Volume 19 | November, 30 2018
Surgical Notes
From the Chair
As we approach the end of 2018, I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a restful and joyous holiday season.

We, as a department, could not have accomplished the amazing things we have this year had it not been for your contributions and dedication to our mission.

Here's to a wonderful December and an even better 2019!
Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
600th Heart Transplant
"Cherron Gilmore spent eight years fighting to get on the transplant list for a new heart, even writing goodbye letters to her family in what she believed were her final days.

Then, on October 14th, the 37-year-old mom of three got a new heart.

'In August, [doctors] told me they were going to let me go. All I could think about was how I was going to tell my kids that I wouldn’t be here anymore,' Gilmore tells PEOPLE, adding that she was told she was 'going to die.' 'When I got my transplant, I woke up feeling like a whole new person. Now, life is new! Mommy’s back!'"

Click here to continue reading this incredible story from People Magazine about the Pauley Heart Center's 600th Heart Transplant performed by Dr. Daniel Tang (Richard R. Lower Professor, Cardiothoracic Surgery).
EMS Advisory Board
Virginia Gov. Ralph S. Northam recently reappointed Dr. Michel Aboutanos , VCU Trauma Center Medical Director and Division Chair for Acute Care Surgical Services , to the state's EMS Advisory Board. 

Dr. Aboutanos, a 2000 alumnus, credits his Fletcher Emory Ammons Professorship in Surgery with giving him the time "to provide this level of service to the commonwealth. It's what an institution of our caliber should be doing, and I am incredibly thankful that I hold an endowed position."

The reappointment gives him the chance to oversee implementation of the plan for a statewide trauma system that was developed during his first term. To read more, click here .
Finding Human Connection & A Vibrant New Life
"When Frank Parrish came to Virginia in 2013, he already knew he would soon need a second heart surgery. What he didn’t know was that he would gain a friend in the process.

Ten years earlier, in Boston, Frank suffered two heart attacks on the same day. The attacks led to quadruple bypass and mitral valve repair surgery.

Knowing the type of valve repair he received in the first surgery would result in stenosis, or narrowing of the valve, and already feeling symptoms of that condition soon after he arrived, Frank began looking for the best heart surgeon in Virginia.

'Living in Boston 40 years, I was extraordinarily spoiled by the quality of the medical care overall,' Frank told us. 'I made inquiries of friends, I went online, I spoke to other doctors. All roads in my search led to VCU Health and, in particular, to Vigneshwar Kasirajan.'

Frank said that he and his wife Eliza immediately felt a connection with Dr. Kasirajan, who today is the Stuart McGuire Chair in the VCU Department of Surgery."

To continue reading this story from the MCV Foundation, click here .
Richmond's Best Bedside Manner Awards, 2018
Nearly 100 VCU Health Providers were recently recognized in the 6th Annual OurHealth Magazine for Richmond's Best Bedside Manner Awards. Of those, 14 were from the Department of Surgery.

Those recognized include:

Dr. Robert Strauss ^, OMFS
Dr. David Lanning *, Pediatric
Dr. Laura Boomer **, Pediatric
Dr. Tony Herndon *, Urology
Dr. John Edmondson ,** Urology
Dr. Andrea Pozez ,*** Plastics
Dr. Jennifer Rhodes ,^ Plastics
Dr. Daniel Luppens ,^ Plastics
Dr. Santosh Kale ,^ Plastics
Dr. Rachit Shah ,** Cardiothoracic
Dr. Thomas Yeh , Jr,^ Cardiothoracic
Dr. Brian Kaplan ,** Surgical Oncology
Dr. Harry Bear ,** Surgical Oncology
Dr. Stephanie Goldberg ,^ ACSS

* First Place; ** Second Place; *** Third Place; ^ Honorable Mention
Stop the Bleed at the Virginia EMS Symposium
Dr. Alan Rossi , Assistant Professor with the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services and newly appointed Medical Director for the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education recently led a team of Stop the Bleed instructors from Trauma Centers across Virginia at the Virginia EMS Symposium.

With 1600 in attendance, Dr. Rossi and the CTCCE team participated in training 250 new instructors in 10 courses over the three day event.

Those in attendance included: Jay Gould (Director); Basil Asay (Assistant Director), Greg Neimann (CTCCE Instructor), Karen Shipman (Trauma Outreach Coordinator), Kelley Rumsey (Trauma Program Mgr), and Tarsha Robinson (CTCCE Instructor).
VCU MHA Interns
For the past year, the Department of Surgery has hosted two VCU MHA students to provide them with on-the-job experience as they pursue their degrees and eventual careers in health administration.

We are now proud to announce that those two students have successfully been accepted into their MHA residency programs.

Kate Best , who has interned with Surgery Administration , will be heading the office of VCU Health CEO Deborah Davis.

Kyle Asay , who interned with the Division of Transplant Surgery , will be heading to Stanford to join the Office of the President.

Congratulations to two well-deserving interns!
Association of Academic Surgical Administrators
MHA Intern, Kate Best , recently presented at the 2018 Association of Academic Surgical Administrators conference in Boston. Her poster, titled, "Harnessing the Power of Tableau to Generate Operational Efficiency," addressed the diverse areas of application for Tableau in surgical operations with the goal of empowering team members to engage with information as a self-service system.

Best, in partnership with the organization's analytics team, found that data shared broadly has enhanced conversation around productivity and efficiency strengthening business user engagement in data analytics. Through engagement and effective collaboration, they produced improved and efficient outcomes in processes, metrics and financials utilizing Tableau applications.

Well done, Kate!
Pediatric Trauma in Jamaica
General Surgery Resident Valerie Plant (PGY 5) recently taught a pediatric trauma course in Jamaica. The program, in its fourth year, includes a hands-on ultrasound/FAST course with a donated portable ultrasound.

This year, Plant and team also expanded the course to include a few critical care and hematology/oncology topics which had been suggested by the Jamaican residents in previous years.

Great job, Dr. Plant!
Global Surgery Presentations
General Surgery Resident, Dr. Ashley Rosenberg recently presented at the 4th Annual African Conference in Emergency Medicine (AFCEM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

Her presentation was titled, "Understanding the Problem: Road Traffic Injury Research Methods."

Dr. Sudha Jayaraman , with whom Dr. Rosenberg is working as part of her expansive research program in Rwanda, also presented, "Trauma in Lower, Middle Income Countries (LMICs)."

Congratulations, Drs. Rosenberg and Jayaraman!
Urology Publication
Drs. Andrea Balthazar (Urology Resident) and Tony Herndon (Endowed Professor) recently authored a paper published in the journal Urologic Clinics of North America .

The paper, titled, "Prenatal Urinary Tract Dilatation," focuses on the prenatal detection of UTD and the postnatal evaluation and management based on the UTD grading system risk assessment.

To read their paper, click here .

Congratulations, Drs. Balthazar and Herndon!
New Team Members
Kyra Houck, CPC, CPMA, CPC-I, AAPC Fellow
Pediatric Surgery

Welcome to our newest team member, Kyra Houck!

Kyra joins us from Coding Services where she served as the Associate Director. Here in Surgery, she will serve as the new Associate Administrator for the Division of Pediatric Surgery.

Her office will be located in West Hospital down the east wing on the 16th floor.

Welcome, Kyra!
Kelly Carter, MS, RN, NE-BC
Director of Nursing for Surgical Services

It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Kelly Carter, MS, RN, NE-BC, as Director of Nursing for Surgical Services.  

Ms. Carter will assume the role previously held by Nancy New, MS, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, who retired in November.

Welcome, Kelly!
Updates from SOM Research
The Science Museum of Virginia has extended our nomination packet submission deadline for this year’s Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist Award until January 15th, 2019.

If you’ve already submitted a nomination, never fear: they’ll be kept safe until our selection panel meets in February. There is no need to resubmit. However – if you missed the original deadline but still would like to nominate one of your esteemed colleagues, we will accept nomination packets until January 15th, 2019.

Send nomination packets directly to Jim Blow, Administrative Coordinator,  jblow@smv.org .

For more information, click here .
Surgery Staff Feature
Meet Pamela Daniel, Executive Administrative Assistant and Office Manager for the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS)! Pamela, having joined OMFS two years ago, provides executive support to the chair while also managing events and travel for all of the OMFS faculty and residents. Additionally, Pamela serves as the credentialing coordinator for the entire School of Dentistry, no easy feat!

When asked about the most exciting part of her job, Pamela responded, "The most exciting part of my position is organizing meetings and special events. I am a planner at heart and it is great that I get to come to work everyday and do something I love." She continues, "I am here for my faculty and residents. It gives me great satisfaction that when they need something they can depend on me to make it happen."

Outside of work, you will find Pamela planning community events and kids' parties with her three children, Skyler (14), Shyloh (6), and Sienna (3). She is also a huge community advocate for social justice and diversity.
Monthly Wellness Note
woman isolated with the christmas blues
'Tis the season to be jolly!

Or is it?
This time of the year can often lead to the holiday blues , especially for those already battling burnout and stress.

Take a look at this article from Psyc Central for tips and tricks for recognizing and fighting the holiday blues.
Upcoming Events
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM
West 16 Conference Room (16-103)

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