June News Update

Lauren Hooker
June 16, 2022
News Roundup

Children's heart program No. 4 in country as hospital celebrates new rankings

Minoo Kavarana in Surgery

The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at MUSC Children’s Health is recognized across the nation as a leader in the highly specialized fields of pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiology, ranking #4 in the country, and #1 overall for the outcome component of the score, in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings. Congratulations to Drs. Bradley, Kavarana, and Rajab and all of the team members in pediatric cardiac surgery and pediatric cardiology at MUSC Children's Health and across the state-wide network. The program’s success is just part of the reason the hospital is celebrating this year’s U.S. News & World Report survey results. Three other specialties, kidney, cancer and gastrointestinal, achieved high rankings as well. Read more. 

Rana Pullatt, M.D. Named Chief of Foregut & Metabolic Surgery

Rana Pullatt

Congratulations to Rana Pullatt, M.D. on the well-deserved honor of being named division chief of Foregut and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Pullatt has earned the respect and admiration from both inside the walls of MUSC and beyond – for his internationally-renowned surgical expertise and care he provides to some of the most challenging high BMI patients in South Carolina – but also for his collegial spirit and team-focused approach.

Breast Surgical Oncologist Tara Grahovac, M.D. Joins MUSC; Serves Bluffton and Beaufort Communities

Tara Grahovac MD

Tara Grahovac, M.D. joins the MUSC Department of Surgery as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Oncologic and Endocrine Surgery, effective July 1. She is a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist, and is an expert in the medical treatment and surveillance programs for women with breast cancer and those at high risk for the disease. At MUSC Health and in collaboration with the Hollings Cancer Center, she will lead the Breast Care and Surgery Program at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, where she will work with a multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive breast care program, including developing a high risk breast cancer screening program and survivorship services. Read more. 

Transplant Researcher Yuan Zhai, M.D. Ph.D. Joins the MUSC Department of Surgery


Yuan Zhai

Yuan Zhai, M.D., Ph.D. joins the MUSC Department of Surgery as a Professor of Surgery, effective July 1. Dr. Zhai is a well-funded, nationally-renowned basic science researcher in organ transplantation. At MUSC, he will lead the MUSC Transplant Research Laboratory, where he will work in concert with transplant surgeon and Vice Chair of Innovation Joseph Scalea, M.D. and Dirk van der Windt, M.D. Ph.D. who joins the division as an Assistant Professor in September. Read more. 

Wear Orange Day Raises Awareness to the Impact of Firearm Injury and Honors Survivors

Wear Orange Day

The MUSC Turning the Tide Violence Intervention Program (TTVIP) hosted Wear Orange Day on Friday, June 3, to bring awareness to the impact of firearm violence in our community and country. Wear Orange Day is recognized as the national day of gun violence awareness, as firearm injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S., and a leading cause of death in young adults. Health care providers, leaders, community members, law enforcement and local organizations came together to promote gun violence prevention and raise awareness of this critical public health issue. Read more. 

Celebrating Pride Month

As we continue to expand our knowledge and desire to become a more diverse and inclusive community, I encourage everyone to attend the upcoming Diversity Speaker Lecture on June 23, where our guest speakers, Chase Glenn and Sunshine Goodman, will discuss what it's like to navigate the health care system in South Carolina as a transgender person, surely to be an enlightening talk.

A Conversation About Transgender Health Care featuring Chase Glenn and Sunshine Goodman on Thursday, June 23, 2022Noon to 1pmStorm Eye Auditorium / Virtual 

Register in MyQuest

Read our latest installment in "Our Voices" 

John Byrne

Our Voices is a series of vignettes on our department's DEI web section that include personal thoughts from members of the Department of Surgery, with the hopes to help dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. Please take a moment to read the latest DEI "Our Voices" blog post: A Poet's Pride, written by John Byrne, a fiscal analyst in the Department of Surgery. Read more

Faculty, Resident & Staff Recognitions:

  • John McGillicuddy, M.D. has been named a member of the Transplant Accreditation & Certification Council Program Accreditation Committee for the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
  • Denise Carneiro-Pla, M.D. has been selected to a work group of endocrine experts to develop a thyroid/parathyroid/neck ultrasound curriculum for the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons to assist the Endocrine Fellows in training.
  • Rana Pullatt, M.D. was named the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Overall Program co-chair for two years and will serve as the program chair for one year following the three year cycle. Serving in this capacity, Dr. Pullatt will have the opportunity to direct bariatric surgery educational programming on a national level.
  • Listen to our latest Surgery Podcast: Chest Wall Reconstruction Injury & Surgery with Evert Eriksson, M.D.

MUSC Department of Surgery Celebrates Our Graduates!

In June we celebrate our graduates, recognizing their milestones reached, challenges faced, and sacrifices made to complete their surgical residency or fellowship program. This year the Education Leadership Team is hosting a very special graduation ceremony on Friday, June 24.   The Department of Surgery extends our congratulations & wishes you the best in your future endeavors . We look forward to celebrating your successes!

  • Taofeek Aro, M.D.: General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Community Practice, The Woodlands, TX
  • Catherine Chung, M.D.: General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Minimally Invasive Fellowship, UCSF, Fresno, CA
  • Patrick Dennis, M.D.: Administrative Chief, General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Community Practice, Winston-Salem, NC
  • Jane Kilkenny, M.D.: Administrative Chief, General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Community Practice, Charleston, SC
  • Michael O' Laughlin, M.D.: General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship, Northwest Hospital Center, Baltimore, MD
  • Raphael Parrado, M.D.: General Surgery Residency | Next Step: Pediatric Trauma & Critical Care Fellowship, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Ashish Patel, M.D.: General Surgery Residency | Next Step: MUSC Plastic Surgery Fellowship
  • Ryan King, M.D.: Vascular Surgery Residency| Next Step: Clinical Faculty, University of Kentucky Health Care
  • Alexander (AJ) Sbrocchi, M.D.: Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency | Next Step: Clinical Faculty, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dallas, TX
  • Kiandra Scott, M.D.: Plastic Surgery Residency | Next Step: Community Practice, Columbia, SC
  • Krishna Bhandari, M.D.: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Fellowship | Next Step: Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Fellowship, MUSC
  • Leeanna Clevenger, M.D.: Surgical Critical Care Fellowship | Next Step: Community Practice, Charleston, SC
  • Mujahed “MJ” Laswi, M.D.: Surgical Critical Care Fellowship | Next Step: Clinical Faculty, Texas Tech University, Lubbock ,TX
  • Georgina Nichols, M.D.: Plastic Surgery Fellowship | Next Step: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Fellowship, Sacramento, CA

MUSC Department of Surgery Hosts Inaugural Awards Ceremony

Awards Ceremony

The Department hosted the inaugural Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 31, to recognize our exceptional faculty and trainees for their outstanding educational achievements, patient care, and research. This year, we presented awards previously delivered at the annual graduation dinners. We instituted several new awards to recognize our residents' excellence in patient care, education, professionalism, and leadership. Read more.