Trumpet Awards for VUMC's Churchwells

Friday, February 11, 2011, Vol. 35, No. 6

Vanderbilt University Medical Center cardiologists André Churchwell, M.D., and Keith Churchwell, M.D., along with their brother, Kevin Churchwell, M.D., formerly of Vanderbilt, are among the 2011 Trumpet Award honorees recently recognized in Atlanta.

Initiated in 1993, the annual Trumpet Awards celebrate and honor African-American achievers, and the spotlight shines on the Churchwells for their contributions to the field of medicine.

André Churchwell, associate professor of Medicine and Radiology, graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Biomedical Engineering and later graduated from Harvard Medical School.

He completed his internship, residency and cardiology fellowship in Atlanta at Emory University, where, in 1984, he was the first African-American named as chief resident of medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital.

He came to Vanderbilt in 1991 and is the associate dean for Diversity in Graduate Medical Education and Faculty Affairs.

Keith Churchwell, associate professor of Medicine and Radiology, graduated from Harvard University in 1983 and attended Washington University School of Medicine, where his interest in cardiovascular medicine was ultimately piqued.

He later completed his training at Emory University School of Medicine and affiliated hospitals and was also chief resident at Grady Memorial Hospital. He came to Vanderbilt in 1998 and is the executive director and chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute.

Kevin Churchwell is the former CEO and executive director of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983.

Hall Booth Smith & Slover welcomes Witt

The Nashville office of Hall Booth Smith & Slover, P.C., today announced that Bryant C. Witt, an experienced health care attorney who most recently co-chaired the health care practice group at Miller & Martin, PLLC, has joined the firm.

Witt, who frequently presents for industry trade organizations such as the Medical Group Management Association, has more than a decade of experience representing physicians, hospitals and other health care providers in professional liability and business litigation. The Franklin, Tenn., native received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rhodes College and his law degree from the University of Memphis, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

Knowles named to Fisk Board of Trustees

Mathew Knowles, founder, president and CEO of Music World Entertainment (MWE), has been elected to the Board of Trustees of Fisk University.

A 1974 graduate of Fisk, Knowles also will serve on the Board of the General Alumni Association. Knowles brings to the board his business and management expertise, a strong commitment to education and a great enthusiasm for his alma mater.

Knowles holds a professorship at Texas Southern University, where he teaches a course on the entertainment industry in the School of Communications. He also has been a guest lecturer at various colleges and universities throughout the country. In 2010, Knowles instituted a highly successful and competitive summer internship program for college students from around the country.

Fesik receives $2.5M for cancer research

Stephen Fesik, Ph.D., professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Chemistry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has received a $2.5 million grant to fund research on drugs for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The three-year award from the Lustgarten Foundation will support Fesik’s work on targeting K-Ras, a protein that is mutated in 90 percent of pancreatic cancer patients.

Approximately 43,140 patients were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2010 with 36,800 deaths from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Fesik is one of seven Vanderbilt researchers recently elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for his contributions in the application of structural biology to medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. In 2010, Fesik also received the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award for his proposal to push the boundaries of drug discovery.

He has published more than 230 papers and has won many awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance from the Eastern Analytical Society and the SBS Technology Innovation Award. In addition, he served as a member of several editorial boards, scientific advisory boards and boards of directors.

Moore Joins Wiseman Ashworth Law Group

Attorney Margaret Moore, whose practice has been focused exclusively on representing healthcare providers, has joined Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, PLC. She was previously a member of Gideon, Cooper & Essary, PLC, Nashville.

“We are very pleased with the addition of Margaret to our firm. Her extensive experience representing healthcare clients increases the depth of our trial team and is a natural fit with our practice,” said Ashworth.

Moore has more than 16 years of legal experience and has represented hospitals and medical centers throughout middle Tennessee at the trial court and appellate levels. Her trial experience includes cases involving premises liability and the representation of physicians and hospitals in cases of professional liability. Before beginning private practice, she served as Judicial Law Clerk to Judge Barbara N. Haynes in the Davidson County Third Circuit Court.

Moore received her J.D. degree in 1995 from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She graduated cum laude in 1989 from the University of the South with a B.A. degree in Economics and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of the South. She is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and was the former Secretary of the Nashville Bar Association.

Hernandez is named to Carell nursing post

Susan Hernandez, MBA, R.N., has been named associate hospital director of nursing at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

In her new role, Hernandez will work to promote transformational leadership in clinical operations in the areas of Patient and Family Centered Care, Inpatient Nursing, Respiratory Care, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and Peri-Operative Nursing.

Previously, Hernandez served as administrative director of Inpatient Services and administrative director of Critical Care Services.

During her time at Children’s Hospital she has worked to establish and maintain high standards for patient safety and quality of care as well as to ensure compliance with policies and standards.

Hernandez came to Vanderbilt in 1994 as a care partner. Since then she has served in various positions, including charge nurse, manager of General Surgery Clinics, manager of the Coronary Unit and Cardiovascular Step-Down Units and manager of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.

Southeast Venture promotes Martin

J.T. Martin has been promoted to associate of Southeast Venture LLC.

A Certified Commercial Investment Member, Martin has been with Southeast Venture since 2008, when he joined as a broker specializing in medical real estate services.

Martin’s key projects include representing the joint real estate venture between Saint Thomas Health Services and Williamson Medical Center, leasing 30,000 square feet of medical office space at Tollgate Village, serving as leasing agent for the MTMC medical office building, handling the disposition of the existing MTMC hospital and representing the first healthcare tenant in the new Hill Center at Green Hills.

In 2010, the Nashville Business Journal named Martin a Commercial Real Estate MVP. He also won the NAIOP Rising Star award in 2009 and was named one of five finalists for the NAIOP 2010 Developing Leader award.

MP&F adds spring interns

Five interns have joined the staff at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations for the spring. The intern program is for college sophomores, juniors and seniors:

Taylor Davis, a senior at Vanderbilt University majoring in English and history with a minor in communication studies. In 2009, she worked as an editorial intern at the University of South Carolina Press, and last summer completed an internship with the Kannapolis Intimidators, Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Davis has been a staff writer for The Vanderbilt Hustler and a weekly contributor to an online Greek directory, She was involved with Alternative Spring Break during her first three years at Vanderbilt and is an active member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. A native of Charlotte, N.C., Davis will graduate in May.

Mitchell Despot, a senior at Lipscomb University majoring in communications with a minor in political science. From 2008 to 2010, Despot worked as the assistant director of the PURSUIT extended day program at Harding Academy in Nashville, where he tutored students after school and coached sports teams. He has volunteered as a summer camp counselor for Hillsboro Church of Christ camp for the past two summers, and currently serves as the vice president of his social club, Gamma Xi. A native of Nashville, Despot will graduate in August.

Lauren Jarrell, a senior at Middle Tennessee State University majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and organizational communication. Last summer she completed an internship with the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, where she assisted the director of communications in writing news releases, media advisories and newsletters. She is involved with several organizations at MTSU, and this past semester served as the Kaplan campus representative. Jarrell is an active member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. A native of Smyrna, Jarrell will graduate in May.

Xander Jones, a senior at Belmont University, majoring in religious studies and Spanish. In the fall of 2008, Jones worked in the media tent as a transcript runner during the Town Hall Presidential Debate. He later volunteered with the Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) during the gubernatorial primaries. In the summer of 2009, Jones interned for the Cromwell Radio Group. Jones has written for the Belmont student paper, been part of an award-winning university forensics team, and played a key role in Belmont’s student recruitment team Bruin Recruiters. Jones is an active member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and calls Tuscaloosa, Ala., home. He graduates in May.

Kate Vorys, a senior at Vanderbilt University majoring in communication studies and minoring in English. At Vanderbilt, she serves as the treasurer of Pencil Projects, an on-campus service organization that provides tutoring in reading and math to economically disadvantaged Nashville youth. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, she has completed two other internships in the marketing/public relations industry in her hometown, and has gained valuable experience creating and performing client pitches and compiling information for competitive market analyses. She will graduate in May.