Clinical Center News
Fall 2021

NIH Clinical Center bids farewell to long-time staff and welcomes new ones

Dr. Barbara Jordan
Dr. Barbara Jordan
Dr. Brooke Decker
Dr. Brooke Decker
Dr. David Lang
Dr. David Lang
Tsehai Crockett-Lynn
Tsehai Crockett-Lynn
Dr. Thomas Burklow
Dr. Thomas Burklow

This year has been active on the personnel front with many people moving into new leadership positions at the NIH Clinical Center. Here's a summary of some of those changes.

Dr. Gwenyth R. Wallen stepped down from her role of the Chief Nurse Officer of the NIH Clinical Center in July. She served as the Acting Chief Nurse Officer for the NIH Clinical Center in January 2016, and was selected for the permanent position the following year. Wallen will be leading a new translational bio-behavioral and health disparities research branch at the Clinical Center.

Stepping in as the Acting Chief Nurse Officer is Dr. Barbara Jordan, Nursing Service Chief for Nursing Operations.

Jordan stated, "It is my great privilege to serve as the Acting Chief Nurse Officer and continue the excellent work underway in the CC Nursing Department as we continue on our Journey to Magnet designation."

Dr. Tara Palmore is moving on after 20 years at NIH to George Washington University, where she will be Hospital Epidemiologist at GWU Medical Center and Professor of Medicine in the GWU School of Medicine. During her time at NIH, she started in Dr. Anthony Fauci's office at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in September 2001 and ended her NIH career as Hospital Epidemiologist and Chief of the Hospital Epidemiology Service.

Dr. Brooke Decker will serve as the new Hospital Epidemiologist and Chief of the Hospital Epidemiology Service. She comes to the Clinical Center from the Pittsburgh Veterans' Administration hospital where she was Hospital Epidemiologist, Chief of Infection Prevention and Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the NIH Clinical Center as the Director of the Hospital Epidemiology Service. There is no more crucial enterprise to the progression of medical knowledge, and no greater honor than to serve these hallowed halls," said Decker.

Laura Lee ended 32 years of service at the Clinical Center as the Director of Patient Safety & Clinical Quality, to accept a position at Medstar Health. In her new position, she will lead the development of the hospital's patient safety initiatives.

In August, Dr. David Lang was promoted to replace Lee. Lang has worked at the hospital since 2002, and as the lead clinician for the pediatrics consult service, he has a stellar record of ensuring the safety of the hospital's younger patients. He is the first physician to lead the Patient Safety and Clinical Quality office, a group tasked with working within the hospital and with NIH partners to support the highest quality of patient safety, care and research support.

"I'm very excited and honored to have this opportunity. Patient safety and high-quality care are integral to the life changing clinical research we do," said Lang.

Bernard Harper, the former Chief of the Materials Management and Environmental Services Department, left the position that he held for over four years to accept a position with the Department of Defense. In 2020, Bernard received Clinical Center recognition as Co-Administrator of the Year for managing the hospital's medical supply chain and maintaining sufficient levels of personal protective equipment, masks and sanitizing products throughout the pandemic.

Tsehai Crockett-Lynn has accepted the position of acting chief of the Materials Management and Environmental Services Department. She will set the strategic direction for the department and develop operational plans for the hospital as the pandemic continues.

"What an extraordinary privilege to lead this diverse and extremely talented team! Although it would seem a natural transition for me as the Deputy to step into the "gap" until a new leader is chosen, the trust and confidence bestowed upon me by the CC leadership is not something that I take lightly," said Crockett-Lynn.

Dr. Robert M. Lembo retired from his position as the director of Education and Training in the Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education (OCRTME) in October 2021. Lembo was responsible for administrative oversight of all graduate medical education-training programs at the NIH Clinical Center since 2006 and for maintaining NIH institutional and program-specific accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. During his 15 years at NIH, he has been recognized for his service with several awards.

Dr. Thomas Burklow will serve as Acting Director. Burklow serves as the director for the Medical Research Scholars program and coordinator for undergraduate medical student electives at the Clinical Center. He is the chair of the NIH CC Simulation Project Team and as a pediatric cardiologist, supports consults of children as part of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Cardiology Consult Service.

Burklow noted, "I am grateful for Dr. Lembo's leadership of OCRTME, a small but highly capable team that facilitates many programs that the Clinical Center relies upon to carry out its core missions in clinical care, training and research, such as GME, CME, Grand Rounds and clinical research training."

- Debbie Accame

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