Volume 12 | May 4, 2018
Surgical Notes
From the Chair

It's hard to believe, but 50 years ago on May 25, 1968, Dr. Richard Lower performed the first in-human heart transplant in Virginia - the 16th in the world- here at VCU. Since that fateful day, we as a department have seen incredible change, thanks largely to the surgical pioneers like Dr. Lower.

On May 24th, we will celebrate this monumental event with the Pauley Heart Center's historic grand rounds, titled "50 Years of Heart Transplants on the MCV Campus." Please try to attend.

Additionally, on May 10th, we will hold the 2nd annual State of the Department Address at 7:30am in the Kontos Auditorium. Attendance is required.

Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD
Shining Knight Gala, 2018
On Saturday April 28th, we celebrated the tenth annual Shining Knight Gala at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. There, 54 medical personnel were honored for saving the lives of sisters Maya and Malina Richardson after a horrific car crash in 2017.

"The dozens of people who offered life-saving assistance, who cleaned and wrapped wounds, who helped Malina on the path to healing are the reason for the celebration... 'Health care providers are very quiet. We don’t really toot our own horn about what we do,' Tiffany Lord, a nurse clinician, said. 'We don’t really talk about what we do, so when we can acknowledge what people have done, it’s just an amazing night.'”

Yale Global Surgery Symposium
Dr. Sudha Jayaraman, Associate Professor with the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services and and Co-Director of the Global Surgery Program at VCU was a guest speaker at the 2018 Yale Global Surgery Symposium .

Dr Jayaraman's talk was on "VCU Global Surgery: Collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Rwanda," where she discussed her recent work in Kigali.

Pictured right is Dr. Jayaraman with Dr. Doruk Ozgediz, Assistant Professor and Symposium Leader at Yale Medicine.
American College of Surgeons - VA Chapter
Many of our faculty returned just a few weeks ago from the 2018 Virginia Chapter meeting of the American College of Surgeons held at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.

In addition to attending lectures on the latest technology and techniques as they relate to surgery, attendees were able to visit exhibitors and booths set up by professionals in the field.

One such booth was set up by our very own instructor, Greg Neiman, with the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education (CTCCE) where he instructed attendees on Stop the Bleed. Our chair, Dr. Vigneshaw Kasirajan took a turn at the CTCCE table, pictured left.
Administrative Chief Residents, 2018-2019
Congratulations are due to our new Administrative Chief Residents for General Surgery for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Nathaniel Lee, MD will be the Chief Administrative Resident for Scheduling. He will continue the strong work done by Amar Shah.

Valerie Plant, MD will be Chief Administrative Resident for Teaching. She will continue the work done by Krista Terracina to maintain the integrity of our curriculum and organize Thursday Evening Chief Reviews.

Congratulations to both!
Future Surgeons at Winterpock Elementary
Residents are quite used to teaching medical students every day during their rotations, but its not too often those students are less than 4 feet tall.

On April 24th, General Surgery resident Amna Khokar (PGY5) visited a kindergarten class at Winterpock Elementary School where she discussed what it was like to be a surgeon.

While showing pictures of our current faculty and trainees, she pointed out all the different types of people we have working here: "Do you see girls? Do you see boys?" She then asked, "So who can be a surgeon?" at which point the class, donned in surgical masks and caps, erupted - "Anyone can be a surgeon!"

Humera 2018
Many thanks to all who attended this year's Humera Surgical Society meeting held at the Tides Inn on April 27th thru 29th.

Alumni, current faculty, and residents alike joined together to listen to incredible talks given by an assortment of surgeons from across the nation including Hume and Greenfield Resident Award winners, Nina Wickramaratne and Uzoma Anele. Members enjoyed fellowship as they discussed the many memories of following in Dr. David Hume's footsteps.

Stay tuned for information regarding next year's meeting!
Medical Student Research Day
Congratulations to Hameeda Naimi, medical student and research trainee under the guidance of Dr. Adam Klausner. Last summer, Naimi joined Klausner's research team to contnue studies on overactive bladder.

With the information she learned, she went on to continue her studies and present a poster for which she won first place at the 2018 Medical Student Research Day. Addtionally, Naimi won the clinical essay competition at the 2018 SUFU meeting.

With the first place title, she also received $1000 made possible by the G. Watson James III, MD Scholarship Endowment. As she continues her medical studies at VCU, Naimi hopes to focus on getting as much hands-on experience as possible during her clinical rotations.
FACT Award
Congratuatlions are due to the incredible personel with the Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) for securing funding from the Family and Children's Trust Fund of Virginia for their work in domestic violence and assault.

This funding, split between two years, will help support programs like Project Empower , led by Maria Altonen, which aims to provide prevention and intervention services to individuals and their families who experience intimate partner or sexual violence.

"The other component of this grant," states Altonen, "will be to screen the caretakers of the children seen by CPT in an effort to address abuse and violence from a family perspective (not just patient perspective), with an intention of interrupting generational trauma. If caretakers screen positively, they will be referred to Empower for services."

To learn more about Empower and the other programs offered by IVPP, click here .
Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism & Excellence in Teaching
Congratulations to Dr. Nathaniel Lee, General Surgery Resident, for being selected as the 2018 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award winner.

A total of 26 residents across VCU were nominated by medical students from which four were chosen for final selection.

Drs. Ashley Slaughter and Victoria Whitlow were also nominated.

2018 ASTS Committee
Dr. Amit Sharma , Associate Professor with the Division of Transplant Surgery, has been appointed to serve on the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) committee.

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons "represents approximately 1,800 professionals dedicated to excellence in transplantation surgery [with a] mission... to advance the art and science of transplant surgery through leadership, advocacy, education, and training."

This appointment begins during ATC in June 2018 and runs through June 2021.

Congratulations Dr. Sharma!
St. Vincent Volunteer Surgical Trip
This past February, Dr. Maryann Martinovic, Chief Resident with VCU Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery , joined Drs. Nadia Blanchet and Jennifer Rhodes on an incredible volunteer surgical trip to St. Vincent, a small island in the Eastern Caribbean. 

In conjunction with World Pediatric Project , Dr. Blanchet has fostered an annual surgical outreach program for the past 30 years. In a single week, they evaluated over 60 patients in clinic and performed 15 surgeries, care that they desperately needed and would not have otherwise been able to obtain. The nature of this program allows for the utmost continuity of care as the children remain connected with the same providers in the years to come.
Administrative Professionals Day
Our incredible administrative staff here at VCU Surgery were honored on April 25th, Administrative Professionals Day, with a pizza party.

Thanks to all of you for the amazing work you do, without which we as a department wouldn't be able to function and grow!

Well done, team!
General Surgery Resident Bowling
On April 24th, the general surgery residents traded their scrubs for bowling shoes where they joined education faculty and staff for a night of fun.

This event, planned by General Surgery Residency Director (Rahul Anand) and Coordinator (Cindi Phares), aimed to provide the hard-working residents with a chance to kick back and enjoy some down time. From all reports, good times were had by all!
Surgery Staff Feature
Meet Tonya Hill, surgery scheduler for the Department of Surgery. Tonya joined VCU Health 17 years ago after graduating from Bryant and Stratton College with an Associates Degree in Human Resources. In her role with the department, Tonya schedules appointments, posts surgeries, processes referrals and insurance orders, ensures all diagnoses codes for billing, and contacts insurance companies for prior authorization.

When asked about the most exciting part of her job, Tonya responded, "The most exciting part of my job is working closely with my team, the Division of Urology. I am so proud to have the type of doctors, supervisors, nursing staff, and co-workers that permit me [to take] initiative, make decisions, solve problems, and improve service and performance." She continued, "The most important part of my job is posting cases and having that interaction with the patient and their families [providing] superior, compassionate, and innovative patient care."

Outside of work, Tonya is furthering her education by working towards her Bachelors Degree in Health Care Management. Additionally, in her spare time, she works a part-time job in a group home called Back to Basics, LLC, as a Life Skills Counselor. There she is responsible for providing supervision and support services to foster children. She loves reading, watching Lifetime movies, church, and spending time with her family, especially while cooking "Big Sunday Dinners." Thanks for all you do, Tonya!
Upcoming Events
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM
West 16 Conference Room (16-103)

All are welcome to attend!
VCUHS Learning & Development
Click here to view available Learning Events through the Office of Training & Development for the month of February.

For more information or to register, visit the Learning Exchange or email educationmatters@vcuhealth.org
Upcoming Guest Lectures

June 21, 2018
Dr. L. Scott Levin
Theogaraj Plastic Surgery Visiting Professor
Paul B. Mangnuson Professor of Bone & Joint Surgery
Chairman, Orthopedic Surgery, Penn Medicine
Have a story to tell? Contact jessica.carey@vcuhealth.org
Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804)828-7874 | surgweb@vcu.edu