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The Vanderbilt Employee Experience

Posted by on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in April 2012, Features.

What’s it like to work at Vanderbilt?

That question comes up a lot when people find out where you work. And we each have our own answer, of course.

Great co-workers, of course.

Being involved in things that matter, that’s important. Whatever any person’s job, everyone here is part of an organization devoted to some of humankind’s greatest goals: taking care of the sick, educating the next generation, scientific research, reaching into the community and the world to make where we live a better place. That’s got to be a big factor.

But a lot of what it means to work at Vanderbilt has to do with the support and benefits the University offers its staff and faculty, the opportunities that are here because of our workplace, and the cultural, intellectual and spiritual crossroads that a great university accords.

Lifelong learning: Getting better all the time

Tech user groups—Here are some of the “techie” user groups on campus, ideal for those who want to know more about computers and what can be accomplished with them. These groups are generally open to anybody at Vanderbilt. Here are the email addresses to find out more. For people who work with the Drupal content management system: For people who use Macintosh computers: For people who work with websites: DigitalVU also has a DigitalVU Facebook page.

Half-price summer session tuition offered for dependents of staff and faculty—Dependent children of Vanderbilt faculty and staff members are eligible to take on-campus courses at Vanderbilt for half the tuition cost.

Civil Rights activist Cornel West

Lectures by people with interesting things to say—One of the advantages of working at Vanderbilt is that there are always people with ideas speaking and interacting with those of us who study and work here. Some of the lectures are single events, and others are part of organized series. Some examples:

In conjunction with Commencement, there is a Class Day speaker. This year’s speaker is newsman Tom Brokaw.

The Chancellor’s Lecture Series: www.

The Discovery Lecture Series:

The International Student and Scholar Services office sponsors public events and speeches:

The Holocaust Lecture Series is an annual event sponsored by Religious Life:

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series is held as a celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and features speakers and other events: about-the-series/

The Impact Symposium been a tradition at Vanderbilt since 1964. This is an annual multi-day symposium in which speakers are invited to discuss current events and topics of a controversial nature: uncategorized/impact-2012

Community Connections—This series of events is sponsored by the University and Medical Center Staff Councils, along with Employee Celebration. Its goal is to bring Vanderbilt staff together, providing opportunities for personal enrichment, exploring common areas of interest, learning new skills and making connections across the University as a whole. _source=vuhomepage&utm_medium=newsbox&utm_campaign=community-c

Tuition discounts for employees and spouses—Spouses of staff and faculty members can receive a 47 percent tuition discount. This applies to a single three-hour course per semester, including a fourth hour for lab, if applicable, provided they are not pursuing a degree and are not enrolled in a full-time program. Classes must be attended at Vanderbilt. Staff members receive a 70 percent tuition discount for one course per semester. The course doesn’t have to be job-related, and can be in pursuit of a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree. So you can work here and pursue your education at the same time.

Free course auditing for staff and faculty—Eligible staff members may audit one Vanderbilt course per semester and tuition will be waived, provided the staff member has the instructor’s and the supervisor’s written permission to attend. No credit is given for audited classes. 343-7000.

Help with courses at other institutions—The Vanderbilt tuition reimbursement is not just limited to Vanderbilt. It also applies if, with your supervisor’s approval, you take a job-related course at another accredited institution. If you get a C or better in the course, 70 percent of your tuition (up to 70 percent of the equivalent Vanderbilt tuition, whichever is less) will be refunded. If the course is job-related, you get a tax benefit, too. What is “job-related?” Check with Human Resources. 343-7000.

Professional Development—At Vanderbilt there are many opportunities to develop professionally, to learn new skills and to further career goals. A wide variety of classes are available through Human Resources, The Department of Finance, elevate, and many others. A full list of offerings is posted on The Learning Exchange.

Career Ladder Training—is for anyone wanting to sharpen customer service skills and is great for front-line staff. Topics include: Encountering Distressed Customers, Multi-Generations in the Workplace and Communication Differences, Resolving Conflict, and Handling Anger.

Performance Coaching—is an intervention used by Work/Life Connections-EAP to improve job performance and address workplace issues through a process which helps the employees gain greater competence and overcome barriers. This intervention helps a motivated employee develop and expand their skill set to perform their jobs more effectively.

A Manager’s Online Toolbox—includes a variety of resources offered by all of the Health and Wellness departments to help make manager’s work easier. Resource topics include Dealing with Upset People, Verifying Compliance, Managing Work-related Injuries, What to Do When an Employee Comes to Work Sick and more.

Communication: What’s going on

My VU Preview/My VUMC—These twice-weekly electronic newsletters come via email and contain the information that staff and faculty need to know, such as messages from leadership and policy updates, along with a lot of stuff you want to know, like employee discounts and campus happenings.

My VU:


Read all about it—The University and Medical Center produce a variety of publications designed to keep staff and faculty informed about news. These include this one, House Organ, as well the VUMC Reporter; Vanderbilt View; the online publication Research at Vanderbilt; Hope, the magazine of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; Momentum, the magazine of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center; alumni magazines such as Vanderbilt Medicine and Vanderbilt Nurse; and the University’s flagship publication, Vanderbilt Magazine. For a list of publications and links, go to

Facebook—The University, Medical Center, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and many other programs at Vanderbilt have active Facebook pages where followers can find out about news and current events. A few examples:


Vanderbilt Health:

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt:

Twitter—University and Medical Center news comes in 140-character bites, too. There are many Vanderbilt sites, but these can get you started:


Medical Center:!/VUMChealth

Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute:!/VUMCHeart

YouTube—The University and Medical Center each have YouTube channels where you can watch video news releases, instructional material, the popular “My Health Chat” interactive medical talk show and the weekly University online newscast, “VUCast.”

University: VanderbiltUniversity/

Medical Center:

State of the Medical Center Address—Once a year the vice chancellor for Health Affairs calls the whole Medical Center together to talk about where we’ve been, where we’re going, and what the vision is for the Medical Center. Those who go come away in the know.

Other states—Other areas of the Medical Center, including Nursing, Pediatrics, and the Vanderbilt Medical Group have addresses from leadership outlining accomplishments, challenges and plans. Those who work in the affected areas are invited to come, hear and ask questions. Some areas, such as the Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute, have regular town halls, as well. At all levels, it’s important to hear and be heard.

Rounding with senior leadership—Senior leadership makes it a point to visit all areas of the Medical Center to meet with staff and faculty and generally see what’s going on. If you haven’t seen them lately, you will soon.

“Rounds”—Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, writes a monthly column that is printed in the VUMC Reporter and posted to My VUMC.

Suggestion box—Got a great idea for the Medical Center that you want to be sure that the vice chancellor hears about? Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine, has a suggestion box where those ideas can be heard. In case you want to talk about something sensitive, you don’t even have to leave your name.

Survey says…— Great organizations want to listen and learn ways to make the workplace even better, as do we. Regular confidential Community Surveys are conducted across Vanderbilt to find out how we can be an even better place to work. Once the results are back, department leaders are asked to work on things that can be improved in their work area and our leaders are focused on organizational improvements. We’ve seen many changes through the years as a result of the surveys.

Wellness Commodores—Health and Wellness has this group of volunteers who find out firsthand about new things going on at Health Plus and other Health and Wellness areas, and report back to their work areas. Commodores know their colleagues and can have an advantage in motivating them to make healthy changes. 2011/09/health-plus-wellness-commodores/

Medical Center and University Staff Advisory Councils—These are councils made up of elected members who serve as advisory groups to administration and staff on issues, policies and practices that affect the University and Medical Center.

Faculty Senate—One way faculty members make their voices heard to the administration of the University. The Faculty Senate is the representative, deliberative, legislative body of the faculties.

Classifieds—Need a roommate? Want to buy patio furniture or sell a Studebaker? The online classifieds at My VU are an ideal place to find what you need and sell what you don’t.

C2HR—Need to know how much leave time you have, check on a direct deposit of your salary or find out other important employment-oriented information, the place to check is Connect to HR.

Health and Wellness Connection newsletter —Published six times a year, this is a handy source for news from Health and Wellness, as well as tips and information on how to live a healthier, more balanced life.

A Portal to access your health and wellness information—Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness has a Health and Wellness Information Portal where you can log in and see what preventive exams are recommended for you based on your age and gender. You can also check your Go for the Gold status; view your measurements for height, weight, BMI and blood pressure done by Health Plus as well as your participation history in Health Plus activities; check compliance and print immunization records with Occupational Health; complete a confidential mental health screening; find back-up care for adults and children; or view your account status, if you have a child in one of Vanderbilt’s Child Care Centers.

Wellness: I feel good

Health Plus—Health Plus is the faculty/ staff health promotion program, which supports the wellness and productivity of the faculty and staff through the facilitation of good lifestyle practices. Health Plus provides general education and awareness programs for all faculty and staff, as well as risk reduction and coaching programs targeted toward those at high risk. Physical inactivity, poor nutrition, weight management, tobacco use and high stress are of particular focus. Primary delivery vehicles for Health Plus programming include a state of the art fitness center, which includes services such as weight and cardio equipment, group fitness classes and fitness evaluations, and the award-winning Go for the Gold Program. Reach Health Plus by phone at 343-8943 or on the Web at

Workshops on Stress Resilience, Self Care, Ergonomics, Change and Transition, Balancing Work and Home, Preventing Fatigue and Burnout, Building a Civilized Workplace, Bystander Violence Preventions-Green Dots, etc. 09/skill-development-training/

Babies and You Prenatal Education Program offered by Health Plus is a prenatal education program to encourage early and consistent prenatal care. Educational sessions on various topics are offered monthly. Full-time, benefits- eligible Vanderbilt employees, their spouses, and dependents can participate and earn a $50 gift card for the new baby(s). health

Pressure Relief Network is a Health Plus presentation series addressing the management of High Blood Pressure offers six-one hour classes. Attend one or all six classes. The topics include managing blood pressure through medication, an eating plan, the benefits of weight management, exercise and physical activity, handling stress and setting goals. At each class, blood pressure checks are available.

Online Workouts from Health Plus are a great ways to boost physical activity. Choose from yoga desk poses, a prenatal workout, an exer-tube workout and others. Do them in your office, at your desk, at home or when traveling. Find one that’s right for you or try them all!

Vanderbilt’s award-winning Go for the Gold program is a comprehensive health promotion program offered by Health Plus that is designed to help faculty and staff and their families lead healthier and more productive lives by identifying health risks and taking action to reduce those risks. Vanderbilt faculty/staff enrolled in the employee health plan for medical and pharmacy coverage who complete all three steps and pay for the Vanderbilt Health Plan benefits can earn up to $240 in their health plan account to help pay for deductibles and co-insurance.

Listen to Health and Wellness Wellcasts interviews, tips and tidbits on a variety of topics ranging from grilling safety to Crock-Pot cooking to relaxation techniques. Listen from your MP3 Player or your computer.

The Healthy Kitchen Cooking Video Library provides ideas from Health Plus on how to prepare healthy, easy recipes and a bit of inspiration.

The Know Your Numbers program measures blood pressure, weight and body mass index. These numbers can be used on your yearly Health Risk Assessment and compared throughout the year for changes. The Know Your Numbers events are held daily at Health Plus, Wednesdays from 11a.m.–1p.m. at Occupational Health, and at other convenient locations on and off the main campus, as well as by appointment in departments. Call Health Plus at 343-8943 to request one in your department. 2011/09/know-your-numbers/

Full and part-time regular faculty and staff have access to the Health Plus fully equipped fitness center, located atop the Kensington Garage, at the corner of 25th Avenue South and Kensington Avenue. The facility includes trained professional fitness staff to assist you in meeting your exercise goals and needs. Services include fitness evaluations, as well as aerobic equipment, weight equipment, group fitness classes, shower facilities, temporary locks and much more.

Health Plus offers a variety of group fitness classes for all fitness levels and interests at Kensington Garage location and at satellite locations such as One Hundred Oaks, Green Hills, the Village at Vanderbilt and more. You will find step, aqua aerobics, kickboxing, Nia, upper and lower body strength, functional fitness, yoga, Pilates, Zumba and more on the schedule. Try a variety of classes to find which ones suit you the best. These classes are offered at no additional cost.

Health Plus challenges you to keep the holiday weight gain on hold with Hold the Stuffing! Weigh-in before Thanksgiving and again in early January. Tips and recipes are included in this holiday challenge to support a successful challenge outcome. Additionally, if you lose weight or maintain your weight within 2 pounds, you will be entered into a drawing for great prizes to be given away.

The Health Plus Lap It Up Club supports you in increasing the distance you swim, and reaching your personal goals. The program also offers rewards for meeting lap goals. All you have to do is record the number of laps you swim each time you visit any pool, return the log to Health Plus to earn great prizes such as swim caps, duffle bags, goggles and more. And remember, there are two pools on campus, at the Dayani Center and at the Student Recreation Center—both of which offer memberships for Vanderbilt staff and faculty.

Health Plus Healthy Steps Coaching is personal coaching by a certified wellness coach and is offered to those participants with health risks identified through their yearly Health Risk Assessment as a part of the Go for the Gold Program. Areas of focus are weight management, physical activity, stress management, nutrition and smoking cessation. Initially, participants in this program meet with the coach to create an individualized plan of action. Coaching is then offered for the duration of six months as the individual discovers personal strategies that work in making lifestyle changes. Monthly interaction with the coach provides accountability and consistent support for making behavior change.

Health Plus offers full-time staff and faculty a Vanderbilt Weight Watchers at Work Credit of $25 per fiscal year. Details for earning the credit can be found at the Health Plus website or by calling Health Plus at 343-8943.

The Health Plus Start! Physical Activity Program rewards faculty and staff with great prizes for achieving quarterly challenges. Log your activity on the online tracker and enjoy motivation emails, walking trails and special events. There is even a walking club, Walking Wednesdays, that meets for six weeks each spring and fall, allowing you to join other colleagues in a lunchtime walk while enjoying our beautiful campus.

More Matters 10 Week Challenge from Health Plus to maintain or increase your fruit and vegetable consumption. Held every summer, this program consists of weekly educational emails, a log sheet to record your number of cups consumed, and prizes for completion of the nutrition log and periodic surveys. Enjoy the summer abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Start Walking Day: Each year Health Plus leads the Vanderbilt Start! Walking Day event in April to coincide with a national walking day, where faculty and staff are encouraged to wear their sneakers to work and join Vanderbilt’s largest walking event. Faculty and staff can join the walk from points along the way and convene at a central location for festivities.

Health Plus Start! Walking Trails and Maps: Walking is a great way to get exercise…and the Vanderbilt campus is a beautiful place to walk! There are nine walking routes across campus that range from 10 minutes to 40 minutes. Plus there are 1/10th mile markers throughout campus that allow you to customize your own walking route.

Dayani Center—The Vanderbilt Dayani Center is a medically-based fitness center on the Vanderbilt campus, complete with exercise equipment, an indoor walking track, a warm-water therapy pool and group fitness classes. The Dayani Center was the first facility in the state of Tennessee to be certified through the Medical Fitness Association. Individual, couple and family memberships are provided at a discounted rate for Vanderbilt faculty, staff and dependents.

Aquatics at Dayani—The Vanderbilt Dayani Center provides an aquatics exercise class free to Vanderbilt Employees who are also Health Plus members. The class is offered Monday through Friday from 5-6p.m. Health Plus members can also use the Dayani Center pool on Saturdays for a discounted rate of $5 per visit.

Massage Therapy—The Vanderbilt Dayani Center provides therapeutic massage services at a competitive rate. Our licensed massage therapists specialize in treating persons with pain as well as those dealing with cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic medical conditions. dayani/15230

Adult Weight Management Program—The Vanderbilt Dayani Center offers a 20-week, comprehensive, adult weight-management program at a discounted rate for Vanderbilt faculty, staff and dependents. The program includes a full Dayani Membership, personal training sessions and educational classes which address proper nutrition, practical tips for meal preparation and basic concepts in goal setting and behavior change.

Smoking cessation and prevention help—The Vanderbilt Dayani Center’s Smoking Cessation and Prevention program provides individual and group programs for persons ready to address their tobacco addiction. The Vanderbilt Health plan provides 100 percent coverage for these services. If interested, please contact Barbara Forbes at 322-4751. Resources are available from Health and Wellness for individuals wanting self-help, medical and/or support. This includes the Occupational Health Clinic’s QuitRx Program, which offers counseling and treatment services, and prescription medication when indicated. After the initial quit, participants may enroll in coaching through Health Plus to help maintain their new nonsmoking status.

The Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health—The center combines traditional medicine with complementary therapies that are proven, safe and effective. The center offerings include acupuncture, health and nutrition coaching, and classes such as “Mindful Eating” and “Healing Qigong.” www.vanderbilt

Work/Life Connections-EAP—WLC-EAP provides psychological support to the Vanderbilt faculty and staff and promotes problem solving and stress resilience through counseling, coaching and consultation. Reach Work/Life Connections EAP by phone at 936-1327 or on the Web at

Nurse Wellness Program—is a specialized service of WLC-EAP that recognizes the unique job demands of nurses. These demands expose nurses to a number of stressors which can affect their emotional well-being.

Faculty and Physician Wellness Program—provides psychological support to the Vanderbilt faculty of all 10 University Schools as well as house staff, spouses and domestic partners by WLC-EAP. work-life/faculty-physician-wellness/

Confidential Online Mental Health Screenings—Work/Life Connections has developed brief, self-assessment questionnaires that ask participants about symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress, disordered eating and negative body image, Attention Deficit Disorder (i.e., ADD or AD/HD), and alcohol abuse. All responses are anonymous and confidential. Another valuable resource for Vanderbilt faculty, physicians, staff and their significant others is Work/Life Connections-EAP (936-1327). Counselors are available for assessment, brief interventions, coaching, and consultation. All services are free of charge. news/2011/09/on-line-screening/

Occupational Health Clinic—The OHC provides immunizations and screenings for work-related hazards, business travel exams, ergonomic consultations, evaluation and treatment for work-related injuries, and management of all types of exposures. OHC manages an early return to work for injured workers and provides confidential medical review of medical leave (FMLA) requests. Minor non-work-related illnesses can be treated at Faculty/Staff Express Care—just another service from OHC. Reach Occupational health by phone at 936-0955 or on the Web at

Flee from flu for free— The Occupational Health Clinic offers flu shots to all faculty and staff at no charge each fall – they even set a World Record for the most shots given in a day.

Walk-in Mammograms—Vanderbilt staff members who are ready for their next breast screening mammogram can stay on campus and receive this diagnostic test by visiting The Vanderbilt Clinic (TVC) mammography suite without an appointment. The walk-in mammograms are available Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 3:20 p.m., on the first floor of TVC, with check-in at room 1630. Insurance will be billed and all co-pays apply. Screening and diagnostic mammograms are also available at the Vanderbilt Breast Center at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks, although appointments are required at this location.

Screenings—Screenings for skin cancer and head and neck cancer are held regularly. Watch for announcements of these and other opportunities for better health in My VUMC and My VU.

Work-Life Balance: Life in motion

Flexible Spending Account for medical expenses and dependent day care expenses—Full-time staff and faculty can deduct a portion of their pay, pre-tax, to pay for medical expenses or for day care for children or dependent older adults. This puts pre-tax dollars to work on these predictable expenses. 343-7000. psa.php

Tuition discounts for children—Eligible dependent children may qualify for tuition benefits if you have been a full-time member of the Vanderbilt staff or faculty for the past five continuous years, or have equivalent service at another accredited college or university. For Vanderbilt, the discount for current employees is 70 percent (that is changing in September to 55 percent); for courses at other accredited universities or colleges, the benefit is tied to that school’s tuition amount. 343-7000.; and

Parents in a Pinch—provides back-up child care and back-up adult care services for infants, preschoolers, school-agers, parents or yourself.

Adult care:

Child care:

Baby’s Best Start—supports you in a healthy pregnancy and your baby’s best start. The Child and Family Center offers an informational tool kit that includes educational opportunities at Vanderbilt, breastfeeding basics, location of lactation rooms and more.

The Summer Programs for Children and Youth—database offered by the Child and Family Center can help you determine what your children will do in the summer. Day camp? Overnight camp? In-state or out-of-state? The online listings are for camps in Tennessee as well as some out-of-state options. The list includes day camps and overnight camps.

Tutoring and Test Preparation Services— database offered by the Child and Family Center can help you determine if your child needs help preparing for the SAT or a little extra help with math. This online resource offers a list of tutoring services in the Middle Tennessee area. The list includes services for tutoring as well as test preparation and skill building.

Same-sex partner coverage—Vanderbilt extends its health and other benefit coverage to same-sex partners. This is an important statement about the values of non-discrimination the University stands for, too.

Family Therapy—All the health insurance plans available to VU faculty and staff cover family therapy (also known as behavioral health) in addition to individual therapy. Sometimes the best way to deal with a problem is to have the whole family in on the solution, and this coverage recognizes that. This resource is in addition to the programs available to all employees through Vanderbilt’s Work/Life

Short-term counseling—and resource information is provided by Work/Life Connections -EAP to assist those who are dealing with acute life stressors. The EAP’s experienced counselors provide psychological support to help full-time, part-time and VTS staff and their spouses or domestic partners resolve personal or workplace concerns. health

Recovery Support Services—of Work/Life Connections-EAP offer resources for faculty, staff and supervisors for alcohol, drug abuse or other behavioral addictions.

Adoption Assistance—The University will reimburse up to $3,000 per child for eligible expenses toward adopting up to two children. The cost of childbirth has always been covered, and now some of the costs of growing a family through adoption are covered, as well.

Retirement plan—This is a good deal. For staff whose standard work week is at least 20 hours, the plan is mandatory after one year of employment; the retirement plan is mandatory for faculty upon employment date. There is a required retirement contribution of 3 percent (6.47 percent for VMG members) and it is matched at 3 percent, whether the individual has to put in 3 percent or 6.47 percent. And another 2 percent is matched dollar for dollar. There are many investment choices, so you can tailor your retirement fund to meet your needs. 343-7000.

Retirement planning events—From time to time Human Resources sponsors events in which experts discuss aspects of planning for those days of retirement when the alarm clock is not set and the day beckons, full of tantalizing possibilities. Or you can have some waffles and watch “The Price is Right.”

Not sure how much money you need to retire? Staff and faculty are invited to attend free, one-on-one sessions with licensed retirement planning counselors from our retirement plan providers to help you get ready.

Life Insurance for staff and faculty—Staff and faculty have group term life insurance equal to annual salary as part of their benefits package. Those who wish to purchase more may do so, up to an additional three times your annual salary. 343-7000.

Long-term disability insurance—If you are disabled and are not able to work, payments can begin six months later, and provide 60 percent of your salary—a key piece of financial security for your family in case something terrible happens. 343-7000.

Life insurance for dependents—Vanderbilt provides a fixed amount of life insurance for your spouse and eligible children. Coverage for a spouse is $5,000 and coverage for a child from birth to 19 years (23 years if a full-time student and eligible dependent) is $2,500. 343-7000.

Accidental death and dismemberment insurance—Vanderbilt makes this coverage available to staff and faculty as part of its benefit package. The prospect isn’t much fun to think about, but it’s good to know the coverage is there if needed. 343-7000.

Sick leave is applicable to family members—Vanderbilt sick time may be used to care for family members who are sick, which gets you out of trying to weasel around and claim to be sick when you actually have a sick spouse or child. 343-7000.

Full retirement payments after long-term disability—If you have the misfortune to need to leave your job due to long-term disability, you don’t have to lose out on your retirement. The plan continues monthly contributions to your retirement account if you are a participant in Vanderbilt’s Retirement Program. 343-7000. Long-term.php

Bereavement leave—It’s good to know that you can take up to three paid days off if there is the death of a spouse, domestic same sex partner, son, daughter, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, stepparent, step-sibling or stepchild. 343-7000. HR-020.php

Child and Family Center—provides resources and services to support Vanderbilt faculty and staff in balancing work and home life. Quality early childhood education and care is provided at four sites serving children from infancy through five years. Reach the Child and Family center by phone at 936-1990 or on the Web at childandfamily

The Life Phase Series—This lunchtime presentation series is designed to help support faculty/staff in their work and life balance by providing programs to help manage areas of our lives other than work. Examples of topics include buying your first home, teen talk and more. 343-8943.

Pet insurance—Nobody likes having a sick cat or dog, or parakeet, or iguana, but knowing that Vanderbilt offers pet insurance can help take away some of the financial bite.

Boomer, Elders and More Lunchtime Series—offered by the Child and Family Center focuses on a variety of topics relating to baby boomers, the elderly and much more. All sessions are from noon-12:45 p.m. health

Faculty and Staff Discount Program–Human Resources maintains a list of merchants who give discounts and special deals to people who work at Vanderbilt. While the University is not endorsing these businesses, giving these folks your business can save you some money. 343-7000. benefits/perqs.php

Travel Well— For faculty and staff planning international business travel, the Occupational Health Clinic provides counseling, immunizations, prescriptions and a personalized health plan appropriate to the itinerary. For those traveling internationally for non-work reasons, the Vanderbilt Travel Clinic can be a great resource.

Occupational Health Travel Exam: news/tag/travel-health/

Travel Clinic:

Back-up Care options—are available through the Child and Family Center that serve dependents of all ages. The Sitter Service connects faculty and staff who need sitter services with Vanderbilt students and employees who are interested in providing care for infants, preschoolers, school-agers and adults.

The Vanderbilt Valet—This service is a real time saver. At no extra cost to you, The Vanderbilt Valet arranges to handle errands such as cleaning pick up and drop off, oil changes, jewelry repair, watch batteries, car washing and detailing, and others. 343-8254 (Medical Center North office); 936-8253 (Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt office); 936-7977 (One Hundred Oaks office).

Support for aging loved ones—The Child and Family Center offers a variety of elder care resources including an annual elder care fair, monthly lunch and learns (Boomers, Elders, and More Series), a caregiver support group, and personalized consultations for those providing care for a loved one.

Work Environment: A good place to be

The Campus—The Vanderbilt campus has 330 acres, 6,400 trees and 220 buildings, and is classified as an arboretum by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. The Peabody section of campus has been a Registered National Landmark since 1968. Both the Peabody and main campuses are wonderful places to walk through the shade, sit in the sun, or listen to birds in an oak. This is your workplace.

Eats on campus—The Medical Center has Au Bon Pain, the Courtyard Cafe, and the food court at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, (which includes a Subway and a Ben and Jerry’s), but it’s possible to branch out culinary-wise without leaving campus. There are eateries at the Central Library (Food for Thought) Rand Hall, the Schulman Center for Jewish Life (Grins Vegetarian Café), Carmichael Towers East, Ingram Commons Dining Center, and Sarratt Student Center—all beckoning to the adventurous palate. 03/dining-options-plentiful/

Religious services—At the Medical Center there are half-hour non-denominational Sunday morning services at Rhea Chapel (just off the hospital lobby) at 10 a.m. and at the chapel in Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt at 11 a.m. In addition, during the week, there are various Catholic and Protestant services on campus, as well as services and observances for those of Jewish, Muslim and other faith traditions. Vanderbilt is a place of learning, and also a place of faith.

Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital atVanderbilt chapel:

Rhea Chapel:

Reaching for the stars—Dyer Observatory, at 100 Oman Dr. (near Radnor Lake), has programs on astronomical phenomena and makes its telescopes available for public viewing from time to time. Get acquainted with some of the local planets, stars and galaxies. And it’s got space to rent for meetings and events, which can lend a space-age aura to any occasion. 373-4897.

The VUH Gift Shop—The Gift Shop on the VUH mezzanine is the ideal place to pick up items. Open 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 322-3422.

The Friends Shop—This fine retail establishment, located in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt stocks lots of neat stuff for kids and grown-ups, too. 936-6186.

Campus Bookstore–Earlier this year, the campus bookstore relocated to the corner of West End and 25th Avenues and is now operated by Barnes & Noble. The new location offers more space for book signings and community events. In addition to stocking textbooks, school supplies and University swag, the store offers a wide range of general interest books, music and magazines, and has a Starbucks. Staff, faculty and students receive a 10 percent discount.

Come on and take a free ride—Full-time staff and faculty, as well as volunteers, graduate and professional students can ride Metro Transit Authority buses to and from work for free, using only their ID badges. A great deal for those who live near the bus line, but good for those who live elsewhere, too, because there is a park and ride option. 862-5950.

Come on and take a subsidized ride— Regional Transportation Authority regional bus service, as well as commuter rail service on the Music City Star, are provided at a discount to all full-time Vanderbilt employees and volunteers. Rail stops include Lebanon, Martha, Mount Juliet, Hermitage and Donelson. A free shuttle bus service between the Nashville Riverfront Terminal and Vanderbilt coincides with train arrivals and departures. 862-6117. vumc.php?site=medcenterparking&doc=15028

Emergency rides home—Let’s say you live in Davidson or one of its nearby counties. And let’s say you normally get to work by a Regional Transportation Authority carpool, vanpool, train or express bus. And let’s say that something happens—sickness, emergency concerning a family member, unscheduled overtime—to prevent you from catching your normal ride home. If you are registered with the Emergency Ride Home service, you can receive a voucher for transportation home. A couple of cautions: you have to be registered with the service, and during times of bad weather the service is not available. 862-8833.

Alternative Transportation—If MTA bus routes or the Music City Star don’t work for you, there are myriad other ways to get to campus. Join a carpool or vanpool with your neighbors via RideMatch. Let the Vanderbilt Coach Service drive you from Hendersonville, Spring Hill and other surrounding areas. Reserve a Zipcar or WeCar to have wheels when you need them. Get a map of campus bike racks to safely park your cycle while you work.

Home of excellence—Vanderbilt has Magnet-designated nursing; a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center; a Level 1 Trauma Center; a Regional Burn Center; a Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; the Vanderbilt-Eskind Diabetes Center. VUMC is also a world leader in the emerging field of personalized medicine—health care tailored to an individual’s genetic makeup. Vanderbilt University Hospital was named by U.S. News & World Report to the publication’s Best Hospitals “Honor Roll,” recognition of VUMC’s quality and status among the nation’s elite medical centers. This is your workplace.

Critical Incident Stress Management/ Psychological First Aid—provides support when a traumatic incident (such as the death of a co-worker, a threat to the personal safety of the staff, or other stressful event) impacts the emotional well-being of the Vanderbilt community. Work/Life Connections-EAP is here to assist.

OHC Comes To You—Via cars, carts (and maybe even roller skates) Occupational Health nurses bring immunizations and TB tests to faculty and staff whenever and wherever they work – off campus, at the bedside, day shift, nights, and weekends too.

Working Smarter, Not Harder—Everyone should be able to work in comfort and safety. The Occupational Health Clinic’s Ergonomics Program provides personalized ergonomic evaluations for individuals and departments. For basic office and computer workstation advice, you can even do an online assessment, print out the recommendations and share them with your supervisor.

Walk-in Care For Minor Illnesses—For sniffles, sneezes and other minor ailments, Occupational Health runs Faculty/Staff Express Care, at 112 Medical Arts. With a convenient location and complimentary walk-in service, Vanderbilt faculty and staff get the care they need without leaving the Vanderbilt campus.

Get Well Quick With Return To Work—Injured workers recover faster if they are allowed to remain at work while they recuperate. Occupational Health manages the Return to Work Program, which facilitates temporary modified duty assignments for staff with on-the-job injuries.

Reducing Needlesticks—When faculty/staff experience a needlestick or other blood exposure, time is of the essence. Occupational Health provides immediate evaluation and treatment, investigates why the exposure occurred, and works to reduce injury rates. In 2011 our injury rate fell 8 percent by implementing safer sharps.

That Personal Touch—People who receive services at the Occupational Health Clinic on their birthday get a prize.

Jump starts and help with lock-outs—Got a dead battery or lock your keys in your car? Good thing you work for Vanderbilt. Staff, faculty and students may request help with their vehicle (it has to be on campus), and most of the time, Vanderbilt Police are able to help. 322-2745.

Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery—What a treasure this is. The gallery is located in Cohen Memorial Hall on the Peabody Campus, and features exhibitions from guest artists and displays from the university’s almost 6,000-piece permanent art collection. 322-0605.

Sarratt Gallery—Monthly exhibitions of works by distinguished artists, available at no charge and a guaranteed spirit-lifter a short walk away. 322-2471.

Vanderbilt University Theater—Student productions of plays, in Neely Auditorium on campus. Don’t ask yourself, “To go or not to go”—just go!

Vanderbilt Dance Group—Classes in all kinds of dancing—ballet, modern, tap, ballroom, even line dancing—are offered to staff, faculty and students. 322-6400.

Craft classes and work areas—Classes in crafts and arts such as photography, pottery making, jewelry-making and weaving, are available at Sarratt Center. 343-0491.

Rental of recreational equipment—The Student Recreation Center has a wide variety of recreational equipment—stuff like backpacks, spelunking equipment, volleyballs and camping tents—available for rental to staff and faculty. That’s right: spelunking equipment. 343-8182.

Meet the farmers—A weekly Farmers’ Market is offered each Thursday afternoon from May through October by Health Plus, in collaboration with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and the Nashville Farmers’ Market. Stop by Medical Center Plaza (across from Langford Auditorium) to purchase fruits and vegetables, dairy products such as goat cheese, milk and yogurt, grass-fed beef, eggs, pasta, honey, healthy baked goods and flowers. Cash accepted at all vendors; credit cards and debit cards accepted at some.

Community Outreach: Making our part of the world a better place

Friends from other places—First Friends is a program that facilitates cross-cultural exchange through friendship, connecting Vanderbilt University international students with Americans on and off campus. It is coordinated by International Students & Scholar Services (ISSS), and begins each academic year as hundreds of students travel from around the world to study at Vanderbilt. International students join First Friends to experience American life and culture. At the same time, they bring unique experiences from their home countries that they are ready and willing to share with new American friends.

Veggies from VEGI—Vanderbilt Educational Garden Initiative (VEGI) is a community garden where residents, in cooperation with Vanderbilt medical students and others, grow vegetables to help bring fresh produce to an area where good fresh food is hard to find. The garden is located at 225 Berry St., near the intersection with Meridian Avenue, behind the Salvation Army chapel.

Mobile Market— The Nashville Mobile Market is a collaborative effort between Vanderbilt students and the Edgehill community. It is designed to provide healthy, affordable produce in areas of Nashville that have little access to these foods.

Coordinating our greens—SustainVU is an umbrella identity managed by the Vanderbilt University Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) for the wide variety of sustainability initiatives under way by students, staff and faculty groups. SEMO is a joint effort between Plant Operations and Vanderbilt Environmental Health and Safety, whose mission is to initiate, promote, coordinate, evaluate and encourage environmental management and sustainability initiatives that improve Vanderbilt’s impact on the community and environment.

Care under the shade tree—The Shade Tree Clinic is a free health clinic run by Vanderbilt medical students. The clinic strives to be the medical home for many Nashville residents with limited resources by providing exemplary care for acute and chronic illnesses, social services and health education.

Community volunteerism—The Office of Active Citizenship and Service (OACS) empowers students and their service organizations to become involved in the community through volunteerism, issue awareness, education, advocacy and activism. OACS offers a growing number of experiential learning opportunities locally, nationally and globally.

Helping our friends in need—The Faculty and Staff Hardship Fund was established to financially assist Vanderbilt faculty and staff who are experiencing a temporary hardship due to a significant life event. An award is intended to be a major step for the employee in the return to financial stability. This program is managed by Work/Life Connections-EAP.

That giving spirit—Vanderbilt Gives brings together the previous Faculty-Staff and Partners In Health giving campaigns with the goal of making it easier for faculty and staff to give to the areas of the University and Medical Center that mean most to them. Your gift to Vanderbilt is another example of your commitment to our mission of teaching, patient care and research. vanderbilt-gives/

Second Harvest—Vanderbilt has supported one of the most active Second Harvest food drives in the city. Last year, Vanderbilt people donated more than 21,000 pounds of food. Watch for the iconic donation boxes come December.

Learning for life—The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt is sponsored by the Division of Public Affairs and supports lifelong learning. It is an organization that provides adults with educational programs, tours and trips, and a variety of social events. By offering non-credit courses, students benefit from the stimulus of lectures and discussions in an informal and relaxed environment. The student body is a cohesive group that projects a true sense of community, always welcoming new members.

Fun and Connectivity/ Recognition: Having fun and job well done

Credo Awards—The Credo Awards recognize individuals who consistently demonstrate exceptional credo behavior. Nominations may be made by anyone, including staff, faculty, patients, patient families and volunteers.

Commodore Awards—People who work at Vanderbilt who have made it a better place are eligible for the Commodore Award. There is honor involved. There is cash involved.

Five Pillar Leader Award—All leaders (with the exception of executive leadership) serving VUMC are eligible for this award, which honors those who lead others and make us all better.

Walking with the leaders—Each year many senior leaders, including the Chancellor, come out at lunchtime to support the benefits of walking by participating in the Health Plus Senior Leader Walk. The walks begin at points all over the beautiful Vanderbilt campus and ends at Health Plus followed by speeches by leadership, live music and other events.

Chill out with ice cream—Every summer the employee celebration crew spreads throughout the campus (and off site locations too) setting up Vandy Chill ice cream stands to offer a variety of frozen treats. A tip to all Vandy newcomers… get there early if you want a Nutty Buddy! Mark your calendars, the date for 2012 will be Aug. 8.

Honoring those who serve—The annual Service Award Celebration is an entertaining event for our staff who are celebrating a significant service anniversary of 20 or more years, up to sometimes 60 years of service. You can be sure to see senior leaders in attendance congratulating our co-workers for their longtime commitment to Vanderbilt and presenting them with a service pin. It’s a special celebration of the people who make Vanderbilt a great place to work. The next celebration is scheduled for Sept. 19, in Langford Auditorium.

Tossin’ those turkeys—Vanderbilt traditionally has provided a turkey to its staff and faculty members during the winter holiday season, the event that has become known as Turkey Toss. This is great if you like turkey, but even if you don’t, you may opt to donate yours that will be given to a local charity. Vegetarian? No worries, a tasty tofurkey dinner is available.

Family movies—Many times during the year the employee celebration team offers parents a chance to bring their kids to watch movies at the theater in the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. OK, you don’t really have to bring kids or even have any—you too can come and enjoy a free movie, popcorn and snacks.

Symphony, and you, on the lawn— Another great Vanderbilt tradition. The Nashville Symphony kicks off its summer series with Symphony on the Lawn, a performance for people at Vanderbilt. If the weather allows, this is a wonderful event on the lawn at the Commons where you can bring your family, friends and picnic baskets and enjoy an evening of fantastic music. In case of rain, an indoor site is always available. Watch for announcements soon for this event in May.

Picnic on the Plaza—2012 will be our third year for a huge university-wide picnic on the Medical Center plaza. Last year more than 18,000 grilled chicken sandwiches and veggie burgers were served to our faculty and staff. Why? The picnic and all of the employee celebration events are a way to thank and acknowledge everyone’s hard work and effort. You’ll see the tents on the plaza again in June as we prepare for the Picnic on June 22.

Tailgaters, start your appetites—Tailgate is a Vanderbilt football tradition. Our Athletic department provides thousands of tickets to a home football game to the employee celebration team to give away, yes FREE, to Vanderbilt staff/faculty and their families. But, before the excitement of the game, there is a tailgate party complete with hot grills cooking up burgers or hot dogs. You also find lots of games and activities for the kids. This partnership with Athletics has gone so well that the employee celebration team is now making a similar offering for the women’s basketball team—another tradition in the making.

PARTY like it’s 2012—As part of our Commencement tradition, Vanderbilt hosts a big outdoor dance whose simple name says it all: THE PARTY. This celebration is an opportunity for the entire Vanderbilt community—students, parents, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni—to gather to extend a festive farewell to the departing undergraduate, graduate and professional students and it is a fitting accompaniment to the more formal Commencement ceremony on the following Friday. This year’s Commencement festivities kickoff on Wednesday, May 9, with THE PARTY.