News

Dr. Sheridan is editor of article on thoracotomy on eMedicine site

Brett Sheridan, MD, was chief editor of an article, "Emergency bedside thoracotomy," on eMedicine from WebMD (Medscape). The article is available here.

Dr. Sheridan is a cardiac surgeon at UNC and is associate professor of surgery in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is director of Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac Transplantation at UNC Hospitals. He has been chief editor of Cardiology Journal on eMedicine.com since 2007.

Dr. Joseph and Dr. Kiser publish chapters on cardiac surgery

Mark Joseph, MD, a fellow in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Andy C. Kiser, MD, a professor of surgery and chief of the division, are authors of two chapters in the recently published TSRA Clinical Scenarios in Cardiothoracic Surgery. Their chapters are "Cardiac Trauma" and "Management of the Porcelain Aorta."

The TRSA Clinical Scenarios are published by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Chicago. They are available here.

EMS World features Dr. Egan's lung transplant research

An article in EMS World, an online publication for EMS workers, features the lung transplant research of Thomas M. Egan, M.D., of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Egan has studied the use of lungs for transplant from people who have died outside the hospital of sudden cardiac arrest.  In a recent project, Dr. Egan worked with Wake County, NC, Emergency Medical Services to identify and help expedite the transport of cardiac arrest victims whose lungs could be evaluated by Dr. Egan's research team. Dr. Egan gave training to Wake County EMS crews on criteria for potential lung donors.

Read the article here.

Dr. Haithcock honored as "Friend of Nursing" at UNC Hospitals

Dr. Haithcock honored as "Friend of Nursing" at UNC Hospitals
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Benjamin E. Haithcock, M.D.

Benjamin Haithcock, M.D., was honored May 10 as a "Friend of Nursing" at UNC Hospitals in a ceremony marking the 2013 Nursing Staff Recognition Week.

Dr. Haithcock is a thoracic surgeon and is surgical director of UNC Hospitals' Lung Transplant Program and a physician in the UNC Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Program, which treats patients with lung cancer and other chest cancers. He is assistant professor of surgery in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and has a joint appointment as assistant professor of anesthesiology at UNC.

At the ceremony, Dr. Haithcock was praised as "an exceptional surgeon providing excellent patient care."

"He serves as an outstanding role model for physicians and nurses, is always respectful of his colleagues and is a nurse advocate," his award citation stated. "The nursing staff’s relationship with Dr. Haithcock is the ideal physician-nurse alliance, exemplified by his willingness to collaborate and plan the care of his patients with all members of the interprofessional team."

Dr. Haithcock joined the UNC faculty in July 2007 after completing his cardiothoracic surgery residency at UNC. He received his M.D. from Michigan State University in 1998 and completed a General Surgery residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 2004.  He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan.

His clinical interests include thoracic oncology, including cancer of the lung and esophagus; heart and lung transplantation; end-stage lung disease; and minimally-invasive thoracic surgery.

At UNC, Dr. Haithcock is an active researcher and teacher. He has served as a member of UNC Hospitals’ Ethics Committee. He has been an investigator in a Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) trial of lobectomy vs. sublobar resection for small peripheral non-small cell lung cancer. He also has been a co-investigator with Thomas M. Egan, MD, on several lung transplant studies, including an NIH grant for study of ex-vivo (outside the body) perfusion and ventilation of lungs to assess transplant suitability.

Dr. Feins receives alumni award from University of Vermont

Douglas Losordo, M.D., from left, Halleh Akbarnia, M.D., Jack Murray, M.D., Edward Havranek, M.D., Joyce Dobbertin, M.D., Richard Feins, M.D., Omar Khan, M.D.Richard H. Feins, M.D., professor of surgery in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is one of three 2013 winners of the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award at the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

The award, recognizing outstanding scientific or academic achievement, was presented May 31, 2013, during the medical school's alumni reunion.

(In the photo above, University of Vermont College of Medicine alumni award winners are, left to right: Douglas Losordo, M.D., Halleh Akbarnia, M.D., Jack Murray, M.D., Edward Havranek, M.D., Joyce Dobbertin, M.D., Richard Feins, M.D., Omar Khan, M.D.)

Dr. Feins, a 1973 graduate of the University of Vermont medical school, trained in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he served on the faculty until 2005. He then joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a thoracic surgeon and professor of surgery.

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Betsy Sussman, M.D., left, Richard Feins, M.D., Dean Rick Morin, M.D. Reunion 2013.

Dr. Feins, center, with Betsy Sussman, M.D., a radiologist at the University of Vermont medical school, and Rick Morin, M.D., dean of the school.

 

Dr. Feins has been a national leader in education of future thoracic surgeons and in simulation-based training for surgery residents. He is principal investigator of a three-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (Improved patient safety by simulator based training in cardiac surgery) that is studying whether use of surgery simulators improves training of cardiothoracic surgery residents and leads to better patient safety. Seven other institutions (Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mayo Clinic, University of Rochester, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Washington) are participating in the study along with UNC. The study is now in its third year.

Dr. Feins has served as a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and as its chair from 2007 to 2009. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Joint Council for Surgical Education, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, and the General Thoracic Surgery Club.

He is co-director of the national Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident Boot Camp, held in Chapel Hill each summer to train incoming cardiothoracic surgery residents.

Five abstracts from division are presented at ISHLT

Poster 1Faculty, resident physicians and staff of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery are authors on five abstracts that were presented in poster sessions at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation meeting, April 24-26, 2013, in Montréal.

Four faculty members, Thomas Egan, Andy Kiser, Brett Sheridan and William Stansfield, two residents, Staci Beamer and Kristen Sell, and Egan lab members John Blackwell and Lolita Forrest are among the authors. Boming Dong, former research associate in the Egan lab, and William Simmons, former research coordinator for the Egan lab, are also authors.

Four of the posters are on display in the lobby on the third floor of Burnett-Womack Building.

The abstracts:

Egan TM, Dong B, Tikunov A, Semelka C, Kuan P-F, Macdonald J. Metabolomic profile of rat lung tissue after death: Effect of delayed post-mortem O2-ventilation.

Poster 2Egan TM, Dong B, Tikunov A, Semelka C, Blackwell J, Simmons W, Kuan P-F, Macdonald J. Effect of ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) on metabolomics profile of human lungs.

Venkataraman A, Blackwell J, Simmons W, Beamer S, Forrest L, Randell S, Egan T. Beware cold agglutinins in organ donors: Ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) of lungs from a Category 1 non-heart-beating donor (NHBD) with a cold agglutinin.

Sell KA, Sheridan BC, Kiser AC, Bowen A, Katz JN, Stansfield WE. Heartmate II inflow cannula position on chest x-ray predicts inotrope dependence.

Alhosaini H, Katz JN, Jensen BC, Stansfield W, Sheridan BC, Chang PP. A novel link between G6PD deficiency and hemolysis events in patients supported with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices.

Poster 3Poster 4

Lecture by Dr. Cox on May 1 is cancelled

Lecture by Dr. Cox on May 1 is cancelled
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James L. Cox, M.D.

Dr. James L. Cox will be unable to present Surgery Grand Rounds on May 1; his travel has recently been limited and he will not be able to come to Chapel Hill.

The UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery hopes to reschedule Dr. Cox's visit at a later date.

Dr. Cox, a cardiac surgeon and emeritus chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Washington University, is best known for developing the Maze Procedure to treat atrial fibrillation.

UNC Health Care completes merger with High Point Regional

UNC Health Care and High Point Regional Health System have completed a merger. Read more here. The UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is affiliating with a cardiac surgery practice in High Point; more information will be available later.

Rex Healthcare to move ahead with new heart hospital in Raleigh

Rex Healthcare, owned by UNC Health Care, will move forward with building a new heart and stroke hospital in Raleigh. Read more here.

Dr. Kiser and Dr. Mounsey present McAllister Lecture

Dr. Kiser and Dr. Mounsey present McAllister Lecture
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Dr. Kiser speaks about the Convergent Procedure

Andy Kiser, M.D., and Paul Mounsey, M.D., gave the 2013 McAllister Heart Lecture on Feb. 12 at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. The lecture series, about innovations in heart care, is supported by an endowment created by Hugh A. McAllister, M.D., a distinguished cardiac pathologist and UNC medical school alumnus.  Dr. McAllister's endowment supports the McAllister Heart Institute and cardiovascular research at UNC.

The title of the talk by Dr. Kiser and Dr. Mounsey was "The Convergent Procedure Collaborative: A Successful Collaboration of Cardiac Surgery and Electrophysiology."  Dr. Kiser and Dr. Mounsey offer the Convergent Procedure at UNC - it combines the skills of a surgeon and a cardiologist/electrophysiologist to treat atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. A question and answer session followed the talks.  More than 100 people attended, including Dr. McAllister.

Drs. Feins, Haithcock and Mill named to U.S. News' "Top Doctors" list

Three physicians from the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery were named to U.S. News and World Report's "Top Doctors" list in 2012.

Richard H. Feins, Michael R. Mill and Benjamin E. Haithcock were named to the list. The physicians in the "Top Doctors" list are considered to be among the top 10% of doctors in their regions. Dr. Feins and Dr. Mill were also listed as among the top 1% in the nation in their specialties.

The list is based on ratings of doctors by Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd., publisher of "America's Top Doctors." Castle Connolly bases its ratings on nominations submitted by doctors and reviewed by a physician-led research team.

Drs. Egan, Feins and Mill are on the "Best Doctors" list for 2012-2013

Three physicians from the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery are included in the most recent update of The Best Doctors in America® database.

The doctors are Thomas M. Egan, Richard H. Feins, and Michael R. Mill. Dr. Egan and Dr. Feins are thoracic surgeons. Dr. Mill is a cardiac surgeon who specializes in congenital cardiac surgery; he is listed under both Thoracic Surgery and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery in the Best Doctors database.

About 5 percent of physicians in the United States are included in the Best Doctors database; the doctors on the list are chosen through a peer review process.

Project TICKER finds ways to improve clinical care of pediatric cardiac patients at UNC

 

Project TICKER (Teamwork to Improve Cardiac Kids' End Results) has been underway at N.C. Children's Hospital for two years - it uses teamwork training and integrated clinical pathways (ICPs) to decrease unnecessary variations in clinical care. Clinical pathways have been shown to decrease length of stay in the hospital and lead to better outcomes, especially for surgical populations such as pediatric congenital heart surgery patients.

The project, funded by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) (award number R18 HS019638) recently received a no-cost extension to continue many of its activities. The principal investigator is Tina Schade Willis, MD; Michael R. Mill, MD, and Karla Brown, RN, MSN, PNP, of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, are investigators on the project.

Look at Project TICKER's quality and safety toolkit here.

Read Project TICKER's November 2012 newsletter here and read more about the project here.

Tammy Allred, RN, wins UNC oncology nursing excellence award

Tammy Allred, RN, wins UNC oncology nursing excellence award
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Tammy Allred, RN, with her award. (Lineberger Center photo)

Tammy Allred, nurse navigator for UNC's lung cancer patients, received a 2012 Oncology Nursing Excellence Award on Nov. 12 at UNC's Lineberger Cancer Research Center. The award is given "in recognition of unwavering compassion and caring for the patients of UNC Cancer Care."

Allred also was recognized by the Lungevity Foundation as best healthcare provider for the month of November.  The Lungevity Foundation funds scientific research to find lung cancer early and treat it more effectively; the foundation also provides support for those affected by the disease.

Allred is known to her colleagues as a hard-working and very caring nurse who always goes the extra mile for her patients and their families. She regularly makes presentations about lung cancer care and treatment to national and regional oncology organizations and she is very active with the North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership.

For the UNC Oncology Nursing Excellence Award, one nominator wrote: “Tammy gives her all in whatever she does. She is the type of nurse and person you want to care for you when you are sick.”

Another nominator wrote: “She dedicates many volunteer hours to the North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership that works to educate and de-stigmatize lung cancer and also support research in lung cancer.“

Winners of the Nursing Excellence Awards receive a $1500 stipend for professional education activities. The Oncology Nursing Excellence Award is presented in memory of Charmayne S. Gray, an outstanding oncology nurse who died in an auto accident in 2002.

Read more here.

Thoracic surgeons from the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery - Dr. Benjamin Haithcock, Dr. Nirmal Veeramachaneni, and Dr. Richard Feins - are part of the UNC team that cares for patients who have lung cancer or other chest cancers.

UNC Hospitals receives national recognition from American College of Surgeons

This recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for excellent performance in five areas of care of surgical patients.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) has recognized UNC Hospitals as one of 28 ACS NSQIP participating hospitals in the United States that have achieved exemplary outcomes for surgical patient care.  As a participant in ACS NSQIP, the hospital is required to track the outcomes of inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures and collect data that directs patient safety and the quality of surgical care improvements.

The ACS NSQIP recognition program commends a select group of hospitals for achieving exemplary outcome performances related to patient management in five clinical areas:  DVT (deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism); cardiac incidents (cardiac arrest and myocardial infarction); Respiratory (Pneumonia); SSI (surgical site infections-superficial and deep incisional and organ-space SSIs); or urinary tract infection.  The 28 hospitals commended achieved the distinction of attaining exemplary results in two or more of the five areas listed above.  Risk-adjusted data from the July 2012 ACS NSQIP Semiannual Report were used to determine which hospitals demonstrated exemplary outcomes.       

ACS NSQIP is the only nationally validated quality improvement program that measures and enhances the care of surgical patients. The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and to improve the care of the surgical patient.

Read more here in a story by Tom Hughes of UNC Health Care.

Shamelah Williams will sing in "Promise Idol" competition at NC Children's Hospital

Shamelah Williams, medical support assistant in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, has been selected as a semi-finalist in the UNC Hospitals and School of Medicine's "Promise Idol."

Ms. Williams, who will sing at the Idol event, is new-patient coordinator for thoracic (lung and chest) surgery patients at UNC.

Williams into Semi-Finals of Promise Idol

Shamelah Williams

The Promise Idol is an annual affair that offers UNC Health Care and School of Medicine employees, volunteers and residents a chance to take the stage and share their talents. The competition will be held during the 2012 N.C. Children's Promise Radio/Telethon on Thursday, Nov. 15, in the lobby of N.C. Children's Hospital. The annual radio/telethon raises funds for the Children's Hospital.

The grand prize will be a $100 gift card to the Streets at Southpoint in Durham and the title of Promise Idol.

 

Williams into Semi-Finals of Promise Idol

Shamelah Williams

The Promise Idol is an annual affair that offers UNC Health Care and School of Medicine employees, volunteers and residents a chance to take the stage and share their talents. The competition will be held during the 2012 N.C. Children's Promise Radio/Telethon on Thursday, Nov. 15, in the lobby of N.C. Children's Hospital. The annual radio/telethon raises funds for the Children's Hospital.

The grand prize will be a $100 gift card to the Streets at Southpoint in Durham and the title of Promise Idol.

 

Interviewing his heart surgeon, Bill Friday used his own experience to educate others

Interviewing his heart surgeon, Bill Friday used his own experience to educate others
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Bill Friday interviewed Brett Sheridan, M.D., right, on "North Carolina People" in 2009; a couple of months earlier, Sheridan had replaced Friday's aortic valve.

Longtime University of North Carolina President Bill Friday, who died Oct. 12, was a friend of health care at UNC.  In 2009, he used his own medical experiences at UNC to educate others.

In February 2009, President Friday had surgery at UNC Hospitals to replace his aortic valve. After his recovery, he returned to “North Carolina People,” the weekly UNC-TV interview show that he hosted for 41 years.

With his characteristic curiosity and enthusiasm, President Friday made his heart surgery a discussion topic on his TV show, inviting his surgeon, Brett Sheridan, M.D., to be a guest on the show.

Dr. Sheridan, director of adult cardiac surgery at UNC Hospitals, talked about treatment of heart problems and explained President Friday’s valve surgery. (In another broadcast, President Friday interviewed cardiologist Beth Rosenberg, M.D., of Chapel Hill Internal Medicine.)

"President Friday dealt with his aortic valve disease with the same curiosity, determination and character that he demonstrated time and time again in his excellent leadership of the UNC system," Dr. Sheridan said this week.

Dr. Sheridan enjoyed having President Friday as a patient. "We were all a little better for having been around him. We'll miss him dearly," he said.

To watch President Friday’s April 2009 interview with Dr. Sheridan, click here. You will need Flash player to view the video.

(Images and web link used by permission of UNC-TV.)

"Very rewarding": UNC pediatric heart surgery patients gather for a reunion

"Very rewarding": UNC pediatric heart surgery patients gather for a reunion
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Michael R. Mill, M.D., UNC pediatric cardiac surgeon, talks to a patient and his mother at the Healthy Hearts Reunion. (Photo by the Herald-Sun)

UNC pediatric heart surgery patients and their families gathered on Saturday, Sept. 15, for the annual Healthy Hearts Reunion.  The event features games, carnival activities and food, and is a chance for children who have had heart surgery at N.C. Children's Hospital to come back to visit with medical staff and other patients and their families. This year's reunion was held at the Trinity School in Durham.

Physicians, nurses and other medical staff who cared for the children in the hospital were delighted to see them running and playing at the reunion.

“This is very, very rewarding, very fulfilling,” Michael R. Mill, M.D., UNC pediatric cardiac surgeon, told the (Durham) Herald-Sun. "It’s great to see them in an active environment, outside the hospital environment.”

Read more here, in a Herald-Sun story by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan.

For more information about pediatric heart surgery at UNC, click here.

Photos of the event are at the North Carolina Children's Hospital page on Facebook.

 

 

"The future of surgery training": At boot camp, residents learn thoracic surgery with simulators

Resident physicians learn from a faculty member at the TSDA boot camp.About 40 first-year thoracic surgery resident physicians Bronchoscopefrom around the United States learned heart and lung surgery skills at a "boot camp" last week at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Much of the training was on simulators, which use pig hearts and lungs with mechanical circulation and ventilation. The simulators provide a lifelike setting for the residents to practice basic skills before they begin their training at their hospitals. Residents learn routine thoracic surgery techniques and how to deal with emergencies during surgery.

The boot camp, held July 27-29 at UNC's Friday Center, is sponsored by the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA).  Richard Feins, M.D., of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, was a director of the camp. About 30 surgeons from other universities came to UNC to assist with the training.

Reporter Cliff Bellamy of The Herald-Sun wrote about the training in an article published Sunday, July 29, 2012. Read the Herald-Sun story here.

Use of simulators is an efficient and safe way to teach surgical skills. “We really believe this is the future of surgery training,” Feins told the Herald-Sun.

Watch a WRAL video about the training here.

Dr. Feins is principal investigator of an eight-institution study of simulator training for resident physicians as a way to improve patient safety. The study is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Read more about the surgery simulation training at UNC  here, in an article published in UNC's research magazine, Endeavors.

Dr. Stansfield joins UNC Cardiothoracic Surgery

Dr. Stansfield joins UNC Cardiothoracic Surgery
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William E. Stansfield, M.D.

William E. Stansfield, M.D., joined the UNC faculty on July 1 as assistant professor of surgery in the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Stansfield, who specializes in heart surgery for adults, practices as a cardiothoracic surgeon at UNC Hospitals.

Dr. Stansfield earned an M.D. from the medical school at McGill University in Montreal in 2002. He completed a General Surgery residency at UNC in 2009 and his Cardiothoracic Surgery residency at UNC in June 2012. He was a research fellow in the UNC Department of Surgery from 2005 to 2007, studying molecular mechanisms of left ventricular hypertrophy regression and myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.

Dr. Stansfield’s surgical interests are advanced therapy for heart failure, heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, aortic surgery, surgical treatment for aortic valve disease and mitral valve disease, and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). His research interests include heart failure, cardiac remodeling and structural heart disease.