A Vanderbilt University Medical Center Alumni Publication

Vanderbilt Medicine

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Advisory boards and councils play a key role at VUMC

By Anne Enright Shepard
February 2013

Volunteers make their way to Vanderbilt for any number of reasons: a stellar experience as a student, a life-changing experience in health care, a passion for contributing to the community.

Through service on VUMC’s advisory boards and councils, more than 250 individuals learn about—and advocate for—a focused area such as student scholarships, cancer or heart research or children’s health.
Members are actively involved in helping engage constituents in the community, and they assist in attracting financial resources needed to provide the “margin of excellence.”

In addition to serving as participants and advocates, advisory board members contribute philanthropic gifts that support patient care, cutting-edge research—often through discovery grants—and medical and nursing students.

“Vanderbilt has a special place in my heart,” said William B. Snyder, M.D. ‘57, who chairs the Vanderbilt Eye Institute Board and travels from his home in Dallas to attend board functions. “It’s an honor to be the appointed advisory board chair. Because I no longer see patients, the travel time is a minor issue.”

Snyder indicated his experience as a student in the School of Medicine spurred his interest in giving back in many ways, including endowing the Phyllis G. and William B. Snyder, M.D. Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology. “I felt gratitude,” he said. “It was an honor to go to Vanderbilt. I had choices between two good residencies when I finished.”

Most boards appoint members for three-year terms and convene twice
each year for formal meetings. Key administrative leaders, faculty and others participate in the meetings to ensure advisory board members have comprehensive information and can serve as advocates in the community.

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