As VUMC celebrates Nurses Week, a special message from Dr. Jeff Balser, President and CEO – VUMC News

May 6, 2024 | by

Dear Colleagues,

This year as we recognize Nurses Week, I want to express my gratitude to each of you for the compassionate care you provide every day. The impact you have on our patients and their families — uplifting their lives — is immeasurable.

Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

It is fitting that Nurses Week has evolved into a month-long recognition of your contributions, featuring a series of events including Grand Rounds, Blessing of the Hands, poster sessions, and award presentations held at each of our hospitals so that everyone from across our growing organization can join in.

There are many exciting things going on in nursing at VUMC, such as recently welcoming the first graduates of our Nurse Scholars Program into our workforce. You continue to touch our community in meaningful ways. A great example is the career fairs you hold at area high schools to attract a new generation to join us in health care. In July, Dr. Karen Keady will succeed our legendary Executive Chief Nursing Officer, Marilyn Dubree, who is transitioning to a part-time role.   

Your work is challenging and vital to our mission. To help over the past year, nursing leaders and others have collaborated with you to redesign how you work, creating new care models with the goal of advancing an environment that allows everyone to practice optimally on behalf of our patients.

To help everyone engaged in patient care, in November the new Refusal of Care policy went into effect, and in January we implemented the new Patient and Visitor Code of Conduct. Both policies are intended to help foster an environment of mutual respect, setting new standards for when our patients and families interact with you.  

In April, to enhance safety for everyone, the first of a series of metal detectors was deployed at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Going forward these devices will be placed at additional facility entrances so that everyone entering can be screened.

We will continue to seek ways to advance workplace culture so that you feel safe, respected and empowered to do your best work. 

As we celebrate throughout the month, Dr. Pinson and I want to thank you for your selflessness, kindness and willingness to go above and beyond every day.


Jeff Balser, President and CEO, VUMC; Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine


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