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After 17 years at USC/Norris, administrator Adrianne Bass to step down

by Mary Ellen Stumpfl

Adrianne Bass

Of all the things she learned in her 17 years at USC/Norris Hospital, Adrianne Bass said the most valuable are “courage and perspective-and it’s the patients who taught me that.”

Bass will be taking that courage and perspective with her when she leaves USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center on June 3 to be the chief operating officer for a new alliance between Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College located at Metropolitan Nashville General Hospital in Tennessee.

Bass leaves Norris with a sense of accomplishment and pride. “I was able to see the opening of the hospital and grow in my responsibilities as the hospital grew,” said Bass, who came to Norris in 1982 as a graduate student to help implement a computerized medical record system.

Upon completing an M.P.H. in Health Services Administration, her role expanded and she became a member of the administrative team at Norris. She was promoted to assistant hospital administrator in 1986, senior assistant administrator in 1990 and hospital administrator in 1997.

Peter Jones, director of the USC/Norris, has worked closely with Bass over the last 10 years. “Adrianne has genuine concern for the medical staff and compassion for patients and in many ways she embodies the spirit of USC/Norris,” said Jones.

Bass has witnessed a number of milestones during her time at Norris including the opening of the hospital and the building of the Topping Tower.

She is proud of the role she has played in recruiting and promoting Norris staff, developing new programs and seeing Norris emerge as a leading cancer center in the nation.

“One project I’ll regret not seeing through is the Lee Breast Center,” she explained. “I helped recruit the team and identified the space for the center.”

“It’s been so rewarding working with the medical staff and members of the cancer center-people who really care about the Norris organization,” she explained. “Working here is really a labor of love for so many people.”

She feels fortunate to have worked in collaboration with the for-profit sector and for the lessons learned on what it takes for a business to succeed. Her experience facilitating the melding of two subcultures when Tenet Health-care entered into a management contract with Norris Hospital will be useful for her new role in Nashville.

She said her new position will offer a unique challenge, as the city-owned hospital recently established the alliance with the two Nashville medical schools. Bass will be one of three who will lead operations for the newly formed alliance.

“I’m very excited to be working with Meharry because a number of my family members graduated from there,” she added.

There will be two farewell receptions for Bass: a campus-wide reception on Tuesday, June 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Edmondson Faculty Center and a Norris employee reception on Wednesday, June 2 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Rainbow Café, on the Norris ground level.

After 17 years at USC/Norris, administrator Adrianne Bass to step down

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