July 19, 2002

Anesthesiology appoints new faculty, expands department

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Dr. Jeffrey Balser, chairman of Anesthesiology, envisions "across-the-board, unparalleled excellence in clinical care, research, and education" in the department.

The department of Anesthesiology has added eight faculty positions over the past several months, expanding the department by 18 percent.

“With a forecasted 25 percent increase in operative services over the next two to three years, partly due to the development of Children’s Hospital, we recognized the need to greatly expand our faculty ranks,” said Dr. Jeffrey Balser, James Taloe Gwathmy Professor and Chair of Anesthesiology. “While our growth spurt creates administrative challenges, it also creates an exciting opportunity for the department to realize an aggressive vision: across-the-board, unparalleled excellence in clinical care, research, and education.”

From the University of Texas San Antonio, Dr. John D’Alessio joined the department in April as associate professor. He is a nationally recognized expert both in the management of the airway and in trauma anesthesiology, and joins the department as director of trauma anesthesiology.

Dr. Clark Galbraith, a Canby Robinson Scholar, former class president at Vanderbilt Medical School, and former resident in anesthesiology at Vanderbilt, joined the faculty on July 1 as assistant professor. Galbraith will supervise the department’s medical student rotations and will participate in the department’s growing acute pain services program.

From the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Sarah Gillespie began her appointment in January as assistant professor in the division of Multispecialty Anesthesiology. Gillespie has taken a leadership role in re-establishing the patient simulator program, which forms a core resource for resident and student teaching.

Dr. William Goldsmith, formerly Vanderbilt chief resident in anesthesiology, joined the department on July 1 as assistant professor, serving in the division of Multispecialty Anesthesiology. Beginning in January, Goldsmith plans to take a sabbatical to undertake further training at Vanderbilt as a critical care medicine fellow, and will then join the department’s division of Critical Care Medicine as an attending.

From Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Dr. Julie Hudson joined the department in March as assistant professor. Hudson brings experience in general pediatric anesthesiology, as well as special expertise in managing infants and children during cardiothoracic surgery. Hudson also has experience in legislative affairs, and has assumed a key new leadership role in the department as director of development and legislative affairs.

Dr. Alexander Hughes will join the department in August as assistant professor, serving in the division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology. Hughes completed his residency training and chief residency at Maine Medical Center, and his cardiothoracic fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital.

From the University of Rochester, Dr. Michael Richardson joined the department on July 1 as associate professor. Richardson has a national reputation as a clinician and educator and brings vast experience in resident education from his prior role as vice chair for residency education at Rochester. He assumes a position of major leadership in the department as the new director of the division of Multispecialty Anesthesiology, administering the department’s clinical and resident teaching activities in most of the main operating room, as well as in several outpatient and out-of-OR anesthetizing locations.

Dr. Annemarie Thompson will join the department in August as assistant professor in the division of Multispecialty Anesthesiology. Following her medical training at Duke, Thompson undertook residency training in two specialties, Internal Medicine and Anesthesiology, at the University of California, San Francisco, where she served as chief resident in Internal Medicine in 1999.

Administrative appointments

Over the last nine months the department has also made a large number of administrative appointments to allow restructuring and integration of clinical services.

Dr. Michael Higgins, associate professor of Anesthesiology, has assumed the role of vice chair for adult perioperative services, responsible for all adult clinical services in the department. On July 1, Higgins also assumed the position of executive medical director of adult perioperative services, an institutional role charged with identifying and helping to implement strategies for further improving operating room efficiency in the face of increasing case volumes.

Dr. Jay Deshpande, professor of Anesthesiology, is now vice chair for pediatric perioperative services. As chief of the division of Pediatric Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Deshpande has developed the premier pediatric anesthesiology and critical care program in the region. His major task over the coming months is to help shepherd the move of anesthesiology and critical care services into the new Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Robert Deegan, assistant professor of Anesthesiology, is chief of cardiothoracic anesthesiology. Over the past five years, Deegan has spearheaded the development of the department’s intraoperative program in transesophageal echocardiology and has trained a number of faculty and fellows in the use of this diagnostic tool.

Dr. John Algren, professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, is now medical director of the pediatric operating rooms, providing oversight for anesthesiology and perioperative care in the Medical Center East operating rooms and in the future Children’s Hospital operating rooms.

Dr. Ken Smithson, assistant professor of Anesthesiology, is now chief of the division of Adult Critical Care Services. Smithson has been co-director of the neurosurgical intensive care unit, and is collaborating with Dr. Addison May, associate professor of Medicine, to expand the activities of intensive care specialists in the surgical intensive care unit.

Dr. Ellen Lockhart is chief of the division of Obstetric Anesthesiology. While managing the growth of anesthesiology programs in women’s operative services, Lockhart is also charged with mentoring the Obstetrical Anesthesiology teaching program, and will be rejuvenating a subspecialty fellowship training program in Obstetrical Anesthesiology.