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Vanderbilt Health in the News: Clarke Named Senior Vice President of Laboratory Services for VUMC

Vanderbilt Health in the News: Clarke Named Senior Vice President of Laboratory Services for VUMC
Posted By: Elynor Moss on August 13, 2020

by Nancy Humphrey
Image: Ken Clarke, MBA, MHA

Ken Clarke, MBA, MHA, joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center Aug. 1 as Senior Vice President for Laboratory Services.

From 2013 to 2017 Clarke was founder and president of Hospital Lab Partners, a company that consulted with and advised hospital and commercial labs. His clients included major health systems and academic medical centers.

Clarke has overseen multiple significant lab expansion projects totaling more than 160,000 square feet, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, LabOne of Ohio and OralDNA Labs. Throughout his career he has developed strategic plans to expand and grow labs and businesses in both scope and geographic reach.

Clarke was most recently co-founder and president of Latitude, a Nashville-based legal services company that provides high-end attorneys to Fortune 500 companies, corporate law firms and government entities. Clarke co-led the geographic expansion of Latitude, opening up offices in Miami, Atlanta and Indianapolis over the last year. He has more than 20 years of executive and operational experience, including extensive academic medical center lab experience.

“Our clinical laboratories are one of the Medical Center’s greatest assets, providing comprehensive expertise across a range of diagnostic modalities that contribute in numerous ways to the success of our health system,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “There is an opportunity to provide these services at greater scale, both inside and outside our organization, and Ken has the experience and familiarity with our services to help us realize this potential.”

From 2015-2017 Clarke also worked with the lab and VUMC executive leadership to assess a strategic opportunity for the VUMC lab.

“He was the leader of the project and dug deep into all the details of the VUMC lab,” said Fletcher Lance, Executive Vice President of Vanderbilt Professional Solutions.

“This experience allowed Ken to get to know the VUMC lab inside and out and build relationships across the enterprise. We believe the combination of these experiences will be invaluable as Ken leads the lab journey at VUMC.

“Ken has an impressive track record of success in the lab services business and beyond. During his career he worked in every aspect of the lab business. He and his partners founded and built a clinical lab from scratch (OralDNA Labs, Inc.), a lab that experienced significant growth and success. As a result, the lab was purchased by Quest Diagnostics to extend their lab capability and portfolio,” Lance said.

Alice Coogan, professor and interim chair of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, vice chair and executive medical director of the Anatomic Pathology Laboratories, said VUMC’s leadership team is excited to have him join the Medical Center.

“Ken’s expertise will be key to the continued strategic growth and development of the clinical laboratory, including the building of a new off-site laboratory facility,” she said.

Shon Dwyer, MBA, RN, president of Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital, said Clarke is joining the Medical Center at a critical time.

“Ken’s positive leadership approach and track record of growing a multitude of businesses and teams will serve the Vanderbilt labs very well,” Dwyer said. “The team is excited to have his expertise during these rapidly changing times.”

Clarke received his undergraduate degree in 1994 from Vanderbilt University and his Master of Health Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from Washington University in St. Louis in 1997.

“I’m thrilled to join VUMC’s outstanding team and to be part of its ongoing strategic and regional growth, especially at a time when lab services are so critical to public health,” Clarke said.

“I look forward to further building out and leading a unified laboratory system that supports all of VUMC’s growing number of hospitals, clinics, physician practice groups and affiliates, as well as providers throughout the region and beyond.”
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