Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryJuly 31, 2020

Remembering Doug Murray, MD

Sadly, we must report that Emory Surgery has lost a beloved colleague, friend, and mentor with the passing of Douglas R. Murray, MD (shown above, left, with Emory compatriot and hematologist/medical oncologist David Lawson, MD). By the time he retired in 2006, Dr. Murray's impassioned commitment to teaching, training, and patient care had left an indelible effect on hundreds of residents, fellows, and faculty.
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Randi Smith invited to join ACS COT Working Group on the Social Determinants of Health
Randi Smith, MD, MPH, has been invited to participate in the newly formed Working Group on the Social Determinants of Health of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. This multidisciplinary group will examine the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age, and the impact of these forces on chronic diseases, including trauma, and how they intersect with inequity and health care disparities.
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Maria Russell appointed to Georgia's ACS CoC Chair
Maria Russell, MD, has been named to serve as chair of the Georgia Society of the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. As chair, Dr. Russell will assist the CoC in improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and monitoring comprehensive quality care. Her duties will include participating in collaborative cancer control activities with the American Cancer Society and the group developing the state cancer plan.
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Juan Sarmiento performs 1000th Whipple procedure

Shortly after joining Emory Surgery in May 2003, Juan M. Sarmiento, MD, professor of surgery and W. Dean Warren Distinguished Chair of Surgery, performed his first Emory-based Whipple procedure at Emory University Hospital. Fast forward 17 years to July 23, 2020, and he achieved the major milestone of performing his 1000th Whipple at Emory, an amazing accomplishment by any estimation.
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SVS honors Robert Smith with 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award
Distinguished vascular surgeon and Emory professor emeritus Robert B. Smith, III, MD, has earned the highest honor the Society for Vascular Surgery can bestow on one of its members. Selection for this award recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions to the profession and the Society, along with exemplary professional practice and academic leadership.
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Shishir Maithel asked to join ECC Initiative of the Oncology Center of Excellence
Emory surgical oncologist-scientist Shishir K. Maithel, MD, has been invited to participate in the Eligibility Criteria Consistency Initiative of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE). The mission of the OCE is to achieve patient-centered regulatory decision-making through innovation and collaboration.
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Thirty-one Emory Surgery Faculty Named to Atlanta Magazine's 2020 Top Doctors

Nearly half of the physicians recognized in Atlanta magazine's July 2020 "Top Doctors" issue are 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 31 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, Rona Norelius, Allan Pickens, J. Mark Rheudasil, Monica Rizzo, Charles Staley, Patrick Sullivan, John Sweeney, Mark Wulkan, and Joseph Zarge.
Timothy Buchman and Rachel Patzer involved in COVID-19 research
Timothy Buchman, PhD, MD, and Rachel Patzer, PhD, are involved in two of the many COVID-19 studies happening at Emory. Dr. Buchman is collaborating on harnessing artificial intelligence to predict poor outcomes for ICU patients with the disease, while Dr. Patzer is co-PI of an effort to use the symptom checker app launched at Emory to create a cohort of 60,000 people who reported COVID-19 symptoms.
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Michael Lowe and Michael Turgeon accepted into ACCR/ASCO Clinical Trials Workshop
The prestigious Clinical Cancer Research Workshop of the American Association for Cancer Research and American Society of Clinical Oncology will guide Michael Lowe, MD, and Michael Turgeon, MD, through the process of developing and finalizing their trial protocols under the mentorship of national leaders in oncology.
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Peter Thompson's QI project reduces post-op breast implant infection rates
Peter Thompson, MD, recently completed Emory's Faculty Development Course in Quality Improvement, and developed a best-practice protocol for the pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative phases of implant-based breast reconstruction. Dr. Thompson used the new protocol himself to make sure it was practical, then introduced it to the other surgeons.
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Richard Ricketts honored with AAP Arnold Salzberg Mentorship Award
Richard Ricketts, MD, emeritus professor of surgery and founding chief of the Emory Division of Pediatric Surgery, was the recipient of the 2020 Arnold Salzberg Mentorship Award, a recognition presented by the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery (SOSu) to surgeons who have distinguished themselves as mentors. The award is based on nominations from SOSu membership.
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Kirsten Baecher, Michael Turgeon, and Jessica Keilson named Elkin Fellows

Emory general surgery residents Kirsten Baecher, MD, Jessica Keilson, MD, and Michael Turgeon, MD, are the 2020 recipients of the Nell W. and William Simpson Elkin Fellowship. These awards are given out annually to extraordinary physician-scientists enrolled in eligible Emory training programs who have career goals in the research and treatment or prevention of cancer. Each award comes with an endowment of up to $35,000 to help cover salary, laboratory costs, and other expenses related to recipients' research proposals, such as travel to conferences and meetings.
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Elissa Falconer wins 1st Place in NEJM QI Resident 360 Challenge
Out of 10 finalists, Elissa Falconer, MD, VA Quality Scholars Fellow, has been named the winner of the NEJM QI Resident 360 Challenge. For the competition, Dr. Falconer and her study team conducted a project that aimed to standardize and reduce non-adherence to patient discharge opioid prescribing recommendations at the Atlanta VA Healthcare System.
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Octav Cristea's research recognized with AST KPCOP Travel Grant
Octav Cristea, MD, received an American Society of Transplantation Kidney Pancreas Community of Practice Travel Reimbursement Grant to fund his attendance of the 2020 American Transplant Congress. Since the physical congress was cancelled due to COVID-19, Dr. Crista presented his award-winning abstract at the ATC 2020 Virtual Congress.
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General surgery chief residents Alexandra Lopez-Aguiar, MD, and Matthew Perez, MD, have matched into their top choices for their surgical oncology fellowships. Dr. Lopez-Aguiar matched at Ohio State University, and Dr. Perez at Moffitt Cancer Center.

David Kooby, MD, has joined the editorial board of Annals of Surgery, and Virginia Shaffer, MD, has joined the editorial board of The American Journal of Surgery.

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