Russell Rothman, MD, MPP


The Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) continues to provide a broad array of support for departments, centers, institutes, and training/educational programs performing activities related to population and public health across Vanderbilt. This quarter’s newsletter highlights some of the recent educational activities of the MPH program, and the PhD programs in Epidemiology and Health Policy. Please join me in congratulating and supporting our public health students in their efforts! Along these lines, we are also pleased to highlight in this newsletter the new appointment of Dr. Christianne Roumie as the Associate Director for Education in the IMPH. Dr. Roumie has dedicated much of her career to the education and training of MPH students, fellows, post-docs, and junior faculty, and will help IMPH continue to expand our efforts and support for a wide array of students and trainees interested in impacting population and public health.

In this issue of the newsletter, we are also excited to announce that the Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center (VMAC) will now be receiving administrative support from the IMPH. Under the leadership of Dr. Angela Jefferson, the VMAC has grown into an internationally recognized Center for understanding and addressing Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Center supports a wide array of faculty and staff committed to interdisciplinary efforts to improve public health in this area. We hope the addition of the VMAC to the IMPH family will open doors for additional opportunities for collaboration in education, research, and scholarship related to dementia and other issues.

Finally, in this issue, we highlight the recent naming of Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a participant in the PCORI Health System Implementation Initiative. This exciting opportunity, led by Drs. Sunil Kripalani and Jenny Slayton, will further our ongoing efforts to grow Vanderbilt’s Learning Health System. Participating in this initiative will further our partnerships between health system operations and academic researchers to develop systematic approaches to continuous learning in order to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, timeliness, safety, patient-centeredness and equity of care that we provide to improve individual, family, and population health.

Best wishes, 


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

VMAC IMPH Partnership

As many of you are aware, administration and finance activities for Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer’s Center (VMAC) recently transitioned from the Department of Neurology to the Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH). These activities include personnel administration, pre-award grant application support, and financial management for extramural and institutional resources. This transition enhances existing scholarly and strategic partnerships between VMAC and the IMPH community. 

Director, Angela Jefferson, PhD

Vanderbilt Memory &  Alzheimer's Center

The Vanderbilt Memory and Alzheimer's Center houses an interdisciplinary team of scientists and clinicians committed to discovering the root cause of Alzheimer's disease. Our approach combines innovative methods in genomics, biomarkers, brain imaging and vascular assessments. With growing evidence that brain an vascular health are intertwined, we seek to map the pathways that lead to Alzheimer's disease pathology and cognitive decline among older adults.

We are inspired by the communities we serve and the knowledge that our work will contribute to reducing the immense burden that Alzheimer's
disease creates on patients and families.

Christianne Roumie, MD, MPH

Christianne Roumie, MD, MPH was named Associate Director for Education of the Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) effective January 1, 2023.  

Dr. Roumie is a leader in education and training activities related to implementation science, health services research and public health. She is the Director of the MPH program at Vanderbilt which provides MPH to over 30 students, post-docs and junior faculty annually, the Deputy Director of the VA Quality Scholars Program at Nashville, PI of the AHRQ T32 program in Learning Health, and Co-PI of the AHRQ/PCORI K12 in Learning Health System Scholars.

In these roles, she has significant experience in the recruitment, mentorship, education, training and retention of students and trainees. She also has significant experience in the development and implementation of educational curriculum related to implementation science, comparative effectiveness research, patient centered outcomes research and embedding research as a learning health system.  

We are excited about Dr. Roumie's vision for advancing IMPH education and training activities and look forward to her leadership for IMPH supported activities.

Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc
Jenny Slayton, DNP, RN

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is naming Vanderbilt University Medical Center to a select group of health systems nationwide brought together to accelerate the implementation of medical research results that will improve patient outcomes.

Under the leadership of Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Health Services Research and the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research within the Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health, and Jenny Slayton, DNP, RN, Senior Vice President for Quality, Safety, and Risk Prevention, VUMC will use its expertise in health care delivery to develop and implement strategies to adopt new evidence beneficial to patient care. 

“Participation in the HSII represents an exciting opportunity for VUMC to demonstrate its leadership in developing novel approaches to enhance how we translate research into clinical practice,” said Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, director of the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at VUMC. “Above all, participation in HSII will allow us to further improve clinical care and health outcomes for our patients and families.”

Wesley Self, MD, MPH

Wesley Self, MD, MPH, VICTR Deputy Director and Vice President for Clinical Research Networks & Strategy at VUMC was promoted to VUMC Senior Vice President for Clinical Research. He will be appointed VICTR director and principal investigator for Vanderbilt’s CTSA starting July 2023.
Dr. Self has been elected this year to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, was appointed to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee for Unequal Treatment Revisited. "I’m honored to be appointed to the Unequal Treatment Revisited committee and play a role in recommending interventions to address racial and ethnic health disparities, which have become intractable in the United States,” Dr. Wilkins said.

Velma McBride Murry, PhD

Velma McBride Murry, PHD was appointed to the National Advisory Mental Health Council. “This appointment is an incredible opportunity to not only engage in conversation about funding, but to also bring to the director of NIMH critical issues that may impact funding, in particular, to support research and preventive interventions in behavioral health,” Dr. McBride Murry said.

2023 Health Equity Innovation Award: Call for Applications

The Office of Health Equity has released the 2023 Health Equity Innovation Award: Call for Applications. Awards are open to faculty, staff, residents, fellows, and post-docs at VUMC.  VU students in medicine, nursing, public health, and other disciplines may apply with award ideas that are directly relevant to VUMC.

Andrew Wiese, MPH, PhD
Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH

Serious pneumococcal infections increase the risk of heart attack

The study, led by Andrew Wiese, MPH, PhD, assistant professor in Vanderbilt’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology, Department of Health Policy, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, examined the rate of heart attacks among patients with laboratory-confirmed invasive pneumococcal disease compared to control periods without infection among Tennessee residents during 2004 to 2019.

“Our findings highlight the potential that the ongoing routine administration of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to older adults, as currently recommended by CDC, could reduce the burden of cardiovascular events, including heart attack, in the population,” said Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH, professor of Health Policy and Biomedical Informatics and senior author on the study.
Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS

Poll finds rates of uninsured children back to pre-pandemic level

"Tennessee has traditionally had one of the lowest rates of uninsured children in the U.S., and seeing the uninsured rate drop below 4% is good news,” said Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy and a neonatologist at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. “This year the public health emergency will end, which means states will lose the additional funds provided to keep people covered. That will result in states beginning to reevaluate who meets eligibility criteria for Medicaid.”
Rameela Raman, PhD
James Jackson, PsyD

Review explores ICU-related cognitive impact scores

A recent systematic review by Rameela Raman, PhD, associate professor of Biostatistics, Health Policy, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Nursing and first author of the study, and James Jackson, PsyD, director of long-term outcomes in the ICU Recovery Center and the study’s senior author, along with the team of VUMC researchers, has taken a close look at the cognitive instruments used in long-term outcome studies of survivors of adult critical illness and how those test scores are interpreted.

Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH

Tindle authors NCI guidance on treatment of cancer patient who smoke

The new Tobacco Control Monograph from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has key contributions from Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH, the William Anderson Spickard Jr., MD, Professor of Medicine, and associate professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Treating Smoking in Cancer Patients: An Essential Component of Cancer Care has several target audiences, including hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and other healthcare providers as well as the general public.

Timothy Sterling, MD

NIH grant supports TB research network in Brazil

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a five-year, $5 million grant to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for continued support of the Brazil Regional Prospective Observational Research in Tuberculosis network, or RePORT-Brazil led by the principal investigators Timothy Sterling, MD, holder of the David E. Rogers Professorship in the Department of Medicine and founding director of the Vanderbilt Tuberculosis Center, and Bruno Andrade, MD, PhD, of the Gonçalo Moniz Institute in Salvador, Brazil.

Damon Jia, PhD, MPH
Zheng, MD, PhD, MPH

Breast cancer genetics: new insights

The findings, reported in The American Journal of Human Genetics, by Damon Jia, PhD, MPH, Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, MPH, and colleagues provide important new insights into the genetics and biology of breast cancer and identify potential therapeutic targets. This is the largest genetic study of breast cancer to date using data from 386,000 women of Asian and European ancestry. Future studies that increase the number of non-European individuals will be valuable to fully uncover the genetic basis of breast cancer, the researchers note.

The Public Health Practicum Coloquium highlighted the work of Master of Public Health students.

Congratulations to our MPH students for presenting posters and discussing practicum experiences with peers, faculty, and community public health practitioners on January 27, 2023. 

 Layan Ibrahim, MPH, Global Health
Congratulations to MPH student, Layan Ibrahim, who is working to address global health disparities. She has been selected as a 2023-2024 Luce Scholar. The prestigious fellowship provides the opportunity for a year of immersive work in Asia and will allow her to explore the intersections between neuropsychiatric disorders and religion through work in Asia. More about Ibrahim

Congratulations to PHD Edipemiology scholars who have recently defended doctoral thesis!

Yan Sun, PhD, MPH
Yan Sun, PhD, MPH, ’22 | PhD Program in Epidemiology
Mentor: Qiuyin Cai, MD, PhD
"Associations of Carotenoids and Retinol with Lung Cancer Risk".
Meghan Corriere, PhD, MPH
Meghan Corriere, PhD, MPH, ’23 | PhD Program in Epidemiology
Mentor: Cecilia P. Chung, MD, MPH
"Thesis: Non-Opioids Prescribed for Non-Cancer Chronic Pain and Risk of Cardiovascular Outcomes".
Lauren Petty, PhD, MS
Lauren Petty, PhD, MS, ’23 | PhD Program in Epidemiology
Mentor: Jennifer Below, PhD
Thesis: "Leveraging Polygenic Risk Scores and Transcriptome Prediction to Improve Disease Gene Discovery".

Jo Ellen Wilson, MD, PhD, MPH
Jo Ellen Wilson, MD, PhD, MPH
Mentor: E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH
Thesis: "Exploring the Operational Criteria for Catatonia: Is Psychiatric Disease a Risk Factor for its Development?"

Health Policy PhD program launched a student chapter of AcademyHealth 

To enhance the learning and professional development experience for students in health services research and health policy, the Health Policy PhD program launched a student chapter of AcademyHealth. This effort was led by students Emma Nolan (President), Robert Besaw (Vice President), and Khrysta Baig (Secretary/Treasurer). Students interested in learning more about the organization may contact one of the officers.

Nathaniel Tran, Health Policy PhD student

Congratulations to our third-year Health Policy PhD student, Nathaniel Tran, on receiving the Laurence G. Branch Doctoral Student Research Award from the Aging & Public section of the American Public Health Association.

Khrysta Baig and Dennis Lee, PhD students in the Department of Health Policy, traveled to Washington D.C. in October 2022 to participate in Vanderbilt’s two-day seminar “Federal STEM Policy & Advocacy: An Inside the Beltway Look”.

Tuesday, March 21| 12 PM - 1 PM
Center for Health Services Research Works in Progress:
Presenter: Megan Shroder, MD
Details will be emailed to Vanderbilt community on Fridays; contact

Saturday, March 25| 9:30 AM -12:00 PM
IMPH community service opportunity with Project C.U.R.E:
To register, email

Tuesday, March 28| 12 PM - 1 PM
Center for Health Services Research Works in Progress:
Guest Speaker-Keith Cole, PhD
Details will be emailed to Vanderbilt community on Fridays; contact

Saturday, April 29| 10 AM - 12 PM
IMPH Earth Day-Centennial Park Clean-up:
To register, email 

Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2525 West End Ave | Suite 1200 | Nashville, TN 37203

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