Russell Rothman, MD, MPP

Message from the Director


The current COVID-19 epidemic has challenged us all - at the international, national, state, local community, and even family and individual level. During this difficult time, the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) has embraced its mission to connect research and teaching with policy and practical solutions. The Institute engages researchers, clinicians, trainees, government and health system members, patients, community members and other key stakeholders to translate knowledge into better health. 

In the current newsletter we have highlighted a sample of activities that members of the IMPH have helped to lead with various groups across Vanderbilt to address the COVID-19 epidemic. The IMPH seeks to serve as a central resource -  bringing diverse groups together and providing support to address COVID19 and other key health issues facing us right now. We look forward to sharing updates with you on the progress we are making and the impact of this work on advancing knowledge and improving health.

Thank you for your efforts to support the health of your families, the community, and our world.

Best wishes,

Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
Senior Vice President, Population and Public Health
Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
Sean Collins, MD, MSCI 

Preventing COVID-19 Infections: Healthcare Worker Exposure Response and Outcomes (HERO) 

This research initiative seeks to engage healthcare workers across the nation to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their health and to evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers at high risk of contracting this novel coronavirus.
Co-chairs of the HERO Steering Committee are Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, VUMC Senior Vice President for Population and Public Health, and Judith Currier, MD, professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Fellow steering committee member Sean Collins, MD, MSCI, professor and executive vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at VUMC, will lead VUMC’s engagement in the HERO study and will serve as the site’s principal investigator. 

The Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry launched 

The Healthcare Worker Exposure Response & Outcomes (HERO) Registry launched this week, inviting U.S. healthcare workers to share clinical and life experiences in order to understand the perspectives and problems faced by those on the COVID-19 pandemic front lines.

STAR Clinical Research Network and PCORnet COVID-19 Common Data Model

The Stakeholders, Technology, and Research (STAR) CRN, led by Dr. Russell Rothman as the STAR CRN Lead PI, is launching a coordinated COVID-19 Common Data Model (CDM) at participating STAR CRN sites, in conjunction with the CDC and other PCORnet sites nationally. 
The purpose of the COVID-19 CDM is to characterize a cohort of COVID-19 patients nationally and provide detailed information on the demographics and pre-existing conditions for members of the CDC COVID-19 Task Force.  The COVID-19 CDM will include patients testing positive for COVID-19 or with a coronavirus-related ICD 10 code.  Queries will be issued weekly by the PCORnet Coordinating Center (DCRI) to ensure updated and ongoing reports to the CDC COVID-19 Task Force.
Funded by PCORI and the People Centered Research Foundation and designed to provide support for patient centered outcomes research (PCORnet), the STAR CRN includes: (1) Vanderbilt University Medical Center (2) the Vanderbilt Healthcare Affiliated Network (3) Meharry Medical College, (4) UNC Health Care System, (5) Duke Health Care System, (6) Health Sciences of South Carolina, (7) Wake Forest Health Care, and (8) Mayo Clinic. In partnership with 8 additional Clinical Research Networks (CRNs), PCORnet has reach across the country with over 60 health systems engaged, reaching over 90 million patients. 
For more Information,  contact Megan Cook, MHA, Director of Operations/Sr. Project Manager, STAR CRN 
Wesley Self, MD, MPH

The ORCHID Trial-Outcomes Related to COVID-19 treated with Hydroxychloroquine among In-patients with symptomatic Disease

On April 2, 2020, the ORCHID trial (Outcomes Related to COVID-19 treated with Hydroxychloroquine among In-patients with symptomatic Disease) launched with its first enrollment at VUMC.  This trial is investigating the effectiveness and safety of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 among hospitalized adults. ORCHID is a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial that will provide high-quality data on the effectiveness and safety of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.  The trial is being conducted by the Prevention and Early Treatment of Acute Lung Injury (PETAL) Clinical Trials Network, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI).  This multicenter trial will be launched at up to 44 centers in the United States.  Wesley H. Self, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at VUMC, is the PI  of the ORCHID trial.  Additional Vanderbilt investigators include Todd W. Rice, Matthew W. Semler, Jonathon D. Casey, Sean P. Collins, Christopher Lindsell, and Bo Stubblefield. 
Members of our study team beginning the IVY Network COVID Healthcare Worker Study. From left to right are: Ian Jones, Andrea Fletcher, KeippTalbot, and Adrienne Baughman.

The IVY Network

COVID-19 Research

The Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in the Critically Ill (IVY) Network has launched a series of observational studies evaluating COVID-19.  The IVY Network is a 16-site consortium of academic medication centers in the US funded by the CDC to conduct research on acute viral respiratory infections.  COVID-19 research being conducted by the network includes: investigating the prevalence of and risk factors for seroconversion among frontline healthcare workers; evaluating the risk of clinical deterioration in the weeks following a positive SARS-CoV-2 test; characterizing COVID-associated cardiomyopathy; detailing the clinical epidemiology and proving real-time surveillance data to CDC.  The IVY Network collaborates closely with CDC and is led by VUMC, which serves at the Clinical Coordinating Center, Data Coordinating Center, and single IRB.  Wesley H. Self, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, is the PI of the IVY Network. Additional Vanderbilt investigators include H. Keipp Talbot, Todd W. Rice, Christopher J. Lindsell, Carlos G. Grijalva, Natasha Halasa, Sean P. Collins, Adrienne Baughman, and Bo Stubblefield.   
E Wesley Ely, MD.

Post intensive-care syndrome': Why some COVID-19 patients may face problems even after recovery

"ICU patients need "to have humans around to orient them, to calibrate them, to touch them, to look in their eyes, and make them understand what's happening," Dr. E. Wesley Ely, a professor of medicine and critical care at Vanderbilt University, said. "But that's exactly what the COVID patients won't get because they're all being isolated."
John Graves, PhD

Vanderbilt team develops COVID-19 predictive model for Tennessee

“Our team has access to Medicare data related to the specific geographic locations of health care providers and patient flows from ZIP codes to hospitals,” Graves said. We’ve been able to pivot and quickly take that data to this new COVID-19 model.”
Laura Keohane, PhD

Expanding Ventilator Capacity-The Need for State and Regional Planning

As expert estimates reveal that US hospitals may face an unprecedented need for ventilators as the coronavirus outbreak ramps up, Laura Keohane, PHD at Department of Health Policy, explores the need for better state and regional planning.
 Melinda Buntin, PhD
William Schaffner, MD 
 Marie Griffin, MD, MPH

Ask an Expert: Can masks stop you from getting


William Schaffner, MD, professor of health policy and professor of preventive medicine, discusses whether wearing a face mask can prevent a person from contracting COVID-19.
Members of the Department of Biostatistics are engaged with multiple projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Predictive modeling work includes adaptive modeling for daily updates to the clinical enterprise on predicted bed need; SEIR forecasting for Tennessee to model impact of policy changes on new-case rate as well as state-wide hospital bed need; and patient-level modeling. Clinical trials include a pragmatic trial of prone vs. supine positioning, along with trials of candidate therapies (hydroxychloroquine, convalescent plasma); surveillance studies include a within-household transmission study, multi-site ICU surveillance of COVID patients, multi-site surveillance of healthcare worker seroconversion rates, and stratified random sampling to identify a COVID+ cohort for CDC surveillance and chart review. Finally, department members are engaged with developing statistical analysis methods specific to COVID analysis. 
For more information, contact Lynne Berry, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics

NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory Grand Rounds:

The HERO Program: PCORnet® at Work to Create a Healthcare Worker Community for Rapid Cycle Evidence

Speakers: Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, Chris Forrest, MD, PhD, Nakela Cook, MD, MPH, Josie Briggs, MD,  Susanna Naggie, MD,  Emily O’Brien, PhD
Date: Friday, April 17, 2020, 12:00-1:00 p.m. CT (1:00-2:00 p.m. ET)
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