Stephens-Otterson Lecture Announced

Dr. Jeffrey R. Balser will deliver the second annual Stephens-Otterson Lecture at Trinity United Methodist Church at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Dr. Balser’s lecture, entitled “Issues of Stewardship and Conscience in Healthcare”, will focus on stewardship of healthcare in the United States from various perspectives highlighting liturgical, economic, political, and clinical elements.

Growing up in Evansville, Dr. Balser attended Plaza Elementary School and graduated from Harrison High School in 1980. At Tulane University he graduated with a B.S. in engineering. Then he earned the M.D. and Ph.D. (pharmacology) from Vanderbilt University. From Vanderbilt Dr. Balser moved to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where he undertook a residency in anesthesiology and a fellowship in cardiac anesthesiology and critical care. After several years at Johns Hopkins as a faculty member, he returned to Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in 1998 as associate dean for Physician Scientist Development. In 2008 Dr. Balser was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and later that year was named the eleventh dean of Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine (since its founding in 1875). Beginning in 2014, he led VUMC through an historic restructuring that resulted in the creation of a financially and legally separate not-for-profit corporation with annual revenues exceeding $4 billion in fiscal 2018. Now Dr. Balser serves as the first president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and continues to serve as dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dr. Balser and his wife, Melinda, live in Nashville. They have three children: Jimmy, Jillian, and Maddie. Everyone in the family, including Melinda, now holds a Vanderbilt University graduate degree except Maddie, a senior at Wake Forest University.

The Stephens-Otterson Lecture commemorates two long-time members of Wesley Advocates, the Sunday-school class sponsoring this event: Mark Stephens and Lew Otterson. As noted, the lecture will occur on Sunday, October 15, at 2:00 pm with a reception following the lecture in Craig Hall. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 216 S.E. Third Street in Evansville. For further information please contact Kathy Bartelt at or 812-853-6136.