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April 2022

Women's Health Research Center
at Vanderbilt

Digna Velez Edwards, PhD, MS is the director of the Women’s Health Research Center at Vanderbilt. The researchers and clinicians involved in the center are diverse and dedicated to improving women's health through research and translating research into practice.  

Their mission is to better the lives of women and their families through understanding the promoters of wellness and disease in women; advocating for positive changes in the healthcare environment to enhance health; and improving knowledge of the unique health needs of women everywhere. The center also aims to foster the intellectual and research development of investigators committed to understanding women's health. 

Current research projects focus on topics such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, uterine fibroids, pregnancy health, and genetic determinants of complex diseases. The Women’s Health Research Center also supports the research career development of junior faculty members through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) K12 program. 

The Women’s Health Research Center holds bi-weekly meetings that provide an opportunity for researchers directly or indirectly involved with women’s health to meet and discuss their research. These meetings showcase and highlight research from established investigators in the field and provide an opportunity to present works in progress (WIP). All are welcome to attend! 

Connect with Women's Health Research
Follow us on Twitter: @VUMCWHR
Contact us:

Accomplishments of CHSR Faculty
Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS will depart VUMC to become chair of the Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. Thank you, Dr. Barkin, for your many years of service and leadership at VUMC. We wish you all the best in your new role! Read More
Michael DeBaun, MD, MS, MPH has been elected president-elect of the American Ped-iatric Society (APS). The mission of the APS is to shape the future of academic pediatrics through engagement of distinguished child health leaders to represent the full diversity within the field. Read More
Wes Ely, MD, MPH was honored by the American College of Critical Care Medicine with the 2022 Distinguished Investigator Award. This award recognizes an established and active Society of Critical Care Medicine clinical investigator for meritorious and pioneering clinical research in critical care who has significantly contributed to the understanding of disease or treatment of patients.
The Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR), under the leadership of Gordon Bernard, MD and Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, successfully competed for a renewal of its CTSA award from the NIH. The five-year and $73 million grant will continue to support clinical and translational research at VUMC and Meharry, with priority areas such as causes of health disparities and the expansion of the Learning Healthcare platform.  Read More
Kevin Griffith, PhD examined how the pandemic impacted access to substance use disorder treatment services, which are improved with Medicaid services. Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states experienced similar increases in drug and opioid overdose deaths during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, but following future trends is important to guide evidence-based policy changes. Read More
Paul Harris, PhD, and colleagues with the All of Us Research Program announced that their cloud-based platform includes genetic data for over 165,000 participants, along with survey, EHR, physical measurement and activity, and Census data. This repository is poised to be a major resource for biomedical research in this country and includes a high percentage of research participants who identify with racial or ethnic groups that have historically been underrepresented in research. Read More
Allison McCoy, PhD and Adam Wright, PhD led a “Clickbusters” initiative to optimize best practice advisories (BPA) in eSTAR and help stem alert fatigue. A comprehensive review of 20% of the rule-based alerts in use at VUMC led to a 15% reduction in interruptive alerts. Sarah Horst, MD, MPH was a co-author on the study. Read More
Many Medicare beneficiaries do not fill high-price specialty drug prescriptions, particularly those that do not receive a low-income subsidy. Stacie Dusetzina, PhD, Russell Rothman, MD, MPP, and colleagues found that beneficiaries receiving subsidies were twice as likely to obtain the prescribed drug than those not receiving subsidies, demonstrating the need to increase the accessibility of high-price medications by reducing out-of-pocket expenses under Medicare Part D. Read More
Implementation Research in the Learning Health System Symposium

Duke's Population Health Summer Institute
The Summer Institute is for early- to mid-career researchers, trainees, students, and healthcare professionals. Choose from 12 affordable workshops that offer a foundation in the emerging field of population health sciences and teach a variety of research methods and real-world implementation skills. All are taught by Duke faculty and are virtual. Students receive discounted pricing, and all attendees receives 25% off when they sign up for at least four workshops.
Women's Health Research Symposium: Women's Health and COVID-19

Please click here to register.
Shared Decision Making — VUMC Special Interest Session        
With growing interest across departments, Drs. Kerri Cavanaugh, Jessica Ancker, and Megan Salwei are convening a special interest session on shared decision-making (SDM). The session will be held on Monday, June 27, 4pm-5pm, with both an in-person and a virtual option. There will be several short presentations on current research activities related to SDM to share ideas and collaborate. If you are interested in attending, please email the Center for Effective Health Communication at
2022 Health Communication Research Grant Program
Health Equity Mixer
The Health Equity Research Committee hosted a mixer on March 25 at the Student Life Center. Nearly 60 faculty and students attended this event to kickstart planning efforts for health equity research at VUMC and VU.
Congratulations to CHSR Investigators on these New Awards!
CHSR new grant awards (March 2022 - April 2022)
  • Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD: PCORnet Engagement Coordinating Center, PCORI
  • Gordon Bernard, MD and Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI: Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (CTSA), UL1/NIH/NCATS
  • Kevin Griffith, PhD: A Pragmatic Evaluation of the Effects of Mixed Income Redevelopment on Low-Income Families: Evidence from Envision Cayce, Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency
  • Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH: 9.1- A Prospective Cohort Study To Assess The Effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines, CDC
  • Katherine Hartmann, MD, PhD: Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research-Vanderbilt-Meharry Edge for Scholars Career Development Core, KL2/NIH/NCATS
  • Katherine Hartmann, MD, PhD: Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research-Vanderbilt-Meharry Edge for Scholars NRSA Core, TL1/NIH/NCATS
  • Alexander Hawkins, MD, MPH: Creation and Testing of an Education Decision Aid for Colectomy in Recurrent Diverticulitis, R03/NIH/NIDDK
  • Josh Peterson, MD, MPH: Rational Integration of Polygenic Risk Scores (RIPS), R01/NIH/NHGRI
  • Paul Moore, MD: An open-label trial of the long-term safety and tolerability of nintedanib per os, on top of standard of care, over at least 2 years, in children and adolescents with clinically significant fibrosing, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceutical
Job openings in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health and affiliated entities:



Posting ID


Sr. Application Developer Institute for Global Health 2105316 Apply
Program Manager Office of Health Equity 2110447 Apply
Project Manager Center for Health Services Research 2114572 Apply
Staff Scientist Center for Health Services Research 2200564 Apply
Manager, Research Programs Center for Health Services Research 2201063 Apply
Staff Scientist Center for Health Services Research 2201921 Apply
Clinical/Translational Research Coordinator II Emergency Medicine Research 2201956 Apply
Clinical Trials Specialist Emergency Medicine Research 2203997 Apply
Associate Health Services Research Analyst Institute for Global Health 2205009 Apply
Sr Project Manager Emergency Medicine Research 2205264 Apply

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