June 26, 2020

The latest news and updates from Interim Dean Robert L. Johnson!
Dr. Tobia to Serve as Interim Chair of Department of Psychiatry
Anthony Tobia, MD , professor, will serve as interim chair of the Department of Psychiatry upon Dr. Matthew Menza’s retirement from the position effective July 1, 2020.

Dr. Tobia graduated from St. George’s University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies, in 1996. After being trained in a dual residency in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at West Virginia University, he came to Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in 2001 as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and was promoted to clinical associate professor in 2013 and subsequently to professor in 2018. Dr. Tobia also has a secondary appointment in the Division of General Internal Medicine. He serves as the vice chair of education in the Department of Psychiatry, is certified by the Board of Psychosomatic Medicine (2010) and is the director of the Division of Consultation Psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. 
 
Dr. Tobia received the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Member Excellence Award, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in 2018 and 2019. He is an active contributor to medical literature with publications, reviews and abstracts. Dr. Tobia’s educational interests include the merging of popular culture and the field of psychiatry. In addition to the curriculum he developed at our medical school, he directs the monthly Participatory Cinema at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies; is a blogger for Psychology Today ; hosts a continuing education webpage on MyCME; and provides a psychopharmacology seminar series for PESI, Inc. His various innovative teaching approaches include six that are registered in the  Office  of Research  Commercialization  at Rutgers University.
 
Congratulations, Dr. Tobia, as you begin your new role as interim chair!
Safety Reminders As We Plan On "Returning to Rutgers"
As many of us begin to re-enter our campus community, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. It is still necessary to take precautions in order for us to continue on the path of re-opening safely and responsibly.

The university has published specific guidelines related to “Returning to Rutgers” and they include both social distancing requirements as well as the requirement to wear a mask at all times unless you are physically in your own office space with no one else around you. 

The graphic below was shared with Weekly View readers back in March. It serves as a refresher and reminder that these safety measures must continue to be enforced today and for the forseeable future. Furthermore, this week's message from Interim Dean Robert L. Johnson, MD, FAAP , and Executive Vice Dean Tom Hecker, PhD , expands on these safety requirements by offering detailed steps that we all must take in order to keep ourselves, our colleagues and our patients safe.

Read the complete message here .
Drs. Amato and Kleinman Testify Before the State General Assembly
I ndira Amato, MD , associate professor of pediatrics, and Lawrence Kleinman, MD, MPH, FAAP , professor of pediatrics and c hief of the Division of Population Health, Quality, and Implementation Science (PopQuIS) , testified before the New Jersey General Assembly Committee on Women and Children this week. They reminded lawmakers that COVID-19 still poses a threat to one of our most vulnerable populations -- children.

Both doctors offered testimony and presented detailed suggestions on how best to re-open childcare facilities this summer, including pro-active ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and the importance of educating teachers and parents on warning signs and early symptoms.

Dr. Amato suggested strategies that schools should consider:

  • Stagger use of communal spaces
  • Tape physical guides on the floor demonstrating 6ft. social distancing requirements
  • Clean and disinfect classrooms and school buses routinely
  • Maintain adequate supplies
  • Limit shared objects
  • Stay home when appropriate
"COVID 19 has not been eliminated by any means and reopening plans must include plans for testing and contact tracing. Additionally, parameters should be set for levels at which remote learning should be reintroduced even if partially. Any reopening plans should include the CDC recommendations for reduced risk of spread," said Dr. Amato.

To assist in this regard, the CDC has stratified the risk from low; where students and teachers would only engage in virtual classes, events and activities to high; where full in-person classes and activities are held, sharing supplies and participating in activities without regard to social distancing.

According to Dr. Kleinman, "The overarching principle I suggest is that there should be active surveillance and systematic evaluation so that we can predict and shape the learning that comes from our experience. It is not sufficient to fail to identify new infections among child care attendees unless that is after a systematic effort to find them. I believe it is critical to be pro-active and not reactive."

"The public health response of testing and contact tracing should be integrated and complementary to what I have outlined. Aggressive testing as a part of systematic evaluation may provide critical information...there is much that is out of our control regarding this pandemic. These things that I suggest allow us to take control where we can," stated Dr. Kleinman.
Decreased Opioid Administration Leads to Better Outcomes Following Cardiac Surgery
A team at the medical school has put together protocol that drastically reduces the amount of opioids administered during and post cardiac surgery, resulting in better patient outcomes and shorter hospital stays.
 
In addition to decreasing the painful side effects of using opioids, there is scientific evidence supporting fewer postoperative complications related to alternative pain management strategies, according to  Antonio Chiricolo, MD , associate professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine.
 
The team put together a unique multimodal approach to pain management for cardiac surgery. They incorporated non-opioid drugs, and pre operative ultrasound guided peripheral nerve blocks in order to relieve pain for patients. In particular, this approach is able to extubate patients quickly after surgery. According to Dr. Chiricolo, this is different than the vast majority of cardiac surgical programs and unmatched in New Jersey with this goal of ultrafast cardiac anesthesia by extubation in the operating room immediately following surgery.
 
 “Research supports patient recovery is fast tracked when anesthesiologist are able to take patients off breathing support quickly after surgery. Patients have decreased length of stays in the hospitals and fewer complications, including post operative delirium and pulmonary complications. However, when patients are administered high levels of opioids, they aren’t able to be extubated early because they can’t breathe well on their own,” says Dr. Chiricolo.

Read more about improved patient outcomes using this method and also plans for a clinical study here
Boggs Center Faculty Members Receive Distinguished Honors
Caroline Coffield, PhD , assistant professor of pediatrics, director of pre-service training at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Training Director of NJLEND, was honored with the distinction of Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities ( AAIDD ). The designation of Fellow is conferred after an individual has at least seven years of continuous membership in AAIDD, with an established record of participation in the professional and business affairs of the Association, and is judged to have made a meritorious contribution to the field of intellectual disability. A member of AAIDD since 2008 and co-chair of its Health and Wellness Interest Network since 2015, Dr. Coffield’s contributions to program development, improvement of service systems, teaching and research have benefitted people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New Jersey and their families.
Margaret Gilbride, JD, CT , assistant professor of pediatrics and director of transition and employment at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, was elected president of National APSE - the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE). She began her term as president of the National APSE Board of Directors on June 16, 2020. Ms. Gilbride also serves as president of the New Jersey chapter of APSE.  APSE  is the only national organization with a focus exclusively on inclusive employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
 
Congratulations to you both on these well-earned honors!
Volunteer Faculty Award Recipients
Volunteer faculty members were honored during this week's virtual General Faculty Meeting, attended by Interim Dean Robert L. Johnson, MD, FAAP , Senior Associate Dean for Education and Academic Affairs Carol A. Terregino, MD , along with department chairs and other department representatives.

29 outstanding physicians were recognized for giving their time and expertise throughout the year by welcoming students and residents into their practices, while mentoring and teaching along the way.

Please congratulate this year's recipients.
Education
Michael Chen, MD
George Davis, MD
Suzanne Kabis, MD
Mary Tobiasson, DO

Emergency Medicine
Elizabeth Gilman, MD
Jessica Smolar, DO
Marc Milano, MD
Eric Rehr, MD

Family Medicine
Douglas Bishop, MD
Richard Corson, MD

Medicine
Kusum Kumar, MBBS, MD
Mark Schwartz, MD
Neurology
Haralabos Zacharatos, DO

Obstetrics and Gynecology
Joshua Segal, MD
Wayne Steinbeck, MD

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Michael Goldrich, MD

Pediatrics
Sabika Basu, MBBS
Jacqueline Brunetto, MD
Demetria Pennington, MD



Pharmacology
Steven Nadler, PhD
Kenneth Valenzano, PhD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
David Brown, DO
Steven Escaldi, DO
Richard Malone, DO

Psychiatry
Ricardo Fernandez, MD
Debra Salzman, PhD

Radiation Oncology
Atif Khan, MBBS, MS

Radiology
Michael Censullo, MD
Barry Zicherman, MD
Rock Your Mask Photo Contest
All members of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School community are invited to participate in a "Rock Your Mask Photo Contest!"

As New Jersey begins to open up, it is integral that we continue to protect ourselves and others by wearing masks in public and at work. Show off your creativity ( and fashion) while setting a good example out in the community.

To submit an entry, simply email a photo of yourself wearing a mask with your name and title, and anything you would like to include about your photo or mask, to Jillian Prior, MPA , assistant director of alumni affairs
by July 10 . Contestants will be featured in The Weekly View , and the medical school community will be asked to vote on the best photos.
Nominate a Health Care Hero
Congratulations to this week’s Health Care Heroes at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Top row, l - r: Promise Clinic Student Directors  Michael Enich, Meagan Hawes, Ila Nimgaonkar, Delaney Scollan,  and  Ruby Zucker
Bottom Row, l - r:  Dawn Tortajada, MSN, RN, PNP-BC , Pediatric Pulmonary Division;  Bipin Saroha, MD , resident of surgery;  Charletta Ayers, MD , associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences; and  Jag Sunderram, MD , professor of medicine.

You are invited to  nominate a member of the medical school community  as a Health Care Hero. To submit a nomination, complete a survey  here .
Social Media Post of the Week
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The Weekly View will take a vacation day next week in observance of Independence Day.

The View will return on Friday, July 10.

Have a safe and happy Fourrth of July!
In the News
Young adults and COVID-19: a troubling infection trend -- Lawrence Kleinman, MD, MPH, FAAP -- Gwinnett Daily Post/WebMD

Residency programs shift gears to address families’ concerns about COVID-19 -- Shilpa Pai, MD, FAAP -- AAP News & Journals Gateway

How can I avoid catching coronavirus at the office? -- Patricia Whitley-Williams, MD -- Reader's Digest

Most Graves’ disease treated with antithyroid drugs -- David A. Cohen, MD, FACE, ECNU -- Healio

Future directions for prescribing guidelines -- Dustin Crystal, MD ; Nicholas Cuccolo, MD ; Michael Plewinski, PharmD; Jeremy Sinkin, MD ; and Richard Agag, MD -- Annals of Plastic Surgery

COVID surges among young adults - - Lawrence Kleinman, MD, MPH, FAAP -- WebMD
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