Gastro-Hep Expands Its Services — and Garners Recognition for Clinical Excellence and Community Outreach

Have you been keeping up with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology‘s recent milestones? The division (“GI”) and its clinical arm, the UVA Digestive Health Center, has been expanding its clinical services and garnering awards for quality of care and community outreach.

Most recently, the division won a 2017 “SCOPY” award from the American College of Gastroenterology, accepted by GI’s Amy Doran, MD, on behalf of the division, in the category of “Best Coordinated Community Health Intervention” for its program “Reaching Every Corner of Virginia with Coordinated Public Health Effort.”


Nephrology Chief Mark Okusa Elected President of the American Society of Nephrology

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN), the world’s largest organization of kidney health professionals, elected Mark D. Okusa, MD, FASN, as the next ASN President. Dr. Okusa officially assumed his role as ASN president during the society’s annual meeting, ASN Kidney Week 2017 (held Oct. 31st-Nov. 4th in New Orleans), and begins his term on January 1, 2018.

Dr. Okusa is currently the John C. Buchanan Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, as well as chief of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine. He also serves as Director of the Center for Immunity, Inflammation, and Regenerative Medicine.


Endo’s Robert Carey Played Leading Role in New National Guidelines for Hypertension That Will Impact Millions

The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recently released revised national guidelines for hypertension that are likely to effect the way millions of patients are diagnosed and treated for the disease. UVA’s Robert Carey, MD, Professor Emeritus of Medicine in DOM’s Division of Endocrinology, served as vice chair of the joint AHA-ACC committee that developed the new guidelines.

The new guidelines were the subject of a front-page article in the New York Times, published the day the guidelines were released, which quotes Dr. Carey in exploring the likely impact of the revised definition for high blood pressure. “The numbers are scary,” said Dr. Carey. (“Under New Guidelines, Millions More Americans Will Need to Lower Blood Pressure,” Gina Kolata, p. A1, Nov. 13, 2017).


Three DOM Specialties Ranked in Top 50 Nationally by U.S. News & World Report

The 2017-18 U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospitals” guide rated UVA Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in Virginia, and honored 11 specialties at UVA — including five in the Department of Medicine — as among the best in the U.S. This is the second consecutive year UVA has topped the Virginia hospital list.

Of the six specialties ranked among the top 50 nationally, three are in (or, in the case of Cancer, linked to) the Department of Medicine:


Two in a Row: DOM Staffers Recognized With U-Team “Member of the Month” Awards

DOM staff members Margaret Kuhlman, a coordinator for the Internal Medicine Residency programand Sarah Creef-Bauger, Endocrinology’s Division Administrator, were selected as UTeam Members of the Month — an award program that recognizes outstanding service exemplifying a commitment to the UVA Health System’s “ASPIRE” values– in July and August, 2017, respectively.


National Awards for CV’s Heart Failure and Heart Attack Care Programs

The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and the UVA Heart and Vascular Center garnered recognition and awards this month for two of its programs.

For working to improve patients’ recovery times and reduce readmissions, the heart failure program received two quality awards from the American Heart Association.

And, for providing high-quality care to heart attack patients based on national guidelines and recommendations, UVA received a “Platinum Performance Achievement Award” from the American College of Cardiology.


Terry Bennett Receives UVA’s Highest Employee Award

Terry Bennett is the Department of Medicine’s GME Compliance Manager, a job that entails making sure that all of DOM’s education programs — including the largest residency program in the School of Medicine, and 19 subspecialty fellowship training programs — are in full compliance with a complicated array of rules and required tasks set by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medicine Education (ACGME). It is a demanding job — and one she does superbly well. In recognition of her service to the department, the School of Medicine, and the University, Terry was honored with a Leonard Sandridge Outstanding Contribution Award this spring, the highest honor a UVA staff member can receive.


James Scheiman, MD, to Join Gastroenterology as Division Chief

Dr. Mitch Rosner, chair of the Department of Medicine, recently announced that James Scheiman, MD, will be joining UVA in October as chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In an email sent to the department on June 15th, Dr. Rosner wrote:

I am pleased to report to you that Dr. James Scheiman from the University of Michigan has accepted the position of Division Chief for Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Scheiman is an accomplished clinician, clinical investigator and educator who will help lead the Division on its continued path to excellence in all of our missions. Dr. Scheiman will arrive in October 2017; please welcome him.


A Busy Spring for DOM’s WIMN

The Women in Internal Medicine Network (WIMN) group has had a busy spring, including a social event at Kardinal Hall and a Leadership series with talks on negotiation and communication by UVA experts. The group has also sponsored two informal get-togethers for undergraduate UVA women considering careers in medicine to network, to give them a chance to network with DOM faculty.


DOM Trainees Moss and Holland on “The Evolving Medical Complexity of the Modern Cardiac Intensive Care Unit”

Cardiovascular third-year fellow Travis Moss, MD, and second-year internal medicine resident Eric Holland, MD, published a paper in the April 25th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology that has important implications for how Cardiac Intensive Care Units are staffed and run.

Holland and Moss examined 1,042 admissions to UVA Hospital’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) over a 13-month period, performing multivariate statistical analyses to determine the association of acute noncardiovascular illnesses with outcomes such as length of stay, hospital readmission and mortality. They found that one-half of all cases were marked by physiological failure of noncardiac organs (particularly lungs and kidneys), the most common diagnoses being acute respiratory failure, acute kidney injury, and sepsis. They were key contributors to prolonged length of stay and higher mortality.

In an editorial accompanying the study, authors Dudzinski and Januzzi remark that the Holland-Moss study “confirms what is widely known: CICU patients are a vulnerable lot, with poor physiological and cardiac reserve, and numerous comorbidities, and thus are less able to tolerate critical illness.”