Volume 21 | February 1, 2019
Surgical Notes
From the Chair
It's hard to believe we are already into the second month of 2019 but as you'll see below, we've been quite busy. I'm proud of everything the department has already accomplished, all in just a single month.

I hope you'll take time to read through this month's newsletter. And pay special attention to the wellness note. We could all use a little more serenity!

Thanks for all you do,
Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
Hume-Lee HCC Tumor Board Joins Massey
The Hume-Lee Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) Tumor Board will begin the new year as an official tumor board of Massey Cancer Center.

The designation formalizes the group that discusses and coordinates care plans between various specialties for complex HCC patients. What’s more, the board also serves as a community resource for outside physicians for its expertise in high-risk and complex cases.

To become an official Massey Cancer Center board, the HCC tumor board had to meet a number of Massey and regulatory requirements, including documentation of its multidisciplinary team and approach.

Attaining the designation has been a nearly year-long passion project for Hume-Lee HCC coordinators Nanette Eubank and Susan Land as well as Elizabeth Criswell, nurse navigator, radiology oncology, and Adrienne McGhee, radiology practitioner assistant and radiologist assistant, interventional radiology. They, along with additional members of the Hume-Lee liver team, worked with colleagues across VCU Health to ensure that the tumor board not only meets, but exceeds the necessary guidelines.  

Click here to continue reading this story as published in "The Visionary."
Updates from the Mangino Lab
The lab of Dr. Martin Mangino , Professor & Associate Chair for Basic Research has been busy this last month. Below are just a few of their many accomplishments:

  • Dr. Nina Wickramaratne presented a podium paper at the ASTS (American Society of Transplant Surgeons) titled “Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition: A Cellular Mediator of Ischemic Cholangiopathy after Liver Transplant”
  • Dr. Ria Fyffe-Freil also presented a poster at the same meeting titled “Mechanisms of Hepatocyte Preservation Injury: Sphingosine-1-phosphate Signaling”
  • Dr. Mangino received the VCU Commercialization Investment Fund award for his patented technology for “Next Generation I.V. Resuscitation Solution for Hemorrhagic Shock and ICU Care.” This award will fund a consultant to assist with obtaining FDA approval of the IV solution so clinical trials can begin at VCU and at DoD forward hospitals around the world.
  • Two new papers were published this month in top rated journals:
  • Wickramaratne, N, Kenning, K., Reichstetter, H., Blocher, C., Li, R., Aboutanos, M., and Mangino, M.J. Acute Resuscitation with Polyethylene Glycol 20k: A thromboelastographic Analysis. J. Trauma (In Press)
  • Liebrecht, L., Newton, J., Martin, E., Wickramaratne, N., Jayaraman, S., Han, J., Aboutanos, M., Brophy, D.F., and Mangino, M.J. Effects of a novel low volume resuscitation solutions on coagulation and platelet function PLoS1 (In Press)
Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) Abstracts
VCU has an unprecedented eleven abstracts submitted to the Society of Vascular Surgery (SVS) for their annual meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. this June.

Of those eleven, three were submitted by General Surgery Residents. Ashley Rosenberg, MD (Research Resident) submitted "Reverberation effect: When is it Thrombus and When is it Artifact? Case Report and Review of Literature."

Sally Boyd, MD (PGY1) submitted "What’s on YouTube? Insights from the Societies of Vascular Surgery and Interventional Radiology."

Travis Sullivan, MD (PGY1) submitted "Moraxella catarrhalis Bacteraemia Associated with Lower Extremity Bypass Graft Infection: Case Report and Review of Literature."
2019 Urology Residency Match
Congratulations to our newest class of Surgical Urology residents. They will begin July 1, 2019.
Christopher Bednarz, MD
Robert Hart Moore, MD
Hume-Lee in the News
Kimberly Drake knew her son was in good hands. But the Powhatan County mother couldn’t calm her nerves. It was a mix of angst and excitement. Her 25-year-old son, Cameron, needed a kidney, and he was about to receive one.
It was a cool October morning. Kimberly and Cameron were surrounded by family and friends, all gathered in a waiting area at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

Her mind racing, Kimberly decided to check social media on her phone. She saw a post from Cameron, seated just a few chairs away. It’s a post she will never forget. It read, in part, “A mother’s love is unfathomable. Today, my beautiful mom is donating her kidney to me. She gave me life once and she’s going to do it again today. I can’t even begin to express my love and thankfulness for my mom.”

To continue reading, click here .
Greenfield & Hume Awards
The Humera Surgical Society would like to congratulate Drs. Nina Wickramaratne and Wayne Tse for their receipt of the Lazar J. Greenfield and David M. Hume Resident awards.

Many fantastic abstracts were submitted this year, and the executive committee thanks everyone who participated.

Winners of the Greenfield and Hume awards are provided funding for travel to the annual Humera Surgical Society meeting where each winner will be given the opportunity to present their work in front of faculty and members from across the nation.

This year's meeting will be in Colonial Williamsburg.

Congratulations, Drs. Wickramaratne and Tse!
American Society of Transplant Surgeons

In addition to the presentations mentioned above from Drs. Wickramaratne and Fyffe-Freil, we also congratulate the following on their poster and oral presentations:

Poster Presentatons

  • Aamir Khan (Transplant Fellow) - "Complete Robotic Donor Nephrectomy: Single Center Experience"
  • Chandra Bhati (Associate Professor) - "Relationship Between Hypoadiponectinemia and Cardiovascular Events in Liver Transplant Recipients" & "Small Dense Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol is a Better Predictor of Future Cardiovascular Events Than the Traditional Lipid Profile in Liver Transplant Recipients"

Oral Presentations

  • Mohammed Quader (Associate Professor) - "Inflammasome Mediates Ischemia and Reperfusion Injury in Donation After Circulatory Death Heart: A Knockout Mouse Model"
  • Chandra Bhati (Associate Professor) - "Robotic Kidney Transplant Video Abstract"
Hand-in-Hand with Patient Care
According to Will Maixner (Administrative Director of Hume-Lee and Associate Administrator for Transplant Surgery), prioritizing and supporting those who provide patient care are the most important parts of his work as a health care administrator. “At the end of the day, everything we do is for the patients,” he says.

Being a VCU Health donor goes hand-in-hand with that commitment. Maixner joined VCU Health in 2013, working in the School of Medicine’s surgery and psychiatry departments before joining the Hume-Lee Transplant Center as administrative director last year. In each role, he made regular gifts to support patient care initiatives in that department.

"We all work hard to serve our patients, and even though hard work is important, it takes a lot more,” he says. “I’m happy to give any little bit that I can, both of my time and financially. If it provides resources to conduct research, invest in new technology or recruit the best staff, then it’s worth any donation I can give.”

Staying on the cutting edge improves the quality of care an institution can provide, Maixner says, and a strong financial foundation is critical for VCU Health to achieve that.

“We have a history of innovation, and the best way to ensure that we can continue that legacy is with our financial support,” he says. 

* Story Credit: VCU Health Development Office
Understanding Psychopathy: The Biopsychosocial Perspective
Congratulations are due to Nicholas Thomson , PhD, UKCP, CPC (Assistant Professor with Acute Care Surgical Services) for his recent publication! His book, for which he is sole author, is titled Understanding Psychopathy: The Biopsychosocial Perspective (1st ed).

Additionally, Dr. Thomson has graciously decided to donate all author proceeds for his newest book to the Injury and Violence Prevention Program 's Project EMPOWER which works with victims of sexual, intimate partner, and/or domestic violence.

His book is currently available for pre-order. If you'd like to grab a copy for yourself, click here .

Congratulations, Dr. Thomson!
VCU Commercialization Investment Fund
Drs. Stephanie Goldberg (Associate Professor, Acute Care Surgical Services) and Jon DeAntonio (PGY3) recently partnered with College of Engineering personnel (Dr. Bennett Ward , Associate Professor and Hilton Bennett, Graduate Student) to develop a device for which they were recently awarded funding.

The funding through the VCU Commercialization Investment Fund will be used to aid in prototype development. This device will be used for the management of chest trauma in both the military and civilian settings.

Congratulations to this multi-disciplinary team!
Humera 2019 Meeting in Williamsburg
Registration information can be found by clicking here . The flyer above can be accessed here .
Updates from SOM Research
Please see below for external and Internal funding opportunities:

Coming Soon VETAR Funding Announcement – Proposal deadline March 1 ( details here )

Implementation of Effective Shared Decision Making Approaches in Practice Settings -- Cycle 2 2019
LOI: June 19, 2019 by 5 p.m. (ET)
Application: August 30, 2019 by 5 p.m. (ET)
Merit Review: October 2019
Implementation Award $6.5 million        
Total Direct Cost: $1.5 million ( Click here )

Limited PCORI Funding Announcement: Implementation of PCORI-Funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Results -- Cycle 2 2019
LOI: June 19, 2019 by 5 p.m. (ET)
Application: August 30, 2019 by 5 p.m. (ET)
Merit Review: October 2019
Implementation Award See PFA for more details. Up to $1 million ( Click here )

Leveraging Health Information Technology (Health IT) to Address Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
LOI: February 1, 2018 by 5:00 PM (ET)
Application: March 4,2019 by 5:00 PM (ET) ( Click here )

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation
The degree of autonomy surgical residents experience in the operating room (OR)
has decreased over the past decade. Due to the expansion of medical knowledge,
an increase in specialized rotations, restrictions on duty hours and limits on how
and when faculty provide training, surgical residents are reporting feeling less
prepared and less confident to practice on their own. ( Click here )
Surgery Staff Feature
Meet Sheryl Tunstall (formerly Sheryl Gregory pre-wedding)! Sheryl, having joined the department just over three years ago, serves as a Specialized Medical Coder.

As a medical coder, she reviews provider documentation which includes Evaluation and Management services, clinic procedures and operative reports for code assignment in order to bill. When asked about the most exciting part of her position she responded, "I'm excited to work with a team of individuals who share the same vision for meeting and exceeding monthly goals. Together, our collaborative efforts and dedication allow us to achieve the MCVP mission for providing quality service and meeting office goals monthly."

She finds great satisfaction in her role, especially when given "the opportunity to provide educational feedback to physicians, coders, administrative staff and other billing professionals on documentation issues in an effort to improve coding quality and accuracy which will lessen case denials, corrections and ultimately increase awareness and expertise." 

When not at work, you can find Sheryl traveling (especially on Caribbean cruises!) trying out new restaurants, and watching Netflix's Marvel and DC superheroes series with her husband.
Monthly Wellness Note
The stress at work can feel unbearable at times. How can you focus and get things done when you're under so much pressure?

Letting go of the stress that makes us less effective and productive isn't easy, but like a muscle, it can be developed and mastered. Getting there requires finding the right balance of accepting some things and changing others.

Check out this month's CommonHealth Wellnote for six simple steps for serenity at work!
Upcoming Events
2019 Bunts-Hackler Conference
March 22, 2019

Click here for more information and to register.
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