Volume 34 | April 10, 2020
Surgical Notes
All Hands on Deck
A few weeks ago, Dr. Kasirajan penned War on Virus as we stepped into the unknown of tackling COVID-19. Since then, the entire Department of Surgery has stepped up in ways unimaginable to tackle this monster together. We want to especially recognize the following team members for stepping up to lead us through this "all hands on deck."

  • David Lanning, MD: Interim CMO leading our organization from preparation into surge planning
  • Anthony Cassano, MD: Associate CMO leading surgical services preparations
  • Tony Herndon, MD: Children's Surgery and resident education planning
  • Aimee Grover, MD: Wellness activities with the Health System and the School of Medicine
  • Kandace McGuire, MD and Vinay Kumaran, MD: Reviewing testing vs. CT scans for all operative patients
  • James Whelan, MD, Kwame Akuomoah-Boateng, DNP, Jill Peysha, MD, & Brian Kaplan, MD: Inpatient staffing leaders
  • Laura Boomer, MD, Christin Kim, MD & Paula Ferrada, MD: ICU resource champions
  • Levi Procter, MD: OR PPE Taskforce
  • Guilherme Campos, MD, Mena Dous, Jeremy Powers, MD, & Erin MacMillan, PA: Outpatient staffing planning leaders
  • Sterling Hundley & Amanda Jabri: Incredible work to identify alternate sources of masks to include 3D printing
  • Martin Mangino, PhD & Kirsty Dixon, PhD: Generously donated PPE from ORBIT
  • Katie Golob & Nikki Meador: Incredible administrative and operational leadership
  • Our Associate Administrators and staff: Without you, we would all be lost

To each of our team members, thank you for what you do each and every day.
National Surgery Resident Lecture Series
Even with the COVID crisis, ensuring that our residents maintain their valuable learning programs and activities remains imperative. In response, Dr. Jeff Stern, chief administrative resident for teaching, organized the   National Surgery Resident Lecture Series. 

This program is based at VCU but Dr. Stern has recruited approximately 15 programs around the country to join which will allow for a pool of lectures and faculty from different institutions. There will be a daily call via zoom at noon where residents from VCU and around the country will be able to tune in and participate.

Amazing work, Dr. Stern!
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Matches
Congratulations to the newest class of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery residents slated to start July 1st!
Taylor Chisholm, MD
Medical College of Georgia
Augusta University

Annabel Baek, MD
School of Medicine
Virginia Commonwealth University
General Surgery Matches
We are happy to announce our incoming PGY-1 class for 2020-2021!
Urology Matches
Welcome to our newest Urology residents scheduled to start in July!
Ashley Matthew, MD, PhD
University of Massachusetts
Recent Chancellors Award Winner
Devin Rogers, MD
School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh
2020 Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium
Congratulations to James Dittman, a rising 4th year medical student, who presented “Design and Escape Room Workshop Using the COMET Framework” in collaboration with Michael Amendola, MD, Patricia Lange, MD, and Susan Haynes at the 2020 Emswiller Interprofessional Symposium.

He also presented a poster titled, “Development of Vascular Escape Rooms for Interprofessional Team Training using the COMET Framework”
New Faculty
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Benjamin Medalion to the department as Professor and Chair for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Dr. Medalion received his medical degree from Technion School of Medicine in Haifa, Israel and completed his cardiothoracic residency at Carmel, Shaarei Zedek and Hadassah Medical Centers. He then joined the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he completed his cardiothoracic fellowship. 

After completing his medical education, Dr. Medalion held a variety of positions at prestigious institutions to include The Edith Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel and Case Western Reserve University. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Medalion served as the Director for Cardiac Surgery at the Ahuja Medical Center and the Director of Mechanical Support and Transplant Surgery at the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at University Hospitals of Cleveland. Additionally, Dr. Medalion completed a Surgical Leadership Certificate from Harvard Medical School in 2019.

We are delighted that Dr. Medalion will be joining Pauley Heart Center and leading the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. His expertise in adult cardiac surgery, including heart and lung transplantation, will continue to enhance the capabilities at VCU Health.
Surgery Sanity Series
Thank you to everyone for participating in the ongoing Surgery Sanity Series. We developed this program to help support our team members physically, emotionally, and mentally through this crisis.

So far we've had a variety of exercise classes, comedy hour, and even hosted a Surgery Chopped Challenge .

If you would like to participate or have any classes or topics you'd like to see, send an email to Jessica Carey .
Congratulations Nikki!
Congratulations to Nikki Meador, Operations Manager for Surgery Administration, who has accepted a new role.

Nikki has been with the department since 2014 beginning first as a student worker and then growing into the incredible employee she is today. Her dedication, determination, and incredible work ethic have supported the department in its expansive growth these last few years. Nikki led the efforts for the departmental annual report as well as space management, and played a huge role in coordinating the strategic retreat and drafting the department's resulting strategic vision. 

Nikki will remain with the department through May 1st after which she will be joining the VCUHS leadership team as an Operations Analyst Senior. We know she will continue to do amazing things and we will continue to work closely with her from an operational perspective.

Details surrounding activities to celebrate Nikki are forthcoming. In the meantime, please check out the   Kudoboard linked here   to leave her messages of support and congratulations as she steps into her new role.

We will work to identify a replacement for Nikki but in the interim please reach out to Katie Golob or Jessica Carey with any questions, issues, or concerns.

Thank you Nikki! Best wishes in your new role!
Employee Feature
Meet Doris Farquhar - in her very own words!

I grew up in Texas on a cattle ranch and got my work ethic from meeting the expectations of my parents.  After college, with a degree in Textiles and Design I moved to Houston and started working at UT Health Science Center Medical School. I was with UT for 22 years as Director of Academic Affairs. I then took a position as Director of Surgical Academic Affairs at Yale University for 10 years. I came to VCU and have been Director of Surgical Education for 21 years. My entire life I have worked to ensure medical students, residents and fellows get the education they deserve in order to reach their career goals.

On the National level, I worked with the AAMC in the development of FRIDA GME Annual Survey for residents and training program, and I served on a task force that developed the Section of Resident Education. I have also been involved in writing policies for the ACGME. I served on the committee that developed the ACGME Institutional Requirements (now the Common Program Requirements) and the required Internal Review mid-way through accreditation site visits. I was a founding member of the Association Hospital Medical Education and served in several positions over the years.

On the International level I served as a Consultant to the World Health Organization to work with Ministers of Health and/or other dignitaries in Egypt, Greece, Italy, Russia, United Arab Emirates, China, South Africa and Germany. I worked to help redesign health care delivery systems, connecting Islands by telemedicine, and developing curriculum to mirror the US Medical School and Residency Curriculum.

The most rewarding part of my job is to see each medical student class graduate and match into a residency, then completing their program and realizing their lifelong dreams. I have had the pleasure of working with some very successful physicians over the years and feel in some small way I contributed to their success.

Other than my job bringing me great pleasure, my grandchildren keep me humble and grounded. I also enjoy flying as a private pilot, dancing and riding horses.
Monthly Wellness Note
Health System administration has created a new feature on the intranet page where team members can post a message of encouragement to one another as we go through this difficult time.

Upcoming Events
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM
West 16 Conference Room (16-103)

All encouraged to attend!
Have a story to tell? Contact [email protected]
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | [email protected]