Volume 20 | January 4, 2019
Surgical Notes
From the Chair
As we roll into the new year, my goal is to provide everyone with a full report of where our department currently stands. As such, below ( and attached here for easier viewing ) you will find our FY2019 Department Scorecard which rates us on various areas of strategic focus. As you can see, we are excelling in some areas and have room for improvement in others.

My hope is that with transparent progress and communication, we can work together to continue growing and strengthening Surgery at VCU.

If anyone has any questions or comments about the scorecard, don't hesitate to reach out.

Happy New Year team!
Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
Department Score Card for FY 2019
Kidney Transplant Record
Hume-Lee broke a record in 2018 – transplanting more kidneys than any other year in its history. The previous record for most kidney transplants in a calendar year had been 160. Last year, the dedicated team transplanted an impressive 202 kidneys.

That’s an amazing number of second chances and an accomplishment we can all celebrate together, said Dr. Marlon Levy .

“This milestone is a tribute to the wonderful professionalism of all our Hume-Lee team members, and to the trust that our patients and their families place in us to provide the very best care for their loved ones,” Levy said. “We are committed to being at the forefront of care excellence for the treatment of kidney disease and kidney transplantation.”

The accomplishment was aided by two clinical trials in the areas of kidney research that increase access to lifesaving organs. One trial seeks to learn whether kidney transplants from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients are safe and effective. Another, involves transplantation of a deceased donor’s kidney infected with the hepatitis C virus into a recipient who does not have hepatitis C, and then curing the virus.

This is in addition to talented Hume-Lee staff and their commitment to accepting the most complex clinical cases. It’s a mindset that adds up, increasing access to lifesaving organs and helping contribute to a record-breaking year.*

*Story Credit: Dan Carrigan, "The Visionary" Newsletter , 1/3/2019
STICU AACN Beacon Award
Congratulations are due to the Surgical Trauma ICU team for achieving their second Beacon Award (Silver Level) from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses.

As you all know, AACN recognizes the work of critical care and acute care units based on 38 standards in the following categories:

  • Leadership Structures and Systems
  • Appropriate Staffing and Staff Engagement
  • Effective Communication, Knowledge Management, Learning and Development and Best Practices
  • Evidence-Based Practice and Processes
  • Outcome Measurement

The STICU team, led by Debbie Burnette, Nurse Manager, Caitlin Wise, Nurse Clinician and Mamoona Arif, Nurse Clinician have created an environment for optimal care of patients and their families. This work requires excellence in all five of categories above.

STICU was the first ICU here at VCU Health to achieve this award in 2007, setting a standard of excellence for all others to achieve. They are 1 of 13 units in the hospital to hold a current award. VCU Health has the most Beacon recognized units in the US!

Please join us in congratulating them.
General Surgery PGY5 Post Match Positions
Congratulations to our PGY 5 Chief Class for securing excellent positions for next year!
Dr. Bhati in the News
Dr. Chandra Bhati , Associate Professor with the Division of Transplant Surgery , was recently mentioned in Virginia Living's 2018 Hospitals and Health Care issue.

In detailing the story of patient Stephen Robinson, the article points to Dr. Bhati as the first on the east coast to use robotic-assisted surgery for kidney transplants. About the da Vinci Dr. Bhati states, "pain is less, recovery is faster, and the healing process is much quicker. Patients usually go home in two days."

To read more, click here .
State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board
Congratulations are due to Dr. Sudha Jayaraman , Associate Professor with the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services and Co-Director for the Global Surgery Program for her recent reappointment to the State of Virginia's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Board .

Appointed by Governor Ralph Northam, Dr. Jayaraman will join other healthcare and emergency medicine professionals from across the state in providing "advice and counsel regarding methods and procedures for planning, developing and maintaining a statewide emergency medical services (EMS) system to the OEMS and the State Board of Health."

Congratulations Dr. Jayaraman!
Hume-Lee in China
Administrative Director of the Hume-Lee Transplant Center , Will Maixner, recently joined the Assistant Director of the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center on a trip to Jinan, China.

While there, Maixner met with faculty and students at the Shandong University School for Health Care Management discussing US organ transplantation, the Hume-Lee Transplant Center, and the Department of Surgery at VCU. As part of the partnership between VCU and Shandong University, Maixner assisted with teaching several of the health administration classes while also pointing students to internship opportunities. Preliminary discussions also took place for an official mini-internship for their students in Richmond.
Global Surgery Symposium Abstract Submission Reminder
Life After Kidney Donation
Dr. Marlon Levy (Professor and Division Chair for the Division of Transplant Surgery) and his team at the Hume-Lee Transplant Center were recently mentioned in a story published by US News.

As the shortage of donated organs continues to prevent many from receiving life-saving transplants, physicians are turning to living donor options more and more often.

The article details the risks of such donations, while pointing to the many benefits. The author writes, "The risks for the donor are low but real, while the benefits for recipients can be profound."

To read more of this story, click here .
Updates from Rwanda
General Surgery Resident Ashley Rosenberg, MD was invited to lead a workshop at Rwanda's First Global Surgery Symposium in Huye, Rwanda. Together with VCU medical student Cody McHargue, she taught Stop The Bleed and CPR to 100 Rwandan medical students.

Additionally, she and Associate Professor Dr. Sudha Jayaraman presented at the College of Surgeons of Central East and Southern Africa (COSECSA). Together with the SAMU team they presented: 

  • Surgical Collaborations Strengthen Health Systems: The VCU-Rwanda Experience
  • Emergency Trauma Care Course in EMS: A Collaboration between VCU/MOH/SAMU
  • Analysis of Moto Taxi Crashes in and Around Kigali. Rwanda managed By SAMU 2012-2016
  • Management of Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Prehospital Setting 
  • Prehospital Epidemiology, Management, and Outcomes of Injured Children in Kigali, Rwanda

Dr. Jayaraman also served as an instructor for the Fundamentals of Surgery Research Course at COSECSA where she also proctored for MCS and FCS general surgery oral board exams.
Updates from SOM Research
The Science Museum of Virginia has extended their 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 Courtney Lafferty (formerly known as Courtney Culbreth pre-marriage)! Courtney joined the Department of Surgery in 2016 as the Coordinator for the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education. In her role, she juggles many tasks that collectively keep things running at the CTCCE including budget management, website updates, vendor negotiations, and fielding questions about the paramedic program. When asked about the most exciting part of her job, she responded, "This position requires you to be a jack of all trades. No two days are alike and I am always learning something new." She finds great satisfaction in helping people and in working for a place that gives so much back to the community.

Outside of work, you will find Courtney working as an event and design coordinator. She writes, "My house is always full of floral arrangements from the latest wedding and occasionally I will have a car jam full of glow sticks from the latest bat mitzvah!" She also enjoys horseback riding, checking out Richmond's art scene, and taking advantage of all the fun activities this city has to offer,
Monthly Wellness Note
It's that time of year where New Year's Resolutions fly high.

Is simply living healthier one of yours? That can be a challenge when many of us sit behind a desk for hours on end every day.

But never fear! Click here to learn 25 ways to make your life healthier in the office.

Photo Credit: Kevin Duam, Inc.com
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