Search results powered by Vanderbilt University

for Medical Professionals — ABCDEFs of Prevention and Safety

Our Group

Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group


Site Principal Investigators

Timothy D. Girard, MD, MSCI
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Timothy D. Girard, MD, MSCI
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Timothy D. Girard, MD, MSCI is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine and the Center for Health Services Research at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine as well as a staff physician and investigator in the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Baylor University and earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He then completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Virginia and a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Critical Care Medicine. His recent research efforts include a randomized clinical trial evaluating the effect of a paired sedation and ventilator weaning protocol on short- and long-term outcomes among medical ICU patients as well as a multicenter prospective cohort study of long-term cognitive impairment in survivors of critical illness. His research interests include geriatric critical care, cognitive impairment after critical illness, delirium, and sedation in the ICU. He is currently funded by National Institute on Aging. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-2803
Fax: (615) 936-1269
timothy.girard@vanderbilt.edu ×

James C. Jackson, PsyD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

James C. Jackson, PsyD
Assistant Professor of Medicine

James Jackson, PsyD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine and the Center for Health Services Research at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He earned his PsyD degree in Clinical Psychology from Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University in July 2001 and completed a psychology residency at the Vanderbilt/VA Psychology Consortium. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Oliver Zangwill Center at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Ely, England in the summer of 2011, where he received intensive training in cognitive rehabilitation. He is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in neuropsychological outcomes research and studies psychological (e.g. depression and PTSD) and cognitive functioning in survivors of critical illness as well as the effects of cognitive rehabilitation in ICU survivors with brain injuries. He is a National Institute of Aging funded investigator.

Dr. Jackson has authored or coauthored over 45 scientific publications and has also written many book chapters, while frequently presenting scientific abstracts and giving invited lectures at national or international meetings on topics related to cognitive impairment and psychological distress in critically ill populations. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his CV.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-2822
Fax: (615) 936-1269
james.c.jackson@vanderbilt.edu ×

Pratik Pandharipande, MD, MSCI
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Pratik Pandharipande, MD, MSCI
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care

Dr. Pratik Pandharipande is a Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Critical Care at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Anesthesiology with a Subspecialty Certification in Critical Care Medicine. Dr Pandharipande graduated with a MB, BS (MD) from University of Nagpur in India in the 5th percentile of his class. After completing a Research Assistantship at the University of Pittsburgh, he completed an Anesthesiology Residency at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, NJ. From there, he entered and completed a Fellowship in Critical Care – Anesthesia at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Pandharipande has also completed a Master in Science and Clinical Investigation. Dr Pandharipandes' clinical focus is divided between ICU consultancy in the Surgical, Burn and Neurological ICU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr Pandharipandes' interests are focused on sedation in the ICU and the role of sedative medications in delirium and cognitive impairment in critically ill patients. He is funded by a RO1 from the NHLBI. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
Office: (615) 343-6268
Fax: (615) 343-6272
pratik.pandharipande@vanderbilt.edu ×

Nathan E. Brummel, MD, MSCI
Instructor in Medicine

Nathan E. Brummel, MD, MSCI
Instructor in Medicine

Nathan E. Brummel, MD, MSCI is an Instructor in Medicine in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from Creighton University with a bachelor's degree in biology and later a master's degree in Biomedical Sciences. He completed his medical degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where as a junior and senior medical student he served as president of the graduate and professional student government organization. He trained in Internal Medicine, including a Chief Residency, at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio before moving to Nashville to pursue further training in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases and a graduate of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine’s Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program. His research interests are geriatric critical care, delirium in the ICU and long-term cognitive impairment following critical illness. He recently served as PI of a randomized trial of early cognitive therapy for critically ill patients. The NIA and the Vanderbilt Clinical and Translational Scholars program currently fund his work. For more details regarding his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
nathan.e.brummel@vanderbilt.edu ×

Christopher G. Hughes, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Christopher G. Hughes, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Christopher Hughes is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology Division of Critical Care at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is Board Certified in Anesthesiology with a Subspecialty Certification in Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Hughes graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He completed anesthesiology residency and critical care medicine fellowship at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He was one of the initial members of the Benjamin Howard Robbins Scholars Program through the Department of Anesthesiology and received a highly competitive Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Training Grant. His clinical focus is divided between perioperative anesthesiology and ICU consultancy in the Surgical, Neurological, and Burn ICUs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In addition, he serves as medical director and ICU consultant for the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Nashville VA Surgical ICU. Dr. Hughes' primary research interests focus on the examining the role of endothelial dysfunction in organ failure states, including cognitive dysfunction in critical illness, and designing therapeutic regimens that modify endothelial function to improve patient outcomes. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
christopher.hughes@vanderbilt.edu ×

E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Critical Care
Associate Director of Aging Research, VA GRECC

E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Critical Care
Associate Director of Aging Research, VA GRECC

Dr. E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH is a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine with subspecialty training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a particular passion for care of older critically ill patients. He is the Associate Director of Aging Research for the VA Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center (GRECC). His research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with sepsis and respiratory failure, with special emphasis on the problems facing older patients in the ICU (e.g., weaning from mechanical ventilation, delirium and cognitive impairment in the ICU, neuropsychological deficits post ICU care, and quality of death in the ICU). Dr. Ely has over 250 peer reviewed articles.

As the founder of the Vanderbilt ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group, he currently serves as the principal investigator for the Coordinating Center's ongoing clinical trials in sedation and delirium and post-ICU cognitive impairment. Dr. Ely designs and leads a team of investigators in conducting both large cohort studies and randomized controlled clinical trials seeking both better understanding and management of critically ill patients in the ICU. Among other studies, Dr. Ely has been the principal investigator of two large NIH and VA-sponsored cohort investigations in ICU patients, with a focus on delirium and sedative/analgesic drug exposure and acquired cognitive and functional impairment in survivors of critical illness as well as the MIND-USA randomized controlled trial of antipsychotics versus placebo for ICU Delirium, an 18 center NIH-sponsored, Phase III investigation. He is especially thankful to have the privilege of working with such a talented and inter-disciplinary team of professionals from dozens of different training backgrounds to conduct this research in such an important public health domain.

Importantly, he is married to Dr. Kim Ely, a surgical pathologist at Vanderbilt (herself a graduate of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tulane University School of Medicine and also a member of AOA), with whom he has 3 lovely daughters who are together the pride of his life.

Contact information
wes.ely@vanderbilt.edu ×

ICU Outcomes and Patient Safety

Eduard E. Vasilevskis, M.D.
Hospital Medicine and Center for Health Services Research

Eduard E. Vasilevskis, M.D.
Hospital Medicine and Center for Health Services Research

Eduard E. Vasilevskis, M.D., is a staff physician with the Tennessee Valley VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Care Center, and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health – Section of Hospital Medicine, and the Center for Health Services Research. He earned his medical degree at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. He then completed residency and chief residency at the University California, San Francisco and completed a health services research fellowship at the Institute for Health Policy Studies and the Divisions of General Internal Medicine and Hospital Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. His recent research efforts have included the development and validation of risk-adjusted quality measures for the purposes of benchmarking performance in intensive care unit as well outcomes research for common acute hospital conditions. He is currently working with the Center of Quality Aging, and the VA Inpatient Evaluation Center (IPEC) to improve efforts in the translation of important clinical research findings into broader clinical practice, with the goal of reducing the burden of delirium and adverse safety events among hospitalized patients. This involves both the testing of quality improvement strategies as well as the development of quality metrics to assess provider / hospital practice. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
eduard.vasilevskis@vanderbilt.edu ×

Emergency Medicine

Jin H. Han, MD, MSC
Assistant Professor

Jin H. Han, MD, MSC
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jin Han is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and has been with Vanderbilt University since 2005. He completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Cincinnati and also served as chief resident. He then completed a research fellowship and obtained a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to his clinical responsibilities in the emergency department, Dr. Han has been very active in patient oriented research. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and abstracts in the areas of geriatric medicine, cardiology, and emergency department overcrowding. He is the recipient of the Vanderbilt Physician Scientist Development Grant and Emergency Medicine Foundation Career Development Award and has served as co-investigator on several NIH grants. Currently, Dr. Han is funded by a National Institute on Aging K23 award which will validate a brief delirium assessment for the emergency department setting and help elucidate the consequences of this form of organ failure.

Contact information
jin.h.han@vanderbilt.edu ×

Senior Advisors

Gordon R. Bernard, MD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Gordon R. Bernard, MD
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research

Gordon R. Bernard, MD, is a subspecialist in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine whose areas of interest include sepsis and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). As Director of the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Dr. Bernard oversees a multifaceted lung research center in addition to directing his own research programs. Dr. Bernard’s research has primarily focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with sepsis and respiratory failure. Because of his expertise and integrity in this specialty, Dr. Bernard has been called upon to serve in an advisory capacity by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. He has also testified before the state legislature regarding sepsis. Additionally, Dr. Bernard provides his expertise to physician scientists internationally via invited lectures and through his role as advisor to global companies and organizations involved in health care, which includes advisory board service to the non-profit International Sepsis Forum.

He was Primary Investigator for the Phase III PROWESS trial of rh-Activated Protein C for severe sepsis that eventually led to its becoming the first approved drug for this disease. Dr. Bernard is currently the chairman of the steering committee of the ARDS clinical trials network, a 10-year NIH-sponsored cohort investigation of acute respiratory distress syndrome in ICU patients.

Dr. Bernard graduated with a double major (biology and chemistry) from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University where he was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha national honor society. Dr. Bernard has written or co-authored more than 150 articles, book chapters and editorials.

×

Robert S. Dittus, MD, MPH
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Health and Health Care

Robert S. Dittus, MD, MPH
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Health and Health Care

Robert Dittus, MD, MPH is the Albert and Bernard Werthan Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Vanderbilt Division of General Internal Medicine, Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research, Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Institute for Community Health, Director of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC), Director of the Center for Improving Patient Safety, Senior Quality Scholar of the Department of Veterans Affairs and Director of the Nashville VA/Vanderbilt Quality Scholars Fellowship program, Director of the Vanderbilt Clinical Research Curriculum and Co-Director of the Meharry Clinical Research Education and Career Development Program. His undergraduate degree was in industrial engineering at Purdue. He attended medical school at Indiana University and completed residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Indiana. He received a M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill during his fellowship training in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Dittus has been the principal investigator of over 20 grants from predominately federal sources and co-PI or co-investigator of over an additional 30 grants with total research funding exceeding $100 million. He has a long history of managing multidisciplinary research teams including the coordination of investigators at different sites. At Indiana University he was Director of the Clinical Practice and Health Policy Analysis Program at the Regenstrief Institute and Co-Director of the Bowen Research Center. He was co-PI of one of AHCPR’s PORTs. Since his arrival at Vanderbilt in 1997 as Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, he has created and is Director of the Center for Health Services Research for which he has recruited over 50 faculty. The Center currently has approximately $100 million in awarded funding. He has created and is Director of the Institute for Community Health which is a collaboration between Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College to conduct research aimed at reducing the disparities among racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups in disease incidence, process of healthcare and outcomes from care. He was awarded funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs to create a Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC). In its first three years GRECC faculty have over 60 funded grants representing over $140 million in research funding and have published over 400 articles.

Dr. Dittus has devoted 30 years to healthcare quality improvement and his research has led to the improvement of the effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness, safety and equity of healthcare. He has advanced the methodology of medical decision making and conducted numerous studies delineating the cost-effectiveness of alternative strategies for clinical care. He has conducted numerous studies examining the microsystems of healthcare that have improved healthcare delivery. He has conducted numerous studies on the macrosystems of healthcare that have led to improvements in health policy. He continues these efforts through his current research programs. He is the principal investigator of a NCI funded grant to further his established network simulation model that examines the cost-effectiveness of alternative strategies for colorectal cancer screening and surveillance. He is the principal investigator of an AHRQ funded multi-institutional Center for Improving Patient Safety. He is the senior physician scientist on the NCI funded Southern Community Cohort Study, a $26 million RO1 that is establishing a 105,000 cohort of study subjects in the southeast U.S. to examine racial and ethnic disparities in disease incidence, process of care and outcomes of care. He has numerous ongoing projects designed to examine and improve healthcare systems and health outcomes throughout the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System through efforts with his fellows in the Quality Scholars Program and through collaborations with faculty in many other specialties

Dr. Dittus has a long track record of education curriculum development and training fellows in clinical research and is the principal investigator and director of the NIH funded K30 clinical research curriculum at Vanderbilt. The curriculum includes both a Masters in Public Health and a Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation. He is also the co-Director of Meharry Medical College’s Clinical Research Education and Career Development Program which sponsors a new Master’s of Science in Clinical Investigation. Dr. Dittus has been the principal investigator of twelve federally funded health services research training grants and has trained over 70 fellows and junior faculty of whom over 90% are in academic medicine. Since his arrival at Vanderbilt, he has served as the career and research mentor for junior faculty receiving funding from NIH K23 and K08 awards, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Generalist Physician Award and Minority Faculty Awards, the Paul Beeson American Federation of Aging Research Award, and the American Diabetes Association Career Development Award.

×

Theodore Speroff, PhD
Chief, VA TVHS Health Services Research

Theodore Speroff, PhD
Chief, VA TVHS Health Services Research

Theodore Speroff PhD, Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, and Preventive Medicine, is a graduate of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program of Case Western Reserve University. He is a VA Senior Scholar and Associate Director of the Nashville site of the VA National Quality Scholars Fellowship Program, a member of the VA HSR&D scientific review and evaluation board, board member of the Academy for Healthcare Improvement, and director of the coordinating center for the National Neurological Quality and Outcomes Database. Dr. Speroff has mentored multiple post-doctoral and pre-doctoral students, fellows, and junior faculty as well as faculty with career development awards. Dr. Speroff has over 25 years of professional experience in quality improvement that ranges from hospital-based firm trials of quality improvement to community based quality improvement. His research includes health services research and outcomes assessment, comparative effectiveness, continuous quality improvement and patient safety in health care, assessment of patient preferences and clinical decision analysis, applied clinical informatics and natural language processing, quality registry, methodological reviews of the literature, and meta analysis. He has previously led multi-site, national collaborative and randomized control trial studies across large organizations. His primary focus has been to advance the underlying science for clinical quality improvement work and the measurement of quality.

Contact information
ted.speroff@vanderbilt.edu ×

Health Policy in Critical Care

Brett C. Norman, M.D.
Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Brett C. Norman, M.D.
Fellow, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Brett Norman is a Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine fellow at Vanderbilt University. He graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in Forensic Chemistry. He then attended medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. He did his residency in Internal Medicine at The University of Washington in Seattle, WA followed by a Chief Residency in Internal Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine.

His research interests involve the economic impacts of critical illness and long term cognitive impairment after critical illness, as well as the impact these play on families. He also has research interests in health policy and health economics pertaining to critical care and critical care survivorship and developing high value care models for ICU survivors. Dr. Norman is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology at Vanderbilt to assist in his further research endeavors.

Contact information
Office: (615) 875-4784
brett.norman@vanderbilt.edu ×

John A. Graves, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

John A. Graves, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

John A. Graves, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he holds appointments in the Department of Health Policy and the Department of Medicine

Graves’ interdisciplinary research focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of health care reforms at the state and federal level. Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 2011, John has developed a broad research portfolio that includes large-scale national projects on hospital costs and quality, the economic and health returns to genomic personalized medicine interventions, identifying and addressing primary care workforce gaps under the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansions, and on state-level solutions for the design and targeting of subsidies, tax credits, and the Medicaid expansion under the ACA.

Graves is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University and is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, the National Institute on Aging, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the American Statistical Association, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Contact information
john.graves@vanderbilt.edu ×

Melinda J.B. Buntin, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Health Policy

Melinda J.B. Buntin, Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Health Policy

Melinda Buntin is the chair of the Department of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Director for Health at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), where she was responsible for managing and directing studies of health care and health care financing issues in the Health, Retirement, and Long-term analysis Division. Prior to joining CBO, Dr. Buntin worked at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, where she established and directed the economic analysis, evaluation, and modeling group, while on leave from RAND. At RAND, Dr. Buntin served as deputy director of RAND Health’s Economics, Financing, and Organization Program, director of Public Sector Initiatives for RAND Health, and co-director of the Bing Center for Health Economics. Her research at RAND focused on insurance benefit design, health insurance markets, provider payment, and the care use and needs of the elderly. She has an A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton and a Ph.D. in Health Policy with a concentration in economics from Harvard.

Contact information
melinda.buntin@vanderbilt.edu ×

Trauma

Mayur B. Patel, MD, MPH, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery and Neurosurgery

Mayur B. Patel, MD, MPH, FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery and Neurosurgery

Dr. Mayur B. Patel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma & Surgical Critical Care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and staff surgical intensivist in Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Patel graduated Phi Beta Kappa with General and Departmental Honors from Johns Hopkins University and earned his medical degree at Vanderbilt University. He then completed his general surgery residency at Duke University. He returned to Vanderbilt University for his clinical training in surgical critical care, trauma, and acute care surgery, and for his research training by completing Vanderbilt’s two-year program in the Master of Public Health.

Dr. Patel is Board Certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, and Board Eligible in Neurocritical Care. His current research interests focus on severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) with its associated sympathetic hyperactivity and long-term cognitive dysfunction. He is leading a randomized clinical trial investigating the role of adrenergic blockade in improving outcomes after severe TBI. The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, Eastern Association Surgery of Trauma Foundation Research Scholarship, Vanderbilt CTSA, and the Vanderbilt Physician-Scientist Development Program have supported his recent research efforts. For more details of his work or for his CV, please contact him.

Contact information
Office: (615) 875-5843
mayur.b.patel@vanderbilt.edu ×

Clinical Pharmacology in Critical Illness

C. Michael Stein M.D.
Dan May Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Dr C. Michael Stein M.D.
Dan May Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology

Dr C. Michael Stein M.D. is the Dan May Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology. Dr. Stein is an established physician-scientist who is a clinical pharmacologist with a focus on inter-individual variability in response to drugs. His research has used the tools of translational science to define the mechanisms underlying such variability. Dr. Stein has published approximately 200 papers in journals that include Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, PNAS, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Circulation. In addition, Dr. Stein has achieved national leadership in the discipline of Clinical Pharmacology and has served as Editor of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT), from 2002-2007. He is the current editor of Archives of Drug Information, and was associate editor of Pharmacological Reviews from 2001-2010. He serves on the Editorial Board of Cardiovascular Drug Reviews (2007–present) and Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics (2008-present). He has served on numerous NIH study sections and was elected to the Association of American Physicians in 2009. Dr. Stein has published extensively on the pharmacogenetics of drug response in humans and has contributed to the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) guidelines for warfarin, clopidogrel and azathioprine. His work in our research group is integral to the exploration of the inter-individual role that different sedative and analgesic medications play in the development of delirium and long-term cognitive impairment in ICU patients during illness and recovery.

Contact information
mike.stein@vanderbilt.edu ×

Benjamin A. Ferrell, MD
Clinical Fellow, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine

Benjamin A. Ferrell, MD
Clinical Fellow, Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine

Benjamin A. Ferrell, MD is a clinical fellow in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from Davidson College with a bachelor's degree in religion. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine before pursuing additional training in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. He began working with the ICU delirium research group during residency and has completed projects focused on post-traumatic stress disorder among ICU survivors as well as sedative drug effects on high-risk patients in the ICU. His current research efforts focus on ICU sedation and the genetic determinants of sedative drug metabolism. For more details of his work, please contact him for a copy of his Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
benjamin.ferrell@vanderbilt.edu ×

Research Coordinators

Brenda Truman Pun, RN, MSN, ACNP
Program Clinical Manager

Brenda Truman Pun, RN, MSN, ACNP
Program Clinical Manager

Brenda Truman Pun, RN, MSN, ACNP is an advanced practice nurse with a special interest in critical care, who conducts and participates in patient-oriented, health services research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Brenda received a bachelor’s degree from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV and a master’s of science degree in nursing from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. She serves as a Program Clinical Manager in the Vanderbilt Coordinating Center where she is involved in the creation and design of studies, grant writing, data collection, analysis of data and communication of results. Her research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with special emphasis on delirium and sedation. In addition she is dedicated to nursing and medical education as well as the translation and implementation of research to bedside practice. She travels throughout the United States providing continuing education to bedside staff at local, regional and national conferences and providing research consultation to hospitals and organizations.

Contact information
Office: (919) 484-3964
brenda.pun@vanderbilt.edu ×

Leanne Boehm, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
Critical Care Research Nurse

Leanne Boehm, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC
Critical Care Research Nurse

Leanne Boehm received a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master's degree in Clinical Management from Vanderbilt University. She worked as a critical care nurse since 2003 and became a member of the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group in 2008. As a staff nurse Leanne participated in precepting new staff as well as development of protocols to improve patient safety and cost of care. As a research nurse, she participates in creation of protocols, grant writing, and coordinating and managing studies. She began to pursue a PhD in Nursing Science in 2011 at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Leanne is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, and the Society of Clinical Research Associates.

Contact information
Fax: (615) 936-2823
leanne.boehm@vanderbilt.edu ×

Joyce Okahashi, RN
Critical Care Research Nurse

Joyce Okahashi, RN
Critical Care Research Nurse

Joyce Okahashi, R.N., joined the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a member of the Department of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, in 2006. Joyce has worked primarily as a critical care nurse for more than 25 years and holds active licenses in three states; Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. She has been certified in critical care, CCRN, for years with the majority of her practice and her work experience in the medical/surgical, trauma and cardiac intensive care units. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt she was working in Hawaii as a Research Nurse Coordinator, based at the RCMI Clinical Research Center at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in affiliation with the University of Hawaii. She was responsible for assisting investigators with the development of research protocols, applications, IRB submissions, consenting, collecting specimens and conducting patient visits. These studies included lung cancer, feeding studies, DVT, telomeres, genetic data banking, HIV and others.

Her current role with the ICU Delirium team is as the Lead Research Nurse Specialist charged with the coordination of all aspects of the hospital phase of the delirium studies at Vanderbilt. She is also the Program Clinical Manager for the Delirium group’s studies at the VA hospitals in Nashville, TN Valley Healthcare System, and two other sites; VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System in Salt Lake City, Utah and Puget Sound Healthcare System in Seattle, Washington.

She received her nursing degree from Florida College and worked on her BSN through the University of Phoenix. Over the years she has also worked as a Case Manager, IV Therapy Coordinator and Information Specialist in telephonic nursing and with the Hawaii Poison Center.

Contact information
Center For Health Services Research
1215 21st Avenue South
Medical Center East, Suite 6100
Office: (615) 936-0009
Fax: (615) 936-1269
joyce.okahashi@vanderbilt.edu ×

Cayce Strength, RN, BSN
Critical Care Research Nurse

Cayce Strength, RN, BSN
Critical Care Research Nurse

Cayce Strength, R.N., B.S.N. is a registered nurse who graduated from Middle Tennessee State University, School of Nursing in Murfreesboro, TN. She has been a nurse since 1998 with a specialty in Intensive Care nursing. Cayce has been working at Vanderbilt University Medical Center for more than 8 years and attained a level RN 3 status in the Medical ICU where she worked with the staff in competencies, nursing protocols, precepting new staff nurses and facilitating group meetings and quality improvement. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International-Honor Society of Nursing, the Tennessee Nurses' Association and the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She works in her community as a volunteer with the American Red Cross, and assisted with Hurricane Katrina Victims as a Disaster Assistance Team member.

Contact information
Office: (615 )936-6341
Pager: (615) 831-8387
cayce.strength@vanderbilt.edu ×

Aimee Hoskins, RN, BSN
Research Nurse

Aimee Hoskins, RN, BSN
Research Nurse

Aimee Hoskins, R.N., B.S.N joined the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2011. Aimee began her research career in the Department of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine in 2007. Her role in research has been to take responsibility for assuring the integrity and quality of various clinical research trials and to ensure compliance with protocols and overall clinical objectives. Aimee graduated with Sigma Theta Tau and Magna Cum Laude honors from Belmont University in Nashville, TN with a bachelor's of science degree in nursing. She was honored with the Leadership Award from the Belmont Faculty. Aimee has a great desire to stay connected with the community and to serve those less fortunate. Aimee is the director of a youth outreach program named IGNITE. She volunteers at local shelters, food banks, Relay for Life, and has served as a leader on various mission trips.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-5068
Fax: (615) 831-8971
aimee.s.hoskins@vanderbilt.edu ×

Anesthesiology

Elizabeth Card, RN, CPAN, CCRP
Research Nurse IV

Elizabeth Card, RN, CPAN, CCRP
Research Nurse IV

A practicing registered nurse since 1990 with experience in critical care, step down, post anesthesia care unit, pre-op holding and case management in both pediatric and adult populations. Presently a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator with the department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Within this role, she assists in the design of the clinical research, ensures integrity and quality of the clinical research trial is maintained and it is conducted in accordance with Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. She has served as sub-investigator or key study personal in over 50 clinical research studies at Vanderbilt involving drugs, devices, observational or survey studies in the decade she has worked in clinical trials. She has worked on numerous studies focusing on delirium or cognitive impairment and emergence delirium. She has served as principle investigator, sub investigator and research nurse coordinator. She has presented at local and state conferences on emergence delirium, she has presented posters on delirium, undetected hypoxia and hyperalgesia at national and international conferences. She has served as an active member on the American Society of Peri-Anesthesia Nurses Research Committee and Safety Committee, she has served as a journal reviewer most recently for the British Journal of Anesthesia. Certified PeriAnesthesia Nurse and Certified Clinical Research Professional and an active member in Sigma Theta Tau.

Presently serving as President for TSPAN (Tennessee Society for Peri-Anesthesia Nurses) and as MTSPAN (Middle Tennessee Society for Peri-Anesthesia Nurses) Education Chair for 2 years. Abstract reviewer for ASPAN National Conference 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-5354
Fax: (615) 936-862
elizabeth.b.card@vanderbilt.edu ×

NOTE: Other Anesthesiology members in our group are located in other sections as members including Pratik Pandharipande, MD, MSCI, Chris Hughes, MD, and Heidi Smith, MD, MSCI


Neuropsychology

Amy Lipsey Kiehl, MA, LPC-MHSP
Research Coordinator

Amy Lipsey Kiehl, MA, LPC-MHSP
Research Coordinator

Amy Kiehl is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Tennessee and since 2010 has worked as a research coordinator of multiple large and complex NIH funded studies pertaining to cognitive and mental health related outcomes in survivors of critical illness. Prior to her work at Vanderbilt, she worked as a school-based therapist/case manager for 5 1/2 years in the Nashville public school system and treated children with wide-ranging behavioral disorders. She received her MA in Counseling from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL and her BA in English/Psychology from Berry College in Rome, GA. She has lived and worked overseas, including China, Kenya, Peru, and Brazil.

×

Hillary Warrington, MS
Research Analyst II

Hillary Warrington, MS
Research Analyst II

Hillary Warrington, M.S., joined the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2013 as a Research Analyst II. She currently coordinates the AVID study and assists with several studies with the ICU Delirium Team. Her primary duties include administering and scoring neuropsychological assessments, data collection, and corresponding with patients. Hillary graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a BS degree in psychology in 2011. She subsequently graduated with her MS degree in psychology from Lipscomb University (Nashville) in 2012. Prior to her time at Vanderbilt, Warrington worked in several non-profit agencies serving diverse populations including marginalized and mentally ill groups. Warrington is a member of the APA, APAGS, TPA and strives to serve people she will never meet through her current and future research endeavors.

Contact information
Hillary.j.warrington@vanderbilt.edu ×

Sharon M. Gordon, PsyD
Geriatric Neuropsychology, GRECC

Sharon M. Gordon, PsyD
Geriatric Neuropsychology, GRECC

Sharon M. Gordon is a clinical Neuropsychologist with special interests in geriatrics, who conducts and participates in patient-oriented, health services research as an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She is one of the Vanderbilt Coordinating Center Project Managers where she is involved in the creation and design of studies, grant writing, data collection, analysis of data and communication of results. She is Chief of Psychology Service for the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and a faculty member for the VA Tennessee Valley Geriatric Research and Education Center (GRECC). Dr. Gordon also is on the faculty at Meharry Medical College and Trevecca Nazarene University. She graduated from Albion College, in Albion, Michigan, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Western Michigan University. Her doctorate in psychology was completed at Antioch/New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire and her pre-doctoral internship training was at the Memphis VA with a specialty in neuropsychology. Dr. Gordon’s post-doctoral training in geriatrics and neuropsychology was completed at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Her research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with a special emphasis on delirium and neuropsychological impairment in older survivors of critical illness. For more details of her work, please contact her for a copy of her current Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-2823
Fax: (615) 936-1269
sharon.gordon@vanderbilt.edu ×

Sleep

Paula Watson, MD
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Paula Watson, MD
Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Paula Watson is an Assistant Professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She is board certified in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Watson graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Northeast Louisiana University. She earned her medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science where she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. She completed a medicine residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and completed a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Watson subsequently practiced Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine in Sarasota, Florida before returning to Vanderbilt University as faculty. Dr. Watson's research interests include sleep and sedation in the intensive care unit, cognitive dysfunction in critically ill patients, and sepsis. For more details of her work, please contact her for a copy of her Curriculum Vitae.

×

Beth Malow, MD, MS
Professor of Neurology

Beth Malow, MD, MS
Professor of Neurology

Beth Malow, MD, MS is an Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Center and the Vanderbilt Sleep Research Core. She is also an Associate Director of Vanderbilt University’s General Clinical Research Center and Chief of the Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Division. Dr Malow received her MD degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She completed residency training in Neurology at the Harvard-Longwood Program in Boston, Massachusetts, followed by fellowship training in epilepsy, EEG, and sleep medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Malow is the Chair of the American Academy of Neurology’s Sleep Science Award and has organized the Sleep Disorders Scientific Program for the American Academy of Neurology’s Annual Meeting.

Dr Malow’s research interests are in the interface of sleep and neurological disorders, including epilepsy and autism. She served as principal investigator on a NIH/NINDS Multi-center Pilot Clinical Trial examining the effects of treating obstructive sleep apnea on seizure frequency, daytime sleepiness, and health-related quality of life in adults with epilepsy. In addition, she holds research funding from Autism Speaks/National Alliance for Autism Research to study the causes of sleep disturbances in autism spectrum disorders and their impact on daytime behavior. Dr. Malow serves on the editorial board of Sleep, Sleep Medicine, Epilepsia, and Epilepsy Currents. She is the author or co-author of over 50 scientific papers. Dr. Malow is a frequently invited speaker at national and international seminars and conferences focusing on sleep, autism, epilepsy, and neurological disorders.

×

Neuroimaging

John Gore, PhD
Neuroimaging, FMRI, Director of VUIIS

John Gore, PhD
Neuroimaging, FMRI, Director of VUIIS

×

Baxter Rogers, PhD
Physicist

Baxter Rogers, PhD
Physicist

Dr. Baxter P. Rogers received his B.S. in Physics at Furman University in 1998. He then studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working with Dr. Elizabeth Meyerand to study techniques and applications of image analysis for functional MRI with a focus on measures of functional connectivity in the brain. He earned his Ph.D. in Medical Physics there in 2004 with a study of connectivity in the motor system using structural equation modeling. He then took a postdoctoral position with Dr. John Gore in the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science, and joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2006. His current appointment is Reseach Associate Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Pychiatry. At Vanderbilt he has collaborated extensively with researchers in Psychology, Psychiatry, and Medicine on a number of fMRI studies.

Dr. Rogers' research focuses on developing advanced techniques for studying functional activity and connectivity in the brain using non-invasive functional MR imaging, and applying these techniques to research questions in cognitive and clinical science. A long-term goal is to develop our understanding of how fMRI-based measures of brain function relate to underlying neurophysiology.

Contact information
baxter.rogers@vanderbilt.edu ×

Psychiatry

Stephan Heckers, MD, MSc
Psychiatry Department Chair

Stephan Heckers, MD, MSc
Psychiatry Department Chair

Dr. Heckers graduated from Medical School at the University of Cologne, Germany, in 1988. He completed his clinical training in Psychiatry between 1993 and 1997 at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, and obtained a Master in Medical Sciences degree from Harvard Medical School in 2000. Dr. Heckers was an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program at McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA, when he accepted the offer to assume the Chair of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University in 2006.

Dr. Heckers studies the neural basis of psychiatric disorders. He is particularly interested in the disease mechanisms of two psychiatric disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The Heckers laboratory combines neuroimaging experiments of brain structure and function in patients with basic research studies of the cellular and molecular basis of psychosis. This approach allows Dr. Heckers to test hypotheses about the neural basis of psychosis at the level of brain circuits as well as neurons and genes.

Dr. Heckers has published more than 100 articles and book chapters and is frequently teaching medical students, physicians, and the lay public. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the International Congress on Schizophrenia Research, the Dr. Paul Janssen Schizophrenia Research Award, and the A.E. Bennett Award. He has been honored twice by the Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Residents with the Teacher of the Year award.

Dr. Heckers is the Associate Editor of the Archives of General Psychiatry and is a member of the Scientific Council of the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.

×

D. Catherine Fuchs, MD
Pediatric Psychiatry

D. Catherine Fuchs, MD
Pediatric Psychiatry

Dr. Catherine Fuchs has been on the faculty since 1998 and is the Division Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Psychiatry. She is also the Training Director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program and teaches at Vanderbilt Medical School. Her clinical work is with children and adolescents with a focus on consultation liaison psychiatry.

Contact information
catherine.fuchs@vanderbilt.edu ×

Pediatric Delirium

Heidi Smith, MD, MSCI, FAAP
Pediatric Intensive Care

Heidi Smith, MD, MSCI, FAAP
Pediatric Intensive Care

Dr. Heidi A. B. Smith, MD, MSCI, FAAP, is an assistant professor of Pediatric Critical Care and Anesthesiology at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She received her undergraduate degree with high distinction from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Dr. Smith graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine with her degree in medicine. There she was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) medical honors society and subsequently elected AOA President her senior year. Dr. Smith completed her pediatric residency and critical care fellowship at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She has since received her Masters of Science in clinical investigation from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Smith is a member of the Center for Human Genetics Research. Her research interests include amino acid deficiencies (citrulline/arginine) and genetic polymorphisms leading to disease processes exacerbated by decreased nitric oxide production such as pulmonary hypertension in children following congenital heart surgery. She was awarded the Vanderbilt Mentored Clinical Research Scholar Grant which funded her work on citrulline replacement in children undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass. She subsequently was awarded the 2005 SPR Clinical Fellow Research Award in Washington, D.C., the Elliott Newman award for best oral presentation in Clinical Research at the 23rd Annual Vanderbilt Research Forum, and was an invited guest lecturer at the 2006 Japanese Society for Pediatric Research conference held in Kanazawa, Japan for her studies in this area. She is an active member of the pediatric research team continuing to evaluate amino acid deficiencies and new biomarkers of oxidative injury in the critically ill.

Dr. Smith has recently joined the delirium team, providing her expertise in caring for critically ill pediatric patients. She is extremely excited to complete a validation study of the pCAM (pediatric confusion assessment method), a bedside pediatric diagnostic tool for delirium. Dr. Smith hopes to better describe pediatric delirium and its effects on short and long term outcomes for critical care patients. For more details of her work, please contact her for a copy of her Curriculum Vitae.

×

D. Catherine Fuchs, MD
Pediatric Psychiatry

D. Catherine Fuchs, MD
Pediatric Psychiatry

Dr. Catherine Fuchs has been on the faculty since 1998 and is the Division Chief for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Psychiatry. She is also the Training Director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program and teaches at Vanderbilt Medical School. Her clinical work is with children and adolescents with a focus on consultation liaison psychiatry.

Contact information
catherine.fuchs@vanderbilt.edu ×

Mary Hamilton Chestnut, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner

Mary Hamilton Chestnut, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner

Mary Hamilton Chestnut joined the Perioperative Clinical Research Institute in November of 2013 as an Advanced Practice Research Nurse. With a primary focus on pediatric research, she currently serves as a coordinator on many of the pediatric trials in anesthesia. She became a part of the delirium team when she was recruited to work with Dr. Heidi Smith and the emerging field of pediatric delirium in the pediatric critical care unit.

Ms. Chestnut has a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Covenant College and a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University where she also received her RN training. She is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner in the state of Tennessee with experience in taking care of patients across the lifespan.

She is excited to be part of this research and hopes to help critically ill children transition smoothly back to the general community and achieve their maximum state of health. Outside of work, Ms. Chestnut enjoys reading classic literature, spending time with friends, and writing poetry.

Contact information
mary.h.chestnut@vanderbilt.edu ×

Biostatisticians

Rameela Chandrasekhar, PhD
Chief PhD Biostastician for Delirium Team

Rameela Chandrasekhar, PhD
Chief PhD Biostastician for Delirium Team

Dr. Rameela Chandrasekhar, Ph.D. is an Assistant professor of Biostatistics at the Department of Biostatistics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the State University of New York at Buffalo in September 2011. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she was a pre-doctoral research affiliate at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute for four years. Dr. Chandrasekhar is currently the senior biostatistician for the Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody as well as the Tennessee Emerging Infections Program. Her research interests lie in statistical computing, clinical trials, biostatistics consulting and repeated measures methodology. For more details of her work, please contact her for a copy of her Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
rameela.chandrasekhar@vanderbilt.edu ×

Jennifer Thompson, MPH
Analyst, Biostatistics

Jennifer Thompson, MPH
Analyst, Biostatistics

Jennifer Thompson, MPH is a biostatistician II with the Department of Biostatistics at Vanderbilt University. She received a Master of Public Health degree in biostatistics in May 2005 from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While at UNC, she worked in the Biometric Consulting Laboratory, providing statistical consulting support for researchers; she also served as an intern at GlaxoSmithKline, working on statistical analysis and programming within GSK's Neurology division. Her role with the Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group includes statistical programming and analysis.

×

Nancy Organ, BA
Data Management Specialist

Nancy Organ, BA
Data Management Specialist

"As a Data Management Specialist for the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group, Nancy facilitates the efficient movement of data from study sites to the analytical platform. She joined the group in 2013 shortly after completing a Bachelor's degree in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley. In line with her dedication to making information accessible, Nancy was the Coordinating Editor for Issues: Berkeley Undergraduate Medical Journal and currently maintains a statistics blog called This isn't normal. Her personal interests include data visualization, machine learning, and genetic statistics."

×

Ayumi Shintani PhD, MPH
Past ICU Delirium PhD Biostatistician

Ayumi Shintani PhD, MPH
Past ICU Delirium PHD Biostatistician

Dr. Shintani is an associate professor of biostatistics at Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a leading biostatistician for the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services Research. She received her Ph.D. in Biostatistics from Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health in May 2000. Her dissertational work involved development of mathematical models to describe the emergence of drug-resistant mutants of HIV with implications for treatment strategies. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she was an instructor at Yale Nursing School teaching advanced statistics to doctoral students. She also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at West Haven Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CT. Dr. Shintani is currently co-investigator of variety of NIH supported projects mainly for the area of health services and outcome research. Her research interest is in advancing methodology to analyze data from critically ill patients. She also received a teaching award from Vanderbilt Master of Science Clinical Investigation Program (MSCI) for the academic year of 2004-2005. Upon the invitation from the Japanese government, she is currently teaching basic and advanced biostatistics to a newly established nation's first MSCI program hosted by Tokai University Hospital, Isehara, Japan.

×

Geriatric Care in Acute and Post-Acute Settings

Alessandro Morandi, MD
Cremona, Italy

Alessandro Morandi, MD
Cremona, Italy

Alessandro Morandi, MD is a clinical fellow in the Geriatric Division at University “Cattolica del Sacro Cuore” in Rome (Italy) and a research fellow in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He earned his medical degree from the University of Brescia, Italy. His research interest includes the aging brain, acquired cognitive dysfunction and functional outcomes of elderly patients admitted to ICU for critical illness and their subsequent clinical disposition and clinical course. His current research includes evaluation of delirium, long-term cognitive impairment in mechanically ventilated patients, MRI brain changes in delirious patients, and genetics predisposition to delirium.

Contact information
Office: (615) 936-5068
Fax: (615) 936-1269
alessandro.morandi@vanderbilt.edu ×

Sandra F. Simmons, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Sandra F. Simmons, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine

Sandra F. Simmons, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health, at Vanderbilt University. Her educational background is in clinical psychology with an emphasis in gerontology. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, she was on faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles as an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, Borun Center for Gerontological Research (1998-2006). 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.

Active in research as a Principal Investigator or Co-investigator, Dr. Simmons has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships to examine issues in gerontology from the National Institutes of Health and Aging, National Alzheimer’s Association, the Commonwealth Fund and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, just to name a few. Specifically, her research foci 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. Her most recent work has focused on nutritional care quality and staffing issues in long term care.

Complementing her research endeavors, Dr. Simmons writes for the medical literature and has more than 80 peer-reviewed articles to her credit, as well as numerous review articles, editorials and book chapters. Additionally, Dr. Simmons frequently speaks nationally and internationally on long-term care quality issues at professional and provider-oriented meetings. Dr. Simmons is a guest reviewer for several funding foundations and scientific journals and serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Journal of Applied Gerontology and Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging. Dr. Simmons provides training and mentorship in research methods and statistics for geriatric fellows, medical students and junior faculty with interests in aging research. 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. She currently has three federally-funded projects as Principal Investigator: (1) VA HSR&D Merit Award to implement a staff training and management intervention to improve nutritional care practices for long-term care veterans; (2) Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) R01 randomized-controlled trial to examine the cost-effectiveness of supplements for weight loss prevention in long-term care; and, (3) National Institute of Aging R01 translational study to improve the cost-effectiveness of nutrition intervention in long-term care. In addition, she was recently awarded two Foundation grants to examine dementia care within assisted-living.

Contact information
sandra.simmons@vanderbilt.edu ×

John F. Schnelle, Ph.D.
Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging

John F. Schnelle, Ph.D.
Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Quality Aging

John F. Schnelle, Ph.D. 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, Dr. Schnelle has over 30 years of experience in clinical care and staff management in nursing homes. His 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.

Contact information
john.schnelle@vanderbilt.edu ×

Susan P. Bell MBBS, MSCI
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Susan P. Bell MBBS, MSCI
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Susan P. Bell obtained her Bachelor's degree in physiology from the University of London and her Medical degree at St. George’s Hospital Medical School, London, UK. She completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Investigation from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Susan Bell completed her internal medical residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and went on to complete fellowship training in Cardiology and Geriatric medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Susan P. Bell is the recipient of the Norma B. Anderson prize in Medicine from Johns Hopkins Hospital and a Physiology Society (UK) award for research. Her research is currently sponsored by a BIRCWH K12 scholarship. Susan Bell is interested in the impact, diagnosis and mechanism of frailty in individuals in older adults with cardiovascular disease. Her work includes long term outcomes of older adults with frailty following hospitalization and the use of non-invasive imaging techniques to further advance mechanisms of the frailty syndrome. She collaborates with the ICU delirium team on frailty outcomes in older adults following a critical care illness and on the Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project.

Contact information
susan.p.bell@vanderbilt.edu ×

Laboratory

Gillian Sills, BS
Research Assistant

Gillian Sills, BS
Research Assistant

Ms. Gillian Sills, BS, joined the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in 2011 as a Research Assistant I to Dr. Tim Girard and Dr. Lorraine Ware. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida in 2009. Gillian manages the laboratory investigations for the ICU Delirium Team performing experiments which employ various analytic techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and the latest high-throughput assays for multidetection of biochemical samples (MesoScale Discovery). She is the organizational coordinator for patient samples for large multicenter clinical trials. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Gillian volunteered in New Zealand working on conservation biology and preservation of endangered species with International Student Volunteers. In the Buck Lake Conservation Area of Brevard/Seminole County, she worked as a Vertebrate Zoologist doing field research surveying species of flora and fauna. After working with HIV education outreach within the juvenile detention centers in Orlando, FL she also advocated and raised HIV awareness with Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle, WA.

×

Pharmacy

Joanna L. Stollings, PharmD, BCPS
Medical Intensive Care Unit Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Joanna L. Stollings, PharmD, BCPS
Medical Intensive Care Unit Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Joanna L. Stollings, PharmD, BCPS is the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from West Virginia University School of Pharmacy, where she was elected to the Rho Chi Pharmacy Honor Society. She then completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, West Virginia and a Critical Care Pharmacy Residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Subsequently, she worked at Mayo Clinic as a Critical Care Pharmacist in the MICU and Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit before transferring to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Stollings is the pharmacist for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Post ICU Survivor Clinic. She also is an Instructor of Pharmacy at McWhorter School of Pharmacy, Samford University and is Affiliate Pharmacy Faculty at Belmont University College of Pharmacy, Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy, and University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.

She is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. Her research interests include pharmacotherapy of agents used for analgesia, sedation, and delirium, non-pharmacologic methods used in the prevention of delirium, and strategies to facilitate ventilator weaning. For more details of her work, please contact her for a copy of her Curriculum Vitae.

Contact information
Office: (615) 343-5376
Fax: (615) 343-7280
joanna.stollings@vanderbilt.edu ×

Administrative

Bill Pojedinec, BS
Program Administrative Manager

Bill Pojedinec, BS
Program Administrative Manager

Bill Pojedinec joined as a member of the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group – Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2010. Bill has over 22 years of experience as an administrator in clinical/academic institutions. 19 years out of the 22 years were spent at two major New Jersey state universities and a major private medical college in New York.

Before to coming to Vanderbilt, Bill worked at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey as the financial administrator for the Department of OB/GYN and WH. He prepared, implemented, and managed all of the Department's financial activities – Medical School, Hospital and Grant and Contracts budgets which totaled $18 million in Department Funds. He was also responsible for administering the Department's Faculty Practice which generated $3.3 million in gross revenue annually.

Bill's role with the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Team is Program Administrative Manager. He is responsible for the day to day administrative operations of this interdisciplinary research team of research nurses, coordinators and analysts. Bill is accountable for the ongoing research operations including contracts, regulatory and IRB compliance, grant administration, and financial development and management. He is also an administrative liaison between other departments within Vanderbilt and the TN Valley Veterans Administration Hospital as well as other hospitals that partner with the research group as study sites for various projects. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration – Accounting at Montclair State University. Bill has worked primarily in the healthcare industry.

Contact information
Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group of HSR
Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and CCM/VA-GRECC
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
MCE, North Tower, Suite 6100
Nashville, TN 37232-8300
Office: (615) 936-3702
Fax: (615) 936-1269
bill.pojedinec@vanderbilt.edu ×

Angie Williams
Administrative Assistant

Angie Williams
Administrative Assistant

Angie Williams joined the ICU Delirium and Cognitive Impairment Study Group recently in 2014. She has been with Vanderbilt Medical Center since April 2004, most of which as a critical support person for directors and multiple managers in the Monroe Carrol Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Angie has over 15 years of experience in this field, 5 of which were in an Executive office for a non-profit organization in the Middle Tennessee area. A native of Savannah, Georgia, Angie has resided in Nashville since 1974. She will complete her Associates in Business degree in May 2014 from the Free Will Baptist Bible College, currently known as Welch College.

Her expertise as an administrative assistant is a positive addition to the Delirium team as she coordinates the work of Dr. Wes Ely, Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of Research. Angie is known for her professional and outstanding work ethics. She is a diligent worker who nurtures the team as they research and grow the work on delirium.

Contact information
angie.williams@vanderbilt.edu ×