April/May 2017

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Upcoming Events

Check the CCM website calendar for further details on these May events.

May 17, 12p-1p: Grand Rounds with Juliana Barr

May 18, 12p-1p: Combined Peds/Adult Journal Club

May 19, 11a-12p: CCCN Bimonthly AKI Meeting

May 22, 7:30a-5:30p & May 23, 8a-11:30m: 15th Annual Safar Symposium

Nominate a Colleague

It’s time to think about nominating a staff member, or team of coworkers, who deserve special recognition for their exemplary work.  There are three types of UPMC staff awards:  “You Are A Star” award, the “Gold Star” award or the “Platinum (Robert J. Mientus) Star” award.  The awards come with cash prizes up to $500.  Deadline is Friday, June 30, 2017. Contact Wendy O’Donnell for nomination forms and guidelines. 

Did You Know?

· Approximately 15 CCM faculty, fellows, and students will be presenting research or facilitating sessions at ATS in DC next week.

· Our Surgery Fellows will arrive the end of July, in keeping with the later-start fellowship trend; all other Fellows start July 1.

· Magee ICU treats bariatric surgery, oncology, urology, gynecology, geriatric, and orthopedic critically ill patients as well as patients with pregnancy and childbirth complications.

So Long

Skyler Kuhlenschmidt left the Health Services Research Data Center (HSRDC) in early May to follow her heart to Cleveland.

Record Breaking Fink Day

The Mitchell P. Fink Scholar Day hit a record high with 40 abstracts submitted and presented.  Second-year Internal Medicine Fellow Parvan Thangadu, MD achieved an individual record by presenting three posters during the Quality Improvement and Education Session.

Fink Day awards and oral presentations were made in four categories to:  first year Fellow Vikram Balakumar, MD (Clinical Research), second year Fellow Hitesh Gidwani, MD (Education), pediatric Fellow Kate Kernan, MD (Translational Research) and Catherine Kim, PharmD (Quality Improvement/Patient Safety).

Meaningful Work

In a break from his traditional State of the Department talk, Derek Angus gave a Fink Day presentation about “Meaningful Work.” It was an excellent counterpoint to Fink Day plenary speaker Marc Moss’ lecture on “Burnout Syndrome in Critical Care Healthcare Professionals.”

Derek touched upon some of his experiences dealing with septic-shock patients early in his medical career in Britain, suggested some threats and opportunities that junior faculty and fellows may face in their careers, and encouraged everyone to “always be interested in trying to do your job better” as they strive to find their own versions of Meaningful Work.  You can hear Derek’s Meaningful Work talk here.

Thanks for Caring So Much

The team at Magee ICU received an Above & Beyond Team Award for their dedication to and excellent care of a mom who had complications delivering her fourth child.  In a letter from the patient, she thanked everyone in the Magee ICU for their “stories and humor in the middle of the night, for making the scary and overwhelming manageable” and for knowing that mom was missing her three youngsters at home.

The staff in the Neurotrauma unit received a very touching thank you from the mom and family of a patient who succumbed to his illness.  They wrote, “We will never forget the individual and collective kindnesses shown to [our son] and to our family during his entire 4 week stay on 4G.”  This patient ultimately spent time in three of our ICUs: Neurotrauma, CTICU and 6F/G.  Lori Shutter reiterated the family’s feelings by saying she was “very proud of the Neurotrauma team, as well as all of the CCM fellows, faculty, and staff of the other ICUs who went above and beyond to try and save him.”

Way to Go!

Double kudos to Bethany Hallam (Jeremy Kahn’s master’s thesis advisee) who won the Department of Epidemiology Master’s Award for her research poster and presentation at the Graduate School of Public Health Dean's Day.  Bethany also received the Omicron Chapter of the Delta Omega National Public Health Honor Society award for the best master's essay in the Epidemiology Department in 2017.


Also at the GSPH Dean’s Day competition, Shu Wang’s GenIMS poster was awarded second place in the Department of Biostatistics section.  Master’s student Shu, who works with John Kellum and is advised by Joyce Cheng, is studying the relationship between renal recovery at hospital discharge and 3-year survival among patients with septic Acute Kidney Injury.

New Faces

Kelly Gottschalk returned to the fold on May 1st as our Director of Operations.  She oversees the UPMC business operations, strategy, and faculty human resources functions for the Department.  You’ll find Kelly, nicely settled into her old office, at 640B Scaife.

Five new faces are joining the Department on May 22nd.  Mary Devlin moves across campus from the School of Arts & Sciences to become our Senior Finance Administrator.  She will be working with Kim Kushon in 1103 Kaufmann.

Our new Project Manager of Faculty Affairs will be Stephanie Wigenton, who has a strong background in strategic talent management, human resources, and project management. Stephanie’s workspace is in the HR pod in the south wing of Scaife.

Lab Assistants Arianna Rosemond and Sarah Whittington will work under Vanessa Jackson in the CRISMA lab on Scaife, 10th Floor.  Their positions were made possible by the funding success of Ragi Murugan’s BEACON grant and Chris Seymour’s SENECA grant.

Our first-ever biostatistician, Samantha Taylor will be working with Edvin Music at CRISMA. Come May 22nd, CRISMA’s lab staffing will reach a record high.  Keep those grants rolling in!

© 2017 © Wendy M. O'Donnell, APR | Director of Communications Department of Critical Care Medicine | Scaife Hall, Sixth Floor | University of Pittsburgh |