August 25, 2011

Jeremy Kaye, M.D., chair of Radiology and Radiologic Sciences, to Retire

by John Howser
Jeremy Kaye, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology and Radiologic Sciences, will retire as chair at the end of the current academic year, in June 2012. Kaye’s decision to make the announcement now was carefully considered, allowing time for a national search and smooth transition for the department’s new leader.

Kaye has been chair since March 2007, after having served briefly as interim chair. He also served as department vice chair from 2000 through 2006.

“I’ve spent 40 percent of my career heading up radiology departments at three institutions. That’s a lot of time. The time is right to step down,” Kaye said. “I will have had a career spanning 43 years post-training. I will be 72. I’m going to remain on faculty but haven’t quite decided yet in what role I will continue to serve.

“One of my great pleasures, particularly since becoming chair, has been working closely and collegially with the other department chairs in this institution, for whom I have a great deal of respect.”

Kaye’s relationship with Vanderbilt dates back to 1976, when he was recruited to VUMC to direct Musculoskeletal Radiology. He was intimately involved in the design and relocation of the department from Medical Center North to Vanderbilt University Hospital upon the facility’s opening in September 1980.

“The thing that struck me most during my first 12 years at Vanderbilt was the planning for the new hospital. I was involved in all planning and capital expenditures for our department,” he said. “I recall vividly transitioning the department from MCN.”

In 1988, after his first 12 years at VUMC, Kaye departed to New York for 12 years, serving on the faculty of Cornell University Medical College and New York Medical College. He was director and chief radiologist in the Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Cornell’s Hospital for Special Surgery for nine years, and then later served at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center, a 700-bed general hospital boasting a very active emergency department, as chair of its Department of Radiology for three years.

Having received his medical degree and residency training at Cornell, his return to New York in 1988 was his second stint there. The move from Cornell to St. Vincent’s after nine years was to return to a general services hospital and the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues across a broader range of specialties.

“They had a very active emergency department and I’ve always had an interest in emergency radiology and radiology’s support of emergency departments,” he said.

In what he calls his “second tour of duty,” Kaye was recruited back to VUMC in 2000 to serve as department vice chair. “I’m a little like a cicada,” he joked. “During my career I’ve moved about every 12 or 13 years.”

Making the decision to return to Vanderbilt and Nashville more attractive for Kaye and his wife, Bernadette, was that two of their three children, Kathleen and Michael, both VU alums with advanced degrees, and one grandchild live here. Kathleen works as a nurse practitioner in the Stem Cell Transplant Program. Michael has an MBA from the Owen School and owns a local business. Kaye’s oldest son, Patrick, lives in Hong Kong and works in the financial industry.

“By any measure, Jeremy’s service to Vanderbilt has been extraordinary,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine. “The sustained effort of the Department of Radiology and Radiologic Sciences has helped fuel tremendous growth in our patient care programs, supporting countless educational experiences and clinical research programs. Jeremy’s leadership and commitment have been critical to our success. I want to express my sincere appreciation for his many contributions.”

Vanderbilt’s Department of Radiology and Radiologic Sciences is not only one of VUMC’s largest departments, but also one of the nations largest. With 110 faculty — 33 basic science faculty and 77 clinical faculty — 33 residents and 15 fellows, the department performed 573,000 adult and pediatric procedures in FY 2011.

Through the Section of Radiological Sciences and the Vanderbilt Institute for Imaging Sciences, innovative research and clinical translational projects are constantly in progress.

“Highly successful health care systems always have top-performing core programs providing patients unparalleled service. Our Department of Radiology and Radiologic Sciences is no exception,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.

“Under Jeremy’s direction the portfolio of our imaging services and the satisfaction of our patients has flourished, helping move our hospitals and clinics to the forefront.”

During his career, Kaye has authored or co-authored six textbooks, has contributed nearly 30 book chapters, has authored or co-authored more than 70 scientific papers, conducted almost 60 instructional courses and participated in more than 110 invited lectures in just the last 15 years. He has been the visiting professor at more than 65 medical centers and has served as an examiner for the American Board of Radiology for 32 years, receiving Distinguished Service Awards from that organization in both 2000 and 2010.

“I was introduced to Jeremy many years before I met him in person, when I began using his interactive Radiology textbooks. It was obvious then that he is smart, insightful and a great teacher who is also wryly funny,” said Corey Slovis, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. “He is able to have strong feelings about a topic, but is open to change if presented with adequate evidence. I think in part because he is a radiologist, he sees issues and problems quickly when many of us, especially me, are still in the dark.

Jeremy’s presence as chair will be sorely missed by all of us who have been lucky enough to serve with him or be taught by him,” Slovis said.
Also during his career, Kaye has been president and has served on the Board of Trustees and numerous committee appointments for the International Skeletal Society, the premier professional organization for radiologists whose mission is the furtherance of the art and science of musculoskeletal imaging.

He served as the editor of that society’s journal, Skeletal Radiology, from 1994 to 2005. In 2010, he was awarded the society’s Founders Medal, its highest honor.

“Dr. Kaye has been a thoughtful and valued leader. Under his direction, he has overseen one of Vanderbilt’s busiest clinical programs, supported by what may be the premier radiology training program in the country, and grown an impactful imaging research program. In addition, he is a wonderful friend and colleague to all of us,” said Paul Sternberg, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Adult Health Affairs and chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

Sometimes referred to by colleagues as ‘the man in black’ for his propensity to wear black clothing, Kaye is an avid college sports and Vanderbilt athletics enthusiast, actively supporting VU football and basketball, when he takes a break from his leadership activities.

“You’ll find me at every football game and every basketball game.” he said. “I may even take up baseball next year now that I’ll have a little more time.”

The search for Kaye's successor will begin immediately. Warren Sandberg, M.D., chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, will head the search committee. The members of the committee will be appointed and announced in the next few weeks.

Kaye is the the Carol D. and Henry P. Pendergrass Professor and Chair of Radiology and Radiological Sciences.