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August 2022

Center for Child Health Policy

The Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy is a multidisciplinary Center comprised of interdisciplinary teams with expertise in neonatology, pediatrics, obstetrics, health policy, biostatistics, economics, implementation science, and public health from across Vanderbilt University and the Medical Center. The Center’s mission is to improve the well-being of children and families through research to transform clinical care and public health policy. Led by Director Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP, the Center for Child Health Policy members cover a broad spectrum of research, examining child health from a variety of lenses. 

Annually, the Center conducts the Vanderbilt Child Health Poll, a statewide poll of Tennessee parents to understand their perspectives on timely issues for Tennessee children, from food security to their child’s mental health. The Center continues to build initiatives to study child welfare policy in cooperation with Casey Family Programs and lived experts with the Children’s Trust Fund Alliance. Additionally, Center members have been recipients of two VUMC Office of Health Equity Innovation Awards to address fears around immigration policy and public benefit use among families with children in partnership with Conexión Américas and to provide firearm safety counseling and storage devices in the pediatric setting.
The Center recently launched two NIH-funded research projects focused on improving care for infants and families affected by the opioid crisis. The first project is a part of the Vanderbilt Integrated Center of Excellence in Maternal and Pediatric Precision Therapeutics (VICE-MPRINT). With the goal of creating EHR-derived algorithms to study dyadic outcomes for opioid-exposed infants and birthing parents that other health systems can implement, these efforts will facilitate broader research on this population. New partnerships with Tennessee state agencies will link a clinical population to state agency data and facilitate the study of outcomes for opioid-exposed dyads after discharge. The second project is developing and validating stakeholder-informed quality measures for opioid-exposed newborns in partnership with researchers at RAND Corporation. The goal of the project is to improve clinical care and outcomes for opioid-exposed infants and serve as a basis for future clinical trials. Additionally, the Center is working on a health equity supplement to a NIDA-funded project which examines the intersection of race/ethnicity and pregnancy status with disparities in opioid use disorder treatment and medication access. This will further our understanding of how pregnancy status may exacerbate underlying issues of equity in access to treatment for opioid use disorder.
Connect with us on Twitter or Instagram: @VUMCchildpolicy

Accomplishments of CHSR Faculty

William Cooper, MD, MPH, and colleagues reported in Annals of Surgery that patients of surgeons with higher reported unprofessional behavior were more likely to suffer complications and higher risk of death. Additionally, patients and family reporting about rude and disrespectful behavior can help identify surgeons with higher rates of avoidable adverse outcomes. Read More

VUMC and Roivant Social Ventures announced a collaboration with VICTR and its drug repurposing program to identify novel indications for existing medications and develop therapies for underserved populations and diseases. Jill Pulley, MBA, VICTR’s executive director, noted that the goal is to increase the efficiency of biomedical development to help generate effective, affordable therapies for patients in need. Read More

A recent report from a multicenter randomized-controlled trial (PassITON) led by Wesley Self, MD, MPH, Jill Pulley, MBA, and the VICTR team found that convalescent plasma does not help severely ill patients with COVID-19 to recover and survive. Blood for the trial was collected at VUMC and shipped across the country to enable this 1000-patient, 25-center trial. Read More

Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH, and colleagues recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine that smokers with hospital-based smoking cessation interventions have better quit rates than with the state-based telephone quit line at 3 months, the standard duration of treatment. Extending the duration of the health care system model, which treats smoking cessation like a chronic disease, could help keep people tobacco-free. Read More

Matthew Freiberg, MD, MSc, Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH, and colleagues recently published in JAMA Network Open findings of a clinical trial testing whether 3 proven smoking cessation medications could also reduce alcohol intake. After 3 months, alcohol consumption decreased regardless of type of treatment, suggesting that a single medication could improve health by reducing drinking and smoking frequency.

Sara Horst, MD, MPH, Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, and colleagues, reported in JAMA Network Open that low health literacy and high area depravation index (ADI) are associated with a conversion from a video to audio-only telehealth interface during a telehealth visit. The authors concluded that ADI may reflect inadequate access to affordable internet, video capable devices, and private space.

CHSR Work in Progress 
CHSR Health Equity Research Grant Awardees
Thank you to the following faculty members for supporting this program by serving as grant reviewers: Uchenna Anani, MD; Jessica Ancker, PhD, MPH; Kerri Cavanaugh, MD, MHS; Nancy Cox, PhD; Gilbert Gonzales, PhD, MHA; Velma McBride Murry, PhD  
AMA Health Systems Science Summit
AMA Health Systems Science Summit
Dec. 5–6
Join the American Medical Association and nationally recognized experts in health systems science from across the country for the inaugural AMA Health Systems Science Summit. This national conference will offer opportunities tailored to medical schools and residency programs implementing health systems science for the first time, as well as opportunities for those that are further along and seeking to enhance their knowledge of best practices for health systems science integration across the medical education continuum. Through plenary presentations, peer-led breakout sessions and a poster session, attendees will hear from nationally known experts in health systems science from across the country and connect with leaders who have deep interests in and/or responsibilities for building health systems science into their curricula. (Please note: Plenary sessions and select content will also be available via live stream.)
Registration closes on Nov. 21. If you have any questions, please email
TSU Community Engaged Research Conference
Congratulations to CHSR Investigators on these New Awards!
CHSR new grant awards (July-August 2022)
  • Katherine Hartmann, MD: Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health, K12/NIH/NICHD
  • Narender Annapureddy, MD: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety of BIIB059 in Adult Participants With Active Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Receiving Backg, Biogen, Inc.
  • Ebele Umeukeje, MD, MPH: MOVE Trial: MOtiVational Strategies to Empower African Americans to Improve Dialysis Adherence, R01/NIH/NIDDK
  • Lindsay Mayberry, PhD: Adapting FAMS to Optimize CGM Use among Emerging Adults with Type 1 Diabetes, Leona M., and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, FAAP: Developing Quality Measures for Opioid-Exposed Infants, R34/NIH/NIDA
Job openings in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health and affiliated entities:



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Vanderbilt University Medical Center · 2525 West End Ave Ste 1200 · Nashville, TN 37203-2494 · USA

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