sutures newsletter


Surgery Department News

Kira Chaiboonma, BS, Donald C. Dafoe, MD, Seth Felder, MD, Heidi A. Hotz, RN, Silvia Kurtovic, MD, Douglas Liou, MD, Scott Short, MD, Ryan Spurrier, MD, and Dodanim Talavera, MD, MS, PhD are highlighted.

Mark Your Calendar

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

New Spaces at AHSP, San Vicente Building Help Department Continue to Innovate

Message from the Chair

As surgeons, we are familiar with the classic mortality/morbidity conference in which the causes of a less-than-ideal outcome are dissected and reviewed. The process is educational to be sure, but on occasion, it also allows for "out-of-the-box" thinking directed toward innovative operative techniques or methods for earlier recognition of problems. This spirit of discovery has been quite common at Cedars-Sinai, where many of the modern, paradigm-shifting, minimally invasive surgical techniques were developed in general surgery, thoracic surgery and orthopedics.

With the beginning of this academic year, the Department of Surgery has been presented with a number of exciting opportunities to continue our tradition of innovation. In late June, the department will begin using the new operating rooms and interventional suites on the fifth floor of the Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion. The four interventional and/or cardiac imaging laboratory rooms are outfitted with state-of-the-art imaging technology.

Operating rooms are 650 to 800 square feet to accommodate ancillary equipment for a wide range of procedures. Finally, the waiting areas and recovery spaces are much more patient- and family-friendly and will facilitate more private discussions after surgical procedures.

Also in late June, the department will move into an exciting research and collaborative space at 825 San Vicente Blvd. This 8,600-square-foot facility includes a fully equipped OR/trauma simulation space with configurable walls and an observation room.

Other features include two glass-enclosed conference spaces, capable of holding up to 80 people with video links to our main operating rooms. The open informal space for meetings and discussions includes a number of unassigned but available private office spaces for faculty working on grant applications or other academic work.

The videos below and at the bottom of this column show the space at 825 San Vicente.

Finally, the Department's research administration team, headed by Jesse Null, will be located there to continue to facilitate its superb support of our growing research enterprise. This year our total research funds exceeded $9 million, with the majority in highly competitive federal grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

These facility upgrades ensure that the hard work of our attending and faculty surgeons and house staff will be carried out in the most modern facilities. Future plans include the final construction of the hybrid cardiovascular OR on the sixth floor, the buildout of the Pavilion fourth floor as the primary outpatient operating site, and the design of four to six additional ORs contiguous to the current operating rooms on the fifth floor of the Professional Tower.

Acknowledging that the only constant in life is change, the department is bidding farewell to two individuals who greatly contributed to our success over the last seven years. Ali Salim, MD, who joined us in 2008 as program director of the general surgery residency, will be moving to Brigham and Woman's Hospital and Harvard University as section chief in trauma and critical care.

Ali achieved much here including a remarkable academic record of numerous nationally recognized publications and presentations. His leadership of the general surgery program contributed to a more than three-fold increase in the number of applications (to more than 700 for our four slots) and the nurturing of a superb resident group.

Finally, Joan August, the department's director since 2006, has been promoted to service line vice president with responsibility for the Departments of Medicine, OB-Gyn and Pediatrics, as well the Cancer Center.

Joan has been a great partner for Bryan Croft and me; through her imagination, superior interpersonal skills and simple hard work, she is undoubtedly responsible for a great deal of the growth and superb performance of the department. We are very proud of her and will continue to enjoy our work together in her new role.

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