sutures newsletter

PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY July 2013 | Archived Issues

More Honors Come Our Way, and Greater Success Lies Within Our Reach

Message From the Chair

The beginning of this new academic year was heralded by the arrival of bright, freshly minted housestaff and new faculty and attendings. All are eager to engage in the principal activity of Cedars-Sinai – the superb care of a wide-ranging group of patients with the most challenging illnesses. The recent release of the U.S. News and World Report rankings of outstanding hospitals reaffirms our standing in the health care firmament.

» Read more

New in Surgical Oncology - Accreditation of Surgical Oncology Fellowship and Breast Fellowship, Introduction of Two Breast Surgical Oncology Fellows

The Division of Surgical Oncology is proud to announce the accreditation of two fellowships received this month, the Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship accredited by the Society of Surgical Oncology.

» Read more

Hometown Medical Mission Brings Surgical Care to Children From L.A. and Across the Globe

At first, it looked like any other day at the 310 Building, Cedars-Sinai's Outpatient Surgery Center on San Vicente Boulevard. It was business as usual, until you noticed the patients were all children, the surgeons were all volunteering, and the entire day of surgery was part of a charitable mission, a partnership between Cedars-Sinai and the medical nonprofit organization Mending Kids International.

» Read more

Incoming Residents Join Surgery Department

Ten new residents have begun their internships with the Department of Surgery. Cedars-Sinai's four general surgery residents are joined by the third incoming class of urology residents and the second incoming class of orthopedic residents. They were chosen from among 700 applicants in General Surgery, 450 In Orthopedic Surgery and 200 in Urology.

» See the names and photos of the new residents

Coren to Lead Pre-Procedure Services

Rachel Coren, MS, MPH, has been named manager of Cedars-Sinai Pre-Procedure Services within the OR/Anesthesia/Surgery Center service line. Coren will be responsible for the Anesthesia Pre-Procedure Evaluation Center in the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion and will work across the health system to improve patient, surgeon and referring physician procedural experiences.

» Read more

P&T Panel Changes Formulary; FDA Issues Warning About Olmesartan Medoxomil, Investigates Zyprexa Relprevv

Pharmacy Focus

June decisions by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee include several changes to the formulary. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy, and the agency is investigating two unexplained deaths in patients who received an intramuscular injection of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate).

» Read more

Achilles A. Demetriou, MD, PhD, Former Department of Surgery Chair, 1946-2013

Achilles A. Demetriou, MD, PhD, an internationally distinguished surgical scientist who spent nearly four decades investigating and treating liver disease, and who led Cedars-Sinai's Department of Surgery to national distinction, has died. He was 67.


 

» Read more

Danny Malaniak, Former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1930-2013

As a senior member of Cedars-Sinai's leadership team, Danny Malaniak was instrumental in the growth of its academic and research enterprises, earning the position of associate vice president for Academic Affairs. Malaniak died last week after a long-standing illness. As word of his passing spread through Cedars-Sinai, physicians, researchers, assistants and others recalled a leader who became the institution's administrative glue through much of the 1970s, '80s and early '90s, setting the stage for the modern-day health system.

» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees for June

The Circle of Friends program honored 179 people in June. Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

» Read more

More Honors Come Our Way, and Greater Success Lies Within Our Reach

Message From the Chair

The beginning of this new academic year was heralded by the arrival of bright, freshly minted housestaff and new faculty and attendings. All are eager to engage in the principal activity of Cedars-Sinai – the superb care of a wide-ranging group of patients with the most challenging illnesses.

The recent release of the U.S. News & World Report rankings of outstanding hospitals reaffirms our standing in the health care firmament. Cedars-Sinai once again was included in the Honor Roll, named No. 13 of the top 18 facilities in the country. In particular, the surgical specialties and related medical colleagues were well represented; gastroenterology and GI surgery were ranked No. 5 in the country while our cardiology and heart surgery, orthopedics and urology programs were all in the top 10 nationally. Notably, Cedars-Sinai was the only hospital not primarily configured as a medical school in the list of top hospitals.

"To those given much, much is expected." It will be up to us to continue to excel at those extras that distinguish us as a leader in academic medicine. First and foremost, we must never forget that our reputation for superb care and caring is earned every day in each individual patient. There is no room to back off, even a little, as expectations are high.

U.S. News Rankings

In addition to being named to the national Honor Roll (No. 13 among all U.S. hospitals), here are Cedars-Sinai's specialty rankings:

Cancer (No. 26)
Cardiology and Heart Surgery (No. 9)
Diabetes and Endocrinology (No. 14)
Ear, Nose and Throat (No. 29)
Gastroenterology and GI Surgery (No. 5)
Geriatrics (No. 23)
Gynecology (No. 12)
Nephrology (No. 22)
Neurology and Neurosurgery (No. 14)
Orthopedics (No. 9)
Pulmonology (No. 20)
Urology (No. 10)

As well, we need to nurture our national reputation for postgraduate medical education which has been particularly strengthened in the surgical disciplines. Our general surgery residency is now one of the most competitive in the country with more than 750 applications for our four categorical slots. Although created in just the last few years, the cardiothoracic, urology and orthopedic residencies have attracted a remarkable cadre of highly prized recruits. It is our responsibility to make the educational experience at Cedars-Sinai live up to our promises and their expectations. It is also our challenge to find the funds to maintain academic opportunities for these future leaders.

Finally, the biggest change in Cedars-Sinai surgery over the last decade has been the quality and volume of academic output. Fueled by a sustained growth in federal research funding (now more than $4.5 million annually) and the rich clinical experience contributed by all of our practicing physicians, contributions from Cedars-Sinai surgery are a mainstay of the programs of every major regional and national surgical meeting. A large number of widely cited publications appear in every specialty journal. As just one example, over the last four years, the surgical trauma critical care team has averaged more than 15 national publications per year.

These academic achievements synergize with our long-standing reputation for the finest clinical care and help make Cedars-Sinai a balanced and stable organization. It is fine to take pride in our success to date. We must not forget that even greater accomplishments are waiting for us as long as we maintain the spirit of collegiality we all enjoy and honor our commitment to excellence in everything we do.

Bruce L. Gewertz, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief
H and S Nichols Endowed Chair in Surgery
Chair, Department of Surgery
Vice President, Interventional Services
Vice Dean, Academic Affairs

New in Surgical Oncology - Accreditation of Surgical Oncology Fellowship and Breast Fellowship, Introduction of Two Breast Surgical Oncology Fellows

The Division of Surgical Oncology is proud to announce the accreditation of two fellowships received this month, the Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship accredited by the Society of Surgical Oncology.

The Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship will train one board-eligible surgeon per year over two years beginning in July 2014 in the field of surgical oncology with dedicated rotations in general surgical oncology, breast, head and neck, bone and soft tissue sarcoma, thoracic, hepatobiliary surgery, gynecologic oncology, interventional radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, and research. Accreditation by the ACGME is a rigorous and competitive process, and our accreditation is one among only 16 other programs approved by the ACGME in the United States.

The Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship will train board-eligible surgeons in breast surgery with emphasis on the multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment with dedicated rotations in surgery, medical oncology, pathology, radiation oncology, radiology, genetics, supportive care services and reconstructive surgery. The fellow will also be involved in clinical research. The Cedars-Sinai breast fellowship is one of nine new programs in the U.S. that received accreditation by the SSO this year.

Armando Giuliano, MD, program director of both fellowships, acknowledged the surgical oncology faculty for their hard work in these achievements. He and the program faculty look forward to the opportunity to train these young surgeons and hope that the Complex Surgical Oncology and Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowships will increase the Surgical Oncology program's visibility and continue to enhance its reputation in the surgical oncologic community.

The Division of Surgical Oncology is also pleased to introduce two new Breast Surgical Oncology fellows who have arrived this month, Maria Nelson, MD, and Sharon Noori, MD.

Nelson is a surgeon who is originally from South Dakota. She received her bachelor's degree in biology at Carleton College in Minnesota and received her MD from the University of South Dakota. She did her surgical training at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and has moved to Los Angeles with her husband and 1-year old daughter. She reports that her two most exciting experiences in the last year are the birth of her daughter and arrival at Cedars-Sinai for the breast fellowship.

Noori is a surgeon who graduated from Emory University, where she received a bachelor's degree in biology and Persian studies, as well as an MPH in global health. She received her MD at Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her surgery residency at Orlando Regional Medical Center. She is an avid exerciser. Her most exciting experiences in the last year included getting married, graduating from Surgery residency, and moving to Los Angeles in June.

We welcome these two physicians to our program and look forward to working with them.

Hometown Medical Mission Brings Surgical Care to Children From L.A. and Across the Globe

Jacob Rubio is wheeled out of the operating room after his surgery during the medical mission at the 310 Building.

At first, it looked like any other day at the 310 Building, Cedars-Sinai's Outpatient Surgery Center on San Vicente Boulevard. Patients filled the seats of the first-floor waiting room, some anxious, some determined, all ready as the admission clerks called their names. In the pre-op area, nurses, surgeons, and other medical staff looked over charts and conferred about upcoming procedures.

Business as usual, until you noticed the patients were all children, the surgeons were all volunteering, and the entire day of surgery was part of a charitable mission, a partnership between Cedars-Sinai and the medical nonprofit organization Mending Kids International.

About 50 medical personnel from Cedars-Sinai spent Saturday, July 20, helping 18 children receive outpatient surgeries, some relatively simple, some quite complex. The children ranged in age from 6 months to 18 years and came from as close as East Los Angeles, and as far away as Central America and Africa. Medical missions with Mending Kids International usually take place in foreign countries. This time, Cedars-Sinai became the site of the mission.

Philip Frykman, MD, PhD, performs surgery during the mission.

"For some of the children, these are surgeries they don't have access to because of economics," said Andrew Freedman, MD, vice chair of Pediatric Surgical Services and director of Pediatric Urology at the medical center, who also served as medical director for the Saturday surgeries. "For others, particularly those coming from foreign countries, the skill set needed to perform the surgeries may simply not exist where they live."

Surgeries ranged from the removal of cysts and lesions to the repair of urological birth defects and hand reconstructions.

Freedman, who has participated in several international medical missions, said Saturday's event was also an opportunity for Cedars-Sinai's volunteers.

"It's the first time we've done this on site, and it's a very important day," he said. "Not everyone can take a week off work for a medical mission. This is a wonderful experience for the physicians and nurses, to recharge our batteries and be reminded of why you went into medicine in the first place."

Philip Frykman, MD, PhD, associate director of Pediatric Surgery at Cedars-Sinai, has participated in several surgical missions to China with Mending Kids International. He called the chance to offer medical care to local children profoundly satisfying.

"Medical care in this country can be so expensive compared to other parts of the world," Frykman said. "This time, it's a hometown mission."

While awaiting surgery, Angela Huerta (left) talks to a volunteer from Mending Kids International.

For Angela Huerta, a 10-year-old with shiny brown hair and shining brown eyes, the day of surgeries meant she could have a cyst growing beneath her right ear removed, and then biopsied. She sat in her mother's lap in the waiting room, wearing pink flannel pajamas and wrapped in a bright purple blanket.

"I'm just going to make her as comfortable as I can," said Yolanda Hermosilla, Angela's mother. The family lives in Los Angeles. "If we weren't here today, I'm not sure how we would have had this taken care of. It would have taken us much, much longer."

Across the waiting room, Karin and Alex Del Cid, also from Los Angeles, sat huddled close together. Their 6-month-old daughter, Addelyn, was in an operating room where Frykman was removing a mass from her lower left leg.

"We're very grateful," Karin Del Cid said. She brushed tears from her eyes and gave a wry smile. "My baby – I'm so nervous."

As with Angela Huerta, Addelyn's care will include a biopsy, and post-operative care and visits.

"We couldn't have afforded to do this on our own," Alex Del Cid said. "I don't know what we would have done."

Even as the Del Cids waited nervously, little Addelyn was waking up from a successful procedure. A nurse in the post-op area on the second floor cradled the infant, and her surgeon, Frykman, checked in to make sure all was well.

Jacob Rubio gets a kiss from a Mending Kids International volunteer before surgery.

In a room nearby, Myles Cohen, MD, director of Hand and Upper Extremity Reconstructive Surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center, was preparing to perform surgery on one of two brothers from Ethiopia. Both of the 12-year-old boys have a genetic birth defect that prevented the middle portion of each hand from developing normally.

Ryan DellaMaggiora, MD, orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder, hand and upper extremity reconstructive surgery, would operate on the other twin.

Though a complete reconstruction of the boys' hands isn't possible, Saturday's surgeries would make the hands more functional.

"This is not an operation which could be performed in their home country, even if their families were able to afford it," Cohen said. "This is what we are all about here at Cedars-Sinai – if you consider yourself a citizen of the world, then you must behave as a citizen of the world."

For Allison Jenkins, RN, the lead OR operations nurse, an international mission would be a dream opportunity. With two children at home and a full-time job, however, it's not in the immediate future. Instead, when Jenkins heard about the Mending Kids International mission at Cedars-Sinai, she knew she had to take part.

"We look after children here every day of the week, and I have children myself," Jenkins said. "I feel very privileged to be in a position to be a part of this. We are lucky – I have job and my kids are healthy, and I just want to give back a little bit."

Her colleague Rita Corbin, RN, agreed.

"It's exciting – I get goose bumps when I think about it, that we're taking care of these children who really need help and wouldn't get it otherwise," Corbin said. "This is just a part of the Cedars-Sinai, culture and you feel like you can't not be a part of it."

Click the image below to see a video from the hometown medical mission.

Incoming Residents Join Surgery Department

Ten new residents have begun their internships with the Department of Surgery.

Cedars-Sinai's four general surgery residents are joined by the third incoming class of urology residents and the second incoming class of orthopedic residents. They were chosen from among 700 applicants in General Surgery, 450 In Orthopedic Surgery and 200 in Urology.

The new residents are:

General Surgery

Melissa Chen 
Tulane University

Ara Ko 
Tufts University

Nicholas Manguso 
Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Justin Steggerda
University of Michigan

Orthopedic Surgery

Alisa Alayan
Georgetown University

Sean Rajaee
Tufts University

Ronald Roiz
University of Illinois

Danielle Thomas
Northwestern University

Urology

Christo Dru
Loyola University

Joe Thum
Northwestern University

Coren to Lead Pre-Procedure Services

Rachel Coren, MS, MPH, has been named manager of Cedars-Sinai Pre-Procedure Services within the OR/Anesthesia/Surgery Center service line.

Coren will be responsible for the Anesthesia Pre-Procedure Evaluation Center in the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion and will work across the health system to improve patient, surgeon and referring physician procedural experiences. She will continue to work as manager in Clinical Care Services Administration.

Coren has worked closely with the OR service line over the past year to re-engineer the process of pre-procedure patient preparation. Her leadership has helped create a comprehensive clinic setting to better meet the needs of patients, their surgical teams and referring physicians.  

Coren began her career at Cedars-Sinai in the Women’s Heart Center. In 2009, she worked as an intern in the Medical Care Foundation. Upon completion of her master’s in Public Health from UCLA, she was selected as administrative fellow. For the past three years she has played an integral role in Clinical Care Services, working on process improvement efforts and helping to advance the organization’s strategic initiatives.

P&T Panel Changes Formulary; FDA Issues Warning About Olmesartan Medoxomil, Investigates Zyprexa Relprevv

Pharmacy Focus

June decisions by the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and pertinent agenda topics are summarized in the PDF linked below. Highlights include several changes to the formulary.

P and T Committee Approvals - June 12, 2013 (PDF)

Label for Olmesartan Medoxomil to Include Sprue-Like Enteropathy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the blood pressure drug olmesartan medoxomil (marketed as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, Tribenzor and generics) can cause intestinal problems known as sprue-like enteropathy. Symptoms of sprue-like enteropathy include severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss. FDA has approved changes to the labels of these drugs to include this concern. 

Olmesartan medoxomil is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) approved for the treatment of high blood pressure, alone or with other antihypertensive agents, and is one of eight marketed ARB drugs. Sprue-like enteropathy has not been detected with ARB drugs other than olmesartan. 

Healthcare professionals should tell patients to contact them if they develop severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss while taking a product containing olmesartan, even if it takes months to years for symptoms to develop. Patients should contact their healthcare professional right away if they take an olmesartan-containing product and experience severe diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away or significant weight loss.

Click here for more information.

FDA Investigating Zyprexa Relprevv

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating two unexplained deaths in patients who received an intramuscular injection of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate). The deaths did not occur at Cedars-Sinai.

The patients died three to four days after receiving an appropriate dose of the drug, well after the three-hour post-injection monitoring period required under the Zyprexa Relprevv Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS). Both patients were found to have very high olanzapine blood levels after death.

Under the REMS, patients are required to receive the Zyprexa Relprevv injection at a REMS-certified healthcare facility, to be continuously monitored at the facility for at least three hours after an injection, and to be accompanied home from the facility. The drug's label contains warnings about the risk of post-injection delirium sedation syndrome, a serious condition in which the drug enters the blood too quickly following an intramuscular injection, causing greatly elevated blood levels with marked sedation (possibly including coma) and/or delirium.

The FDA recommends that if therapy with Zyprexa Relprevv is started or continued, healthcare professionals should follow the REMS requirements and drug label recommendations.

Click here for more information.

Achilles A. Demetriou, MD, PhD, Former Department of Surgery Chair, 1946-2013

Achilles A. Demetriou, MD, PhD, an internationally distinguished surgical scientist who spent nearly four decades investigating and treating liver disease, and who led Cedars-Sinai's Department of Surgery to national distinction, has died. He was 67.

Demetriou was widely known for his research of artificial and cell-based liver support systems, transplantation biology and genetic abnormalities in liver disease. He held nine patents in connection with his research, lectured around the world, and wrote extensively about liver disease and related subjects in the highest quality, peer-reviewed journals and textbooks.

The soft-spoken physician, who helped pioneer the development of a bioartificial liver two decades ago, died June 20 at home in suburban Cleveland after a long battle with liver cancer.

"Achilles Demetriou's creative genius immeasurably advanced the understanding of liver disease, and his leadership blazed new paths for Cedars-Sinai's surgical innovation," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and chief executive officer of Cedars-Sinai Health System.

Demetriou became chair of the Department of Surgery in 1995 and spent a decade building a succession of programs and services in liver transplantation, neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, spine surgery and other specialties.

Colleagues credit Demetriou with elevating the department's surgical residency program by attracting many of the best and brightest candidates with the dual promise of surgical training and laboratory experience. His programs would spawn a new generation of surgical scientists. Demetriou's talent and his diplomatic treatment of others, many recalled, made him an effective department chairman.

"He was a fine surgeon and leader, and more importantly, a gentleman of the greatest integrity," recalled Bruce Gewertz, MD, Cedars-Sinai surgeon-in-chief, vice president for Interventional Services, vice dean of Academic Affairs and the H & S Nichols Distinguished Chair in Surgery. "He's the architect of our modern Department of Surgery. His legacy remains strong in the hearts of those he supported."

Demetriou spent 13 years at Cedars-Sinai, serving a stint as director of the medical center's Liver Support Unit. In 1998, he was named the Esther and Mark Schulman Chair in Surgery and Transplantation Medicine.

He never wavered from his professional passion and lifelong research aim: searching for solutions to acute liver failure. He wrote 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, edited the standard guide "Support of the Acutely Failing Liver" and was associate editor of the definitive "Textbook of Surgical Research." His nine patents included one for an artificial liver apparatus and another for a novel gene associated with liver cirrhosis.

"He was a consummate surgical scientist who was very smart and very creative, and he made major scholarly contributions to our understanding of the surgical and cell-based treatment of liver disease," said Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the Medical Faculty and the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine. "At Cedars-Sinai, he significantly expanded the platform for surgical excellence and innovation that we continue to enjoy."

Born in Cyprus, Demetriou received his medical degree from Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem and his PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University in Washington.

He served his internship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and his residency in surgery at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Demetriou spent three years as a research fellow in biochemical pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

Before joining Cedars-Sinai in 1992, he was director of the S.R. Light Surgical Research Laboratory at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he also held the Paul W. Sanger Chair in Surgery and served as chief of surgical services at the Nashville VA Medical Center.

In 2005, Demetriou moved to the University Hospitals Health System in Cleveland, where he became chief operating officer; he also held the position of vice dean for Clinical Affairs at the affiliated Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He retired at the end of 2012.

Demetriou also served on several National Institutes of Health panels and was a faculty member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Training School for FDA staff. He also was a founding member of the Cell Transplant Society and the World Association of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery. In 1998, he was elected into the Academy of Athens as a Corresponding Member.

"Achilles was a great surgeon and a great scientist who mentored large numbers of young faculty," recalled Zab Mosenifar, MD, co-director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute at Cedars-Sinai and the Geri and Richard Brawerman Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, who worked closely with Demetriou. "He was savvy and tough but had a soft and tender side to him. I am saddened immensely by his loss."

Danny Malaniak, Former Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1930-2013

During nearly four decades at Cedars-Sinai, Danny Malaniak earned a reputation as a virtual force of nature – a man who possessed great passion for the institution and knew how to get just about anything done fast.

As a senior member of Cedars-Sinai's leadership team, Malaniak was instrumental in the growth of its academic and research enterprises, earning the position of associate vice president for Academic Affairs.

He didn't use spreadsheets or algorithms. Instead, he wrote notes to himself and relied on a kaleidoscopic knowledge of the organization, energy and charm to help build Cedars-Sinai into one of the nation's premier academic medical centers.

Malaniak died last week after a long-standing illness, surrounded by his family at his Glendale home. As word of his passing spread through Cedars-Sinai, physicians, researchers, assistants and others recalled a leader who became the institution's administrative glue through much of the 1970s, '80s and early '90s, setting the stage for the modern-day health system.

"Danny was one of a kind," said Thomas M. Priselac, president and chief executive officer, and the Warschaw Law Chair in Health Care Leadership. "He brought to his work and his relationships with everyone he came in contact with the best that one can offer. His passion for his life, his work and most important of all his relationships with others were without parallel. Cedars-Sinai has lost a treasured part of our history, and I have lost a dear friend."

Malaniak's knack for solving sticky problems was almost legendary. The man who spoke six languages knew exactly who to call if a doctor needed extra lab space. He could find a spare freezer if one was needed for an experiment. He knew just the right person to ask – and how to ask – for funds to buy supplies or equipment. He also knew how to make others feel content even if he couldn't help them.

 "That was Danny – a sincere, hyper-energetic force of nature who never said, 'It can't be done,'" recalled Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, vice president of Clinical Innovation and the James R. Klinenberg, MD, Chair in Medicine. "He went out of his way to help new faculty get on the right path and break down any barriers they encountered. Their success was Danny's success. He will be greatly missed by the Cedars-Sinai family."

Malaniak arrived at Cedars-Sinai in the mid-1950s after several years in the U.S. Army. Just as he did in the military, he rose through the hospital's ranks, bringing a contagious enthusiasm for the organization, which would eventually honor him by establishing the Malaniak Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research.

After he retired in 1994, Malaniak served as a consultant. He also visited Cedars-Sinai frequently on his own time, holding court at his favorite couch on the Plaza Level near the North Tower elevators, calling out to doctors and others as they passed by to engage them in conversation and offer hugs.

"Danny was a gentle and sensitive giant of the bygone era of early Cedar-Sinai builders and leaders," recalled Shlomo Melmed, MD, senior vice president for Academic Affairs, dean of the Medical Faculty, and the Helene A. And Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine. "He loved our institution and devoted his every fiber to assuring the thriving of our nascent academic enterprise. His unmitigated support and counsel laid the foundations for the modern thriving system we have become. We will miss him sorely, yet we continue to celebrate the fulfillment of his decades of effort."

Malaniak was equally passionate about his native Ukraine and his heritage.

Born Bohdan Zenowij Malaniak, he spent his early years in Ukraine. Toward the end of World War II, his immediate family fled Soviet occupation, spending a year in Slovakia before winding up in a camp for displaced person in Germany after the war.

His family immigrated to the United States in February 1948, settling in Glendale. Several months later, Malaniak enlisted in the Army, serving six years on active duty and another 17 in the U.S. Army Reserve. During the Korean War, he was stationed mostly in Tokyo, assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Service, Far East Network. Malaniak visited Korea and had vivid memories of the Incheon Invasion.

Malaniak reached the rank of command sergeant major.

He returned to Los Angeles when his military service came to an end in 1954. A year later, he married Eleanor Croft Garvin. The couple were married 56 years before Malaniak's wife, who worked as manager of the Division of Cardiology, died last year. They raised three children.

As he established himself at Cedars-Sinai, Malaniak remained deeply involved in Ukrainian causes.

He served for 30 years as manager, member and president of the Los Angeles-based Ukrainian National Choir "Kobzar" and organized several major fundraising events. He also served on the board of directors for the California Associa­tion to Aid Ukraine, which provided humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people.

Malaniak helped lead collaborations between Cedars-Sinai and Ukrainian scientists and medical professionals. Following a 2006 visit of then-Ukrainian first lady Kateryna Yushchenko, he spearheaded the launch of an international healthcare fellowship program to provide training for medical professionals to improve outcomes for critically ill children in his native land.

Asked a few years ago if he had any advice for young people, Malaniak responded with his characteristic selflessness: Take advantage of educational opportunities. Stay healthy. Respect your parents and teachers. And serve your community.

He applied the same type of principles at Cedars-Sinai.

One longtime friend, Zab Mosenifar, MD, recalled Malaniak showing up at his office many years ago after Mosenifar received a promotion. Malaniak came to hug his friend.

Mosenifar, co-director of the Women's Guild Lung Institute and the Geri and Richard Brawerman Chair in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, is among those who would run into Malaniak on the couch in the Plaza Level. The physician would relish those moments together.

"He was a very decent man, a good man, an honest man," Mosenifar recalled. "If there are pillars that would be holding up Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he would be the pillar with zeal. That's how I remember him."

A private family service will be held. Malaniak's family asks that any donations in his honor be made through Cedars-Sinai to the General Clinical Research Center: Malaniak Award for Excellence in Postdoctoral Research, or to the California Association to Aid Ukraine.

Danny Malaniak with Shlomo Melmed, MD

Circle of Friends Honorees for June

The Circle of Friends program honored 179 people in June.

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

Click here for more information about the program and for a list of past honorees.

  • Coleen J. Abelarde, RN
  • Carlos Anaya, MD
  • John B. Andrews, MD
  • Pedrina Arguera
  • M. William Audeh, MD
  • Hyun W. Bae, MD
  • Suadu Bah, RN
  • C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD
  • Shahriar Bamshad, MD
  • Donna M. Bias, RN, BSN
  • Keith L. Black, MD
  • Alexandria Borys, RN
  • Glenn D. Braunstein, MD
  • Barry J. Brock, MD
  • Philip G. Brooks, MD
  • Neil A. Buchbinder, MD
  • Mathew H. Bui, MD
  • Agnes M. Butler
  • Adelia G. Cabuhat, RN
  • Ilana Cass, MD
  • Patrice Ceballos
  • Kirk Y. Chang, MD
  • Yzhar Charuzi, MD
  • Peter Chau, MD
  • Wen Cheng, MD
  • Meshe D. Chonde, MD
  • William W. Chow, MD
  • Harry Chu, RN
  • Ray M. Chu, MD
  • Stephen R. Corday, MD
  • Maria S. Corral
  • Alicia Cypressi, RN
  • Dudley S. Danoff, MD
  • Mark M. Davidson, MD
  • Robert W. Decker, MD
  • Rick B. Delamarter, MD
  • Margaret Diacheysn, RN
  • Alice R. Dick, MD
  • J. Kevin Drury, MD
  • Marla C. Dubinsky, MD
  • Julie A. Dunhill, MD
  • Cheryl L. Dunnett, MD
  • Darryl M. Eddy, RN, BC, BSN
  • Dawn S. Eliashiv, MD
  • Fardad Esmailian, MD
  • Richard Essner, MD
  • Jeremy A. Falk, MD
  • David E. Fermelia, MD
  • Robert A. Figlin, MD
  • Madelyn M. Foronda, RN
  • Stuart Friedman, MD
  • Ramin Gabbai, MD
  • Donna Gallik, MD
  • Francine J. Gates
  • Eli Ginsburg, MD
  • Armando E. Giuliano, MD
  • Sherry L. Goldman, RN, NP
  • Jerome E. Goldwasser, MD
  • Mark O. Goodarzi, MD
  • Steven B. Graff-Radford, DDS
  • Stephen L. Graham, MD
  • Leland M. Green, MD
  • Paul B. Hackmeyer, MD
  • Antoine Hage, MD
  • Behrooz Hakimian, MD
  • David S. Hallegua, MD
  • Solomon I. Hamburg, MD
  • Michele A. Hamilton, MD
  • Andrew E. Hendifar, MD
  • David M. Hoffman, MD
  • Stuart Holden, MD
  • Jethro L. Hu, MD
  • Gabriel E. Hunt, Jr., MD
  • Leonel A. Hunt, MD
  • Quyen N. Hurlburt, RN
  • Nenita D. Iglesia
  • Josefina N. Inocentes, RN
  • Karen J. Jimenez, RN
  • J. Patrick Johnson, MD
  • Stanley C. Jordan, MD
  • Dinah Juanillo, RN
  • Saibal Kar, MD
  • Adam D. Karns, MD
  • David Kawashiri, MD
  • Tami Kendra-Romito
  • Ali Khoynezhad, MD, PhD
  • Dong U. Kim, MD
  • Terrence T. Kim, MD
  • Ellen B. Klapper, MD
  • Jon A. Kobashigawa, MD
  • Peter Koh, OD
  • Penelope Grace Kornbluth, MSN, ANP, APRN-BC
  • Gary E. Leach, MD
  • Roger L. Lerner, MD
  • Ronald S. Leuchter, MD
  • Michael C. Lill, MD
  • Simon K. Lo, MD
  • Alex Lopez
  • Rajendra Makkar, MD
  • Dwight L. Makoff, MD
  • Adam N. Mamelak, MD
  • William J. Mandel, MD
  • Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD
  • Luella M. Marchany
  • Donna Marsh, RN
  • Ana R. Martinez
  • Peggy Mays
  • Philomena McAndrew, MD
  • Gerard McKearin, RN
  • Robert J. McKenna, Jr., MD
  • Shlomo Melmed, MD
  • Kiarash Michel, MD
  • Amin Joseph Mirhadi, MD
  • Cathleen P. Moran, RN
  • Mary C. Nasmyth, MD
  • Ronald B. Natale, MD
  • Alan C. Newman, DDS
  • David G. Ng, MD
  • Frederic G. Nicola, MD
  • Nicholas N. Nissen, MD
  • Raena S. Olsen, DO
  • Guy D. Paiement, MD
  • John Pappas, LCSW
  • Timothy Parker
  • Jignesh K. Patel, MD, PhD
  • Brad Penenberg, MD
  • Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD
  • Deborah Prevost, RN
  • Alfred Rahban, MD
  • Nina Redl
  • Madison F. Richardson, MD
  • Robert Richter, MD
  • Susan L. Roberts, RN
  • Luvelina N. Rodolfo, RN
  • Anne W. Rosenblatt, RN, MSN
  • Fred P. Rosenfelt, MD
  • Gary G. Rosengarten, PhD
  • Howard L. Rosner, MD
  • Steven B. Rubins, MD
  • Jeremy D. Rudnick, MD
  • Vivian L. Salle, RN
  • Bessy G. Samayoa
  • Bruce A. Samuels, MD
  • Howard M. Sandler, MD, MS
  • Gregory P. Sarna, MD
  • Jay N. Schapira, MD
  • Edward J. Share, MD
  • Michael M. Shehata, MD
  • Robert J. Siegel, MD
  • Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD
  • Amanuel Sima, MD
  • Enrique Slodownik, MD
  • Aretha P. Smith
  • Karyn Morse Solky, MD
  • Harmik J. Soukiasian, MD
  • Jasminka Stegic, MS, ANP-BC, CCRN
  • Jerrold H. Steiner, MD
  • Daniel J. Stone, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Leslie Stricke, MD
  • Liliya Swarth, RN
  • Nicholas R. Szumski, MD
  • Steven W. Tabak, MD
  • Jane Tavyev Asher, MD
  • Alfredo Trento, MD
  • Richard Tuli, MD, PhD
  • Mark K. Urman, MD
  • Michael B. Van Scoy-Mosher, MD
  • Eric Vasiliauskas, MD
  • Arthur I. Waltuch, MD
  • Xunzhang Wang, MD
  • Alan Weinberger, MD
  • Michael H. Weisman, MD
  • Lisa S. Wilson-Newsome
  • Edward M. Wolin, MD
  • Lewis Y. Wyatt, MD
  • Clement C. Yang, MD
  • Shelley Yee, MD
  • Evan M. Zahn, MD
  • Phillip C. Zakowski, MD