Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryJanuary 30, 2019

Emory Structural Heart & Valve Center Joins New NIH Network, Announces New Leadership

The Emory Structural Heart & Valve Center has been selected as the inaugural member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Structural Heart Intervention Network, an evolving consortium of leading institutions participating in clinical studies to help advance minimally invasive treatment options for structural heart disease, abnormalities of the heart's valves and chambers. The center is led by Vasilis Babaliaros, MD (above left), and is welcoming two new faculty leaders, cardiothoracic surgeon Kendra Grubb, MD, MHA (center), and interventional cardiologist Adam Greenbaum, MD (right).

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Emory Surgery NSQIP Celebration: 10,000 Lives Strong!
"10,000 Lives Strong" commemorated Emory University Hospital's (EUH) decade of membership in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP), followed by the participation of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta since 2010, and Emory University Hospital Midtown's since 2015. Among the speakers was Joe Sharma, MD (pictured above), EUH's NSQIP champion and Emory Surgery's chief quality officer, who described how various ACS NSQIP-associated initiatives and efforts contributed to achieving the hospital's ultimate aims of lowering patient readmissions and overall mortality, resulting in such kudos as EUH being recognized by NSQIP for having meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care in 2017 (see adjacent story).
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EUH Achieves Meritorious Outcomes for Surgical Patient Care
Emory University Hospital has been recognized as one of 83 ACS NSQIP-participating hospitals to achieve meritorious outcomes in surgical patient care in 2017. Based on EUH's composite quality score in eight clinical areas, including mortality, cardic arrest and myocardial infarction, and kidney failure, the hospital received meritorious status on two different lists: "All Cases" and "High Risk" cases. Just 58 hospitals out of the 83 were recognized on both lists. Risk-adjusted data from the July 2018 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report, which presents data from the 2017 calendar year, were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated meritorious outcomes. A total of 708 hospitals were included in the July 2018 report. A complete list of the recently named meritorious hospitals can be viewed here.
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William Jordan Presents Three-Year EndoAnchor Registry Study Data
The ANCHOR registry is a prospective, multicenter study involving sites in the USA and Europe, and is evaluating the real-world use of EndoAnchors in patients. William Jordan, MD, is co-principal investigator of the study, and the data he presented at the VEITHsymposium showed that the Heli-FX EndoAnchor system effectively treated abdominal aortic aneurysm in patients with complex anatomy.
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Felix Fernandez Named Chair of STS Workforce on National Databases
Felix Fernandez, MD, has been appointed chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Workforce on National Databases, which oversees the Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, and Congenital Heart Surgery Databases that are part of the STS National Database, one of modern medicine's most comprehensive and well-engineered patient data repositories.
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Emory Physicians Collaborate on Clinical Trial Testing Vitamin and Steroid Combination in Sepsis Patients
A new randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial at Emory University and 45 other sites around the U.S. is testing a combination of vitamins and steroids in patients diagnosed with sepsis. Jon Sevransky, MD, MHS, is the principal investigator, David Wright, MD, is co-PI, and Katherine Nugent, MD, is the local site PI at Emory. Craig Coopersmith, MD, and Timothy Buchman, PhD, MD, are contributing to the trial by serving on its executive committee and actively enrolling patients.
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Edward Chen Receives TSRA Socrates Teaching Award
Each year, cardiothoracic surgery residents across North America nominate a faculty member to receive the Thoracic Surgery Residents' Association's Socrates Award for his or her remarkable commitment to resident education and mentorship. Edward Chen, MD, was formally presented with the award at the TSRA meeting on January 29, held during the 55th Annual Meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in San Diego. Dr. Chen's academic status is enhanced by his national and international reputation for performing highly complex aortic procedures.
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Reminder: 2019 Emory Surgery Faculty Retreat

On February 8, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Department of Surgery will host the 2019 All Faculty Retreat at East Lake Golf Club, 2575 Alston Drive SE, Atl, GA 30317. Opening remarks will begin promptly at noon, and be delivered by John Sweeney, MD, Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor and Chair of Emory Surgery. Structured to be both informative and interactive, the retreat will focus on key initiatives and strategic direction across the organization and within the department. All faculty are encouraged to attend. (above: image from the 2018 retreat)

New Faculty: Fawwaz R. Shaw, MD
Dr. Shaw is an assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and specializes in pediatric and adult congenital cardiac surgery and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Shaw was a faculty member of the Department of Surgery at West Virginia University and surgical director of extracorporeal life support at WVU Medicine Children's Hospital, the state's sole provider of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. He did his cardiothoracic and congenital cardiac surgery residencies at the University of Washington/Seattle Children's Hospital.
Dr. Shaw's Faculty Profile
New Staff: Mary Ann Garcia, MBA
Ms. Garcia is the new senior program coordinator for the Emory general surgery residency. Her extensive GME experience includes 11 years at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College, where she managed the general surgery and plastic surgery residencies and three fellowship programs. She most recently served for two years as the program manager at Morehouse School of Medicine, establishing and managing their first two fellowship training programs. Ms. Garcia received her MBA in Business Administration with a concentration in healthcare management and administration at Monroe College.

Brendan Lovasik and Doan Nguyen Win Poster Awards at Great Lakes Immunology Forum

Brendan P. Lovasik, MD (above, left), PGY-2 general surgery resident on research sabbatical in the lab of Andrew Adams, MD, PhD, and Doan C. Nguyen, MD, PhD (center), instructor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, received first place poster awards at the XIX Annual Great Lakes Transplantation Immunology Forum. The keynote speaker at the meeting was Jeremy M. Boss, PhD (right), professor and chair of the Emory Department of Microbiology and Immunology, interim chair of the Emory Department of Biochemistry, and current vice president of the American Association of Immunologists.

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Adriana Gamboa Earns 2019 ASCO Merit Award
General surgery resident Adriana Gamboa, MD, who is doing a two-year research sabbatical in the lab of Shishir Maithel, MD, received a 2019 Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The award assisted with funding her attendance of the 2019 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, where she presented, "Duodenal neuroendocrine tumors: Somewhere between the pancreas and small bowel?"
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Xiaoying Lou Receives Presentation Award at ECTSS Annual Meeting
Xiaoying Lou, MD, PGY-4 cardiothoracic surgery integrated resident, won the Best Thoracic Surgery Oral Presentation Award at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society. Titled "Safety and feasibility of thoracoscopic lung resection for non-small cell lung cancer in octogenarians," the study was conducted under the guidance and mentorship of Emory cardiothoracic surgeon Onkar Khullar, MD.
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With Mylin Torres, MD, becoming co-leader of the Cancer Prevention Control Research Program of Winship Cancer Institute, Emory breast cancer surgical oncologist Cletus Arciero, MD, has been named the interim director of the Glenn Family Breast Center.

Emory surgical oncologist-scientist Shishir Maithel, MD, was program chair of the 2019 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, January 17-19 in San Francisco. Charles Staley, MD, chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology, and Bassel El-Rayes, MD, vice chair for clinical research of the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, also presented at the meeting.

Dr. Maithel and Kenneth Cardona, MD, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology, were among several mentor-mentee pairs that were featured in Winship Magazine's "Paying it Forward!" from the Fall 2018 edition, which celebrated Winship's mentorship tradition. Dr. Cardona did his general surgery residency at Emory under Dr. Maithel's mentorship. "Shishir provided guidance in all aspects of my career—my research, my clinical interests, and personally as well. I say mentor, but I'd honestly say friend," says Dr. Cardona in the piece.

At the recent Winship Town Hall, dozens of Winship members were recognized for outstanding achievement in mentorship, published research, and clinical trial enrollment, including Dr. Maithel and Keith Delman, MD, program director of the general surgery residency and director of the Carlos and Davis Center for Surgical Anatomy and Technique. Dr. Delman received a Mentorship of Junior Faculty Award, and Dr. Maithel garnered a Mentorship of Graduate Students Award.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Manu Sancheti, MD, and general surgery and GI/colorectal surgery specialist Virginia Shaffer, MD, have been selected to join the 2019 class of the Emory Professional Leadership Enrichment and Development Program (EM-ProLEAD). The program is designed to enrich leadership skills, increase business knowledge, develop strong partnerships across Emory Medicine, and teach participants about leadership development, conflict negotiation, finance, accounting, marketing, decision making, and operations.

As the Emory principal investigator of the Alliance 11202 multi-institutional study sponsored by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Preeti Subhedar, MD, is comparing the benefit of axillary dissection vs axillary radiation in node positive patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy at Grady Hospital. The trial's enrollment numbers prompted Dr. Subhedar's inclusion in Winship Cancer Institute's January 2019 recognition of those Winship-affiliated physicians who had enrolled the most patients into interventional cancer clinical trials during the prior three months.

Patrick Sullivan, MD, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology and the Division of Colorectal Surgery and chief quality officer for Surgical Oncology, was selected as one of 22 Woodruff Leadership Academy Fellows for 2019. WLA Fellows are chosen from a large pool of stellar candidates each year, and will participate in activities designed for developing leadership competencies needed in an academic health center, as well as the interpersonal, communications, and presentation skills necessary to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing landscape in research, education, and health care.

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