As the medical center’s chief executive since 2009, Dr. Balser has led remarkable growth over the past decade, expanding patient visits to nearly 3 million per year from the Mid-South and communities nationwide with annual net revenues of $6.3B (fiscal 2022). The highest-ranked adult and children’s hospitals in the Southeast by US News, VUMC employs over 30,000 people and houses the world’s highest volume cardiac transplantation program, the Mid-South’s largest NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and a host of destination clinical programs. Over two decades he has spearheaded an agenda to bring personalized medicine from research concepts to bedside care, integrating advances in biomedical informatics, discovery science, and precision genomics. Recognized as the nation’s academic leader in health information technology, the NIH Data and Research Support Center for the US Precision Medicine “All of Us” Program is based at VUMC.
In 2016 Dr. Balser guided VUMC through an historic restructuring process, separating the medical center legally and financially from Vanderbilt University through a $1.2B public debt issuance and forming an independent, not-for-profit corporation that continues its historic academic affiliation with the university. He has guided acquisitions growing VUMC from two to five regional campuses, including seven hospitals with over 1700 inpatient beds and 200 outpatient facilities, while expanding the employed medical practice to over 3000 clinicians, the largest in the Mid-South. VUMC houses one of the nation’s distinguished medical education programs with over 1100 residents and fellows training in over 200 specialties. The School of Medicine ranks among the nation’s top NIH grant recipients, with over $700M in annual research supported by government, foundation, and industry sponsors. Among the nation’s most accomplished infectious disease research centers, VUMC has led many of the key discoveries and clinical trials delivering vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, including Remdesivir (Gilead) and Evusheld (AstraZeneca).