Volume 32 | February 7, 2020
Surgical Notes
In Case You Missed It: How We Make a Difference
"Dear colleagues and friends,

In his annual State of the University (SOTU) last week, President Dr. Michael Rao asked this question:

What can  I  do to make the biggest difference for our university, our health system, and the people we serve?”

A powerfully introspective question that is not only important for our president, it is one for us all.

What we do, each and every day
We  live the mission  every day through our exemplary service to others. To our patients (across our enterprise, on an average daily basis more than 750 inpatients, nearly 4,000 outpatients, over 325 emergency room visits). To our learners – approximately 5,000 health professions students and resident house-staff combined. To one another - our faculty and all team members, more than 12,000 strong. Our mission is noble, and it is our privilege to advance it. Science informs our thinking, modeling teaches our learners, and through compassion, we elevate the human experience by serving those who need us most.

Consider just this one example, as Dr. Rao extolled in his uplifting presentation, of the remarkable story of  Carlnealius “Tyrees” Dandridge  who needed not one but two new organs, a heart and a kidney. While we perform organ transplantations nearly daily at VCU Health, a combined heart and kidney transplant is extraordinarily rare. We stepped up to the challenge in the VCU way as the Pauley Heart Center and the Hume-Lee Transplant Center came together to save and extend our patient’s life. Simply awesome..."

To continue reading this message from the Dean & Interim CEO, click here .
Thoracic Surgery Foundation Resident Research Fellowship
Congratulations to General Surgery resident Renee Cholyway, MD for receiving the Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) Resident Research Fellowship award.

Applications for this prestigious award are reviewed by a team of three peer reviewers with many competitive proposals received each cycle.

As part of the award, Dr. Cholyway will receive $48,000 for her project "Mitochondrial Transfusion to Recover Function in Donor After Circulatory Death Hearts."

Well done, Dr. Cholyway!
Administrative & Teaching Chief Residents 2020-21
Congratulations to our newest General Surgery Chief Residents for 2020-21!
Lindsey Ferro, MD
Chief Administrative Resident
Jonathan DeAntonio, MD
Chief Teaching Resident
VCU Health is Transplanting More Organs that Ever
"Glenn Hudson had been writing a letter for more than a week.

He took his time. He wanted it to be perfect.

There were rewrites, edits and restructuring. Hudson knew his work was done when he read his letter and began to cry.

'I wanted it to come from my heart,' he said.

The Chesterfield County resident and former behavioral health practice administrator knew he had something special. The letter, addressed to the 'Hume-Lee Transplant Center Family,' would not be mailed. Instead, Hudson printed 150 copies and picked up gallons of milk, dozens of cookies and even vegetable trays and traveled to VCU Medical Center. With the snacks and letters in tow, he hand-delivered them to staff at the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center Gateway Building clinic and dedicated abdominal inpatient transplant unit.

He even brought enough for all staff shifts. The snacks were sweet, but it was the letter that had team members a little choked up.

A portion of the letter reads, '…you are doing something that cannot be bought or programmed to do. You are sharing your kindness, love, compassion, care, generosity, knowledge, blood-sweat-tears, but most of all, you are giving of yourselves for the healing of another human, at their weakest time and that cannot be easy...'”

To continue reading this incredible story by Dan Carrigan, click here .
Staff Senate Award Nominees
Congratulations to our Department of Surgery staff who were recently nominated for various VCU Staff Senate awards. Winners will be announced at the Spring Career Development conference in March.
Wanda Peebles
Integrity Award
Amy Hall
New Employee Award
Doris Farquhar
Career Achievement Award
Jessica Carey
Staff Advocacy Award
Bariatric & GI Publications
Congratulations to Dr. Guilherme Campos and team for their recent publications in the Annals of Surgery and the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Both are featured as Current Issue Highlights.

The first, "Changes in Utilization of Bariatric Surgery in the United States from 1993 to 2016," can be read here .

The second, "Factors Mediating Type 2 Diabetes Remission and Relapse after Gastric Bypass Surgery," can be read here .
Bon Secours VCU Thoracic Shout Out
Congratulations to our very own Robert Ferguson, MD and his team at the Bon Secours VCU Thoracic clinic for being recognized after multiple patient nominations.

One patient nominator wrote of Dr. Ferguson, "We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what a rare breed of physician you are. Your genuine very gentle mannerism is reassuring from the first visit in your office. We loved it when you walked in the room and asked 'So what brings you in to see me today?' I really appreciated the three times after surgery you came by to check on [the patient]. You have such an unpretentious, unassuming approach and bedside manner. Thank you! You set the bar for Great Care! Just the whole experience was incredible."

Well done Dr. Ferguson!
Humera Resident Awards
Congratulations to our two newest winners of the Humera Surgical Society Resident awards. Each will attend the 56th Annual Humera Surgical Society meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia where they will present their research.
Jeff Stern, MD
Lazar J. Greenfield Award
"Pre-Transplant Recipient Blood Lipid Signature Predicts Rejection Episodes in the First Year Post Kidney Transplant."
Niluka Wickramaratne, MD
David M. Hume Award
"Low Volume Resuscitation (LVR) with Polyethylene Glycol-20k Confers Survival after Severe Hemorrhagic Shock."

VCU Wellness Week 2020
Thanks to everyone who participated in VCU Wellness Week 2020! We were able to sponsor quite a few fun activities in the Department courtesy of Brian Kaplan, MD (Professor, Surgical Oncology) and residents Jill Peysha, MD and Jeremy Powers, MD. These included interactive teambuilding, yoga, zumba, and a wine and paint night!

To check out pictures from Surgery as well as other departments across campus, visit any of your social media sites and check out the hashtag #VCUWellnessWeek2020 .

Well done team! And thank you Drs. Kaplan, Peysha and Powers!
Employee Feature
Meet Jatori Robinson, MSN, RN, AGNP-BC, CCRN, ATCN!

Jatori joined the Department of Surgery just over 5 years ago as an advanced practice provider with the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services. In addition to providing incredible care to our patients, she serves in a variety of leadership roles as well to include onboarding and mentoring new APPs, assisting with the surgical critical care fellows, and participating in medical mission trips to teach the fundamentals of critical care to multidisciplinary healthcare professionals in underserved countries.

When asked about her goals for this role, she writes "Although I have been working as an NP for over 5 years, I still have much to learn and I plan to continue to adsorb as much knowledge and experience as possible. One future experience I'm looking forward to is cross-training as a first assist in the operating room. I want to continue to work on my leadership skills and mentor others in leadership roles. Other future goals of mine are to expand my involvement in global health education and training, as well as work as a clinical nursing instructor."

Outside of work you can find Jatori traveling the world with her family and friends, going to the movies, reading, painting, and learning to speak Spanish!
Monthly Wellness Note
Winter's colder temperatures, shorter days, and inclement weather can have negative effects on your mood - from a little winter blues to the clinical condition of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Please take a look at the attached Wellnote courtesy of Virginia CommonHealth for a few tips that may help you and your family even if it’s cold and gray outside.  

Try it this week: Get organized! Set aside some time to map out your meals and make a grocery list--it'll help you stick to your healthy eating style!
Upcoming Events
2020 VBS Spring Meeting
March 27 - March 29, 2020
Kingsmill Resort
Williamsburg, Virginia

Click here to register or for more information
56th Annual Humera Surgical Society
April 23 - April 25, 2020
Kingsmill Resort
Williamsburg, Virginia

Click here to register & for more information
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 [email protected]
Top Photo : Dr. Robert Strauss with the OMFS Residents at Top Golf for Wellness Week
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | [email protected]