Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryMay 29, 2020

Emory's surgery adjudicators must make complex decisions during COVID-19

With Atlanta being the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia, the responsibilities of surgery adjudicators on the front lines in Emory's hospitals are not dissimilar to those of physicians performing triage in combat zones. At this stage, our adjudicators' duties may not be as intensely concentrated as those of surgeons at field hospitals, but our physicians and their teams certainly feel the weight and associated stress their obligations carry, particularly since they must determine when, where, and how patients that absolutely need surgery to survive can receive it, and how long those that don't can wait.
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Craig Coopersmith named director of the Emory Critical Care Center
Craig Coopersmith, MD, MCCM, has been named director of the Emory Critical Care Center following his service as interim director of the ECCC since 2018. Dr. Coopersmith's visibility as an innovative leader in critical care medicine is indisputable, and is currently underscored by his cardinal position on the clinical and research frontlines in the battle against COVID-19, most recently seen in his position as one of three Emory faculty that joined experts from across the country in establishing and contributing to the NIH's recently released Coronavirus Disease 2019 Treatment Guidelines.
Read More Details About Dr. Coopersmith's Appointment
Randi Smith, Jason Sciarretta, and Amy Zeidan op-ed asserts violent trauma will rise during coronavirus disruption
Emory trauma surgeons, emergency/elective general surgeons, and surgical critical care intensivists Jason Sciarretta, MD, and Randi Smith, MD, MPH, and Emory emergency medicine physician Amy Zeidan, MD, assert in a USA Today op-ed that they have witnessed an undeniable increase in traumatic injuries at their practices, despite mandates to shelter in place and social distance. They then describe how to best prepare for and address this rise in violence that is being both influenced and exacerbated by the pandemic.
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Emory Surgery faculty honored as top educators

Emory School of Medicine celebrated Educator Appreciation Day on May 7. Faculty nominated by students and peers for special recognition included Department of Surgery members Kurt Heiss, Eric Knauer, Ankit Patel, Dipan Patel, Maria Russell, Juan Sarmiento, Joe Sharma, and Peter Thompson, who were acknowledged for going above and beyond the call of duty as teachers and mentors.
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Welcome our new faculty

Samiksha B. Bansal, MD, did her pediatric surgery advanced laparoscopic surgery fellowship at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children in Denver. She then completed pediatric surgery trauma and pediatric surgery clinical fellowships at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis. Her primary clinical specialties are pediatric and thoracic surgery, gastroesophageal reflux disease, minimally invasive surgery, and thoracoscopic surgery.

Rona L. Norelius, MD, was the medical director of pediatric surgical services at Children's Hospital Colorado from 2012-2015 and medical director of pediatric surgical services at Providence Alaska Medical Center from 2015-2016. She has served on the Pediatric Surgery Council of the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeons since 2013.

Sorin V. Pusca, MD, provides cardiothoracic surgery services at St. Francis Hospital/Emory Healthcare in Columbus, GA, together with Emory cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Jakob Davtyan. His postgraduate training includes cardiothoracic surgery fellowships at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Emory University/Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Alexis D. Smith, MD, completed her general surgery residency at the University of Maryland and Shock Trauma Center and did her pediatric surgery fellowship at Brown University in Providence. She has broad experience in pediatric general surgery with special interests in pediatric trauma, ECMO management, surgical oncology, and surgical education.

2020 Graduating Chiefs: New Affiliations

Katherine J. Baxter, general surgery practice, Houston Methodist Hospital; P. Bennett Brock, minimally invasive surgery fellowship, Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City; Stacy L. Coulthard, returning to Virginia for an assignment to Naval Station Norfolk, Fleet Surgical Team TWO; Cecilia G. Ethun, surgical oncology fellowship, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Amanda G. Fobare, vascular surgery fellowship, Emory; Steven C. Kim, abdominal transplant surgery fellowship, University of Wisconsin; Nathan J. Klingensmith, acute care surgery fellowship, Emory/Grady; Crystal D. Koerner, colorectal surgery fellowship, Swedish Medical Center Seattle; Tyler K. Merceron, plastic surgery fellowship, Emory; Andrew D. Morris, colorectal surgery fellowship, Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital; Amanda E. Mueller, minimally invasive surgery fellowship, UCSF; Kimberly M. Ramonell, endocrine surgery fellowship, UAB.
Katherine Fay receives Outstanding MIS Resident Award
The Society of Laparoscopic & Robotic Surgeons (SLS) has selected PGY-3 resident Katherine Fay, MD, to receive its 2020 Outstanding Minimally Invasive Surgery Resident Award, which will allow her free membership in the organization. One of the components of the SLS mission is to provide educational opportunities for residents and fellows who are interested in pursuing a career in minimally invasive surgery and/or surgical simulation.
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Aileen Johnson earns ASTS-Natera Jon Fryer Resident Scientist Scholarship
Aileen Johnson, MD, has been chosen by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Foundation to receive the 2020 ASTS-Natera Jon Fryer Resident Scientist Scholarship for her proposal "The metagenomic landscape of pancreas transplant febrile syndrome." She will conduct the study during her research sabbatical in the laboratory of eminent Emory transplant surgeon-immunologist Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil.
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Steven Kim receives ASTS Fellowship Grant
A 2020 American Society of Transplant Surgeons-Veloxis Fellowship in Transplantation Grant will fund the research Steven Kim, MD, will conduct during his upcoming abdominal organ transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, as he seeks to gain a more thorough understanding of the mechanisms of a novel protocol for achieving tolerance induction in a non-human primate renal transplant model. Dr. Kim's research mentor will be Dixon Kaufman, MD, PhD, chair of the Division of Transplantation at UW.
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GO TRAVEL Award to support Constance Shreckengost's sabbatical in Bolivia
Constance Shreckengost, MD, PhD, is the 2019 recipient of the GO-TRAVEL Award (Global Outreach Traveling Resident Award to Visit, Experience and Learn), which will assist in funding her participation in the Emory Trauma and Surgical Initiative in Bolivia beginning in July. GO-TRAVEL Awards from the Emory SOM Alumni Board support resident education provided by unique international training experiences.
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