Plan ahead for the upcoming AMIA 2023 Annual Symposium!
Plan ahead for the upcoming AMIA 2023 Annual Symposium!

A Letter from the Vice Chair for Education: American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium 2023

Dear DBMI,
AMIA 2023 is going to be a fantastic meeting. Every year, I look forward to getting inspired by exciting new research and reconnecting with friends and colleagues from around the world. I also look forward to introducing our students to the AMIA community that will be their professional home for many years. I particularly enjoy showing our students how VUMC DBMI always dominates the AMIA Symposium.
This year, Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students are giving numerous presentations, instructional workshops, and posters, so it will be hard to find a session in which we’re not represented. We are very proud that two Vanderbilt faculty members, Allison McCoy and Ellen Clayton, are getting inducted into the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI), a college of fellows elected by their peers in recognition of their important and sustained contributions to informatics. We are also proud of third-year PhD student Uday Suresh, who will be presenting his work at the Student Paper Competition.

See the FULL LIST of DBMI's AMIA 2023 presentations and events HERE!

To people who are attending AMIA for the first time, I recommend making time for some of the many free social activities built into the meeting. At the VUMC DBMI party on Tuesday night, you can meet up with department colleagues, alumni you might not have met, and affiliates from other schools. During your breaks, be sure stop by the Exhibition Hall and visit the DBMI booth, staffed by Rischelle Jenkins and Cynthia Williams. This year, a few faculty and staff will also be covering the booth and talking with interested visitors about recruitment and more.   
Other fun stuff includes the free AMIA welcome reception on Sunday evening, group walk/runs in the mornings, AMIA Working Group events (just show up at any group whose work you think you’re interested in), and the famous (infamous?) AMIA Dance Party, being held on Tuesday night for the first time since the pandemic. And nobody will blame you if you play hooky for a bit to explore New Orleans while you’re there! I look forward to seeing many of you in New Orleans!

— Jessica Ancker, PhD, MPH, FACMI
Professor and Vice Chair for Educational Affairs, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Table of Contents

  1. AMIA 2023 Informatics Education: A Message from Kim Unertl
  2. Noteworthy AMIA Events
  3. AMIA Honors & Awards
  4. DBMI News & Publications
  5. Veterans Day; DBMI Spotlight: Derek Baughman
  6. HR Reminders
  7. Upcoming Events

AMIA 2023 Informatics Education: A Message from the Director of Graduate Studies

Hi everyone,
Vanderbilt’s biomedical informatics educational programs have become well known for dissemination of research and insights related to informatics education. At this fall’s AMIA 2023 Symposium, our education research activities will be well represented at the Symposium and the AMIA Academic Forum LIEAF Conference, held concurrently with the Symposium.
Alex Becker will be presenting a poster at the Symposium on an evaluation project that we’ve been conducting for the last two years with the summer program. Michelle Gomez and Leigh Anne Tang also have key roles in this evaluation. 
Sharon Davis will be presenting a podium abstract at LIEAF about the effort she is leading with a subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee to gather faculty input and develop a plan for the next iteration of our first-year MS/PhD curriculum.
I will be presenting a podium abstract at the Symposium about the process we followed to discontinue use of the GRE and development of new approaches for graduate admissions evaluations. I will also be presenting a podium abstract at LIEAF about high school internships and the AMIA high school scholars program, and organized a panel with colleagues and students at Fisk and Meharry to discuss our NLM R25 collaboration. See you in New Orleans Nov. 11-15! 
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biomedical Informatics

Noteworthy AMIA Events

AMIA T-SHIRT DAY takes place on Tuesday, Nov. 13! If you purchased a shirt and you're attending the conference, be sure to wear your "Eat. Sleep. Informatics" shirt that day! 100% of the proceeds go toward the LEAD fund.
The DBMI GET TOGETHER will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 6:00-9:00 pm CT. Meet us at Desi Vega's Steakhouse and mingle with new and current colleagues! 

Other Events:

  • Saturday, Nov. 11—Student Paper Competition ft. Uday Suresh
  • Sunday, Nov. 12— AMIA Fun Run; AMIA First Look Program; AMIA Opening Session & Awards (ft. Trent Rosenbloom), ACMI Celebration & New Fellow Induction (ft. Allison McCoy and Ellen Clayton)
  • Monday, Nov. 13—ACMI Collen Award Panel Presentation: Informatics Approaches to Address Epistemic Injustice for Healthcare Consumers (ft. Jessica Ancker); Women in AMIA Live Podcast; Inaugural Informatics Family Feud; AMIA High School Scholars Presentations; LGBTQIA+ Queer in AMIA Reception; DEI Community Reception
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14—LIEAF Sessions; AMIA Dance Party!

AMIA Honors & Awards

Vanderbilt’s Ellen Clayton and Allison McCoy Elected Fellows of ACMI

Vanderbilt’s Ellen Clayton, MD, JD, and Allison McCoy, PhD, ACHIP, FAMIA, have been elected to the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) class of 2023. The 23 new fellows will be inducted into the ACMI at the 2023 AMIA Annual Symposium, held in New Orleans, on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm CST (location: River, Port & Starboard). 

Trent Rosenbloom Receiving AMIA 2023 Leadership Award for 25x5

AMIA is proud to announce the 2023 AMIA Leadership Award recipients. The leaders will be presented with their awards at the Opening Session on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 1:30-3:00 pm CT (location: Grand Ballroom) during AMIA. Click here to see the full list of awardees!

Uday Suresh Named Finalist for AMIA Student Paper Competition

Uday Suresh, PhD student in DBMI, was selected as one of the eight student paper finalists for the upcoming AMIA 2023 Annual Symposium for his paper titled "Designing Support to help Health Communication Professionals Convey Numbers Clearly to the Public – A Needs Assessment and Formative Usability Evaluation". He'll present at the AMIA 2023 Student Paper Competition on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 2:30 - 5:30 pm CT.

Zhijun Yin, Naqi Khan, Yaa Kumah-Crystal, Tom Reese & Josh Smith Named 2024 Fellows of AMIA

AMIA announced the 2024 class of 84 Fellows of AMIA (FAMIA) in the FAMIA Applied Informatics Recognition Program. They were selected by a committee of 38 reviewers and will join a community of 526 current FAMIA inductees. Congratulations to the Vanderbilt DBMI elected fellows!
  • Zhijun Yin, PhD, MS
  • Naqi Khan, MD, MS, FAMIA (former DBMI trainee)
  • Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS
  • Tom Reese, PharmD, PhD
  • Josh Smith, PhD

DBMI News & Publications

Siru Liu Named STAT Wunderkind

Siru Liu, PhD, and VUMC surgical resident Wei Kelly Wu, MD, were named 2023 Stat Wunderkinds. Click to read more in the VUMC Reporter!

Joseph Vento Presented Poster at ASCO Quality Care Symposium

Postdoc research fellow Joseph Vento recently presented his research "Uptake and Effectiveness of Immuno-Oncology Combinations in Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in the US: Evidence from the ASCO CancerLinq Discovery Database" at the ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

Kevin Johnson Discusses Reducing Clinician Burden with AI

Former DBMI Chair and current DBMI Adjunct faculty member Kevin Johnson recently discussed the use of AI in reducing clinician burden with JAMA Network. Read more about the research here.

Recent Publications

Veterans Day 2023

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, takes place on Saturday, November 11, 2023. This federal holiday honors military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. In recognition of Veterans Day, VUMC is hosting the following events: 
  • On November 9 at 8:00 am: Gather with the Veterans ERG for a Veterans Day celebration with guest speaker, Eden Murrie, Chief Executive Office for Operation Stand Down Tennessee. Click here for more info including how to join the event virtually. There will also be World War II artifacts on display in the Light Hall lobby from 8:30-11am. 
  • On November 15 at 7:00 am and 12:00 pm: Join the Office of Diversity and Inclusion along with the Veterans ERG for a conversation "From the Veterans Perspective: Sacrifice, Self-Service, and Adjustment". In alignment with the 2023 Veterans Day theme of service we look forward to a conversation around the ongoing commitments Veterans have made to their country.
  • REGISTER HERE for the 7am Chat; REGISTER HERE for the 12pm Chat:

Veterans Day DBMI Spotlight: Derek Baughman

Each month, we will feature one of our DBMI faculty, staff, students, trainees or alumni. If you or someone you know is new to the department, has an interesting backstory, or is making an impact at work or in their personal lives, email Mia Garchitorena at!  
For Veterans Day, we're highlighting Derek Baughman, MD, who joined the MS in Applied Clinical Informatics (MS-ACI) Program in Fall 2023. He shared more about his background and what Veterans Day means to him. Other veterans in DBMI include MSACI's Scott Gregory, MD, MBA, and CIPHI's Taylor Thurston, DHSc, MHA, CTTS, NCTTP.

Read Derek's story below! 

Derek Baughman, MD; Pictured: Derek with his wife Katie, children Brynlee (3) & Brooklyn (2)
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
As an active-duty family medicine physician, I have the privilege of serving veterans daily. I manage their chronic health issues and guide them through the complexities of our US healthcare system. Veterans Day serves as a reminder of the sacrifices that I witness these patients make. Hearing their stories of service to our country, the literal disabilities they've acquired, and their ongoing pride and commitment to the United States, despite all they've sacrificed, is truly inspiring. 
Could you please describe your background and military experience?
Commencing my service in July 2023, I am currently the Medical Director of primary care at Barksdale Air Force Base in Northwest Louisiana, responsible for the care of dependents (families of active duty service members) and retirees (all military branches). In addition to the officer and military training, my experience has provided opportunities to lead new capacities within unique and challenging environments—especially learning to do more with fewer resources. It has enriched my understanding of healthcare delivery within a socialized healthcare system and given me a new perspective on challenges in multi-payer environments. I’ve been given valuable operational leadership opportunities—guiding initiatives to improve the clinical experience for patients, enhancing provider work-life balance, and addressing budgetary challenges. Overall, I am especially grateful for the unique leadership experience I continue to gain as a US military member and am proud to stand alongside the brave Airmen who protect this country. 
What made you decide to join the MSACI program? 
I chose the MSACI program to bridge my health IT knowledge gap, enhance my healthcare leadership capabilities, and tackle industry challenges in payer, policy, and clinical alignment. The program not only fulfills board certification requirements but also provides access to globally recognized experts, offering an exceptional professional network.
My capstone project focuses on automating billing with AI and natural language processing to link provider actions. With the help of DBMI faculty, I’ve hit the ground running, leveraging this knowledge with an aim to improve healthcare operations on a large scale. The MSACI program's capabilities to meet my informatics training goals are beyond doubt; DBMI's support is instrumental in integrating billing models, data integrity, interoperability, and AI, with the potential for transformative impact in the sector.
Fun Fact about You?
I’m a musician and continue to enjoy playing in the corporate church setting!

HR Reminder: PTO for Thanksgiving

REMINDER: Submit your time off request in Workday in advance of the upcoming VUMC recognized holiday on Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving). Holidays will not automatically populate. If you are planning to work, you do not need to report time in Workday. 
The new fiscal year began on 7/1/23 and your new flexPTO allotment became available at that time. Find a complete list of VUMC recognized administrative holidays here. Contact if you have questions!

Update Your DBMI Bio Page

REMINDER: Please review your DBMI bio page and notify us of any changes. Updates can include:
  • New headshot
  • Updated degrees, professional titles
  • Updated bio information
  • Adding Google Scholar, PubMed, LinkedIn URLs
Email Mia Garchitorena ( and Wil Comstock (

Upcoming Events

Visit here for more details on upcoming summer events and previously recorded DBMI seminars.
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