Notable News from the Department of Surgery

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Notable News from the Department of SurgeryNovember 7, 2017

David Kooby Provides Option of Robotic Surgery for Pancreatic Cancer Patients at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

"Robotic instruments have wrists, offer great stability control, and enhance eye-motor coordination and the ability to do complex things like suturing, working with blood vessels, dissecting lymph nodes off of major vascular structures, and peeling tumors away from these structures," says David Kooby, MD, who recently began providing minimally invasive robotic surgery for pancreatic cancer at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital.
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Omar Lattouf Named Medical Director of New Surgical Partnership
As the new medical director of the recently initiated cardiothoracic surgical partnership established between Navicent Health in Macon and Emory Healthcare, Omar Oattouf, MD, PhD, will work closely with Navicent Health's current CT surgical team, who have provided a combined 35 plus years of clinical care to patients in central Georgia. Dr. Lattouf recently trained Navicent Health physicians on the new minimally invasive Convergent procedure to treat patients suffering from longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation.
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Chris Larsen and Ravi Rajani Receive Synergy Awards
Transplant surgeon-scientist Christian Larsen, MD, DPhil, and vascular surgeon-scientist Ravi Rajani, MD, were among the faculty selected to receive funding in the third cycle of Synergy Awards. The awards support collaborative projects among faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Winship Cancer Institute, and all other units in the WHSC, and are funded from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs.
Descriptions of the Studies

CSAT Physician-Patient Lung Cancer App Receives Design Award

The prototype version of Lung Cancer Preoperative Planning, which is on track to be the next commercially available surgical education app for mobile devices by the Emory Carlos and Davis Center for Surgical Anatomy and Technique (CSAT), received an award in the category of interactive media at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of Medical Illustrators.
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New Faculty: Stephanie Drew, DMD
Dr. Drew is an associate professor of surgery in the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Prior to joining Emory, she was a senior partner at the New York Center for Orthognathic and Maxillofacial Surgery for 23 years, served as an attending physician at Stony Brook University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and was a clinical assistant professor at Hofstra Medical School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is president-elect of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (ACOMS), founding chair of the Elaine Stuebner Scholarship for Women through ACOMS, and was a board member of the New York State Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons for over seven years. Her clinical specialties include the use of orthognathic surgery and distraction osteogenesis to treat skeletal facial deformations.
Dr. Drew's Faculty Profile
Sharon Muret-Wagstaff Named an SSH Academy Fellow
Sharon Muret-Wagstaff, PhD, MPA, will be officially inducted into the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Academy at the January 2018 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare in Los Angeles. The SSH is considered the leading academic simulation organization in the U.S., and has a strong international presence. The vision of the SSH Academy is to assemble a community of recognized experts and thought leaders who will contribute to the global advancement and transformation of simulation in healthcare. "I'm grateful for this type of recognition of my local and national work in simulation," says Dr. Muret-Wagstaff. "My greatest hope continues to be that the work will ultimately contribute to making a difference in quality, performance, and outcomes for patients here at Emory."
Dr. Muret-Wagstaff's Faculty Profile

Carla Haack Provides Medical Care on Volunteer Trip to Puerto Rico

Photo: Dr. Haack, far right, with the Puerto Rico mission team on their return flight to Florida.

Emory general and GI surgeon Carla Haack, MD, is naturally drawn to helping those who don't have easy access to clinical and surgical care (she was named a Grady Memorial Hospital Healthcare Hero by the Grady Health Foundation when she was an Emory chief resident, and has made several trips to Haiti with the Emory Haiti Alliance to provide free surgical care since she joined our faculty), but she also had a personal connection to journeying to Puerto Rico following the recent hurricane that devastated the island: many members of her family still live there.

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Faculty Recognitions Week

Above: Scenes from the Celebration of Faculty Excellence held in Cox Hall, Oct. 18, 2017

The week of October 16, 2017 was Faculty Recognitions Week in the Emory University School of Medicine. The Department of Surgery was well represented in this celebration of faculty accomplishments and excellence in patient care, research, and education.

The following senior promotions were recognized:


Gary Bouloux, DDS, MD, MDSc, Edward Chen, MD, and Nicole Turgeon, MD.

Associate Professor:

Shelly Abramowicz, DMD, MPH, Kenneth Cardona, MD, Yazan Duwayri, MD, Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH, Allan Pickens, MD, and Virginia Shaffer, MD.

Ravi Rajani, MD, received a 2017 Dean's Teaching Award. Recipients are nominated by colleagues and students and chosen by the Teaching Awards Committee for their dedication to medical student teaching and their many contributions as course directors and mentors. Dr. Rajani was one of eight faculty given this award from over 20 eligible candidates. In addition to being the chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, Dr. Rajani is the associate program director for the general surgery residency, primarily overseeing surgical education at Grady. Under his direction, the vascular surgery service at Grady trains residents from both Emory University and the Morehouse schools of medicine, and includes trainees from vascular surgery, general surgery, interventional radiology, and trauma surgery.

I. Raul Badell, MD, received the 2017 Emory 1% Award, which recognizes investigators whose NIH grant proposals have received study section review scores in the top one percentile. Dr. Badell's study will investigate the mechanisms of donor-specific antigen (DSA) formation following kidney transplantation.

Juvonda Hodge, MD, Walt Ingram, MD, and Rachael Williams, MD, were recognized as representatives of the Burn Unit for the service's excellent Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores for Calendar Year to Date 2017 (Q1-Q3).

Robert Guyton, MD, and Neal Iwakoshi, PhD, were inducted into Emory's Millipub Club, which recognizes current Emory faculty who have published one or more individual papers throughout their careers that have each garnered more than 1,000 citations. Such papers are commonly considered "citation classics" and represent high impact scholarship.

Edward Chen, MD, David Kooby, MD, and Bradley Leshnower, MD, were named Woodruff Leadership Academy Fellows for 2018. They and the WLA's additional 2018 fellows were chosen via a rigorous selection process from nominees throughout the health sciences. The WLA combines a program of classroom sessions, off-site team projects, and weekend retreats to motivate professionals and managers within the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center to develop, exercise, and strengthen individual leadership potential.

Bryan Morse, MD, was recognized as a Hidden Gem. These faculty members are nominated by their departments in recognition of their outstanding, but often unnoticed or unrecognized, contributions to Emory or beyond. In the words of John Sweeney, MD, Emory Surgery Department Chair:

"As chief of the Emory General Surgery B Service at Grady, Dr. Morse has contributed greatly to the hospital's Acute Care Surgery Service. His skills in the operating room are such that he has become known as the go-to surgeon for minimally invasive procedures. As a clinical facilitator, he has been a major bridge builder during the process of merging the Emory and Morehouse trauma services. And His diligence as Associate Trauma Medical Director during the recent American College of Surgeons Level I trauma center verification visit was a notable contributor to the Grady service receiving verification."

Visit the Faculty Recognitions Week Website
Distinguished Organizational Appointments for Shishir Maithel

Emory surgical onologist Shishir Maithel, MD, was elected to the Surgical Biology Club II (SBCII), which was founded in 1959 by a group of esteemed surgeon-scientists to present work in progress. SBCII members share the common goal of advancing research to address surgical problems.

Dr. Maithel's appointment to the Executive Committee of the International Cholangiocarcinoma Research Network will allow him to oversee the global collaborations of renowned research groups that are working to improve knowledge about cholangiocarcinoma.

As the newly elected chair of the GI Surgery Working Group of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group and the American College of Radiology Imaging Network Cancer Research Group, Dr. Maithel will evaluate the production of forward-looking clinical trials that focus on biomarker-driven cancer investigations.

The NCI Gastrointestinal Steering Committee addresses the design, prioritization, and examination of concepts for Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. Now a member of the committee's Hepatobiliary Task Force, Dr. Maithel will review concepts and make recommendations for clinical trial planning meetings.
Dr. Maithel's Faculty Profile
Kenneth Cardona Appointed Chair of the NLMSF Medical Advisory Council

The National Leiomyosarcoma Foundation is committed to the support and education of patients with leiomyosarcoma and their families. It also raises funds to support research that will advance the understanding and treatment of the disease, and works to establish collaborative alliances with other cancer treatment/research organizations.

As chair of the NLMSF Medical Advisory Council, a group generally regarded as containing several of the finest researchers and clinicians in the field of sarcoma, Kenneth Cardona, MD, will primarily lead the review of research proposals submitted to the foundation, and inform the foundation of new research and treatment developments for dissemination to patients.

Dr. Cardona specializes in the management of complex gastrointestinal malignancies (such as stomach, pancreas, and liver cancers) and is an expert in the treatment of sarcomas. As a leader and active member of both the Gastrointestinal Oncology and Sarcoma Workgroups at Emory University Hospital Midtown, he collaborates with medical and radiation oncologists, gastroenterologists, and interventional radiologists to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient.
Dr. Cardona's Faculty Profile

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2017 Emory Surgery Faculty Publications

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