Volume 42 | January 2021
Surgical Notes
ACS Resources in Surgical Education
Congratulations to authors Renee Cholyway, MD, VCU general surgery resident; Susan Haynes, MSW, MEd, surgical sim administrator; and Emily Rivet, MD, MBA, assistant professor of surgery and internal medicine in VCU division of colon and rectal surgery and division of hospice and palliative medicine on their recent article posted to the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Resources in Surgical Education (RISE) website.

The article, "Passing the Virtual Tissue: Tips and Tricks for Breaking Bad News Using Virtual Communication" discusses ways COVID-19 has caused an abrupt change in communication practices for physicians and health care providers, and offers guidance on breaking bad news using technology. Link to article
Department of Surgery 2nd Annual Service Awards
VCU Surgery appreciates the efforts of its employees to achieve departmental goals and to fulfill its mission and vision. Outstanding employees deserve to be recognized both as a reward for exceptional performance and as a model to other employees.

Service excellence is defined as:
  • Exemplary performance that promotes internal and external customer service, cost savings, innovation, and outstanding citizenship.
  • Contributes to the positive culture in the department and across the organization.
  • Promotes collaboration and teamwork with others across the department and institution to support an environment that is respectful, diverse, supportive, and inclusive.
  • Demonstrates creativity and a desire to improve service by continuously expanding knowledge and skill.
  • Regularly makes a difference in the department through work on special projects and service to others. 

Congratulations to:
Davis Roche — Service Excellence Award
Nicholas Thomson, PhD — Innovation & Impact Award
Cynthia Chenault, AGACNP — Excellence in Patient Care Award
Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery Program
Congratulations to Dr. Guilherme Campos and the entire bariatric and GI surgery team on your repeat recognition as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has named VCU Health Division of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery as a Blue Distinction® Center for Bariatric Surgery. This is part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program which recognizes nationally designated health care facilities that demonstrate expertise in their field of care. It also serves as a distinguishing factor for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield patients seeking specialty services. BCBS Blue Distinction Centers

Dr. Campos adds "Our bariatric program has been designated again as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery. We (and our patients) appreciate the support we have received to enable us to grow the program while continuing to maintain the quality of the services we provide. We look forward to further expansion of our services while maintaining and improving quality."
APP Annual Awards Announced
As part of the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services initiatives on APP Wellness — the division launched its first Annual APP Awards

Winners of the 1st Annual APP Awards:

Excellence in Leadership Award : Jatori Robinson
The APP candidate must demonstrate excellence in leadership as noted by peers and faculties. Lead by example and reflect the STAR services values. Must demonstrate leadership in a committee or other responsibilities within the division. 

Rising Star Award: Sara Perez
The APP candidate must be less than 3 years’ experience with the ACSS Division. In addition, has demonstrated tremendous growth, engagement, and commitment to his or her professional goals. Contribute tremendously to the growth of the team.  

Mentor/ Professional Development: Hannah Sadek
The APP candidate must be experience and viewed by peers as a great mentor and resources. Puts other’s interest to heart and willing to guide, assist and teach others to become the best. Understands the need of other’s growth and exhibit leadership characteristics to support such growth. Support and contribute to staff wellness and demonstrate leadership in diversity, respect, and care. The APP candidate must demonstrate excellence in engagement of professional growth and the growth of others. Contributes to improving patient outcomes. 
New Innovator/Research Scholar Award: Whitney Crowder    
The APP candidate who develops, initiate a new practice model, ideas, guidelines, technology, etc. that aid in improving patient care or support the overall growth of the APP team. The APP candidate must have interest in research and engage in research or educational accomplishment to impact and reflect the values and mission of the division or department of VCU Surgery. 
Annual Report: VCU & Panamerican Trauma Society
Michel B. Aboutanos, MD, MPH, FACS shared specific highlights from the collaboration between VCU Medical Center and Panamerican Trauma Society in their Annual Report 2020:

"These events, among other noted initiatives, offer significant highlights to our Global Surgery Program, and which undoubtedly impact our recruitment of residents, faculty, staff, as well as students." 

PTS Congress Highlights:
In October 2020, the 1st PTS Virtual Conference was held (secondary to the COVID Pandemic). The 3–day congress was wildly successful with 58 international speakers, 5 pre–congress courses and more than 24 plenary sessions and workshops. In total, there were 5,200 registrants. VCU participation included podium presentations by four trauma /burn attendings, two medical students (Kevin Parham and Helen Nobel), two VCU faculty directing and coordinating courses (Dr. M. Feldman & Dr. P. Ferrada) and three faculty coordinating expert-opinion seminars (Dr. M. Aboutanos, Dr. P. Ferrada, Dr. Edgar Rodas).
Global Response to COVID‐19 Webinar Series Highlights:
In 2020, we co-hosted 21 weekly Webinar Series on Global Response to COVID-19 —with 3105 providers participating from 64 countries, and from 45 participating academic societies — participation of VCU faculty: Dr. Michel Aboutanos, Dr. Edgar Rodas, Dr. Paula Ferrada, Dr. Kristen Miller, and Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan as expert panelists.
Injury & Violence Prevention Program Newsletter

"This issue of the IVPP newsletter highlights the dedication and impact this team has had on Central Virginia and the Commonwealth for over a decade."
— Dr. Aboutanos | IVPP website
News From CTCCE: Congratulations Adam Alford, NRP
We are pleased to announce that Adam Alford, NRP has been appointed Virginia Affiliate Faculty for NAEMT in these disciplines (PHTLS, AMLS, and EMS Safety), NAEMT.org. As such he is able to monitor new instructors, mentor training centers and evaluate other aspects of the NAEMT programs. This honor is similar to what the ACS has for State Faculty for ATLS.
We would like to congratulate Adam on this accomplishment. He will be a great ambassador for VCU in the EMS community throughout Virginia.

Learn more about VCU Health's Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education (CTCCE)
Research Opportunities
Employee Spotlight
Meet Joyce Williams, administrative services specialist with the Division of Transplant Surgery. In addition to providing administrative support to Drs. Cotterell, Sharma, and Bhati, Joyce also supports clinical functions through patient and procedure scheduling, pre-authorization, and surgery scheduling for transplant patients. 
When asked about the most satisfying part of her position, Joyce writes: "Finding the answer for the patient and making sure all of their appointments are scheduled not only in a timely manner but [ideally] on same day as well to make sure they are making only one trip.” Her philosophy: “Patient Care is not a learned behavior but a heart's passion. It's my heart's desire to help people - going above and beyond to ensure the patient has all they need from A to Z, to include a map and directions to the facilities, and a place to stay while here if needed.” Joyce’s biggest challenge? Not knowing when to say no. 
Outside of work you will find Joyce shopping, decorating, baking, and taking her grandkids on different outings such as the zoo, walking trails, and the children’s museum. She also loves cuddling with her grand dog, Max!
Monthly Wellness Note: January 2021
Monday, January 25 – 11 am
Everything you need to know about buying or selling a home in the RVA Housing Market
(Presented by VCU HR & Long and Foster)
Topics will include: RVA Housing Market Update, Preparing to Buy or Sell a Home, Marketing your Home, The process from contract to close, Financing, and the rewards of “Moving with the Rams” Register: Talent@VCU

Tuesday, January 26 – 12 pm
Strength and Cardio Training with Jess
(Presented by VCU HR and VCU Recreational Sports)
This full body workout blends cardio and strength exercises to increase endurance. Register: Talent@VCU
Wednesday, January 27 – 10 am
Foundations of Investing
(Presented by VCU HR and TIAA)
In this workshop you will learn about the foundations of investing, managing risk versus reward, understanding the role of investing and managing investment risks, augmenting programs to help accelerate savings and learn about products and tools for managing a portfolio. Register: Talent@VCU
Wednesday, January 27 – 12 pm
Navigating Challenges and Managing Stress during COVID-19
(Presented by VCU HR and Anthem EAP)
In this timely session we will explore the impact of the pandemic, discuss strategies for coping with unexpected challenges and uncertainty, identify practical ways to manage stress and build resiliency, and identify resources to support individuals and families through the pandemic. Register: Talent@VCU
Upcoming Events
Zero Prostate Cancer Summit

You're invited to the 2021 Virtual ZERO Cancer Summit held online from February 28–March 4!

It's free to sign up and a great chance to hear the latest prostate cancer news from experts, survivors, and patients. Plus, it's virtual which means you can tune in at your own pace and schedule.

At the Summit, the foremost experts will provide educational updates on the latest breakthroughs in research, screening, diagnostics, racial disparities, and more. Plus, it's a great opportunity to connect with a nationwide community of over 1,000 patients, survivors, and caregivers. Additionally, prostate cancer survivor and baseball all-star Cal Ripken, Jr. will serve as the event's mission speaker.

It's free to register at zerocancer.org/summit 
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM

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