Rolando transitions to lead Health and Wellness

Mar 21, 2023 at 01:56 am by Staff

New executive director of Vanderbilt Health and Wellness Lori Rolando, MD, MPH, left, with Mary Yarbrough, MD, MPH, who had served as executive director of the program since 1994. (photo by Donn Jones)


by Wayne Wood


Lori Rolando, MD, MPH, has transitioned into a new role as executive director of Vanderbilt Health and Wellness. In this new role, she will oversee Occupational Health, Health Plus and Work/Life Connections-EAP.

Rolando has been at Vanderbilt for 15 years and, in her previous role as director of the Occupational Health Clinic, has worked closely with all aspects of Health and Wellness.

“I feel like I know all three programs really well,” she said. “I think they are exemplary. They are the standard and are really special. The teams within Health and Wellness are amazing. I couldn’t ask to work with better people every day.

Mary Yarbrough, MD, MPH, who has been over Vanderbilt Health and Wellness since 1994, is working with Rolando through the transition, and will remain at Vanderbilt and continue to oversee several programs, including the Faculty Physician Wellness Program.

Rolando said she is grateful for the guidance and example set by Yarbrough over her years of leadership.

“I couldn’t have a better mentor and leader,” she said. “I look forward to carrying on with the great work she’s done.”

Yarbrough said that the unifying principle behind all her work at Health and Wellness was pulling together all aspects of health and all people of Vanderbilt — she called it “expanding the definition of well-being” — and said she is confident that its programs are in good hands going forward.

“It’s physical heath, it’s mental health, it’s prevention. Health and Wellness is the integration, the umbrella, over all those programs. Weaving into that nurses, physicians, family, staff — all integrated or matrixed.

“I’m thrilled to be turning it over to someone of Dr. Rolando’s skills and capability.”

Both Yarbrough and Rolando say that the past three years of the COVID-19 pandemic have provided a vigorous stress test for Health and Wellness, and that employees have been well-served by the fact that the programs to deal with the challenges of the pandemic were already here.

“We had the infrastructure in place to take COVID on,” Yarbrough noted.

Rolando said that building on the legacy that Yarbrough provided will involve continuing to engage with Vanderbilt’s expanding workforce about a central question of health: “What well-being means, what it means to each person, and how to foster it.

“We want to be there to support them, wherever they are. In this job we get to take care of our own. It’s a real honor to get to take care of Vanderbilt,” Rolando said.

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