Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology

Vanderbilt LogoPracticing Beyond our Borders

Motivated by a desire to help others, the faculty, staff, and trainees of the Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology are extending our missions of patient care, education, and research outside of our hospital and clinic walls to underserved areas around the world. 
We have created the Vanderbilt International Anesthesia (VIA) program to build upon our institutional strengths and resources in order to achieve unique goals in international perioperative care. The overriding objective of VIA is to benefit the lives of others by sharing the professional medical skills and knowledge of the faculty, staff, and trainees of the Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology. An additional goal is to benefit ourselves by building positive relationships with those we serve and our colleagues working within the international community.
Our department is uniquely positioned to launch a comprehensive international program by partnering with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (IGH) which currently provides opportunities for Vanderbilt students and faculty to become involved in international medical issues. Also, our faculty bring valuable international experience to this program, having already participated in international service and education experiences throughout the world over the past three decades.
Another key partner in our VIA initiatives is, Hope Through Healing Hands, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 whose mission is to
promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. 
Details regarding the procedures to apply for and prepare for VIA experiences, if selected, will be developed further as the programs evolve. Eligible participants include:
All clinical faculty of the Department of Anesthesiology are eligible to participate. Faculty are expected to contribute vacation time and financial resources to the program, and possibly sponsor a trainee to share their international experience. Similarly, those willing to serve as trip leaders will receive preferential access to VIA trip scheduling.

Resident physicians (CA-2 & 3 only) and fellows in good standing are eligible to participate in an approved VIA program. Priority will be given to senior residents, those who choose to contribute vacation time to the program, and those who have not taken a previous trip with VIA.

CRNA staff of the Vanderbilt Department of Anesthesiology are eligible to participate in VIA trips as space and resources allow. Priority will be given to CRNAs who are willing to contribute vacation time to the program, and/or pay for their travel expenses.

Clinical and non-clinical department staff are eligible to participate in medical missions in clinical and logistical support roles, as needed. There are numerous support activities “at home” that require significant effort such as materials acquisition and transport, and fundraising. There also may be opportunities to participate in overseas community service activities that are associated with medical missions. Such activities may include providing medicines and supplies; strengthening health facilities; training community health workers; providing water systems and hygiene education; participating in income-generating opportunities and other community development projects.
Contacts: VIA Director Dr. Mark Newton,
Department of Anesthesiology Chair Dr. Warren S. Sandberg,

About ASA: The American Society of Anesthesiologists is an educational, research and scientific association of physicians organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology and improve the care of the patient. Since its founding in 1905, the Society's achievements have made it an important voice in American Medicine and the foremost advocate for all patients who require anesthesia or relief from pain.