Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Barbara Jacobson

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Barbara Jacobson

Our Faculty Spotlight celebrates the institutional partners who make the vital connections that drive the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance’s (MVA) collaborative learning environment.

Join us this month in celebrating esteemed Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) faculty member and MVA Interprofessional Education (IPE) faculty mentor Barbara Jacobson, PhD, CCC-SLP. With planned retirement in May 2022, we’re proud to highlight her contributions and engagement throughout the years.

“I’ve been so privileged to watch the evolution of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance,” she said. “Especially under Jessica Jones.”

From inception, Dr. Jacobson was an active part of the IPE Student Project, an annual opportunity for students from various health profession programs to collaborate with local partners to brainstorm ways to improve the community.

“I’m always amazed,” she said. “In a relatively short amount of time these students get to the core of what the community partner’s needs are, and craft a deliverable that is meaningful to these organizations. I’m so impressed with the relationships they’ve built with the community partners and with each other.”

As a faculty member at VUMC, it was a passion for helping students communicate with patients, families, and health team members that led Dr. Jacobson to the MVA.

She currently serves as Associate Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Associate Director Medical Speech-Language Pathology & Clinical Education. She has been Director of Speech Sciences and Disorders at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and has worked in a wide variety of settings that involve patient-related outcomes in communication, swallowing disorders, and hospital-based practice. 

Looking to the future, she wants to stay involved.

“There’s a couple of community partners I want to stay in touch with,” she explained. “I’ve gotten to know them through this process with the MVA. It’s amazing what these folks do, and sometimes with not a lot of resources. That, to me, is important.”

Please join us in gratitude to wish Dr. Jacobson a healthy, fulfilling retirement. Her expertise and contributions will be greatly missed.

About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance

Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research in three primary areas -- community engagement, interprofessional education, and research -- by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and the communities they serve. The Alliance serves a large community of stakeholders through community engagement, including surrounding universities and colleges, community organizations, faith-based outlets, and community health centers. Its interprofessional education enhances students' interdisciplinary understanding and improves patient outcomes through integrated care. Conducted research provides access to experienced grant writers and materials supporting the grant application process and facilitates grant-writing workshops.