Please get to know new faculty who have joined the Department of Medicine within the last six months.*
*Note that this directory is updated by the 10th of each month.
- Research Associate ProfessorDivision of:Clinical PharmacologyPrevious Institution:VUMC Dept. of Pathology, Microbiology and ImmunologyPrevious Role/Title:Research Associate ProfessorSpecialty:Education/Training:Ph.D. - Carnegie-Mellon UniversityM.S., Chemistry - Indian Institute of TechnologyHometown:
- Assistant Professor of Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Indiana University HealthPrevious Role/Title:Cardiology HospitalistSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.B.A. - Indiana UniversityM.D. - University of the PhilippinesInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Manila, Philippines
Dr. Francis Balucan recently joined the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine and Public Health with a focus on hospital medicine. He has a broader interest in patients who are readmitted frequently in the hospital, healthcare finance, and electronic medical records. After growing up in Manila, Philippines, he completed medical school at the University of the Philippines, Manila, residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine at James J. Peters VA, and more recently received a Master in Business Administration at the Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis with a focus in healthcare. He worked as a cardiology hospitalist at Indiana University Health, where he honed his interest into a project dealing with frequent heart failure readmitters at their institution. He has collaborated with multiple medical specialties and hospital departments with this project. When away from work, he enjoys running, traveling, reading, watching anything on TV, and traveling with his extended family.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:Adaptive immune responses in pulmonary sarcoidosisEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Dr. Celeda is an immunologist with a great interest in the molecular mechanisms associated with innate and adaptive immunity. Her current research emphasis is on discovering the mechanisms by which the inhibitory receptor Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) interferes with normal T cell effector function in sarcoidosis.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Assistant ProfessorSpecialty:Basic science research and undergraduate medical educationEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Vanderbilt UniversityB.S., Biology - Lafayette College, Easton, PA (1999)Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Natick, MA
Dr. Dahlman's research interest is in understanding tumor response and resistance to targeted therapies and immunotherapy. She directs a core laboratory (Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource) that partners with oncologists to guide, manage, and facilitate pre-clinical and clinical trial laboratory discoveries. This collaborative work has uncovered novel tumor driver mutations and mechanisms of acquired resistance to targeted therapies leading to changes in clinical tumor genotyping assays at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, pre-clinical studies of novel cancer treatments, high-impact peer-reviewed publications, and multiple grants awarded to Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators. In addition to her cancer research pursuits, she has a strong interest in education for biomedical science PhD trainees, medical students, and faculty. She co-leads the Integrated Science Courses (ISCs) at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) and co-directs the “Precision Cancer Medicine” ISC. She also serves as a Small Group Facilitator for 1st-year medical students, a facilitator of Educator Development Core workshops, and a mentor for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the “Business for Scientists Module” supported by the VUSM Biomedical Research, Education, and Training office. Dr. Dahlman is also involved in leadership and educational activities for the Southeastern Association of Shared Resources and the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities, organizations that provide a forum for core directors, managers, and scientists to meet, discuss, and collaborate on administrative and scientific topics.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Nephrology and HypertensionPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:NephrologyEducation/Training:Ph.D. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:St. Louis, MO
Dr. Darris’ long-term career goal is to investigate the fundamental biology and pathology of kidney diseases and develop potential therapeutics as an independent investigator within a medical university setting. Currently, his work aims to better understand the mechanisms that underlie metabolic disorders. Specifically, he studies molecular events within the extra-cellular matrix (ECM) that contribute to changes in basement membrane biosynthesis and lead to renal fibrosis. His effort is aimed at characterizing the role of Goodpasture Antigen-binding Protein (GPBP) in renal dysfunction and ECM remodeling. Dr. Darris has mentored 10 graduate and undergraduate students in biochemical research. Many have advanced to medical and graduate school. In addition he has mentored five high school students as part of the Aspirnaut K-20 STEM Pipeline, a program designed to elevate math and science achievement and increase the diversity and number of students entering STEM careers. The program has received national recognition by the National Institutes of Health, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and NBC National News.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Aurora BayCare Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Medical OncologistSpecialty:GU OncologyEducation/Training:M.D. - The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TXInterests/Achievements:Hometown:
Dr. Davis’ research interests are in genitourinary oncology. She believes in a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care and balancing clinical benefit with quality of life. She has interest in the clinical application of new therapies to improve outcomes and in survivorship issues unique to this population. Career achievements include growing a successful genitourinary clinic; being the institutional PI for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) while at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW); contributing to multidisciplinary cancer clinics and conferences; representing medical subspecialists in hospital management committee decisions; involvement on chemotherapy governance, IRB, intern and fellow selection, medical oncology executive, Vince Lombardi Cancer Center (VLCC) quality committees, and genitourinary and gynecological oncology quality subcommittees. I assisted in educating students, residents, and fellows (both in- and outpatient settings); precepting the oncology fellows’ clinic while at MCW; serving as a Clinical Associate Professor for Marquette University, assisting in the clinical rotations of PA students; and serving as Clinical Instructor for the University of Wisconsin Madison Wisconsin Area Rural Medicine (WARM) medical students during their clinical rotations. Other scholarly activities involve serving as Scientific Reviewer for the Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) Review Panel on the Immunologic Sciences and the Clinical Protocols panels (2004-2008). She was also a member of a Data Safety and Monitoring Committee and a participant in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Program Guideline Implementation Network (PGIN), contributing in the review and adoption by ASCO of the American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Guidelines in 2017. Personal interests include cooking, travel, reading, and theater. In relocating to Tennessee, she anticipates milder winters and longer summers.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Fellow, Division of Infectious DiseasesSpecialty:Infectious DiseasesEducation/Training:M.D. - Indiana University School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Churubusco, IN
The goal of Dr. Doster’s research is to understand mechanisms by which bacteria like GBS are able to establish vaginal colonization and then ascend to cause invasive disease during pregnancy (chorioamnionitis). Bacterial infections during pregnancy lead to adverse outcomes including stillbirth, preterm birth, neonatal sepsis, and meningitis. Streptococcus agalactiae, also known as Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a Gram-positive bacterium that colonizes up to 50% of pregnant women. Vaginal GBS carriage is a major risk factor for chorioamnionitis and neonatal sepsis. Dr. Doster is particularly interested in the role of bacterial biofilm to promote vaginal colonization, which may increase potential for bacterial invasion, as well as how GBS interacts with and alters host-immune responses. Host inflammatory responses to infection including release of cytokines and metalloproteinases that contribute to preterm birth pathogenesis. By understanding these pathways, Dr. Doster hopes to identify new, actionable targets to prevent adverse outcomes during pregnancy. He utilizes multiple methodologies to understand microbial-host interactions during pregnancy, including high-resolution microscopy techniques, animal models of pregnancy infection, and human tissue chorioamnionitis models.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:University of ChicagoPrevious Role/Title:Senior Bioinformatics ScientistSpecialty:Functional Genomics & Statistical GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of Amsterdam, 2016M.S., Mathematics - University of Chicago, 1991Interests/Achievements:Hometown:San Diego, CA
Dr. Gamazon's primary research interest is in developing and extending methods for elucidating the genetic architecture of complex disorders and pharmacologic phenotypes. Since 2010, he has published over 110 scientific publications in the areas of statistical genetics, functional genomics, and complex traits genetics. An ongoing project involves the genetics of gene expression and the use of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) to expand on genetic association studies. He also works on integrating large-scale DNA biobank data and electronic medical records to enhance research in (and the translational utility of) genetics and genomics. Dr. Gamazon is part of the GTEx Consortium and the T2D-GENES Consortium. He was also a member of the International Warfarin Pharmacogenetics Consortium GWAS team. Dr. Gamazon was trained in genomics and computational biology and has conducted research in human genetics in the Section of Genetic Medicine of the University of Chicago and the Faculty of Medicine (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam.
- Research InstructorDivision of:Genetic MedicinePrevious Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Human GeneticsEducation/Training:Ph.D. - University of MarylandInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksville
Dr. Hirbo's research interest is in understanding genetics that underlie health disparities. He has an overarching hypothesis developed from his research in population genetics and in the genetics of common diseases with complex inheritance: that the genetic adaptation to high pathogen environments is a major contributing factor to the genetic component of health disparities between those of recent European and recent African ancestry. He studies genetics of ocular diseases to test this hypothesis.
- Research Instructor in MedicineDivision of:EpidemiologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral Research FellowSpecialty:Cancer EpidemiologyEducation/Training:M.P.H. - Wayne State UniversityPh.D. - University of North CarolinaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Khankari's research interests are in examining the role of nutrition, genetics, and the interaction between these two exposures as it relates to cancer incidence and survival. For his dissertation work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Khankari focused on examining the relationship among dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, genetic susceptibility, and breast cancer incidence and survival. As a K99 awardee at Vanderbilt, Dr. Khankari will examine the role of polyunsaturated fatty acids on colorectal tumor risk using the Mendelian randomization approach.
- Instructor in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:university of Rochester School of MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Cardiovascular Medicine FellowSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.D. - University of Rochester School of MedicinePh.D. - University of Rochester School of MedicineInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Guilford, CT
Dr. Meoli's clinical and research interests center on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and pulmonary hypertension as a complication of left heart disease. Specifically, his research focuses on elucidating molecular and genetic mechanisms of the pulmonary vasculopathy that develops in a subset of patients with left heart disease. He has presented his work at multiple international conferences, receiving a travel award for the meeting of the American Thoracic Society in 2017. In addition, Dr. Meoli has strong interests in the imaging of structural heart disease as well as in medical education.
- Research Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:City of HopePrevious Role/Title:Postdoctoral FellowSpecialty:Molecular Dynamics SimulationEducation/Training:Ph.D, Physics. - University of CincinnatiB.S., Physics - Konkuk UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Chungju, South Korea
Dr. Song’s research interest focuses on simulation studies of biomolecules, the calculation of the free energy of biomolecules, graph theory, protein-ligand interactions, coarse-grained simulations, homology modeling and docking, and protein folding. General interests include listening to music and playing the keyboard, travel, and volunteer work. He currently has five years of postdoctoral experience.
- Professor of MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolPrevious Role/Title:Director, Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure ProgramSpecialty:Cardiology, Heart FailureEducation/Training:M.D. - Stanford University School of MedicineA.B., Biochemistry - Princeton UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Joplin, MO
Lynne Warner Stevenson graduated from Princeton University and Stanford Medical School, and completed medicine and cardiology training at UCLA. On the UCLA faculty, she helped to start the cardiac transplant program in 1984 and formed the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center, one of the first heart failure management programs. In 1993 she moved to become Director of Cardiomyopathy and Heart Failure at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she expanded referrals for transplantation and alternative strategies for advanced heart disease. Her physiologic research began with the clinical assessment and hemodynamic profiles for tailored therapy to take the congestion out of heart failure, currently developing protocols for ambulatory hemodynamic monitoring to decrease heart failure disease progression. She has played leadership roles in NIH trials of heart failure strategies and is one of the founders of the Intermacs Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Support, including over 22,000 patients. Dr. Stevenson has been an author on over 250 original publications and 30 national guideline documents and has served as Senior Associate Editor for the launch of Circulation Heart Failure. Her mentoring record includes more than 40 fellows who are current faculty in heart failure programs and two national consortia of junior investigators. As Director of Cardiomyopathy and the Advanced Heart Disease training program, Dr. Stevenson describes her vision as personalization of care for cardiomyopathy through integration of molecular and clinical profiling, attention to patient-reported outcomes, and triage and incorporation of patient goals into shared decision-making for advanced therapies, including palliative care. Recreational interests include photography, gardening, and choral singing.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbitl University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Resident PhysicianSpecialty:Internal Medicine & PediatricsEducation/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of MedicineM.Ed., George Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee, 2013Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Massapequa, NY
Dr. Sullivan grew up on Long Island in New York and attended college at the University of Notre Dame. Heading south to Vanderbilt for medical school, he has remained a member of the Vanderbilt family ever since. While in medical school at Vanderbilt, he also completed his master’s degree in education and is passionate about medical education, in particular the development of clinical reasoning and physician wellness. Upon graduating from medical school, his classmates voted him as the peer they would most want to be their personal physician. In addition, he was awarded the Vanderbilt Founder’s Medal for first honors. He completed residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in internal medicine and pediatrics. During that time, he was chosen for multiple teaching awards, including the most outstanding teacher of medical students three years in a row and most outstanding pediatric resident teacher. Dr. Sullivan’s clinical interest is in primary care internal medicine and pediatrics. In this context he is interested in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders, as well as the care of LGBTQ patients. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys spending time with his family, practicing yoga and meditation, and reading a good book.
- Instructor in Clinical MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Nolensville Family MedicinePrevious Role/Title:Medical DirectorSpecialty:Family MedicineEducation/Training:M.D. - University of AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Nolensville, TN
Dr. Thompson is an alumnus of the University of the South, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry in 1984. After matriculating in the College of Medicine at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) in 1984, Dr. Thompson accepted a HPSP scholarship from the U.S. Army. Upon graduation from medical school in 1988, he went to Fort Bliss, Texas, for his internship in internal medicine. Upon completion of his internship, Dr. Thompson then matriculated at the U.S. Army Flight Surgeon School at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and then proceeded to his first field position as Flight Surgeon with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Dr. Thompson served with distinction during the Gulf War (Operation Desert Shield/Storm, 1990-1991), earning a Bronze Star for his actions during this conflict. In 1992 he accepted a position as Chief of Primary Care at Noble Army and Community Hospital at Fort McClellan, Alabama. During his tenure there, he received an Army Commendation Medal (ArCom), mainly because his diligence ensured successful certification with JCAHO and successful completion of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program at Anniston Army Depot. Upon leaving active military service in 1994, Dr. Thompson completed his residency in family medicine at UAB at the Medical Center East campus in 1996 and was honored to serve as Chief Resident for one year. Since completion of his residency in 1996, Dr. Thompson has served as a primary care physician in Nolensville, Tennessee.
- Assistant Professor of MedicineDivision of:Previous Institution:Previous Role/Title:Specialty:Education/Training:M.D. - Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2014B.S. Interdisciplinary Engineering - Purdue University, 2010Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Norcross, GA
Carmen grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta and followed the family tradition of attending Purdue University. Carmen majored in interdisciplinary engineering, but decided to go to medical school halfway through college after she determined that she liked interacting with people first and foremost. Carmen was called back to the South for medical school, and Nashville has truly become home. In her free time, Carmen enjoys exploring the Nashville food scene as well as cooking (recently homemade bread and homemade cheese!). She has an obsession with coffee and coffee shops, and makes espresso every morning. Carmen tends to go to Radnor Lake to hike on days off, in addition to longer adventures including camping in the Smokies (and recently the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu). Carmen also likes running, swimming, Zumba, climbing, and volunteering at her church. She is interested in Latin culture, including international health both abroad and in Nashville. Carmen is so excited and thankful to be staying in Nashville for residency!
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionPrevious Institution:Tennessee State UniversityPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:Family HealthEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Tennessee State UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Savannah, TN
Kim was raised in Savannah, Tennessee, one of five children, in a single parent home. She remained focused on her studies and making her parents proud. She would be the first in the family to attend and graduate from college. In 2000 she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University and began growing her profession. In May 2017 Kim earned her Master of Science in Nursing from Tennessee State University, and in August 2017 she received her certification as a family nurse practitioner from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Throughout her career, Kim has cared for patients with complex diagnoses including dementia, cancer, and most recently, hepatitis and liver dysfunction. She is married and has two children. Together, they enjoy movie nights, trying new recipes, and traveling.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Salisbury, NCPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S. - University of PittsburghInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Warren, OH
Rachel Albani is currently involved in several clinical trials as part of her current role at the VA as a sub-PI; however, her passion is to get involved in research looking at the relationship between diet and cancer. When she is not working, she is very active. She plays several sports including soccer, softball, and volleyball. She likes to garden and paint. Rachel is active in her church and is involved in several outreach programs in her community. She had the privilege of going on two medical missions – one in the Dominican Republic and one in Guatemala. She is interested in continuing to travel to other countries providing medical care and teaching the communities steps they can take to lead healthier lives.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registerd NurseSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Atlanta, GA
During Ms. Austin’s undergraduate education, she served as a research assistant on Dr. Kathy Bowles’ study, “Impact of Discharge Planning Decision Support on Time to Readmission Among Older Adult Medical Patients.” The study aimed to bring standardization to discharge planning and reform how discharge planning assessment priorities and referral decision-making are conducted. Following undergraduate education, she accepted a job as a staff nurse at Vanderbilt Medical Center on the adult hematology/oncology unit, where she remained for the past 4 years. There, her passion for hematology/oncology solidified as she realized the many rewards that hem/onc has to offer. Her role as staff nurse evolved as she went on to accept roles as a preceptor for new nurses, a charge nurse, and Nursing Staff Council representative. Outside of nursing, her interests include hiking, reading, and playing with her Labrador retriever, Crosby.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Inova Fairfax HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Acute Care Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical Care MedicineEducation/Training:M.S.N. - University of South AlabamaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Humboldt, TN
Ms. Kimberly Barker is a nurse practitioner on the part-time faculty who works in Vanderbilt’s Medical Intensive Care Unit in collaboration with a multidisciplinary healthcare team. Ms. Barker obtained her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Union University, Jackson, Tennessee, in 1996. She obtained her master’s degree in nursing from the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, in 2011. A Registered Nurse (1996) with Basic Life Support certification (1996), a Licensed Nurse Practitioner (2012), and an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (2012 and 2017), Ms. Barker went on to train to become a Provider in the Fundamentals of Critical Care Support (2016) and to earn certification as an Advance Practice Registered Nurse from the Tennessee Board of Nursing in 2017. Ms. Barker is a member of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She has worked for several years as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and has over 20 years of nursing experience.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Assistant in Surgery, Dept. of Urologic SurgerySpecialty:Family Nurse PractitionerEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Madison, TN
Matthew’s clinical interests include management of head and neck cancers, supportive oncology, and long-term complications of cancer therapies. He enjoys spending time with his wife and four children, especially at the beach, working with the youth group at church, as well as other church activities, medical mission trips, and cooking.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology/OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered NurseSpecialty:Adult Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Richmod, VA
Ms. Chase is passionate about taking care of patients with cancer and looks forward to doing so in a new role as an advanced practice provider. She is particularly interested in symptom management as patients navigate diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship related to their malignancy. Outside of work, her dog, Walter, commands most of her attention. His insatiable zest for life is contagious and keeps her moving. It has been such an adventure taking advantage of all that Nashville has to offer with the wonderful friends she has made here.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Social Worker ISpecialty:Social WorkEducation/Training:M.S. - University of TennesseeInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Lafayette, TN
Christy, originally from Lafayette, Tennessee, earned her BA in psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), graduating summa cum laude in 2002. After two years of direct care work in behavioral health, Christy returned to UTK, earning her MSSW in 2006. Following graduation, She accepted a position as a Clinical Therapist in a community mental health center utilizing an integrated care model and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2009. For the next eight years, Christy held various clinical and supervisory roles and behavioral health treatment centers in the East Tennessee area, developing an interest in the effects of trauma on life functioning and overall wellness. Because of this interest, she completed training in EMDR, an evidenced-based treatment of past trauma-related distress and present life conditions. In June 2017, without a new position, Christy took a leap of faith. Leaving her home and job in Big Orange Country, Christy, along with her chocolate Labrador Bella, returned to her Middle Tennessee roots to be closer to family. Two weeks after the move, Christy was offered the Social Worker 2 position in the new extensivist program known as Vanderbilt Familiar Faces. Christy is very excited to be a member of this new multi-disciplinary team in a program that’s part of a growing segment of the medicine field. Away from work, Christy enjoys reading, baking, watching UT Vols football, spending time with family and friends, and playing with her dog.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Birmingham, AL
Madeline Crego graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) in 2017 and began her career with Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute. After previously working in pediatric and adult weight management centers and obtaining a degree in exercise science prior to nursing, Madeline is interested in obesity and the impacts of lifestyle changes on cardiovascular health. Madeline was a recipient of the VUSN Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship in 2015 and VUSN Zelle Scholarship in 2016. She is also a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Theta Tau (Honor Society of Nursing).
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care MedicinePrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:NursingEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Brentwood, TN
Ms. Susan Vance Eastman, working with a multidisciplinary team, provides advance practice condition nurse practitioner support to the cystic fibrosis adult patients practice in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine at Vanderbilt. In this position she provides nursing care to CF patients, including patients who have undergone lung transplantation. Ms. Eastman received her baccalaureate degree in nursing in 2006 from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her MSN degree in 2011 from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She is certified as an advance practice nurse and is certified as a family nurse practitioner from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is also certified in Basic Life Support. Ms. Eastman has provided nursing care for patients of all ages in her career and in post-surgical and acute care settings. She has provided nursing care at Vanderbilt for five years and at a family practice clinic in Florida, also serving as HIPPA officer and preceptor for a nurse practitioner there. Ms. Eastman is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Association. She is a member of Iota Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. While at Vanderbilt, she received a nomination for Nurse of the Year (2009). Further, she has shown steady experience as a preceptor for new nursing staff and nursing students.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:CareNow Urgent CarePrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:General MedicineEducation/Training:M.S. - Harding UniversityB.S., Biology - University of Central Arkansas, 2007Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Fort Smith, AR
Merritt Hambrick, an Arkansas native, relocated to Nashville in 2013 with her husband, Adam, who had a burgeoning career as songwriter. Nashville, a hub for music and medicine, has been a natural fit for the Hambricks who are enthusiastic about life in the city and serving the greater Nashville community. Merritt attained her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Central Arkansas and was also a graduate of the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College. With a love for medicine, Merritt went on to pursue becoming a physician assistant and graduated from Harding University in 2010 with a Master of Science in physician assistant studies. Merritt has practiced in the area of urgent care medicine for 6 years and is a board-certified practitioner. Merritt is honored to be joining the esteemed medical community at Vanderbilt and believes this new opportunity is well aligned with her passion for the practice of evidence-based and innovative medicine, patient education, and longitudinal patient care.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:General Internal Medicine and Public HealthPrevious Institution:The Mayo ClinicPrevious Role/Title:Inpatient Psychiatry Physician AssistantSpecialty:Internal MedicineEducation/Training:M.S. - East Carolina UniversityB.A., Psychology, Bioplogy - University of Tennessee, 2012Interests/Achievements:Hometown:Nashville, TN
Caroline Howell attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where she studied psychology and attended a semester of school in Spain. It was during college that she developed a love for travel and a heart for helping those who could not afford medical care. She obtained her nurse aid’s license and used this, as well as her skills in Spanish, to work at the local hospital and free clinic. From Knoxville she traveled to Greenville, NC, where she attended graduate school at East Carolina University. While in school she visited multiple migrant worker camps providing health screenings, and also spent one month in Belize providing medical care in isolated villages. Upon completion of her program, she moved to Rochester, MN, where she worked as a Physician Assistant in Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. After experiencing two Midwest winters, she desired to return to her hometown to be near her family, especially her seven nieces and nephews. When she isn’t working you can find her planning her next adventure in traveling
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Infectious DiseasesPrevious Institution:Tennessee Department of HealthPrevious Role/Title:Program Director in HIV PreventionSpecialty:Adult Primary Care and HIVEducation/Training:M.P.H. - University of MichiganM.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Henderson, NC
Dana spent the first decade of her career working in public health before returning to school to become a nurse practitioner. As a public health professional she worked in HIV prevention and is excited for this phase of her career in HIV prevention and care in the medical setting. She has a passion for social justice and working with underserved populations. In her free time, she enjoys running, travel, and spending time with her kids and dogs.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Geriatric Medicine GroupPrevious Institution:St. Thomas WestPrevious Role/Title:Cardiology Nurse PractitionerSpecialty:Critical Care NursingEducation/Training:M.S.N. - University of FloridaInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Franklin, TN
Kathy Mitchell has been an RN for 35 years and a Nurse Practitioner for 22 years. She worked as a staff nurse in CCU. Her master’s degree is in critical care nursing. She was a Certified Critical Care Nurse for 14 years. She worked in Critical Care Staff Development for 10 years. She went on a mission trip to Jamaica and found it a blessing to be allowed to help people with their medical issues. She decided to return to school to become certified as a Nurse Practitioner and worked for Anesthesia, Cardiology, and Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt for 12 years. She then became an entrepreneur by forming her own healthcare company and provided medical care for the fragile elderly for 10 years. She is joining the Division of Geriatric Medicine to, once again, serve the fragile elderly.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:A.T. Still UniversityPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.P.A.S. - A.T. Still University School of Health Sciences, Kirksville, MOInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eagle, WI
Sarah received a genetics, cell biology, and development degree from the University of Minnesota in 2011 and a graduate certificate in integrative therapies and healing practices from the University of Minnesota in 2014. She has recently graduated from A.T. Still University’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program in August 2017. Throughout her graduate education, she has been deeply involved with the AAPA serving on volunteer committees about oral health, mental health, and member engagement. She was also selected as a PAEA student advocacy fellow from 2016-2017, during which she advocated for PA policy on Capital Hill and presented at the Arizona State PA Association regarding the importance of young career PA involvement. From 2016-2017 Sarah served as a delegate in the AAPA House of Delegates representing PA students. Her future career interests include hematology/oncology, integrative medicine, medical ethics, and continued PA advocacy and leadership.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Little Rock, AR
Ms. Quinn is an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner who graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in 2017. Originally from Little Rock, AR, she moved to Nashville in 2011 to attend Vanderbilt University. She completed her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt with a double major in computer science and medicine, health, and society. She then entered directly into Vanderbilt University School of Nursing following graduation, where she obtained her RN license and Master of Science in Nursing degree. As an Adult Gerontology-Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, she pursued the intensivist subspecialty, focusing on critical care and rotating through several different ICU settings during her clinical rotations. During her time as a student at Vanderbilt, she was involved in various organizations, her favorite of which included Best Buddies and Tour Guides. She has remained involved with Best Buddies and is currently a proud citizens member of the Nashville branch. During her free time, she enjoys exploring all that the growing Nashville scene has to offer, including many trails and lakes of Tennessee. As a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, she is eager to begin her professional career at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Tennova Harton HospitalPrevious Role/Title:Nurse Practitioner-Inpatient/Outpatient CardiologySpecialty:Acute CareEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of NursingInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Hendersonville, TN
Barbara C. Simpson is an ANCC board-certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She was born and raised in Hendersonville, Tennessee, but currently resides in LaVergne with her husband and two dogs. Barbara has been practicing medicine since 2011. She previously trained in Murfreesboro and Tullahoma, Tennessee. She has specialized in inpatient and outpatient cardiovascular medicine, as well as internal medicine. Barbara’s passion for cardiovascular medicine began as an academic student and has continued throughout her career. She has a strong commitment to prevention and control of this devastating illness, which continues to be the leading cause of death globally. While she remains interested in all areas of cardiovascular medicine and surgery, Barbara's specific research interests include acute coronary syndrome and interventional cardiology. Her practice has an emphasis on technological advances, and the identification and education of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors for disease prevention. She is also interested in familial and genetics research into cardiovascular disease processes (such as cardiomyopathy, homozygous hyperlipidemia, etc.), risk vs. benefit guidelines for initiation of dual antiplatelet therapy in PCI patients with additional indication for full dose anticoagulation, and the treatment and long-term management of patients with recurrent atrial fibrillation and an absolute contraindication to anticoagulation. She is also a fervent advocate for organ donation and transplant research. Barbara is a member of both the Phi Eta Sigma and Sigma Theta Tau national honor societies. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University School of NursingPrevious Role/Title:StudentSpecialty:Adult Gerontology-ACNPEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Eugene, OR
Adam is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. While in school, he was a member of the Vanderbilt Program in Interprofessional Learning (VPIL) and participated in the Interprofessional Student Hotspotting Learning Collaborative in association with the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers. His interests include running, gardening, and biking.
- Division of:Hematology and OncologyPrevious Institution:Vanderbilt University Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Registered Nurse IISpecialty:Hematology/OncologyEducation/Training:M.S.N. - Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, Nashville, TNInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Clarksville, TN
Sherlyn is interested in the hematology/oncology specialty at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The majority of her healthcare career has been on the Neuro ICU here at Vanderbilt. Her favorite patients were often those who had brain or spinal cancer. She decided to subspecialize in hematology/oncology during her ACNP program at Vanderbilt University, and she fell more in love with the specialty during her clinical rotations. As Sherlyn becomes more established in her new role as an APRN, she plans to engage in research on the side. She took a temporary position as a research assistant during the last few months of graduate school; the research study population focus was on patients with head and neck cancers. She has not decided what her future research interests will be, but she believes that her specialized interests will develop over time as she grows in practice. She acknowledges that it will take a considerable amount of time to transition from being a novice to an expert, but when she reaches that level in the future, Sherlyn looks forward to precepting new APRNs/Pas and would like to do lectures on topics related to her specialty.
- Assistant in MedicineDivision of:Cardiovascular MedicinePrevious Institution:Maury Regional Medical CenterPrevious Role/Title:Physician AssistantSpecialty:CardiologyEducation/Training:M.S. - Trevecca Nazarene UniversityInterests/Achievements:Hometown:Jamestown, TN
Alexandria received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Lipscomb University and a Master of Science in medicine from Trevecca Nazarene University. She is certified by the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants. In her personal time, she enjoys traveling, concerts, and being outdoors.