Read the July issue of the DBMI Digest.
Read the July issue of the DBMI Digest.

REMINDER: Complete the DBMI Retreat "Who's Who" REDCap Survey by August 8

This is a reminder to complete this REDCap survey for the DBMI Retreat’s “Who’s Who” brochure. Please fill in the following REDCap form ASAP (but no later than August 8th). 

Who’s Who Facts Survey

Questions include:
  • What are your current research/work interests?
  • What is a fun fact about you (either personal or professional)? Can include hobbies.
Please fill out the form when you can – or if you’d prefer, email your responses/pictures to Mia at Our goal for the “Who’s Who” brochure is to print out and distribute to attendees at the Retreat – and eventually to new employees in digital and print format.
We appreciate your prompt response and look forward to seeing everyone at the retreat!
— DBMI Retreat Committee

Table of Contents

  1. COVID-19 Updates
  2. Department Announcements, HR Reminders
  3. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  4. Faculty News
  5. Education
  6. DBMI Spotlight: Clinical Informatics Core
  7. MyVUMC
  8. Funding Opportunities
  9. Open Positions + Upcoming Events

COVID-19 Updates

As of today, July 29, 2022, there are currently 73 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across our VUMC hospitals.  
COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise nationally and locally and we have seen an increased rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 as well as employees calling out sick due to COVID. We will continue to monitor the cases closely. As such, VUMC continues to require masking in certain areas as noted below:

REMINDER: Please Follow COVID-19 Masking Policies

VUMC reimplemented required masking in all indoor, non-clinical areas of VUMC regardless of vaccination status due to “rising COVID-19 infections in our community and medical center”. See the following detailed information below: 
  • As before, masking will be required at 2525 West End Avenue, as well as in all clinical areas and on shuttles. The reimplemented requirements apply to all employees, patients, trainees, and visitors.
  • Masks may be removed when alone in one’s office, in private workspaces separated by at least 6 feet or by physical partitions, and when eating or drinking. However, VUMC officials recommend refraining from eating together if unable to socially distance.
  • Masks are not required outdoors, and we encourage using outdoor spaces to eat and drink.
  • There is no restriction on size of indoor or outdoor gatherings. So, we will continue to have in-person professional gatherings (conferences, meetings, etc.) for those who are able to do so, but recognize that in-person conferences and meetings must again include mask-wearing for our collective safety.
  • Students should stay tuned for any additional guidance from VU that would affect them on other parts of campus. Meanwhile, the VUMC masking guidance applies to everyone in the 2525 building.
  • NOTE: The 14th floor cubicles are not considered private offices, so masking is required while working in cubicles.
Remember to get your second booster shot, if eligible, at VUMC or another location near you and order free rapid tests here from the US Postal Service. 

DBMI Announcements, HR Reminders

REMINDER: 2022 DBMI Annual Retreat on August 17

The 2022 DBMI Annual Retreat will take place at the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens on Wednesday, August 17, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm CST. Below is the schedule so far:
  • 8:00-9:00 am - Breakfast will be served
  • 9:00 am - Start of the Retreat
  • 4:00-5:00 pm - End of the Retreat and informal reception
We will have food and refreshments, prizes will be given out and games will be availale. You will also be able to spend time meeting our Chair, Peter Embí! The goals for this event include: 
  • To build community spirit and visit among the many members of DBMI
  • To include everyone in the Strategic Planning for our department moving forward
  • To share the excitement about our efforts, so that everyone knows about the interesting things DBMI faculty, staff, and students are working on.
  • To have the opportunity to work and learn from each other beyond the "work" area. 

Annual Performance Evaluations — DUE AUGUST 31

It is time for Annual Performance Evaluations again. An evaluation must be completed for any staff member who joined VUMC prior to April 1, 2022 and whose end of orientation evaluation falls between April 1, 2022 and June 22, 2022. 
NOTE:  Annual evaluations are required for all employees in staff roles. Please refer to the email Elizabeth Brown sent on June 30. If you have any questions, email her at

DBMI Catalyzing Informatics Innovation (CI2) Program — Applications Due August 1

We are excited to open this year's application window for the DBMI Catalyzing Informatics Innovation (CI2) program. The CI2 program supports faculty in the development of early-stage, innovative and impactful informatics-based projects that have the potential to improve health, healthcare, or discovery.
The CI2 Program awardees receive not only modest funding to pursue their proposed project, but also join a cohort of CI2 Fellows who work closely with faculty and VUMC leadership. Details on the program and the simplified application process can be found here:
The application deadline is August 1, 2022. If you are interested in learning more, I am happy to set up time to tell you about the program, help refine potential ideas and discuss best-practices to go from idea to impact.
Daniel Fabbri, PhD, FAMIA, DBMI Director of Informatics Innovation, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Computer Science 

Join VCLIC's InformaticCon — Fall 2022

Please join us for VCLIC’s first InformaticCon on September 28, 2022!
This special, two-hour event will include lunch, a sampling of short, dynamic talks, and a poster session to showcase clinical informatics work going on across VUMC.
It will take place on Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, from 12:00-2:00 pm in the Vanderbilt University Student Life Center Board of Trust Room (address and map below). The first hour, when the talks will occur, is during the standard DBMI seminar time (InformaticCon will be the DBMI seminar for Sept. 28th), and the poster session will follow. Click here for more information.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

VUMC Partners with Yale and Morehouse Schools of Medicine, Industry Organizations to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is partnering with Yale School of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine and the Research Centers in Minority Institutions Coordinating Center (RCMI CC) at the Morehouse School of Medicine in an initiative aimed at increasing diversity in clinical trials and addressing systemic barriers to participation by communities of color.
The Equitable Breakthroughs in Medicine Development (EQBMED) partnership is an industry-wide, community-based effort created to enhance clinical trial diversity through the development and support of a network of clinical trial sites in underserved areas. EQBMED is unique because it brings together pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions, subject matter experts, providers and community leaders.

“To ensure that clinical trial results are relevant and applicable across diverse populations, we must find new ways to ethically and effectively improve participation by people from diverse backgrounds,” said principal investigator Peter Embí, MD, MS, chair of Biomedical Informatics, professor of Medicine and Senior Vice-President for Research and Innovation at VUMC. “At VUMC, we are focused on advancing personalized health care for everyone and enabling equitable participation in clinical trials is essential to that mission.” Read more in the VUMC Reporter here.

Faculty News

Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI) Special Issue: CALL FOR PAPERS — DEADLINE: OCT. 16

Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA, Vice Chair of Faculty Affairs and Professor in DBMI and Director of My Health at Vanderbilt; Bryan Steitz, PhD, Intructor in DBMI; and Marianne Sharko of Weill Cornell Medicine are guest editors of a Special Issue of Applied Clinical Informatics. 
The title of the Special Issue is “Adolescent Privacy and the Electronic Health Record”Submissions are due October 16, 2022. Click here for more information

Allison McCoy, Adam Wright, Scott Nelson & Kim Unertl Named ACHIP Diplomates

Congratulations to Allison McCoyAdam WrightScott Nelson, and Kim Unertl for passing the AMIA Health Informatics Certification (AHIC) exam! They were named to the inaugural class of AHIC diplomates. Click to read more.

Brad Malin in Washington Post: "Hacks of Genetic Firms Pose Risk to Patients, Experts Say"

Brad Malin, PhD, Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Biostatistics, and Computer Science, Vice Chair for Research Affairs in DBMI, was quoted by The Washington Post in a story about computer hackers posing a risk to patients. Click to read more.

Minoo Bagheri Published Study on White Blood Cell/Neutrophil Reference Ranges by Duffy/ACKR1 Genotype among African-Americans

Minoo Bagheri, MSPH, PhD, Postdoc fellow in the Vanderbilt Genomic Medicine Training Program, published a study in Blood Advances titled "White blood cell ranges and frequency of neutropenia by Duffy genotype status". Jonathan Mosley and Sara Van Driest were co-authors. Click to read moreJonathan Mosley discussed the importance of the study on Twitter. Click to read the Twitter thread.

Yaa Kumah-Crystal Featured in VUMC's Discover 

Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MA, Assistant Professor in DBMI and Pediatric Endocrinology, spoke about VUMC's collaboration with Epic on clinical voice assistants. Click to read more.

Colin Walsh Received Grant Renewal

Colin Walsh, MD, MA, Assistant Professor in DBMI, Medicine and Psychiatry, received a renewal of the Discovery Award to support his project “Predicting and Preventing Suicide in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) in the COVID Era” for an additional year.

Adam Wright Received Award for Project

Adam Wright, PhD, Professor in DBMI and Director of VCLIC, and his subaward with Oregon Health and Science University was awarded for the project “Collaboration Oriented Approach to Controlling High blood pressure (COACH)”.


REMINDER: 2022 Vanderbilt Biomedical Informatics Summer Program (VBISP) Final Presentations Next Week 

Next week the 2022 Vanderbilt Biomedical Informatics Summer Program (VBISP) will be coming to an end and our students will be doing their final presentations on August 1, August 2, and August 3 from 1-3 pm each day. Be sure to tune in to the webinars! Email Rischelle Jenkins at for webinar links. 
Congratulations to the VBISP students for their hard work!

DBMI Spotlight: Clinical Informatics Core Receives 100 Requests!

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!  
The mission of the Clinical Informatics Core is to enable VUMC researchers to design and implement electronic health record (EHR)-related tools, functionalities, and interventions with input and assistance from clinical informatics experts, as well as to gain access to and analyze EHR-based data.
Recently, the Clinical Informatics Core received its 100th request! Below, Allison McCoy, PhD, FAMIA, Director of the Core and Assistant Professor in DBMI, discusses how the Core was established and what kind of requests she and the Core team have received! 
When was the Clinical Informatics Core officially established?  
August 2021 
What is the purpose of the Clinical Informatics Core? What is its impact/significance?
One of the goals of the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center (VCLIC) is for faculty, students, and staff in DBMI and Vanderbilt clinical departments find it easy to access data, test innovations, and evaluate results. The Core helps meet these goals. 
What’s the general frequency of the requests? 
We’ve gotten between 5 and 14 requests per month – the holidays and summer seem to slow things down, but we typically get 1-3 new requests each week.
Do you often get one type of request or do the requests vary?  
Our requests are fairly split between data extracts from Clarity and clinical decision support build in Epic. About 1-3 of our requests each month are for grants that are being submitted, and the rest are for work that is already funded, either through existing grants, departmental funds, or VICTR vouchers.
Who typically submits requests?
Most of our requests are from faculty, although we have worked with trainees, especially clinical residents and fellows. More of the requests are from outside of DBMI in VUMC’s clinical departments.
Have any particular requests stood out to you? Any cool or really impactful ones?  
One of our early projects was working with Cosby Stone on his penicillin allergy delabeling project, both helping him build CDS in Epic and helping get data out of Epic. We’ve had the opportunity to see a direct impact on patients who either were never or are no longer allergic to penicillin have that label removed from their chart and have the potential for improved outcomes. This work has led to several publications and presentations, and has been highlighted by Epic, leading to interest from a lot of other healthcare organizations! We’re also working with James Antoon on a very similar workflow for pediatric patients.
Another project with James Powers has been building a dashboard for the Geriatrics department to facilitate their 4Ms centered care. We’ve also published some of this work and had a lot of interest in this work from the IHI and other sites. This has also led to our work with Mariu Duggan and Sarah Welch to build a similar tool and extract data for 4Ms care on the inpatient side.
Finally, we’ve worked with Adam Wright, Siru Liu, and Joseph Schlesinger to develop a predictive model for new onset delirium and implement it into real-world, real-time care directly in Epic. 
What do you like most about the Clinical Informatics Core?  
I love being involved in so many diverse, impactful projects around the medical center! So much of this work couldn’t be completed without our Core, and it’s been really rewarding to be part of these really great research projects. Often researchers will contact us after having heard that certain data are not available, or certain projects cannot be built into Epic, and in many cases this isn’t true. It’s exciting to show others what our EHR can do! 
What does the future look like for the Clinical Informatics Core? Anything you’re planning, like expanding or bringing in more DBMI faculty to collaborate etc.?  
I’m hoping we will continue to get exciting, innovative requests, and that we will grow our Core team. In addition to Elise Russo, our amazing project manager, we’ve added Donnie Sengstack as an analyst to our team. Donnie is doing an excellent job working on our data requests and soon some of our build requests, but to ensure that we can meet the needs of our requestors in a timely manner, we’ll need to bring in additional analysts and builders. 
To make a service request, please complete the REDCap form here:
For general questions or specific questions on a service request, please e-mail Core Project Manager Elise Russo at
Congratulations to Dr. McCoy and the Clinical Informatics Core team!

VUMC Culture Survey Results are Available to View

In May, the VUMC Culture Survey netted valuable insights from our employees on what is working well here and what could be improved upon.
In fact, about 77% of our employees responded and provided feedback to the engagement portion of the survey and 78% of faculty, fellows, residents, and staff provided their feedback for the safety culture portion of the survey. Read more in MyVUMC here.

Funding Opportunities

REMINDER: Contact Terri DeMumbrum When Considering a Grant Submission

All grant proposals require approval of the Office of Sponsored Programs prior to submission. Terri will review the opportunity announcement and prepare a submission timeline/checklist as well as help with the submission. Email her at
National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) — PROPOSALS ACCEPTED ANYTIME UNTIL APRIL 1, 2024. The S&CC program supports integrative research that addresses fundamental technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilots solutions together with communities.This S&CC solicitation will support research projects in the following categories:
  • S&CC Integrative Research Grants (SCC-IRG) Tracks 1 and 2. Awards in this category will support fundamental integrative research that addresses technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilots solutions together with communities. Track 1 proposals may request budgets ranging between $1,500,001 and $2,500,000, with durations of up to four years. Track 2 proposals may request budgets up to $1,500,000, with durations of up to three years.
  • S&CC Planning Grants (SCC-PG). Awards in this category are for capacity building to prepare project teams to propose future well-developed SCC-IRG proposals. Each of these awards will provide support for a period of one year and may be requested at a level not to exceed $150,000 for the total budget.
NIH Funding Opportunities & Notices. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers funding for many types of grants, contracts and even programs that help repay loans for researchers. To view current funding opportunities, visit here

Open Positions

Visit here to view current open positions throughout DBMI and its Centers. If your team has a job opening, please email Mia Garchitorena at

Upcoming Events

Visit here for more details on the previous/recorded DBMI webinars from January to April 2022.
Suggestions? Email