis 


Oncologist, TN Oncology 


Hospitalist, VUMC 


Family Medicine, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System 


Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine 

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, VUMC 


Senior IT Project Manager 

HealthIT Product Development, VUMC 



University of California, Riverside  


I am looking forward to furthering my understanding of clinical informatics and applying that knowledge in my own practice to improve patient outcomes. ”  


“I believe that integration and analysis of the wealth of data generated on a daily basis will allow me to develop clinical decision support systems to identify those at highest risk for complications, tailor treatments based on clinical and genetic/genomic characteristics and potentially de‐escalate treatment intensity where appropriate.”

“I completed Internal Medicine Residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2019 and started work as a Hospitalist at Vanderbilt that year. I rediscovered my passion for programming and algorithms and took the role of Epic Clinician Champion for the Hospitalist Department. Multiple committees and several Grand Rounds presentations later I found that I would need a deeper understanding to make true change. I completed the basic and advanced builder courses at Epic and am now completing the MSACI program to further help my institution and department."

“I’m a family medicine physician in rural Spartanburg, South Carolina where I provide care and have opportunities to further the EHR to better care for both our patients and providers. During the program I’m interested in being able to learn the IT language to bridge the gap between the clinical and the IT realms, with a focus on operational informatics.”


“My passion for clinical informatics has grown over the years through my research experiences with modeling large patient databases, optimizing information retrieval in the EHR, evaluating diagnostic errors, and user‐centered design related to antimicrobial  stewardship. I am most excited about learning best practices to develop clinical decision support tools to improve quality of care, efficiency, and satisfaction in the busy environment of the emergency room."

“Since I am a computer engineer, in the near future, I look forward to learning clinical aspects of the healthcare industry while analyzing digitized healthcare data to help find systemic waste, identify people at risk of chronic diseases, and align it with changing consumer preferences. In the long term, I would love to bring transparency of healthcare expenses to consumers and find ways to tame it.” 


“Psychiatry has much room to grow within the field of informatics and this degree will allow me to be directly involved in this growth. I am also looking forward to expanding my knowledge in AI and machine learning and how it can be applied to the field of psychiatry.” 


Congratulations to the VUMC IAHSI Fellows! 

VUMC and DBMI have three faculty members who will be inducted as Fellows into IAHSI (International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics) next month:  

Congratulations to Martin Were (VCLIC Member), Steven Brown, and Brad Malin on this fantastic accomplishment! 


Martin Were, MD, MS 

Steven Brown, MD, MS, FACMI 

Brad Malin, PhD, FACMI 

FAMIA Awardees 

We congratulate the 8 VCLIC Members who will be inducted as Fellows of AMIA (FAMIA) during the 2021 AMIA Clinical Informatics Conference (CIC). Great job representing VUMC and VCLIC!  


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Martin Were, MD, MS 

Scott Nelson, PharmD, MS 

Laurie Novak, PhD, MHSA 

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Josh Peterson, MD, MPH, FACMI 

Colin Walsh, MD, MA 

Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, FACMI 

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Asli Weitkamp, PhD 

Kevin Johnson, MD, MS 


We would also like to congratulate the 3 VCLIC Members who were inducted into the FAMIA Class of 2020 earlier this year. Great job!  





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Dara Mize, MD 

Travis Osterman, DO, MS 

Jon Wanderer, MD, MPhil 

Congratulations to Our New ACMI Fellow  

Congratulations to Kim Unertl, PhD, who will be inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) during the AMIA 2020 Annual Symposium this November. There were only 13 new fellows, making this an especially impressive achievement! 

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Kim Unertl, PhD 

Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, Elected ACMI Executive Committee President-Elect 



Congratulations are in order for Kevin Johnson, MD, MS, who was recently named President-Elect of ACMI (the American College of Medical Informatics)'s Executive Committee, for January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022, with a term as President to follow the year after. We look forward to seeing the fantastic results that will arise from having Dr. Johnson on the governing board of such an influential body in informatics.  

Matt Weinger, MD, MS, Awarded 2020 AR Lauer Safety Award from the HFES

 Please join us in congratulating Matt Weinger, MD, MS, who will be presented with the 2020 AR Lauer Safety Award at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) annual meeting in October.  


This award, established in 1968, recognizes a person for outstanding contributions to human factors aspects in the broad area of safety. This includes HF/E work that has led to reduced accidents and injuries in such areas as industry, aviation, surface transportation, and consumer products. Candidates' accomplishments should be related to safety or safety training technology as demonstrated by research or application of HF/E principles. Emphasis should be placed on both programmatic and recent contributions to the field of endeavor.  

Adam Wright, PhD, appointed to Faculty Advisory Council 



VCLIC Director Adam Wright, PhD was recently appointed to the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Faculty Advisory Council. Dr. Wright’s appointment was fueled by his commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service at Vanderbilt. Congratulations, Dr. Wright!