Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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/ Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPH
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Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPH
 

Michael R. DeBaun, M.D., MPHAt a sickle cell disease town hall meeting at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Michael DeBaun, M.D., MPH, introduced the idea of a medical home-a place where families and patients can develop long-term relationships with a primary care doctor and guidance for the duration of their medical journey.  

"There is a fragmentation of care for sickle cell disease," said DeBaun, professor of Pediatrics, and the J.C. Peterson Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology. "We have gaps in care as patients move from pediatric to adult care.  We need a model of care that provides a comprehensive approach for the patient and the family".

DeBaun came to Vanderbilt from Washington University in St. Louis in November 2010 with the goal of translating research discoveries into improved clinical care.

"The leadership at Vanderbilt is willing to take a risk, when others would not, to change the paradigm of care for children and adults with a chronic disease," DeBaun said. "We have the opportunity to take the idea of translational research a step further by taking specialists, nurses and trainees out of the hospital and moving them into community health care setting. We believe this is where the most immediate impact on lives of those affected will be".

As the vice chair for Clinical Research for the Department of Pediatrics, DeBaun's talent for bringing together disparate systems and directing them toward unified solutions will help faculty focus their clinical research and promote collaboration across divisions.

"Michael DeBaun is the leading clinical investigator in Sickle Cell Disease in the nation," said Louis Muglia, the Department of Pediatrics vice chair for research affairs and Edward Claiborne Stahlman professor of pediatrics. "His ability to engage the community in accelerating the academic research mission, and foster the accomplishment of the next generation of physician-scientists is unique. Through his efforts, Vanderbilt will provide a new model of delivering care for this population and children with a spectrum of chronic diseases."

DeBaun has a long history of working across disciplines and across the isles of government to improve the practical application of health care. In 2004 he helped Democrat U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and Republican U.S. Senators Jim Talent craft the Sickle Cell Treatment Act.  The law provides federal matching funds for clinical sickle cell services and establishes treatment centers in partnership with community health centers across the country for sickle cell disease.

The new Vanderbilt-Meharry Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease, directed by DeBaun, is a model for countering the historically fragmented care for children and adults with the disease.

DeBaun is a 2009 inductee to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.  He is the principal investigator of the NIH Silent Cerebral Infarct Transfusion study.  According to the SIT website, "The overall goal of the SIT Study is to determine whether blood transfusion therapy will decrease further neurologic morbidity in children with silent cerebral infarcts, and if so, the magnitude of this benefit." The SIT study has moved to Vanderbilt. He is also the principal investigator for the Sickle Cell Anemia Sleep & Asthma Cohort Study.

 


Last Edited: July 14, 2011
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