Volume 64 | March 2024

Surgical Notes

A Newsletter from the VCU Department of Surgery

CHoR Ranked #1 in Getting Patients to OR

Pediatric Urology was nationally recognized for their care of children with testicular torsion, ranking #1 for lowest times in both presentation to and diagnosis to the operating room.

Furthermore, this already impressive work has been done almost absent or narcotics, 3% versus the national average of 24%.

Congratulations to our incredible team for their hard work!

Burn Awareness Week Interview

As part of Burn Awareness Week, Dr. Michael Feldman was interviewed for the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s “Patients Come First” podcast. Thank you, Dr. Feldman, for this meaningful outreach effort!

Click here to listen...

IVPP's Project IMPACT Shows Teens Impact of Distracted Driving

VCU Health's Project IMPACT, which stands for Impacting Minors Perceptions & Attitudes Concerning Trauma, and Stafford County's schools, Sheriff's Office and Fire and Rescue, shows teens the impact of distracted, impaired, and reckless driving.

Read full article...

Click here for more information on Project IMPACT

Faculty Member Wins Young Investigator Award

Dr. Adam Khader, MD, PhD, FACS, FSSO is the recipient of the VISN-6 Career Development Award and has been selected for the Society of Surgical Oncology Young Investigator Award. He also serves on the Peritoneal Surface Malignancy Disease Site Working Group of the Society of Surgical Oncology. At the Richmond Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Dr. Khader is dedicated to combining his significant basic research with clinical expertise to significantly improve outcomes for cancer patients, with a special emphasis on bridging the gap between scientific discovery and patient care in oncology.

Currently, Dr. Khader leads innovative research on gastrointestinal metastases to the peritoneum, focusing on developing novel therapies to address unmet clinical needs. With a robust expertise in molecular medicine, inflammation, and acute injury and repair mechanisms, Dr. Khader’s current research interests are at the pioneering intersection of coagulation, wound healing/injury repair mechanisms, and cancer. This focus includes investigating the role of FXIII in colorectal cancer peritoneal metastasis, linking his prior expertise in acute injury and repair mechanisms with the complex dynamics of cancer progression.

Lectureship Honors Enduring Impact of Pioneering Female Surgeon

A new lectureship in the Department of Surgery will be named in honor of Dr. Erika Blanton, M.D., H'71, F'73. A pioneering surgeon and one of VCU's first female OB-GYN residents, Blanton helped change the face of women's health in Richmond over her 50-year career.

When Dr. Erika M. Blanton arrived in the United States in 1966, she had no way to predict that her personal story would come to reflect a transformative half-century for women in medicine.

Blanton left her home country of Germany eager to pursue a specialty in women’s health, only to encounter an American culture still steeped in gender barriers, especially in the field of medicine. She persisted in her quest and, in part due to voids in obstetrics staffing, made history as one of the first females in the VCU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program.

Read full article...

Residents in group photo form left to right with Dr. Blanton in the middle:

Dr. Karalyn Hillebrecht (Critical Care Fellow), Dr. Arunima Punjala, Dr. Christine Dart, Dr. Sally Boyd, Dr. Natalie Wall, ­­­­­­­Dr. Erika Blanton, Dr. Elizabeth Bashian, Dr. Lud Eyasu, Dr. Aurora Casillas Abundis, Dr. Diana Otoya, Dr. Liana Rizkalla

VCU Hosts 2nd Annual VCU/RVA Aortic Symposium

On March 8-9, 2024, VCU hosted its second annual aortic symposium. The two-day event was put together by Dr. Josue Chery, CT surgery and Dr. Daniel Newton, vascular surgery. We had the distinct honor of having Dr. Ourania Preventza, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, at University of Virginia as our keynote speaker. The conference was designed to achieve multiple objectives amongst the different medical specialties that take of patients with aortic aneurysms, dissections and other aortic diseases. We had an in-depth discussion on the genetics of aortic diseases, the diagnostic approach using our various imaging modalities, the medical treatment of aortic diseases (when appropriate) and finally surgical treatment of aortic diseases. 

We showcased the unique capabilities that we have here at VCU with multi-modal neuro-monitoring during complex aortic surgeries that has improved neurological outcomes with these surgeries. Lastly, we ended the symposium with breakout sessions to help our fellows, residents and advanced practice providers (APPs) hone in surgical skills in endovascular treatment of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysms and the open repair of aortic arch and aortic root enlargement.

Welcome to New Financial Reporting Specialist!

Please join us in welcoming Yvonne Jerry, who joined the Department of Surgery as a Financial Reporting Specialist.

Yvonne joins our team with many years of financial and accounting experience inside and outside of VCU Health System, and we are so fortunate to have her:


My name is Yvonne Jerry. I am currently one of the Financial Reporting Specialist for the VCU Health Systems department of Neurology. I have currently worked in this role for approximately 2 1/2 years and I enjoy the world of Finance and Accounting.

I started my career in banking while taking my accounting courses and things started to move quickly in the field. I started with Imperial Savings Bank now Household Savings Bank. My main responsibility was to reconcile the GL accounts. I then went on to work for Union Bank of California, where, I became the Operations Supervisor. I worked in this compacity for approximately 10 years.

As fate would have it, I met my husband who is now a retired MSGT from the U.S. Marines Corp. after 22 years of service. No worries, I used to this lifestyle as my dad was also retired from the Navy, so I knew what I was in for. While stationed at Camp Pendleton I continued to work for UBOC. We were then stationed in Colorado Springs, Co where I worked in the GAO for the City of Colorado Springs as an AP Coordinator. Later we were stationed in Yuma, AZ. there I worked at the Marine Corp Base Exchange. From there we were stationed back to California where I worked for UBOC again as an Operations supervisor. We then landed at Quantico Virginia USMC for retirement.

Upon arrival in Virginia, I worked for Cornerstone Properties REIT, now Apple Hospitality where I worked in the accounting office performing all aspects of accounting. I then worked for EG&G a government contractor and I worked in the accounting office on an IRS Personal Property contract. Moving forward I worked for Wachovia Bank where I was the Operations Manager. I worked there until the company merged with Wells Fargo. I moved on to work for Owens and Minor a Fortune 500 company as one of the AP Research Analyst. I worked there for approximately 7 years. I later had an opportunity to work again with then EG&G now AECOM, in the accounting office as a Financial Analyst where I worked on a personal property contract for 7 different government agencies. The company relocated further into Northern Virginia and I had an opportunity to work again with Owens and Minor. I went back and worked with O&M for another 2 years as an AP Research Analyst. I had the opportunity to work at VCU Health in the Neurology Department, Fiscal Reporting in the role of Financial Reporting Specialist in a temporary capacity and I was and later hired on as permanent employee in the same role.

I have totally enjoyed my journey however it is not over. I bring many years of knowledge and experience to the Surgery department. I enjoy meeting new people learning new things and I am always excited about the next chapter. Hello Surgery! Thank you so much for having me! I am looking forward to our journey together.

Team Member Wins National Award for Critical Care Nursing

In yet another example displaying undeniable proof of team member excellence, VCU Health’s Kwame Asante Akuamoah-Boateng, DNP, ACNP-BC, MSN, FCCM, was recently honored as the recipient of the 2024 Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence by the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM).

Kwame, a Lead Advance Practice Provider in the Division of Acute Care Surgical Services (ACSS) at VCU Medical Center, was recognized for demonstrating excellence in critical care clinical practice, education and administration.

He received the award during the American College of Critical Care Medicine Convocation/Society of Critical Care Medicine Awards Presentation on January 22 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence honors Norma J. Shoemaker, RN, MN, FCCM, the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s first executive director.

Read full article on VCU Health Intranet...

Urology Residency Program Re-accredited

"The Review Committee for Urology, functioning in accordance with the policies and procedures of the ACGME, has reviewed the information submitted regarding the VCUHS Urology Residency Program. Based on the information available to it at its recent meeting, the Review Committee accredited the program.

The Review Committee commends the program for its demonstrated substantial compliance with the Program Requirements"

Congratulations to the Division of Urology!

Dr. Sayuri P. Jinadasa Wins Rising Star Award from the

Sri Lanka Foundation International

Congratulations to Dr. Sayuri P. Jinadasa (ACSS) on winning the Rising Star Award from the Sri Lanka Foundation International!

We are awarding Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH, because of her contributions to the field of acute critical care and her impressive educational achievements. Her lengthy list of accomplishments at such an early stage in her career and her dedication to training the next generation of physicians is genuinely worthy of a Rising Star!

Sayuri P. Jinadasa, MD, MPH, was born in Rahway, New Jersey, where her parents lived after they came to the United States from Sri Lanka. At the young age of five, she had already decided to become a physician. Her impressive educational accomplishments include three Ivy League degrees. She began with an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Princeton University in New Jersey, she then got her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, and lastly, she earned her Master’s of Public Health at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Massachusetts.


Bariatric & GI Surgery News

Dr. Salluzzo Elected President of Virginia Bariatric Society

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Salluzzo, MD, FACS, FASMBS, on being elected President of the Virginia Bariatric Society (VBS)! Dr. Salluzzo, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Director of the Advanced GI/MIS, Bariatric and Foregut Fellowship at VCU, will also lead the upcoming VBS Annual Meeting at the Boar's Head Resort on August 9-10, 2024. https://virginiabariatricsociety.com/2024-annual-meeting

Dr. Campos will be inducted as Honorary Member of the Austrian Surgical Society and the Austrian Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Guilherme M. Campos, MD, PhD, FACS, FASMBS, Paul J. Nutter Professor of Surgery and Director of the Bariatric Surgery Program at VCU, is an invited Keynote speaker and will be inducted as a Honorary Member of the Austrian Surgical Society and the Austrian Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery during their joint Annual Meeting in Salzburg, Austria this coming June.


Dr. Campos Nominated to the Final Ballot for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Executive Council Position Election

Dr. Guilherme M. Campos has been nominated by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Nominating Committee for a final position for this year's ballot as a candidate on the ASMBS Executive Council.

Acute Care Surgical Services APPs Write Book Chapter

Kwame Asante Akuamoah-Boateng, DNP, ACNP-BC, FCCM, Collin Sprenker, PA-C, and Nicole Young, PA-C wrote a book chapter called “Guide to Effective, Culturally Sensitive, End-of-Life Discussions” in the book Current Concepts in Adult Critical Care Published by the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

View on the Society of Critical Care Medicine store...

Simulation Center Re-accredited as a Comprehensive Education Center

The Simulation Center was recently re-accredited by the ACS as a Comprehensive Education Center. This re-accreditation is good until December 2028. We are one of 95 Comprehensive Education Centers in the country and one of 4 in Virginia. Susan Haynes, the Surgical Simulation Administrator, put in countless hours on the application, highlighting many of the skills labs held for students, residents and faculty throughout the health system, University and region.

Other members of the team that worked on the accreditation application include:

  • Cathy Grossman, Director of the VCU Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety
  • Russell Ballance, Simulation Operations specialist
  • Elizabeth Frederickson-Trent, Division Administrator, Operations Manager, Simulation Center
  • Kristen Canipe, Simulation Educator
  • Michelle Dulak, Simulation Educator
  • Justin Fedoryk, Senior Supervisor, Simulation Technology
  • And many students and residents who met with the site surveyor for interviews

This is how the ACS describes the Accredited Educational Institution program:

"Launched by the ACS Division of Education in 2005, the ACS-AEI Program continues to set standards for simulation-based surgical education and training. Our goal is to promote patient safety by using simulation, to support the lifelong learning of surgeons, surgical trainees, and other healthcare professionals, to enhance access to contemporary surgical education, and to advance scholarship in simulation-based surgical education"

American Journal of Transplantation Article

VCU Surgery faculty contributed to an article, "Inflammatory and hypoxic stress-induced islet exosomes released during isolation are associated with poor transplant outcomes in islet autotransplantation" that was recently published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Contributing to the article were Drs. Prathab Balaji Saravanan, Mazhar Kanak, Marlon Levy, and Aamir Khan.

View on PubMed...

Match Day News

Congratulations to all of our incoming PGY-1 class for 2024 – 2025!

Incoming OMFS residents:

Congratulations to Drs. Christine Dart and Alex Simmonds who will serve as our Administrative and Education Chiefs for the General Surgery Residency Program next year (July 2024 – June 2025)!

Dr. Christine Dart

Dr. Alex Simmonds

Congratulations to our plastic surgery residents Dr. Brooks Kelly and Dr. Anthony Nye!

Dr. Kelly has matched into fellowship at North Texas Plastic Surgery. He will graduate from VCU in June 2025 prior to the fellowship.

Dr. Nye has been accepted into the Aesthetics Fellowship with the Prime Plastic Surgery Group at West End Plastic Surgery in Washington DC.

They both will graduate from VCU in June 2025 prior to the fellowship.

Dr. Brooks Kelly

Dr. Anthony Nye

Antoine Worrill

Program Coordinator

Pediatric Surgery

How long have you been with Surgery?

I was born in New Jersey, raised in Georgia, and recently relocated to Virginia. I started working at CHoR at VCU as a Program Coordinator with Pediatric Surgery in January 2024. I previously worked as a Patient Care Coordinator/Complex Surgery Scheduler with Cardiothoracic and Urologic surgery in Atlanta, GA from 2018 – 2023.

Describe your role in your own words.

My role as a Program Coordinator could be described as a box of chocolates, you never know what you may get, from complex surgery scheduling and coordinating the continuation of care there is always a learning experience to engage in. I’m a creative at heart, so any challenges I am faced with I understand comes with a solution. I am fortunate to work with a great team with Pediatric Surgery and together we use our expertise to assist our clinical team in transforming the lives of our VCU children and their families.

Most exciting and/or challenging part of your position? What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your job?

The most exciting part of my job is having the opportunity to witness the transformative power of healthcare, while learning and applying new processes and techniques. I get great satisfaction by being part of a team that restores health and brings hope to our patients and families for a happy and healthy future.


What do you do for fun outside of work?

Outside of work my hobbies include wardrobe/accessories designing, fashion styling, traveling, eating, shopping, and spending time with my best friends and brothers. I’m also an advocate for mental health awareness and overall self/spiritual well-being.

Save the Date

DoS Annual Research Day

April 18th, 2024

Location: Molecular Medicine Research Building (MMRB) Rooms 1-009-1011 and 1013

Time: 7:30 AM - 12:00PM

*Cocktail reception Wednesday 4/17, 4:30PM - 7:30PM Christine B. and David E. Cottrell Surgery Innovation Suite


Only Emergency Cases will be permitted on

April 18th, 2024.

Please do not schedule elective surgery on this date.

Residents are required to attend the presentations and faculty are expected to participate.

Named Lecture Series Schedule

Brooks-Lower Lecture – April 11, 2024

Gabor Bagameri, MD

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN


Theogaraj Lecture – June 13, 2024

Bruce A. Mast, MD, FACS

Associate Dean of Regional Programs

Maurice J. Jurkiewicz Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Vice Chair, Department of Surgery

University of Florida College of Medicine

Got Research?

VCU SOM Research Opportunities & News

Research Questions?

Please contact: Amanda Jabri

Have a story to tell? Contact Us

Department of Surgery | Virginia Commonwealth University | (804) 828-7874 surgweb@vcu.edu

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