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Co-Chair Bios

Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH
Co-Chair, Blue Ridge Academic Health Group
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
Vice Chair, Emory Healthcare Board of Directors

Ravi Thadhani, MD, MPH, is the executive vice president for health affairs (EVPHA) of Emory University, executive director of Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC), and vice chair of the Emory Healthcare Board of Directors.

As EVPHA and executive director of the WHSC, Thadhani oversees Emory's renowned academic health sciences enterprise focused on advancing research, training, and health care delivery innovation. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center includes Emory's schools of medicine, public health, and nursing; Winship Cancer Institute; Emory National Primate Research Center; Emory Global Health Institute; Goizueta Institute @ Emory Brain Health; Emory Global Diabetes Research Center; and Emory Healthcare.

As vice chair of the Emory Healthcare board, Thadhani provides oversight of Emory Healthcare's CEO and leadership team, ensuring the delivery of high-quality, patient-centered care focused on supporting the health and well-being of patients around the state. Emory Healthcare, with more than 24,000 employees, 11 hospital campuses, and 425 locations, is the most comprehensive academic health system in Georgia.

Thadhani most recently served as chief academic officer and dean for faculty affairs for Mass General Brigham and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, Massachusetts. At Mass General Brigham, he was a member of the executive leadership team and oversaw graduate medical education, professional development, and a $2.3 billion research enterprise. Previously, Thadhani served as vice dean of research and graduate research education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles (2017-2019), associate director of research at Mass General Brigham (2012-2017), and chief of nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital (2013-2017).

With more than 30 years as a general and specialized internal medicine physician, Thadhani has extensive experience in patient care, research, and clinical trials. He has led a successful research lab with continuous federal funding for more than 25 years, with a focus on kidney disease and developing diagnostics and therapeutics for patients with preeclampsia. Thadhani has performed several clinical trials focused on effective treatments and preventative measures for preeclampsia, one of the leading causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.

He is the author or co-author of more than 300 scientific manuscripts and has published in top-tier journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and Journal of the American Medical Association. Thadhani has been inducted into several honor societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, American Epidemiological Society, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He also serves as a board member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a research organization that convenes a community of researchers from across many disciplines and partner institutions - MIT, Harvard, and Harvard-affiliated hospitals.

A recipient of several distinguished national awards, Thadhani has an extensive track record of recruiting and mentoring women and underrepresented staff, trainees, and faculty. He has been honored with the Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award from Harvard Medical School, the Alumni Award of Merit from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the John P. Peters Award from the American Society of Nephrology.

Thadhani earned his doctor of medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1991, his master of public health degree from the Havard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and his bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame. He also completed the LEAD Innovation Certificate Program in 2020 at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Jeffrey R. Balser, MD, PhD
Co-Chair, Blue Ridge Academic Health Group
President and CEO, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Dean, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Jon Lewin

Dr. Jeffrey R. Balser is currently President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), reporting to an independent board of directors. He is also dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, a position he has held since 2008.

Dr. Balser joined Vanderbilt in 1998 and has served as a change agent in a number of roles since that time. In 2009, he was named Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, with executive responsibility for all health-related programs, including the hospitals, clinics, research programs, and the medical and nursing schools. He led the medical center through a period of marked service-volume growth, with major inpatient expansions of the children's hospital and the adult critical care areas, bolstered by 4% compound annual growth of outpatient visits (more than 2.1 million per year) and by the creation of region's largest, multi-state provider-led network (more than 50 hospitals and 3000 clinicians: the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network). In 2013-2014, he led a $230 million (8%) cost reduction across all mission areas, improving the medical center's competitive position in a rapidly evolving, price-sensitive marketplace. In coordination with the Vanderbilt Chancellor and Board of Trustees, Dr. Balser led the medical center through a restructuring process that concluded April 30, 2016, placing its clinicians, hospitals, clinics, and research and graduate medical education programs into a financially distinct, not-for-profit corporation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

A Vanderbilt alumnus, Dr. Balser returned to Vanderbilt in 1998 as Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Development, and soon was appointed Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, directing one of the medical center's largest clinical service programs. He became the medical center's chief research officer in 2004, leading a period of scientific expansion that moved the medical center into the nation's top 10 in NIH funding, launching big-science programs integrating health informatics and genomics that stimulated the medical center's national leadership in personalized medicine. In 2008 he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and later that year was named the 11th dean of Vanderbilt's School of Medicine. 

Dr. Balser received a B.S. in engineering from Tulane University in 1984 and his MD/PhD degrees (pharmacology) from Vanderbilt University in 1990. He undertook residency training in anesthesiology and fellowship training in cardiac anesthesiology and in critical care medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1995, where he practiced cardiac anesthesiology and ICU medicine and led an NIH-funded research program aimed at the genetics of cardiac rhythm disorders, such as sudden cardiac death.