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Dan Albert, MSDan Albert, MS
A graduate of the MS-ACI’s first cohort, Dan Albert brings years of experience in software engineering—including over two decades of software development at Vanderbilt. Together with Dr. Kumah-Crystal, Albert teaches “Clinical Information Systems and Applications,” a spring course that introduces you to the major systems involved in clinical informatics. From order entry to ancillary systems, you’ll get a broad overview of how these systems function together, as well as take a deep dive into a few to get to know the technologies that keep them working.

A man in a tan jacket stands in front of window panes indoorsMhd Wael Alrifai, MD, MS
Dr. Mhd Wael Alrifai serves as director of the MS-ACI capstone course, helping students identify projects, mentors, and committee members while also providing feedback on implementation and assessment plans. He evaluates project efficacy to help students reach their ultimate goals in the program. Board certified in general pediatrics, neonatal perinatal medicine, and clinical informatics, Dr. Alrifai informs his teaching and mentorship through his experience developing and evaluating novel clinical decision support systems to improve the safety and efficacy of care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), among other projects. His research is focused on using health information technology to improve care with a focus on quality, safety, and cost reduction.

Shilo Anders, PhDShilo Anders, PhD
What characteristics makes an interface user-friendly? How do you display information in a meaningful, yet easily accessible manner? What messages cause physicians to take action? Explore these questions and more with Dr. Anders, whose combined experience in cognitive psychology and industrial engineering bring a uniquely multidisciplinary flavor to “Workflow, User-Centered Design, and Implementation.” Dr. Anders leads the user-centered design portion of this spring course, where you’ll walk through strategies for design centered on your users’ needs.

Lynn Brooks, MSLynn Brooks, MS
Lynn Brooks has been involved with clinical informatics since the field was born. In fact, she began studying computer science before the internet or personal computers existed. Now the associate director for process improvement in HealthIT at VUMC, she brings decades of experience in management, and project implementation to her summer course, “Management and Organizational Change.” In this class, you’ll learn about team dynamics, leadership strategies, and project implementation— not just from your course director, but also from the diverse provider perspectives represented in your cohort.

Robert Freundlich, MD, MSRobert Freundlich, MD, MS
With his dual expertise in anesthesiology and informatics, Dr. Freundlich is well-equipped to introduce you to “The Foundations of Health Information Technology,” the fall course he co-teaches with Dr. Wanderer. The class offers a broad overview of health information technology and features expert speakers from across Vanderbilt and the nation. You’ll meet many high-yield topics that you’ll come back to later in your MS-ACI course progression and in your everyday work. A practicing anesthesiologist, Dr. Freundlich keeps the course clinically grounded with practical applications drawn from his experiences as a clinician.

Peter Greaves, HDE, DSEPeter Greaves, HDE, DSE
As VUMC’s Chief Technologist for HealthIT, Peter Greaves brings a wealth of real-world experience to “The Clinical Information System Lifecycle.” In this summer course, you’ll learn the practical aspects of selecting, implementing, and ultimately retiring clinical information systems. The synchronous time with your cohort will focus exclusively on practical IT challenges that Greaves has seen throughout his 30+ years in health IT. Greaves sees the course as an opportunity to train a generation of health care leaders who bridge the gap between technology and clinical work— and that’s exactly what he’ll prepare you to do.

Yaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MSYaa Kumah-Crystal, MD, MPH, MS
As a Clinical Director with VUMC HealthIT, Dr. Kumah-Crystal works as a liaison between clinicians and HealthIT on a daily basis. Her practical knowledge of clinical informatics integrates seamlessly with her practice of Pediatric Endocrinology and background in Public Health. In the “Clinical Informatics Information Systems & Applications” fall seminar she leads, you will learn about the integration of essential applications into EHR systems. From documentation to third party apps, this course will prepare you to evaluate integral clinical systems for data capture, information transmission, and patient engagement.

Wing Liu, PharmDWing Liu, PharmD
As course director for the fall course “The Health System,” Dr. Liu will show you how clinical informatics plays a role in societal and organizational trends that clinicians face. Dr. Liu joined the Vanderbilt community in 2011 and currently serves as the manager of the inpatient electronic health record at VUMC. His background in clinical pharmacy and informatics experience ensures an interdisciplinary perspective for this course, giving students a front seat view to how healthcare issues influence current informatics initiatives and suggest future opportunities for innovation. What’s more, the asynchronous work you’ll do for his course is carefully designed to synergize with other students’ perspectives in the synchronous meetings each week.

Scott Nelson, PharmD, MS, CPHIMS, FAMIAScott Nelson, PharmD, MS, CPHIMS, FAMIA
MS-ACI Program Director
You’ll meet Dr. Nelson in your very first MS-ACI course: “Introduction to Clinical Informatics.” His pharmacist training and experience in medication safety informatics bring a unique perspective to the course that you’ll carry with you through the rest of your training. In this first course, you’ll gain a practical understanding of the fundamental concepts in clinical informatics, including clinical decision support, quality improvement, and human-system interactions. What’s more, as the MS-ACI program director, Dr. Nelson is well prepared to lay the foundation for all your other clinical informatics courses at Vanderbilt.

Laurie Lovett Novak, PhD, MHSALaurie Lovett Novak, PhD, MHSA
Dr. Novak leads the third segment of “Workflow, User-Centered Design, and Implementation,” and her anthropology background gives her a novel vantage point from the intersection of medical technology and everyday work. Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty over a decade ago, Dr. Novak has conducted research on consent practices in biobanking, the experience of chronic illness, and the implementation of AI in medicine. Under her direction, you’ll learn strategies for implementing technology and necessary changes in healthcare-based organizations.

Josh Peterson, MD, MPH, FACMIJosh Peterson, MD, MPH, FACMI
Dr. Peterson combines expertise in precision medicine with a strong background in public health, bringing this dual expertise to the spring course he teaches with Dr. Wright. “Clinical Decision Support in Evidence-Based Patient Care” will lead you through the history and current pressing questions in clinical decision support (CDS). With Dr. Peterson’s guidance, you’ll design your own CDS project and gain momentum for your capstone project. By the end of the course, you’ll be equipped to meaningfully evaluate clinical informatics solutions and gauge outcome differences—key skills to carry with you through your clinical informatics career.

Trent Rosenbloom MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIATrent Rosenbloom MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA
A long-time member of the Vanderbilt community, Dr. Rosenbloom completed his MD, MPH, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics residency, and Biomedical Informatics fellowship all at Vanderbilt. Today he brings his extensive practical experience directing Vanderbilt’s patient portal, one of the oldest and best used in the country. Together with Dr. Weitkamp, he has been teaching the “Data to Knowledge” summer course since MS-ACI’s inauguration. Under his expert direction, you’ll learn how biomedical knowledge is represented by computer programs and biomedical informaticists in precise and reproducible ways—as well as the philosophical underpinnings behind knowledge itself.


Kim M. Unertl, PhDKim M. Unertl, PhD

Dr. Unertl is a nationally-recognized leader in development of new pathways into the biomedical informatics field. She directs the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) summer programs for high school and undergraduate students and is co-PI of DBMI’s NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site, the Program for Access to Training in Health Informatics (REU-PATHI). She was awarded the DBMI Outstanding Educator Award in 2016 and was inducted into the Vanderbilt School of Medicine’s Academy for Excellence in Education in 2017. She is currently a member of the AMIA Education Committee and serves on the Women in AMIA Pipeline Subcommittee.

Jonathan Wanderer, MD, MPhil, FASAJonathan Wanderer, MD, MPhil, FASA
Since joining Vanderbilt in 2012, Dr. Wanderer has blended his anesthesiology training and practice with a rigorous background in electronic health records, clinical decision support, and data science. He currently leads Vanderbilt’s eStar Physician Builder program and is Medical Director of Perioperative Informatics. In the MS-ACI, he co-teaches the fall course “Foundations of Health Information Technology,” bringing in guest lecturers from across the university and drawing on his own practical experience as a clinician. By the end of the course, you will have touched on a wide variety of health IT questions to continue exploring in your courses and capstone project.

Asli Ozdas Weitkamp, MS, PhDAsli Ozdas Weitkamp, MS, PhD
Dr. Weitkamp plays a double role in the MS-ACI program, as co-director for the summer course “Data to Knowledge” and as director for practicum experiences for all MS-ACI students. Her expertise in knowledge engineering makes her a perfect fit for both these roles, able to deftly incorporate real-world examples into her everyday teaching. As your practicum director, she’ll meet with you one-on-one to identify your goals and interests and select a good fit setting for you. Over the course of your two years in the program, she’ll be the point person for selecting, completing, and evaluating your various practicum experiences.

Dr. Wright serves as director of the Vanderbilt Clinical Informatics Center, where his work is all about empowering clinicians to use EHR as creatively and efficiently as possible. He brings these values and expertise to “Clinical Decision Support and Evidence-Based Patient Care,” the spring course he co-teaches with Dr. Peterson. Clinical decision support, Wright says, is where investment in EHR really pays off, since the system can store much more data than any clinician alone. That’s why this course will teach you to think creatively about clinician overfatigue, message prioritization, and interdisciplinary solutions.


Claudia McCarn, MBAClaudia McCarn, MBA
MS-ACI Program Manager

When you join our applied clinical informatics program, Claudia McCarn will be your first point-of-contact for all things MS-ACI. She’s been involved with the MS-ACI since the program began, so she knows the ins and outs of the curriculum, program policies, and community life. Plus, with over 15 years of experience in the Vanderbilt community, she can help you find your niche within the larger School of Medicine— even from a distance. Email Claudia with questions about the MS-ACI program, life at VUSM, or Nashville in general.