Faculty Awards, Honors & Publications

Dr. Barclay Stewart Selected as An American College of Surgeons Future Trauma Leader

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Dr. Barclay Stewart

(February 2023) Dr. Barclay Stewart, Assistant Professor, Division of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care Surgery Division, Selected as An American College of Surgeons Future Trauma Leader.

Dr. Matthew Smith Elected Associate Editor for the Vascular Surgical Council on Resident Education (VSCORE) Editorial Board

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Dr. Matthew Smith

(February 2023) Dr. Matthew Smith, Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Vascular Surgery, Elected Associate Editor for the Vascular Surgical Council on Resident Education (VSCORE) Editorial Board

Dr. Eileen Bulger Named Harborview Medical Center Surgeon-in Chief of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care

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Dr. Eileen Bulger

(November 2022) Our utmost congratulations to Eileen M. Bulger, MD, who is the newly appointed Chief for the Division of Trauma, Burn and Critical Care Surgery in addition to being named the Surgeon-in-Chief for Harborview Medical Center. The selection came after an extensive national search confirmed that she was indeed the most highly qualified candidate for these leadership positions.

To those of us whom have known Eileen since she first came to the UW Department of Surgery as an intern in 1992, we are not surprised by these highly appropriate acknowledgements in her already stellar career and proven excellence in all she has done during her tenure at HMC. Eileen was recognized as a potential academic star from the time she arrived. Her prior pedigree, including an undergrad degree from The Johns Hopkins University and MD from Cornell University Medical College, portended of great success and we have not been disappointed.

Developing into a superb clinician and outstanding technical surgeon as a resident, she committed the additional time and effort to complete an NIH T32 NIGMS Trauma Fellowship at Harborview studying the aberrant host immunoinflammatory response after severe injury and resuscitation and the clinical impact on Multiple Organ Failure Syndrome and its treatment. She further complemented her training by completing ABS Board training in the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Harborview. Her experiences at HMC cemented her passion for caring for the injured and vulnerable patient that began as an EMT in her home state of Rhode Island, early in her professional career development. Following completion of her formal training, we were indeed fortunate to recruit her to a faculty position in Trauma and Critical Care at Harborview Medical Center and in the UW Department of Surgery in 2000.

Dr. Bulger’s maturation and academic growth led to rapid progression through the ranks to achieve Full Professor rank in 2009. In addition, Dr. Bulger has demonstrated a career long dedication to support and leadership in Department and at HMC. She became Director and Associate Medical Director of Emergency Services in 2009, and Chief of Trauma in 2012 prior to being appointed recently as Associate Medical Director of Surgical Services. If not enough, she also became the champion and Director of the ECLS Program at HMC. While providing excellent leadership, she also has been recognized for her professionalism and dedication to patient care with an Outstanding Consultant Award, HME Cares Award and numerous Top Doctor Recognitions.

Dr. Bulger has also been an outstanding researcher, educator and mentor for our department. She has been a mentor to numerous trainees who were successful not only during their training but also have gone on to become leaders in the field of Trauma and Critical Care. She has been awarded the UW Surgery Distinguished Alumni Award and the John L. Stevenson Award for Resident Teaching. Her professionalism, dedication, calm logical approach and deep respect for all members of the health care team have led to her crucial leadership positions in the institution and admiration by several generations of trainees at all levels. In addition, she has been involved in the departmental and university PEER mentorship program and was a founding member of the Women in Trauma Surgery (WITS) Group, now serving a leadership role across the globe.

Nationally and internationally, Eileen has become a true academic superstar. She has served in numerous leadership positions based on her accomplishments, including being chosen as the first female to Chair the Committee on Trauma of the ACS, the leading clinical, research, educational and quality assurance organization in the nation. During her tenure, her astute abilities as a consensus maker has led to a major break-through to bring the disparate sides together to address the challenges of firearm injuries. She now serves as a faculty staff expert for the ACS in all Trauma related initiatives. Recently, she was elected to the Presidency of the AAST, the largest, most prestigious academic trauma society in the world. And, along the way she has served as the Chair of the Board for the Coalition for National Trauma Research and served on numerous special emphasis panels at the NIH, CDC and DOD. Her investigations in the response to trauma and severe necrotizing infections at the cellular level to the optimal treatment and multi-institutional resuscitation and interventional trials have been recognized for their seminal elucidation of the complex biology and improvements in clinical care which has entailed twenty plus years of continuous federal research funding and nearly 300 peer reviewed publications.

Amongst this vast array of activities, Eileen spends quiet quality time with her beloved husband Doug and two daughters, Natalie and Kelsey, while maintaining her large flower garden. For those who work with Dr. Bulger, she is above all considered a supportive, respectful colleague and educator. All who interact with her appreciate her professionalism and quiet dedicated efforts for her patients and trainees. We have been given a truly outstanding resource, colleague and friend. Please congratulate Dr. Bulger on her recent appointments and long career of dedication and commitment to the most vulnerable patients in our community.

Ronald V. Maier, MD
Division of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care

Dr. Tam Pham Receives UW Alumni Early Achievement Award

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Dr. Tam Pham

(November 2022) Dr. Tam Pham, Professor & Chief of the UW Medicine Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, received the 2022 UW Alumni Early Achievement Award. This honor is for an alumnus or alumna who graduated within the last 20 years and has excelled in his or her career, making significant contributions to public health through clinical care, medical science, research, humanitarianism or administrative activities.

Dr. Pham reflects, “I am deeply honored for this award. As with most opportunities in our professional lives, success has much to do with mentors opening doors for mentees. The real job for the mentees is to walk through those open doors. In my case, I am grateful to Drs. Nicole Gibran and Ron Maier who took an interest in my career development. Furthermore, this recognition really acknowledges the work of all the UW Medicine Regional Burn Center staff, specifically the team of nurses, therapists, physicians and other allied professionals who advocate for burn patients on a daily basis.”  Watch the video >>

Dr. Kathleen Berfield Appointed to the K. Alvin and Shirley Merendino Endowed Professorship

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Dr. Kathleen Berfield

(November 2022) The K. Alvin and Shirley E. Merendino Endowed Professorship was recently appointed to Dr. Kathleen Berfield, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. This Endowed Professorship was established in 2006 to provide support for the Department of Surgery in attaining its mission of resident education.

Dr. Berfield joined the Department of Surgery as Assistant Professor in 2016, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2022. She is the Program Director for the Cardiothoracic Surgery-Integrated & 4/3 residency programs as well as the Cardiothoracic Surgery-Traditional and Cardiothoracic Transplant/MCS fellowship programs.

“Dr. K. Alvin Merendino left behind a legacy of excellence at the University of Washington both in and out of the operative room,” said Dr. Berfield. “In addition to being a skilled surgeon he was a master educator, leader and colleague. I am beyond proud to be named the K. Alvin and Shirley Merendino Endowed Professor. It is a distinction I will strive to be worthy of and I carry his commitment to education forward in my own career.”

Dr. Jay Pal Appointed to the Lester and Connie LeRoss Endowed Professorship in Cardiovascular Surgery

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Dr. Jay Pal

(November 2022) Dr. Jay Pal, Professor and Associate Section Chief of Cardiac Surgery, was recently appointed to the Lester and Connie LeRoss Endowed Professorship in Cardiovascular Surgery. This Endowed Professorship was created in 1999 to help further work in developing equipment, procedures, training techniques and personnel to treat heart-related ailments.

In January 2022, Dr. Pal started his practice at UW Medicine as Surgical Director of the Heart Transplantation and the Mechanical Circulatory Support Service, coming from his prior position as Surgical Director of the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Dr. Pal stated, “it is an honor to be recognized as the Lester and Connie LeRoss Endowed Professor in Cardiovascular Surgery. The endowment recognizes the generosity of Lester and Connie LeRoss, and facilitates the advancement of the heart transplant program at the University of Washington. Since my residency, the surgical treatment of advanced heart failure has been my passion, and I look forward to the many new treatment options that we now have at our disposal to take care of patients."

Dr. Deepika Nehra Received Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention Grant

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Dr. Deepika Nehra

(November 2022) Dr. Deepika Nehra, Assistant Professor, Division of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care Surgery, received a grant from the Office of Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention – Community Safety Unit. Dr. Nehra explains, “Firearm injury is a major public health crisis and the last two years have set records as the most violent years in Harborview history. In response to this, Harborview Medical Center has partnered with incredible community organizations that have come together as the Regional Peacekeepers collective. Together we have launched a pilot hospital-linked violence intervention program specifically focused on youth/young adults from King County who are injured by gun violence. Through this partnership we are now able to provide these high-risk youth and their families intense wraparound support services at the time of discharge and beyond with the goal of decreasing repeat violent injury and death while also improving quality of life, building social support networks and creating viable alternatives to violence.” Dr. Nehra continues, “This recently secured funding from the WA State Department of Commerce is critical, as it will allow for the enhancement and expansion of our current pilot violence intervention program. With this funding we plan to expand support services to survivors of firearm injury who live in high-risk neighborhoods outside of King County, to intensify the support services (especially mental health services) provided and to build programmatic evaluation.”

Dr. Teresa Kim Recipient of West Coast Collaborative Visiting Professor Program

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Dr. Teresa Kim

(November 2022) On September 2, 2022, Dr. Teresa Kim, Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, was announced as the University of Washington’s inaugural recipient of the West Coast Collaborative Visiting Professor Program. The Program was created by the chairs of surgery at UC Davis, UC San Francisco, Stanford, Oregon Health & Sciences University, and UW, and aims to advance the careers of junior and mid-career faculty, build networks across the institutions, and strengthen commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each institution will select an Assistant or Associate Professor to give grand rounds, with preference to underrepresented minorities, including women faculty. This first year of the West Coast Collaborative UW had 21 faculty nominated: of those, 13 met the criteria and were invited to apply. The selection committee was composed of members from the Appointments & Promotions Committee, Women's Council and Diversity Council, and all applications were excellent. Dr. Teresa Kim was selected as the winner and will be traveling to OHSU to give Grand rounds in the near future.

“This is such a fantastic opportunity,” expressed Dr. Kim. “I am so grateful for Dr. Wood, Dr. Quiroga, and the organizers at our partner institutions for setting up this program and providing a unique platform for early- and mid-career faculty to network, share ideas, and impact the field. Very much looking forward to meeting the surgeons and scientists at OHSU, representing our department, and bringing back exciting new perspectives and ideas. As always, I would like to give special thanks to mentors Dr. Venu Pillarisetty and Dr. Raymond Yeung for their keen guidance and support.”