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Vanderbilt Interdisciplinary Hospital-based Systems of Care Research Training Program (VISTA)
NHLBI T32 Training Program


Michael J. Ward MD, PhD, MBA

Vice Chair for Research and Research Director, Division of Emergency Medicine Research

Associate Professor of Medicine Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Informatics


Dr. Ward (contact PI) is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Biomedical Informatics and a practicing board-certified emergency physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS). He is fellowship trained in operations research, having completed a 3-year fellowship and PhD in operations management at the University of Cincinnati, with a focus on emergency care systems. He has been funded by NHLBI as an emergency medicine K12 scholar, a K23 career development awardee, and PI of NHLBI-funded R21 and R34 awards. He has also received independent funding from the VA Office of Rural Health and a VA Merit Review Award (VA’s R01 equivalent). Dr. Ward’s research interests include delivery science, the use of audit and feedback to change clinician behavior in hospital-based care systems, and the application of mixed methods to evaluate care transitions for patients with acute cardiovascular and neurovascular emergencies. He has worked extensively in hospital-based settings in both rural and urban emergency departments. He is co-director of the VA TVHS Chief Resident in Quality and Safety training program, chair of the VA Health Services Research and Development Scientific Merit Review Board section on Health Systems and Organizations, and current chair of the Emergency Medicine Foundation Scientific Review Subcommittee. His track record of successful mentorship includes seven prior and four current postdoctoral mentees. 


Alan Storrow, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Director for Research, Department of Emergency Medicine


Dr. Storrow is Associate Professor and Associate Director for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VUMC. His career has focused on the early diagnosis, risk stratification, and treatment of emergency department patients with acute coronary syndromes and acute heart failure, including the use of clinical trials and implementation science. He brings more than 20 years of experience and NIH funding, including multiple R-level grants for the evaluation of risk stratification in patients with acute heart failure and directorship of one of only five NHLBI-funded K12 training programs in emergency medicine (ending in 2023). His successful track record of training includes 12 K12 mentees, with 10 subsequent K- or R-level funding. As a departmental research leader, he has contributed to building one of the best local infrastructures for emergency medicine research as well as national collaborations. He is well positioned to provide programmatic guidance and senior research supervision in the emergency department setting.  


Dr. Sunil Kripalani MD, MSc, SFHM, FACP 

Professor of Medicine

Director, Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research 

Director, Center for Health Services Research


Dr. Kripalani is Professor of Medicine at VUMC, where he is founding Director of the Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research as well as Director of the Center for Health Services Research. These centers provide weekly educational seminars and other support services for approximately 30 postdoctoral trainees, in conjunction with the Vanderbilt MPH program and other institutional training resources. Dr. Kripalani previously founded and served as Chief of the Section of Hospital Medicine and remains clinically active as an academic hospitalist at VUMC. He is a national leader in studying hospital care transitions, with a focus on acute cardiovascular conditions and vulnerable populations. His methodological expertise includes randomized controlled trials (including efficacy, effectiveness, pragmatic, comparative effectiveness, and hybrid trials), implementation science, and mixed-methods evaluation. He leads implementation science activities for the Vanderbilt Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) and Learning Health System. He has an extensive record of successful mentorship, including 18 prior and 4 current postdoctoral mentees and 17 career development award recipients, and recently received Vanderbilt’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Translational Scientists. He has served as PI of more than 20 extramural awards and serves on the Executive Committees of several research training programs and Vanderbilt’s new RAPID-LHS center, positioning him to guide and connect trainees with a robust array of institutional resources. 

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