McKenzie Vater, MD

Clinical Fellow
Pediatric Rheumatology

McKenzie Vater is from Alexandria, Kentucky. She earned her undergraduate degree at Northern Kentucky University (go Norse!) and attended medical school at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, while maintaining her devotion to the Kentucky Wildcats. She completed her residency and chief residency at Vanderbilt and worked as a pediatric hospitalist for a year at Monroe Carell Jr Children's Hospital prior to starting rheumatology fellowship. In addition to clinical rheumatology, she hopes to continue her scholarly work in medical education. Her hobbies include biking, running, reading, and spending time with her husband, Lee, their new daughter, Adelaide, and their cat, Scratch.

Delivery Address
2141 Blakemore Ave
Room / Suite

Chief Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-2020
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2016-2019
Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Undergraduate: Northern Kentucky University

Rene G. VanDeVoorde, III, MD

Assistant Residency Director
Pediatric Residency Program
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Nephrology

Dr. VanDeVoorde completed both undergraduate and medical education at Vanderbilt University. After pediatric internship and service as a General Medical Officer with the U.S. Navy, he finished his residency training, chief residency and fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Dr. VanDeVoorde returned to Vanderbilt in 2016. He serves as a preceptor to medical students, residents, and subspecialty fellows rotating through the Pediatric Nephrology clinic and in-patient service. He looks forward to optimizing pediatric subspecialty educational experiences for trainees of all levels, in addition to continued work with recruitment and curriculum oversight.

Outside of the hospital, he enjoys time with his wife, Nicole, and their two sons, following Vanderbilt and Nashville sports teams

Devang J. Pastakia, MD

Associate Residency Director
Pediatric Residency Program
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

Dr. Pastakia received his medical degree from New Jersey Medical School in Newark, New Jersey and completed his pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Medical Center. He remained in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. area for his Pediatric Hematology-Oncology fellowship in the combined NIH/Johns Hopkins program and then joined the VUMC faculty in 2011.

Dr. Pastakia's main clinical focus is pediatric neuro-oncology, and he has worked closely with multiple subspecialists to help build the pediatric brain tumor program at Vanderbilt. He has been involved in medical education since joining the faculty. He is currently the faculty co-lead for the medical education academic community for the pediatric residency program. He works closely with the pediatric hematology fellows as the associate fellowship director and clinical mentor. He looks forward to becoming more involved in resident recruitment, education, and career development as assistant director for the pediatric residency program.

In his free time, Dr. Pastakia spends as much time as possible with his wife and two boys enjoying sports and all that Nashville has to offer.

(615) 936-1762
Preston Research Building
2220 Pierce Avenue
Room / Suite

Dr. Pastakia's primary clinical and research interest is pediatric neuro-oncology.  He co-leads the pediatric neuro-oncology team. Dr. Pastakia completed his residency training in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.He remained in the area to complete his pediatric hematology oncology fellowship at the combined NIH-Johns Hopkins training program.  During his fellowship, his primary research focus was evaluating the CNS pharmacokinetics of chemotherapy agents using microdialysis in a non-human primate animal model.  Since joining the faculty at Vanderbilt in 2011, he has worked with a multidisciplinary team to provide the most advanced therapeutic options for all pediatric brain tumor patients managed at VCH.  He is involved in multiple national consortiums, including COG, Beat Childhood Cancer, and SOPNOC, whose focus is developing trials to optimize care for pediatric neuro-oncology patients.  Dr. Pastakia is also involved in medical education at Vanderbilt. He is the co-leader of the medical education academic community for the pediatric residency program. He works closely with pediatric residents in developing multiple scholarly projects that focuses on improving the educational experience for pediatric residents and methods to evaluate the benefit of these interventions.

Brain tumors, pediatric oncology, pediatric neuro-oncology

Alison Herndon, MD, MSPH

Assistant Residency Director
Pediatric Residency Program
Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Division of Hospital Medicine

Dr. Herndon completed medical school at the University of Colorado, followed by residency and a year as chief resident at the University of North Carolina. She moved to Nashville, joining the Vanderbilt faculty in the Division of Hospital Medicine in 2015. Her clinical interests include caring for children in the inpatient setting and coordinating care for children with complex medical problems. Dr. Herndon has been interested in resident education since her chief year and enjoys her time as the core faculty director for the general inpatient wards rotation. Areas of interest include fostering resident autonomy and ownership on the inpatient teams and novel approaches for remediation.

In her spare time, Dr. Herndon enjoys spending time with her two rescue pups, exploring the awesome music scene, and finding the best tater tots in town.

Whitney Browning, MD

Pediatric Residency Program
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Hospital Medicine

After completing undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Kentucky, Dr. Browning moved to Nashville for pediatric residency at Vanderbilt where she also served as chief resident. Following training, Dr. Browning remained at Vanderbilt as faculty in the Division of Hospital Medicine. Her clinical interests include caring for children with a wide variety of inpatient pediatric conditions and exploring ways to ensure quality, evidence-based care through quality improvement initiatives such as development of clinical practice guidelines. Dr. Browning has always had a great interest in resident education, especially in the clinical setting, and was excited to take on the role of Associate Program Director of the Pediatric Residency Program in the fall of 2012.

In her spare time, she enjoys Nashville's amazing food and music scenes, outdoor activities, and SEC sporting events.

(615) 936-2119

Dr. Browning's research has mostly focused on the care of the febrile young infant as well as scholarly work in medical education on assessment and written evaluation as well as using growth mindset in remediation and promoting career vitality.

Caring for hospitalized patients and patients with complex medical needs; Emphasis on caring for the febrile young infant.

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