Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryDecember 15, 2020

Bradley Leshnower, Milad Sharifpour, and Kim Baio praised for progress of COVID-19 therapeutics trial

Cardiothoracic surgeon Bradley Leshnower, MD, and anesthesiologist Milad Sharifpour, MD, MS, are participating in the international ACTIV-3: Therapeutics for Inpatients with COVID-19 Phase 3 clinical trial as the Emory site's principal investigator and co-investigator, respectively. Kim Baio, RN, MSN, manages the trial's patient enrollment, clinical coordinator oversight, allocation of resources, regulatory and compliance adherence, and day-to-day operations. This team recently received correspondence from Janet Woodcock, MD, director of therapeutics for Operation Warp Speed, and Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the NIH, congratulating them on their performance in the trial.
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2020 Faculty Recognitions Week
Emory School of Medicine faculty were honored for achievements in patient care, research, and education during Faculty Recognitions Week, October 26-30. On October 28, the 7th Annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence was held virtually to celebrate these accomplishments. Emory Surgery's honorees included Maria Russell, MD, who received a Dean's Teaching Award; Wendy Greene, MD, honored with an Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award; and Keith Delman, MD, recognized with a SOM Mentoring Award. Randi Smith, MD, was acknowledged as a Hidden Gem; and Dr. Delman and Craig Coopersmith, MD, were inducted into the MilliPub Club for publishing papers that garnered more than 1,000 citations.
View all Emory Surgery Honorees
ACS Fellows Inductees, Class of 2020
The American College of Surgeons Annual Convocation, held during the Clinical Congress, includes the conferring of Fellowship upon initiates who have successfully met ACS requirements to provide optimal care to the surgical patient. The first ACS Convocation Ceremony took place on November 13, 1913. This year's Virtual Convocation was held on October 4, and several Emory Surgery-related associates of the ACS were granted Fellowship: Olamide Alabi, MD; Albert Diehl, III, MD (2017 residency graduate, now a breast cancer surgeon at Atlanta Breast Care); April Grant, MD; Raymond Lynch, MD; Federico Serrot, MD; Alexis Smith, MD; Peter Thompson, MD; and Dominic Papandria, MD.

Robotic imaging system helps support heart and vascular surgical care at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

A new, highly advanced robotic imaging system at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital enables doctors to work more effectively while performing minimally-invasive procedures to treat a broad range of heart and vascular conditions. The Artis Pheno imaging system uses a robotic arm that rotates 360 degrees around the patient to generate high resolution 3D images, providing a clear view to help guide cardiac and vascular interventional treatments.
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Olamide Alabi receives NHLBI and HSRC pilot grants
Olamide Alabi, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery, will apply two pilot grants to investigating issues associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD). An NHLBI grant will fund her study of disparities in access and treatment for PAD among veterans, while a grant from the Emory Health Services Research Center (HSRC) will review unique data from a Vascular Quality Initiative-linked Medicare database to examine 90-day outcomes following lower extremity revascularization for PAD. Dr. Alabi is the initiatory recipient of the HSRC's first cycle of pilot awards.
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Kenneth Cardona named the Patricia R. Reynolds Professor in Sarcoma
In recognition of his outstanding research and clinical work, Kenneth Cardona, MD, associate professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology and associate chief of surgery of Emory University Hospital Midtown, has been named the inaugural Patricia R. Reynolds Professor in Sarcoma. Dr. Cardona is actively involved in national and international sarcoma working groups. He also leads various sarcoma clinical trial efforts as the chair of the Sarcoma Committee for the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group and as principal investigator of the US Sarcoma Collaborative.
Dr. Cardona's Faculty Profile

Welcome our new faculty

Octav Cristea, MD, FRCSC, specializes in kidney and pancreas transplantation, with a special interest in urologic issues in the transplant population. He completed his urology residency at the University of Ottoawa and his abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at the Emory Transplant Center.

Pediatric surgeon Allison Linden, MD, MPH, specializes in neonatal surgery, minimally invasive surgery, surgical critical care, ECMO, and global surgery. She has trained surgical postgraduates in Rwanda and Uganda, where she also performed disparities research involving access to surgical care.

Maggie Diller, MD, completed her clinical fellowship in advanced gastrointestinal, minimally invasive, and bariatric surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Her general surgery residency and research sabbatical, mentored by Mandy Ford, PhD, and Keith Delman, MD, was completed at Emory.

Kanika Kalra wins CVSA Resident Prize

Kanika Kalra, MD, Emory cardiothoracic surgery fellow, was recognized at the American Heart Association's 2020 Scientific Sessions with the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA) Resident Prize. Specifically, the prize acknowledged Dr. Kalra for the excellence of her abstract "Papillary Muscle Tip Approximation in Repair of Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation in a Chronic Swine Model," which was based on research she performed at the Structural Heart Research and Innovation Laboratory in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The lab is directed by Muralidhar Padala, PhD.
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Shayna Brathwaite receives GVS Robert B. Smith Award
Shayna A. Brathwaite, MD, MMS, PGY-7 Emory vascular surgery fellow, received the Robert B. Smith, III, MD, Award for best resident/fellow presentation at the Georgia Vascular Society 8th Annual Scientific Sessions. Her study evaluated popliteal vein external banding as a surgical therapy for treating the severe edema, recurrent ulceration, and deep venous reflux caused by chronic venous insufficiency, a challenging vascular condition that impedes the flow of blood from the legs to the heart.
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Emma Crichton places 2nd in GA COT Resident Paper Competition
General surgery resident Emma Crichton, MD, placed second in the Georgia Committee on Trauma's 2020 George Ochsner, Jr. Resident Paper Competition. Her presentation sought to identify urban trauma patients at risk for food insecurity (FI) and to validate a two-item FI screening tool in a trauma population. FI has been linked with increased hospital costs and poorer health outcomes. While she and her team found the tool to have low sensitivity, they concluded that a refined version would be beneficial in this population.

Deepika Koganti, MD, was accepted into the 2021 class of Woodruff Health Educators Academy (WHEA) Teaching Fellows. As a WHEA Fellow, Dr. Koganti will be involved in an 18-month, longitudinal certificate program that includes targeted research skills development in workshop sessions facilitated by national experts and a hands-on educational research project to support her application of these skills. Upon completion, she will receive a Medical Education Research Certificate from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Emory Office of Alumni Engagement's 40 Under Forty awards recognize selected alumni for having made a significant impact in business, research, leadership, public service, and/or philanthropic endeavors. Rachel Medbery, MD, was among the 2020 winners. Dr. Medbery did her general surgery residency and thoracic surgery fellowship at Emory. Her bio for the award states that her dream of becoming a surgeon began after dissecting a frog in the fifth grade. She went on to become the first doctor in her family and the first female thoracic surgeon in Central Texas.

Allan Pickens, MD, was among the 22 fellows selected for the 2021 Woodruff Leadership Academy (WLA), a professional development program within Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center. The WLA combines a program of classroom sessions, off-site team projects, and weekend retreats to motivate professionals and managers within the Woodruff Health Sciences Center to develop, exercise, and strengthen individual leadership potential.

Mihir Shah, MD, was selected to participate in the Footsteps to Funding, Targeted Training Workshop, hosted by the Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 2. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is the hub of Region 2, which consists of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico. This two-day interactive workshop, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is designed to provide guidance on preparing and/or advancing a career development or developmental grant application in the field of cancer and/or cancer health disparities research.

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