Volume 39 | September/October 2020
Surgical Notes
Welcome Dr. Kellermann!
The Department of Surgery would like to welcome Dr. Art Kellermann as our new senior vice president for VCU Health Sciences and chief executive officer of VCU Health!

Dr. Kellermann joins us from the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland where he served as dean. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed publications and holds career achievement awards from two fields - injury control and emergency medicine.

Dr. Kellermann is board-certified in internal medicine and emergency medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American College of Physicians.

Welcome to VCU and VCUHS, Dr. Kellermann!
VCU Researchers' Solution for Stabilizing Trauma Patients
"When Martin Mangino, Ph.D., and his colleagues discovered a chemical compound while seeking a way to better preserve organs for transplants, Mangino recognized its potential to have other lifesaving uses.

Mangino, a professor in the Department of Surgery at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, realized the synthetic solution that his team created using this chemical compound could help stabilize people in shock who are suffering from dangerously low circulation, whether it’s from loss of blood, illness or another injury. The U.S. military, seeking ways to improve outcomes for soldiers facing battlefield trauma, quickly became interested in the solution’s possible applications in the field.

This solution can help the body increase tissue perfusion — the microscopic distribution of blood flow into the body’s tissues, including its vital organs, that enables oxygen exchange — in situations where a person is losing a lot of blood or has a “low volume” of blood..."

To continue reading, click here.
Dr. Walter Lawrence Featured In The Cancer Letter
You will likely never meet a person in the Department of Surgery who doesn't know Dr. Walter Lawrence, professor emeritus with Surgery and founding director of the Massey Cancer Center.

Because of his near celebrity status, it was no surprise to discover that he was recently featured in The Cancer Letter, a weekly newsletter well known to the cancer research community.

To check out the story, click here.
VCU Health Performs Rare Liver Transplant
"Responding to a patient’s urgent need for an organ transplant, VCU Health has performed, for the first time in its history, a liver transplant in which the donor’s blood type was incompatible with the recipient’s — a situation that would normally rule out the transplant.

The team at VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center performed the blood type-incompatible liver transplant using a living donor. In this case, a son offered a portion of his liver to his mother to make the transplant possible.

'I’ve never been first in anything,' exclaimed Karen Luper, of Henrico County, who is the liver transplant recipient. 'It’s great, and the team was nothing but phenomenal.'

Rallying around Karen and her son, Brenton Luper of Henrico County, was a team of experts with the skills and unique experiences to pull off the complex transplant — all the while making VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center one of just a handful of transplant centers in the country to successfully perform an ABO, or blood type, incompatible liver transplant..."

To continue reading this story from VCU News, click here.
VCU & School of Medicine Faculty Committees
Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Haynes, Professor with the Division of Pediatric Surgery, for completing a three-year appointment on the University-wide Promotion and Tenure Appeals Committee. He has also been re-appointed to serve on the School of Medicine Promotion and Tenure Committee, his second term. Finally he has been asked to serve on the MCV Physicians Claims Committee.

Well done, Dr. Haynes!
Trauma Publications
Dr. Stefan Leichtle along with colleagues in Acute Care Surgical Services and the Trauma Program have been busy writing as they have had a variety of papers accepted for publication as detailed below:

Editorial by Paula Ferrada, MD
"I came to this country because I wanted to practice in one of the greatest health care systems in the world. I now have been a practicing trauma surgeon for 10 years, having emigrated from Colombia as a young woman. However, as a result of misguided policy decisions, we are at risk of allowing the quality of care in the world’s largest economy to devolve into something that you would find in the developing world.

My first experience with surgery happened when I was 12 years old. My father was a trauma surgeon in my hometown of Cali, Colombia, during a time of conflict among cartels, guerillas and local authorities. One day, I happened to be with him when someone called about an emergency and there was no time to delay, so I accompanied my father to the patient and saw the lifesaving nature of his work.

A few years later, I came to the United States, where I studied medicine and was accepted to Harvard’s general surgery training program at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. As the first Colombian woman ever to graduate from that program, I understand the immense opportunity I have been given to serve my patients and improve — or save — lives. I now am a professor of surgery, and head of surgical critical care and trauma at a large university hospital — and a long way from my childhood in Colombia..."

To continue reading this editorial by Dr. Paula Ferrada, click here.
Mangino Lab Updates
Congratulations to the entire Mangino Lab for their recent publication! Their paper, "Superior Survival Outcomes of a Polyethylene Glycol-20k Based Resuscitation Solution in Preclinical Porcine Model of Lethal Hemorrhagic Shock," was published in the July 2020 edition of Annals of Surgery.

To read their paper, click here.

Well done, team!
VCU Health Podcast
VCU's Hume-Lee Transplant Center has safety and effectively navigated COVID-19 to continue providing life-saving liver transplants. Dr. David Bruno, Associate Professor with the Division of Transplant Surgery, discussed this process along with the many advancements in liver transplant as part of the VCU Health System podcast series, Healthy with VCU Health.

To listen, click here.

Great job, Dr. Bruno!
Resident Publications
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Congratulations to General Surgery residents, Renee Cholyway, MD and Travis Sullivan, MD along with Dr. Emily Rivet and Susan Haynes for their recent publications. Each will be published in December.

  • R. Cholyway, S. Haynes, & E.B. Rivet. Passing the Virtual Tissue: Tips and Tricks for Breaking Bad News Using Virtual Communication. Resources in Surgical Education, Dec 2020.
  • E.B. Rivet, T. Sullivan, & D. Noreika. Improving Quality in Colon & Rectal Surgery through Palliative Care. Seminars in Colon & Rectal Surgery, Dec 2020.
Dr. Kasirajan Dad-Jokes: Halloween Edition
What do mummies listen to on Halloween? Wrap Jokes!

Which Halloween monster is good at math? Count Dracula!

Why don't mummies take vacations? They're afraid to unwind!

Why didn't the skeleton go see a scary movie? He didn't have the guts!

Why was the candy corn booed off the stage? All of his jokes were too corny!
Interfaith Holiday Calendar
In a follow up to a communication that came from the Deans Office several weeks ago, we wanted to remind everyone that VCU put together an interfaith holiday calendar, linked here. When scheduling major events or meetings, please take a moment to ensure we are not scheduling something on a significant holiday for our colleagues.

Knowing when holidays are is a simple but significant step in not only learning but ensuring we as a department are being inclusive and supportive of everyone particularly as we move into the holiday season.
New Faculty
Walker Julliard, MD
Assistant Professor
Cardiothoracic Surgery
9/14/2020

Dr. Julliard received his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He went on to complete his residency at University of Wisconsin and later his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at UVA. His areas of interest include the surgical treatment of non-cardiac diseases of the chest which includes all diseases of the lungs, the chest wall, the airways, and the esophagus. His research interests include how the immune system adapts based on environmental factors with the ultimate goal of identifying ways to alter the adaptive immune system to better accept lung transplants while still fighting against lung cancers.
Paschalia Mountziaris, MD, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
9/1/2020

Dr. Mountziaris is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She was raised in upstate New York, and graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University. She earned her medical degree, as well as a Ph.D. in Bioengineering, through the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University. She completed residency at Albany Medical Center, followed by fellowship training in complex reconstruction and microsurgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her clinical interests include complex oncologic and trauma reconstruction, with a focus on microsurgical flaps.
Stephen Sharp, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor
Colorectal Surgery
10/1/2020

Dr. Sharp joins us from Cleveland Clinic Florida where he served as a staff surgeon. He received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed his residency at Albany Medical Center. He then joined Cleveland Clinic Florida for his fellowship in colorectal surgery. Dr. Sharp has particular interest in minimally invasive colorectal surgery, colorectal and anal cancer, surgical management of inflammatory bowel disease, colonic diverticular disease, benign anal and rectal conditions, and colonoscopy. His research interests include surgical outcomes research for benign and malignant colorectal conditions as well as colorectal racial disparities research.
Ashley Slaughter, MD
Assistant Professor
Acute Care Surgical Services
9/16/2020

Dr. Slaughter received her medical degree from the University of Rochester and went on to complete her general surgery residency here at VCU. She completed her fellowship in surgical critical care at Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. Dr. Slaughter has particular interest in acute care and trauma surgery, injury and violence prevention, as well as community outreach.
Employee Spotlight
Meet Ebony Hobson, Division Supervisor for Children's Surgery! Ebony has been with Children's Surgery for almost 2 years and absolutely loves her job!

When asked about the most gratifying part of her role she responded, "I could never name just one thing that provides satisfaction about my role but I must say the first one would be the surgeons I interact with. The expectance and the trust that they have for me is sometimes overwhelming in a very heartfelt way. The second would be my manager Kyra Houck. I could not express enough how much I admire her managerial skill set as well as her ability to make things happen. The last thing would be the parents of those little bundles of joy."

As if her job wasn't busy enough, Ebony also works for VCU's ED on the weekends. About her drive to support VCU Health in such incredible ways, she writes, "Helping people is my calling."
Monthly Wellness Note
The VCU Wellness team has put together a great list of activities and programs as part of the October Well-Being Program. Activities include a variety of financial management workshops, guided meditation, and abdominal workouts. All sessions will be virtual so you can tune in from anywhere!

Click here to download the full schedule.
Upcoming Events
Research Open Forum
Monthly, 2nd Mondays
4:00 - 5:00 PM

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