Volume 28 | October 4, 2019
Surgical Notes
10th Annual Healing Justice Alliance
The 10th Annual Healing Justice Alliance meeting was recently held in Sacramento, California. The conference brings together community leaders, public officials, front line workers, healthcare providers, administrators, and researchers with the goal of disrupting the cycle of violence. For the last ten years this conference has been led and organized by the National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs. This year they unveiled a new name: The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention or The HAVI for short. This new name reflects their mission to “foster hospital and community collaboration to advance equitable, trauma-informed care and violence intervention and prevention programs.”

This year, VCU Surgery's Injury and Violence Prevention Program was represented by Amy Vincent, Rachelle Hunley, Ashley Xavier, and Dr. Michel Aboutanos. They were joined by their community partner from the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Davis Gammon. Rachelle shared her amazing work with Emerging Leaders, and Amy discussed their new partnership with VHHA to grow other Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs. 
Violence Prevention Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Nicholas Thomson, Assistant Professor with the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services, for receiving a CDC grant for his proposal, "Evaluating Outcomes for Youth Receiving Hospital-Based Violence Prevention With and Without a Community-Level Initiative."

This proposal aims to test whether rates of youth violence, teen dating violence, sexual violence, and others vary based on receipt of Bridging the Gap services in communities with or without CTC Plus .

This grant totals $125,000 per year for two years. Collaborators include Dr. Albert Farrell (Psychology), Dr. Terri Sullivan (Psychology), Dr. Michel Aboutanos (Trauma Surgery), and Dr. Fabrizio Fasulo (Wilder School).
Bariatric & GI Publications
Congratulations to the Division of Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery, led by Dr. Guilherme Campos, for recent publications in two peer-reviewed journals.

The first, "Factors Mediating Type 2 Diabetes Remission and Relapse after Gastric Bypass Surgery" (Surgery Visiting Scholar, Bernardo Pessoa, MD - First Author) was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The second, "Perioperative Outcomes and Cost of Robotic-Assisted versus Laparoscopic Inguinal Hernia Repair" (Surgery Postdoctoral Fellow, Jad Khoraki, MD - First Author) was published in Surgical Endoscopy. The study shows that in Bariatric and GI, laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair was associated with superior perioperative outcomes at a lower cost compared to robotic-assisted repairs. Thus, it remains the preferred minimally invasive technique for inguinal hernia

Well done, team!
OR Manager Publication
Congratulations to Jeanette Avery (NP, Surgery), Dr. Michael Scott (Professor, Anesthesiology) and the Hume-Lee Transplant Center team for their recent publication in the October issue of OR Manager.

Their article titled "Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: The New Standard for Preoperative Care" discusses ERAS as the evidence-based protocol for surgical patient care, its increased usage, and its link to improved outcomes.

This article is the first in a series of ERAS articles to be written by VCU clinicians and members of the Clinical Effectiveness team to be published in OR Manager.
APSA Surgical Critical Care Committee
Congratulations to Dr. Laura Boomer (Assistant Professor, Pediatric Surgery and Surgical Director for the PICU and NICU) for her recent appointment as the Vice Chair of the Surgical Critical Care Commitee within the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA).

As Vice Chair, Dr. Boomer will join a team of other clinicians in the field of pediatric surgery as they work "to promote optimal care of pediatric surgical patients with critical illness through the development of guidelines for clinical care, education of pediatric surgeons, development of new research, collaboration with pediatric colleagues and patient advocacy."

Congratulations, Dr. Boomer!
First Living Liver Transplant at VCUHS Since 2014
"Edward Foster is 69 years old, a proud patriarch with eight children and 21 grandchildren. He still hosts a family dinner at his Henrico County home every Friday night and has a passion for attending collegiate sporting events across the country in which his grandchildren participate. An accomplished conservatory-trained pianist, he even taught one of his grandsons living out of state how to play via FaceTime. To call Foster a family man would be an understatement.

'Family is everything,' he said.

And when Foster needed his family the most, they were there.

For decades, Foster had battled a chronic disease that was pushing his liver to failure. He suffered from primary sclerosing cholangitis, a condition in which the body attacks and inflames the bile ducts and causes liver failure. Its cause is unknown.

'I was getting to the last leg. I knew it. I couldn't let my family know, but I knew,' Foster said. 

At a Friday dinner, he broke the news that he needed a transplant. He was faced with possibly months, if not years, on the national transplant waitlist waiting for a deceased-donor liver..."

To continue reading this story by Hume-Lee's Dan Carrigan, click here .
New Division Supervisor
Please join us as we welcome Nicole Palat as the newest Division Supervisor for the Divisions of Surgical Urology and Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

Nicole joins us from Medical University of South Carolina Health where she worked as a junior planning analyst since receiving her MHA degree from MUSC in May 2018.

Nicole will work hand-in-hand with Associate Administrator Tina Hamlet as they continue supporting an growing Urology and Plastics.

Welcome Nicole!
Holiday Season Message from the Dean's Office
Our School of Medicine is committed to diversity and inclusion, and as such, we respect our many differences in traditions, holidays, and celebrations. Over the next few months, there will be a variety of opportunities for people to celebrate - or not to celebrate. In prior years, feedback has indicated that occasional unintended slights have occurred which have detracted from this celebratory spirit. It is important that we respect each other and our customs. 
We know that this needs to go beyond simply changing the name of the “Christmas party” to a “Holiday party.” Accordingly, we respectfully offer a few suggestions to consider as we head into this season with multiple religious and cultural recognition*:

  • Take time to learn about another culture, and as you feel comfortable, share with others about yours.
  • Have no expectations of others - understand that people celebrate different holidays, and some choose to not celebrate at all. 
  • Be aware of holiday dates and, as possible, schedule meetings and assignments around them.
  • Be mindful of dietary differences if serving food.
  • Make unit decorations general and not specific to any one religion or tradition.
  • Be willing to discuss differences and similarities, and make others aware if you are uncomfortable or feeling excluded. 
May these next few months leading to the New Year be times of gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment for all of us.
* Adapted from Simma Liberman: How to Appreciate Diversity During the Holidays
A Surgery Halloween!
It's October which means Halloween time!

All faculty, staff, residents - everyone! - are invited to participate in a costume contest.

In recognizing that some may not be able to dress up at work however, pictures taken of yourself from other Halloween festivities this month will be allowed.
Here's out it works!

1. Dress up any time during the month of October

2. Take a Picture of Yourself

3. Send that Picture to Jessica Carey by 9 am November 1st. 

Pictures will be compiled in an album on Facebook and then voted on by the department and followers of VCU Surgery from November 1st to November 5th!

Winner will be announced Wednesday November 6th. 

For more info, click here .
Staff Feature
Meet Mena Dous, our newest Associate Administrator in the Department of Surgery. Mena joined Surgery just a few months ago and now serves as the Associate Administrator for both Transplant and Bariatric & Gastrointestinal Surgery divisions.

When asked about the most exciting part of his job so far he responded: "[the] most exciting part of my job is trying to make other people's lives easier and a better to place to come into work. I believe that gives me the greatest satisfaction."

Outside of work you will find Mena working out, playing basketball and golf, reading, visiting vineyards, and spending time with family.

And did we mention spending time with his new fiancé to whom Mena proposed just a few days ago!? Congratulations Mena!
Monthly Wellness Note
VCU has an array of activities planned for the month of October in support of employee wellness and well-being.

This includes chair yoga, courses on smoking cessation, and flu clinics!

Click here to find the schedule on the VCU HR Well-Being Blog.
Upcoming Events
Richmond Heart Walk
October 5, 2019
Monroe Park

Join Senior Leaders from across the institution to include Dean Buckley and our very own chair, Dr. Kasirajan, as they walk to raise awareness for cardiovascular health.

Can't join? Donate!

For information about registering or to donate, click here .

This event is locally sponsored by VCU Health!
Cardiac Conference: Aortic Dissection
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