Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryAugust 30, 2019

Sheryl Gabram-Mendola receives inaugural appointment to academic chair

Nationally recognized expert in the surgical treatment of breast cancer and management of patients at high risk for breast cancer, Sheryl Gabram-Mendola, MD, MBA, has been named the Ada Lee Correll Chair in Surgery. Dr. Gabram-Mendola (right, with Ada Lee Correll) is surgeon-in-chief at Grady Memorial Hospital, director of the Winship high risk assessment program, and director of the breast surgical oncology fellowship. This academic chair is the most recent installment in Ada Lee Correll's extensive history as a fundraiser and donor to various Atlanta-based and national entities.

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Joe Sharma appointed to McGarity Chair
Joe Sharma, MD, Emory Surgery's chief quality officer, has been appointed the William C. McGarity Chair of Surgery. After joining the department in 2006, Dr. Sharma (shown above with a portrait of Dr. McGarity) fine-tuned its clinical culture of quality and safety, influencing such milestones as Emory University Hospital being recognized for achieving meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care by ACS NSQIP in 2017. The chair is named in honor of William McGarity, MD, a former chief of surgery at Emory University Hospital and one of the founding members of The Emory Clinic. He received many honors in the fields of endocrine surgery and inflammatory bowel disease, and conducted important studies of hyperparathyroid cases that contributed to a greater understanding of multiglandular parathyroid disease.
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Seth Force named Mansour Professor
Shortly after he was appointed to surgical director of the lung transplant program in 2003, Seth Force, MD (left), significantly increased transplant volume and developed transplant protocols. As chief of the section of thoracic surgery since 2014, he helped to strengthen the program's command of minimally invasive surgery techniques, its oversight of outcomes following surgery for lung and esophageal cancer, and the diverse opportunities it provides for resident education. In tribute of these and other achievements, Dr. Force has been named the Kamal A. Mansour Professor in Thoracic Surgery. Kamal Mansour, MD (right), was a beloved and renowned Emory cardiothoracic surgeon for 48 years. He retired in 2004, remaining active in the Emory community until his passing on June 6, 2016.
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Kendra Grubb and her Structural Heart Center associates perform live cases for TVT 2019

The Emory Structural Heart and Valve Center was one of only six stateside centers to perform live case demonstrations for the 12th Annual TVT (transcatheter valve therapy) Structural Heart Summit in Chicago. The physician team for the procedures included Kendra Grubb, MD, surgical director of the Structural Heart and Valve Center; Vasilis Babaliaros, MD, and Adam B. Greenbaum, MD, co-directors of the center; and Robert J. Lederman, MD, senior investigator for the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health.

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Muralidhar Padala Selected for 2019 Innovation for Impact Award
Muralidhar Padala, PhD, director of the Structural Heart Disease Research and Innovation Laboratory, is the inaugural recipient of the Emory School of Medicine Innovation for Impact Award for 2019. This award was established to recognize faculty inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs whose contributions resulted in a significant impact on human health or have the potential to be paradigm-shifting. Dr. Padala's research applies bioengineering principles to optimizing the durability of cardiovascular interventions.
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HIP/Georgia CTSA Seed Grant will fund proposal to improve the match of organ-donor pairs
Every year, thousands of people either die waiting for an organ transplant or are removed from the waitlist because they become too sick to withstand the procedure. As the shortage of donor organs continues to worsen and waitlists grow longer, nearly 20% of the organs that are procured are discarded each year in the U.S. With each discard, an opportunity to save a life could be lost. Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH, director of the Emory Health Services Research Center, is Co-PI of a pilot project that plans to begin alleviating this problem.
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Carla Haack involves Emory Haiti Alliance in relief trip to Puerto Rico

The Emory Haiti Alliance is a volunteer consortium of Emory medical students, surgery and anesthesiology residents, faculty physicians, and mid-level practitioners that make annual, month-long surgical trips to Hôpital Bienfaisance in Pignon, Haiti. When the alliance was forced to cancel its June 2019 trip due to political and social unrest in Haiti, Emory general and GI surgeon and alliance member Carla Haack, MD (center, above), suggested that the organization's medical students assist her in Puerto Rico. The trip was approved, and six M3 and six M4 medical students accompanied Dr. Haack to the country from June 8-June 22.

The group helped with the primary care needs of homeless people in San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital, and traveled to the municipalities of Yabucoa, Ponce, Humacao, and Punta Santiago, focusing on wound care, blood glucose monitoring, and medication refills for residents.

Dr. Haack was raised in Puerto Rico, and received her MD at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine. Her parents still live there. After Hurricane Maria in 2017, Dr. Haack was one of the first physicians to arrive in Puerto Rico to help with medical efforts. Since then, she has made numerous trips to the most vulnerable regions of the territory, providing any assistance she can as the island recovers.

Dr. Haack's relief work in Puerto Rico, including the alliance trip, was reported in Georgia Health News. You can also read about the trip from the alliance's perspective in the program's blog.

Theresa Gillespie named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing
Theresa W. Gillespie, PhD, MA, BSN, professor in the Emory departments of surgery and hematology and oncology, was one of 11 Emory nurses inducted as 2019 Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing. The Academy is composed of more than 2,000 of the nation's most accomplished nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research, and selection for fellowship is one of nursing's highest honors.
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Satyen Tipathi's work recognized at AMI Annual Meeting
Satyen Tripathi, board-certified medical illustrator for Emory Surgery, won an Award of Merit at the 74th Annual Conference of the Association of Medical Illustrators. The award was granted to acknowledge the conceptual and technical quality of Mr. Tripathi's "Real. Genuine. Heart," an illustration commemorating a series of philanthropic gifts from Genuine Parts Company (GPC) to the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center of Emory University.
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Thirty Emory Surgery Faculty named to Atlanta Magazine's 2019 Top Doctors

Fifty-five percent of the physicians recognized in Atlanta magazine's July 2019 "Top Doctors" issue were physicians within Emory Healthcare, Emory Healthcare Network, Emory medical staff, or faculty of Emory University School of Medicine. The annual listing is compiled by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., and included 30 faculty of the Emory Department of Surgery: Cletus Arciero, Kenneth Cardona, Michael Clark, Keith Delman, Thomas Dodson, Megan Durham, Yazan Duwayri, Felmont Eaves, Felix Fernandez, Seth Force, Robert Guyton, Michael Halkos, Peter H'Doubler, Kirk Kanter, William B. Keeling, Bradley Leshnower, Albert Losken, Raymond Lynch, Steven Macheers, Jeffrey Miller, Douglas Murphy, Kenneth Newell, Allan Pickens, J. Mark Rheudasil, Monica Rizzo, Charles Staley, Patrick Sullivan, John Sweeney, Mark Wulkan, and Joseph Zarge.

New Faculty: Tiffany Liang, Gaetano Paone, Jason Sciarretta

Tiffany W. Liang, MD, received her MD from the Medical College of Georgia and completed her vascular surgery residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine. During her postgraduate training, Dr. Liang was an active researcher, studying cardiac and skeletal muscle atrophy, autoimmunity in abdominal aortic aneurysms, and bone marrow-derived cell mobilization following stroke injury. Her primary clinical location is the vascular surgery service at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

As a member of the Emory Structural Heart and Valve Center, Gaetano Paone, MD, MHSA, focuses on valve repair and replacement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and other less invasive valve technologies. After completing his thoracic surgery residency at University of Illinois Hospitals, he joined Boston University Medical Center. In 1990, he joined Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Dr. Paone also practiced at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, MI, from 2004-2009. He then returned to Henry Ford Hospital, where he served as chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery for nine years.

Before coming to Emory and joining the trauma and surgical critical care service at Grady Memorial Hospital, Jason Sciarretta, MD, served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina and practiced at the acute care surgery/trauma & surgical critical care service at Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach, SC, which has a Level I trauma center. He was associate program director of the USC general surgery residency based at Grand Strand Medical from 2015-2019, and served as Grand Strand Medical's chief of surgery from 2015-2016 and its chief of staff from 2018-2019.

2019 Graduating Chiefs: New Affiliations

(above) The 2019 graduating chiefs with Dr. Ravi Rajani, Dr. Keith Delman, Dr. Jahnavi Srinivasan, and Dr. John Sweeney.

Maggie Diller, minimally invasive surgery fellowship, Cedars Sinai; Adekemi Egunsola, colorectal surgery fellowship, Long Island Jewish Medical Center; Kanika Kalra, cardiothoracic surgery fellowship, Emory; John Lyons, acute care surgery fellowship, Emory; Lauren Postlewait, breast oncology fellowship, MD Anderson Center; Priya Rajdev, minimally invasive surgery fellowship, Oregon Health & Science University; Seyed Amir Razavi, plastic surgery fellowship, Emory; Heather Short, pediatric surgery fellowship, Emory; Vivian Wang, minimally invasive surgery fellowship, Ohio State University. Benjamin Flink is continuing his chief year into 2020.

Asa Yancey Scholarship introduces minority medical students to surgical residency training
In summer 2019, the Department of Surgery welcomed the first recipients of the Asa G. Yancey Visiting Student Diversity Scholarship, which is dedicated to setting an example for residency programs nationwide by increasing the number of underrepresented minority trainees in Emory's general surgery residency program. Dr. Yancey (above) was the first African American physician to serve at Grady Memorial Hospital, and established the first accredited surgical residency program for African Americans in the state of Georgia.
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Xiaoying Lou elected President of the TSRA
Emory integrated cardiothoracic surgery resident Xiaoying Lou, MD, has been elected president of the Thoracic Surgery Resident Association (TSRA) for 2019-2020. She previously served as secretary for the TSRA from 2018-2019. She will continue to serve as the TSRA representative to the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Education Committee, and will begin her term as the TSRA rep to the AATS Residents Committee next year. TSRA was founded in 1997 under the direction of the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, is led and staffed by CT surgery residents from across the country, and provides resources and support for fellow residents.
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Residents lead Emory's "Stop the Bleed" training
High school students enrolled in Emory's Summer Science Academy engaged in "Stop the Bleed" training sessions led by general surgery residents Adriana Gamboa, MD (above, showing a student how to apply a tourniquet), Brendan Lovasik, MD, and David Faber, MD. The sessions were held in the Emory School of Medicine's Center for Experiential Learning (ExCEL). The students also participated in Emory's National Health Careers Opportunity Program.
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Rachel Medbery, first female thoracic surgeon in Central Texas
Rachel Medbery, MD, who graduated from the Emory general surgery residency in 2016 and completed her three-year Emory thoracic surgery fellowship in 2019, has joined Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons (CTVS) in Central Texas, and was featured recently on KXAN News Studio 512 as the first female surgeon to practice in the region. Dr. Medbery is officially based at the West 40th Street location of CTVS in Austin. Watch the interview here.

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