We certainly live in interesting times. After experiencing unprecedented growth, followed by a global economic crisis, I am pleased to report that Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Section of Surgical Sciences remains at the forefront of medical discovery, technological advances in surgery and an unwavering commitment to the very best in patient care.
Reflecting this vision, US News & World Report once again recognized Vanderbilt, ranking it 14th among America’s Best Hospitals and 15th among America’s Best Medical Schools. The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt ranked among the top 30 in the nation. And our Cardiac Surgery outcomes were just ranked third in the nation.
To better meet the needs of our patients who come to us from Nashville, Middle Tennessee and the entire mid-South region, we continue to expand our programs and facilities. A state-of-the-art Critical Care Tower was completed in 2009 and includes 12 new, multi-functional operating rooms designed to maximize teamwork and standardization of care. This facility, along with the existing 19 ORs, will enable us to perform an expected 30,000 adult surgical operations this year, alone.
We also provide an array of unique surgical services for the entire southeastern United States, including trauma and burn care; pediatric surgical services; multidisciplinary cancer care and clinical trials, heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation; functional neurosurgery, endovascular surgical interventions; advanced minimally invasive and robotic surgical procedures and hybrid cardiac surgery/interventional cardiology procedures. As such, Vanderbilt University Medical Center provides both the depth of knowledge and range of services that are critical to the population of the mid-South.
Research is an integral part of what we do in our efforts to improve patient care. Our research efforts span from the basic sciences and identifying mechanisms of diseases such as the development and spread of cancers, to clinical trials, to identifying safer systems of surgical care, and to improving educational systems for students, residents and faculty. Despite a challenging economic environment, the Vanderbilt School of Medicine remains in the top 10 for critical NIH funding.
As the safety net hospital for central Tennessee, providing these essential medical services does present financial challenges for our physicians and the hospital. Therefore, we increasingly rely on philanthropic support through the generosity of our patients and their families, alumni and other friends who recognize the power of good health to build a stronger society. A critical need exists for outright and endowed funding to support the work of our clinicians who give patients hope; our educators who train tomorrow’s physicians; and our researchers who seek to improve health care.
We thank each of you who support our programs in research, education and patient care. We hope to repay that generosity in the coming years by increasing the impact of Vanderbilt University Medical Center on the quality of healthcare in this region and in our nation.
R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., F.A.C.S.
John Clinton Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery
Chair, Section of Surgical Sciences
Surgeon-in-Chief, Vanderbilt University Hospital