Volume 16 | September 4, 2018
Surgical Notes
From the Chair
Colleagues,

August has been quite a busy month for the Department of Surgery. Many of our faculty were joined by our Dean Dr. Peter Buckley and Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Marsha Rappley along with over 1,000 registrants in Colombia for the 31st annual PanAmerican Trauma Society and Colombian Surgical meeting. Several trainees and team members were recognized for their work there as well. 
 
I am very proud of our recent recognition in US News & World Report's Best Hospitals rankings . VCU Health was ranked the number 1 hospital in Richmond and number 2 in the state. Our very own Division of Urology ranked among the top 20 urological practices in the country. Incredible!
 
None of these amazing accomplishments would be possible without the terrific dedication of our personnel. Many thanks and congratulations, team!

Best,
Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
Congratulations, Dr. Ferrada!
Congratulations to Dr. Paula Ferrada , Professor with the Division for Acute Care Surgical Services, on three significant achievements!

Dr. Ferrada was elected vice-chair for Verification and Certification for the National Ultrasound Faculty for the American College of Surgeons .
 
Additionally, she was elected as the Secretary of the Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS), and will serve on the PTS executive committee, another huge accomplishment!
 
Lastly, she was made an honorary member of the Asociación Colombiana de Cirugía during this year’s Panamerican Trauma Society meeting in Cartagena.
 
Congratulations Dr. Ferrada. Well done and well deserved!
Panamerican Trauma Society
The 31st annual Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) congress was a great success as faculty across the department joined senior leaders to discuss the latest and greatest in trauma and emergency medicine. Dr. Marsha Rappley (VP for Health Sciences and CEO of VCU Health) and Dr. Peter Buckley (Dean, School of Medicine) took part, giving inspiring talks at the opening ceremony about VCU, social responsibility, collaboration with PTS and our joint mission to improve patient care and educational opportunities throughout the region.

MCV alumnus and PTS Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Scalea praised VCU and its support for an international society, something unprecedented for an academic institution.

Over 1,000 registrants attended this incredible event from across the globe.

Pictured: Drs. Rappley and Scalea with one of the original founders of PTS, Dr. Aurelio Rodriguez.
Stop the Bleed
The Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education (CTCCE) was recently invited to host a Stop the Bleed session at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. This session was intended for teaching onsite security, law enforcement, and safety personnel. Current VCU paramedic student, Joey Petruccelli, a member of Hampton Fire stationed at the NASA facility, assisted Basil Asay (Assistant Director) in organizing the event. 

On August 30th, the team also returned to RIC where they assisted first responders in implementing their STB training.
An Engineer, Artist, and Surgeon
Dr. Santosh Kale , Assistant Professor with the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, recently collaborated with the School of Arts and College of Engineering to design a new training tool for residents in the OR. The realistic 3D model of a torso with vessels and a chest cavity can simulate cardiac distress and blood flow.

The model, called the Advanced Microsurgery Trainer originally dreamed up by Dr. Kale himself, can be used for various exercises but was specifically designed to provide a better tool for simulating anastomosis. It has been a great success thus far with plastic surgery resident, Dr. Jonathan Miller, stating, "In relation to the tabletop models we were working with, this is an amazing improvement. It is impressive what they have managed to do."

To read more from the VCU News Center Story, click here .
Camp Cardiac & Governor's School at VCU
During the month of July the Department of Surgery hosted several events for high school students participating in Camp Cardiac and the Governor’s School in Medicine and Health Sciences. Thirty plus students packed the Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety (CHSPS) to view a live feed of a cardiac procedure which was performed by Dr. Daniel Tang and moderated by Dr. Patricia Nicolato . These students were participants in Camp Cardiac, a week long day-camp the VCU School of Medicine provides for high school students in the Richmond and surrounding area. The program offers opportunities for students to explore their interests in the health sciences, particularly cardiology. Collecting information for patient medical histories, performing basic cardiac exams, practicing heart dissections and suturing were just some of the activities in which the students engaged. 

Students in the Governor’s School for Medicine and Health Sciences (GSMHS) visited the CHSPS later in July to practice a variety of simulated laparoscopic procedures. GSMHS is a four-week summer program where participants explore medicine and health science careers through a systems-based, problem-solving approach that utilizes case studies, laboratory investigations and real-world shadowing experiences. As a part of their experience this year students visited the CHSPS one afternoon to participate in simulation exercises including the Tootsie Roll Tumor, the Twizzler Peel and the Life Saver Transfer. All the exercises were performed in laparoscopic box trainers, using laparoscopic instruments. We are pleased to note that there are no morbidities nor mortalities to report from these activities! One student was the proud recipient of the “Top Doc Life Saver” award, performing the transfer of life savers arranged on a peg board from one side to the other and back again in one minute and 15 seconds!

Pictured: Surgery employee Susan Haynes advises student Nikhil on separating strands of Twizzlers
Resident Presentation
Resident, Dr. Ben Rothstein recently presented at the Panamerican Trauma Society congress in Cartagena, Colombia.

His presentation, titled "Tourniquets in the Era of 'Stop the Bleed' - Are Simple Pressure Maneuvers being Bypassed for Tourniquets in Non-Arterial Bleeding?" discussed the use and effectiveness of tourniquets in civilian trauma.

Well done, Dr. Rothstein!
WTVR CBS 6 Buddy Check
Dr. Kandace McGuire , Associate Professor and Surgical Leader of the Breast Health Program, was recently interviewed by WTVR CBS 6 about a new device used by the VCU Massey Cancer Center to locate tumors generally too small for doctors to feel during normal exams.

The device, called a Magseed, is smaller than a grain of rice. After a radiologist locates the tumor, the seed is inserted which allows the surgeons to more precisely locate the tumor with a probe.

This method, superior to the previous wire method, is arguably safer with a lower risk for infection or device malfunction. Additionally, it allows for more flexibility as it can be inserted days before a surgery rather than the day of. Dr. McGuire states, "It really allows the patient to be in control of their own schedule.”

To watch the full interview, click here .
2018 General Surgery Written Boards
Congratulations to five members of our 2018 General Surgery Graduating Chief Class for passing their written boards!

Dr. Amna Khokar
Dr. Ashley Limkemann
Dr. Amar Shah
Dr. Krista Terracina
Dr. Victoria Whitlow

Well done and thank you for your efforts and contributions to the field and to VCU!
ATA Training Grant
Congratulations to resident Dr. Julia Selfridge for her receipt of an American Thyroid Association Training Grant! Intended to support young researchers, the funding from this grant will cover registration and accommodation fees for the annual meeting where she will present.

Her poster, titled Medullary thyroid carcinoma with extensive locoregional metastases: A personalized approach , discusses the clinical case of a young, otherwise healthy patient who presented with a thyroid nodule that tested positive for medullary thyroid cancer. What was unique about this patient however was that those with this type of cancer are generally thought to have a mutation of the RET gene, but this patient did not.

Dr. Selfridge is currently a PGY-3 in the general surgery residency program. W hile she will continue to focus on developing her skills as a surgeon, she remains very interested in oncology and endocrine surgery.
VCUHS GME Coordinators Council
Two members of the Department of Surgery were recently appointed to the Executive Board of the VCU Health System Graduate Medical Education (GME) Coordinators Council.

Cindi Phares, general surgery residency coordinator, and Aga Fandrejewska, urology coordinator, will join the e-board as vice-chair and recording co-secretary, respectively.

Their appointment will last 2 years ending in 2020.

Congratulations Cindi and Aga!
Islet Cell Transplant Team Publications
The Islet Cell Transplant Team , under the direction of Dr. Mazhar Kanak , submitted four poster abstracts to the 2018 American Transplant Congress held in Seattle. Three out of the four were conferred posters of distinction at the event.

The titles for the posters are as follows:

Shindo Y, Levy M, Kanak M. Evaluation of Culture/Preservation Conditions on Human Islet Survival and Function. (Distinction)

Shindo Y, Levy M, Kanak M. Extracellular Matrix from Pancreas Improves Human Islet Function In Vitro. (Distinction)

Shindo Y, Levy M, Kanak M. Analysis of Human Islet Damage During In Vitro Culture Using miRNA 375. (Distinction)

Manak M, Shindo Y, Levy M. Early Predictors of Metabolic Outcomes in TPIAT.
PEA Research Incentive Reminder
As a reminder, proof of submission must be submitted to Amanda Jabri at amanda.jabri@vcuhealth.org prior to receipt of any PEA Research Incentive Funding from the department.

A breakdown of funding opportunities is detailed below.
New Faculty & Staff
Jonathan Bennett, MD
Acute Care Surgical Services
September 24, 2018

Dr. Jonathan Bennett a former resident of VCU, joins the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services upon completion of his fellowship at the University of Maryland, R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.

His general interests include all aspects of trauma, emergency general surgery, and surgical critical care. More specifically, he is interested in metabolic and endothelial resuscitation, management of catastrophe, abdominal wall reconstruction, pain management in the ICU, and neurotrauma.
Nikki Wieghard, MD
Colon & Rectal Surgery
September 10, 2018

Dr. Wieghard received her medical degree from the University of Kansas. After, she completed her residency in general as well as colon and rectal surgery research at Oregon Health Science University. Her fellowship was at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans.

She comes to VCU with clinical interests in minimally invasive techniques in colorectal surgery. Her research interests include health disparities in colorectal surgery, molecular basis for rectal cancer, and clinical outcomes.
Prathab Balaji Saravanan, PhD
Assistant Director, Islet Cell Transplant Lab
August 9, 2018

Dr. Saravanan received his PhD at Anna University in Biotechnology. He joins us from Baylor Scott and White Health where he worked for 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow in their islet lab publishing high impact articles in renowned journals.

Dr. Saravanan will work with Director, Mazhar Kanak, in the Islet Cell Transplant Lab.
Jagan Kalivarathan, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow, Islet Cell Transplant Lab
August 9, 2018

Dr. Kalivarathan is a recent doctoral graduate from the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology in the well-known Annamalai University in South India.

He has published several research articles during his graduate education and will continue his training under the direction of Dr. Kanak.
Humera 2019 Dues & Updates
Surgery Staff Feature
Meet Evan Ward, Educational Programs Coordinator for the Department of Surgery. Evan joined our team just a little over a year ago and has quickly learned the many intricacies of surgical education. In her role, she helps manage the general surgery residency and fellowship programs as well as ensure all programs remain in compliance with regulatory guidelines. She is constantly looking for ways to improve the program and maximize the educational experience for residents and fellows alike.

When asked about the most challenging part of her role, she responded, "The most challenging part of my job is working with two different generations in figuring out the best way to make a positive cultural shift - keeping what's proven to work and changing what clearly doesn't." The most rewarding? Getting to interact with the trainees and watch them grow and develop throughout the program.

In her spare time, Evan enjoys going on walks, antique shopping, writing, producing short films, and snuggling with her cat, Ella. Maymont and the VMFA are her two favorite places in Richmond to visit.
Monthly Wellness Note
We here in the Department of Surgery take wellness very seriously as evidenced by the recently established wellness and professional development committee. But what does wellness really mean? And how do we evaluate our own level of wellness?

The first step in identifying wellness issues involves self-reflection and assessment.

To find out how you rate across all eight dimensions, take this Wellness Assessment created by VCU RamStrong .
Upcoming Events
Cocktail Hour & Grand Rounds Sponsored by
Humera & the General Surgery Residency Program
Dogs On Call

The VCU Dogs on Call will be visiting Surgery. All are welcome to attend so take a break and come love on a few adorable puppies!

September 11, 2018
10:00 AM
West 16 Rotunda

Contact Jessica Carey with questions!
2018 Heart Walk

Join Team Surgery - also known as Beats by Dr. K - in the 2018 Heart Walk!

October 6, 2018
Check In: 8:30AM
Starts: 10:00 AM
Length of Walk: 1 Mile & 5 K Routes
Location: Innsbrook

Can't attend but want to donate? Click here !

Contact Associate Administrator and Team Captain, Tina Hamlet , with questions.
November 30 - December 1, 2018

McGlothlin Medical Education Center
1200 E. Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23298

To learn more and register, click here .
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM
West 16 Conference Room (16-103)

All are encouraged to attend!
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Have a story to tell? Contact jessica.carey@vcuhealth.org
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | surgweb@vcu.edu