By Nashville Health Care Council | Dec 10, 2009

NASHVILLE – On December 9, the Nashville Health Care Council recognized Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs Emeritus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with the inaugural Nashville Health Care Council Crystal Leaf Award. The award recognizes Dr. Jacobson’s significant role in fostering health care industry innovation and entrepreneurialism in Nashville.

“I am honored to receive the Council’s inaugural Crystal Leaf award,” Dr. Jacobson said. “Nashville has a long-standing history of health care industry expertise and it is a privilege to be part of this dynamic health care community. I look forward to continuing to work with the Health Care Council to further Nashville’s role in producing innovations that improve patient care.”

Under Dr. Jacobson’s leadership, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center received numerous honors and was recognized as one of the “Top Hospitals in the U.S.” Dr. Jacobson also directed the development of the Monroe Carrell, Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, known as a one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals.

Dr. Jacobson embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of Nashville’s health care industry, having played leadership roles in numerous health care companies, including founding Renal Care Group, and most recently the Tri-Star Technology Fund LLC, one of only six TNInvestco venture capital firms named by the state.

Tom Cigarran (right), Healthways chairman presents Harry R. Jacobson, M.D. (left), vice chancellor for Health Affairs Emeritus at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with the inaugural Nashville Health Care Council Crystal Leaf Award.

“We recognize Harry in acknowledgement that Nashville’s reputation as the nation’s health care industry capital has been made possible because of the dedication, commitment and dreams of individuals like him,” said Joey Jacobs, Council Board of Directors chair and Psychiatric Solutions chairman, president and CEO. “Harry’s commitment to a better patient experience has encouraged an entrepreneurial vision that has resulted in transformative care for patients and innovative solutions for health care companies.”

Dr. Jacobson’s leadership has had a significant impact on Nashville’s industry landscape as illustrated by the 2009 Nashville Health Care Council Family Tree. Vanderbilt University Medical Center earned its own “branch” on the Tree this year to highlight the many spin-off companies that have occurred from research and development at that institution, largely due to Dr. Jacobson’s vision and direction. The Family Tree, originally created in 1998 as a guide for investors, serves as a large-scale visual depiction of Nashville’s vibrant health care industry. Today, more than 300 Nashville-based health care companies account for $50 billion in annual revenue and 300,000 employees worldwide.

“As a physician, academian and entrepreneur, as well as a nationally-recognized industry thought leader, the Council is proud to acknowledge Dr. Jacobson’s significant leadership role in Nashville’s health care community and his strong support of the work of the Health Care Council,” said Caroline Young, Nashville Health Care Council president.

Dr. Jacobson joined the Vanderbilt Medical School faculty in 1985 as professor of medicine and director of the Division of Nephrology. He became vice chancellor for Health Affairs in 1997, retiring in 2009. Prior to his time at Vanderbilt, he served in the U.S. Army as chief of Nephrology and a faculty member at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He received his M.D. from the University of Illinois. Dr. Jacobson is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Nephrology, has published over 100 research articles, reviews and book chapters, and co-edited the book The Principles and Practice of Nephrology.

Dr. Jacobson is a former chairman of the Nashville Health Care Council and the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America Boards of Directors. He is also active in national professional organizations, including the Association of American Physicians, the Society of Medical Administrators and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.