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Posted on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 — 10:31 AM
Improved care for burn patients through collaboration and shared resources is the goal behind new roles announced at the Vanderbilt Burn Center, one of the country’s largest Level 1 centers.
J. Blair Summitt, M.D., assistant professor of Plastic Surgery, is interim medical director of Acute Burn Services at Vanderbilt University Hospital and Stuart McGrane, M.B., Ch.B., assistant professor of Anesthesiology, is interim medical director of the Burn Intensive Care Unit.
Summitt, who came to Vanderbilt as one of the center’s first burn fellows in 2001, succeeds Jeffrey Guy, M.D., who had been director since 2004.
“It is essential that we take a collaborative approach to the treatment of severely burned patients,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.
“Dr. Summitt has long been a key member of the Vanderbilt University Burn Service and has graciously agreed to assume this very important responsibility. The collaborative care of the critically injured burn patients that is overseen by Dr. McGrane and other intensive care specialists will ensure the highest level of excellence in the care of our burn patients,” Beauchamp said.
“Dr. Summitt has been a part of the Vanderbilt Burn Center since some of its earliest successes,” said R. Bruce Shack, M.D., chair of Plastic Surgery. “He has been a stabilizing force in the unit and was the obvious choice to take on this responsibility.”
Since its opening in 1983, the center has expanded to include an on-site Burn Clinic, Hydrotherapy Clinic, General Step-down Unit, and Burn Intensive Care Unit. It currently serves eight states in the region.
“I have been honored to work in a unit that not only operates just about as efficiently as any other, but whose first objective is, and always will be, patient safety and care,” Summitt said.
McGrane, who came to Vanderbilt in 2004, completed a residency in Anesthesiology and became a B.H. Robbins scholar to pursue a career in academic Anesthesiology, coupled with clinical subspecialty training and unique opportunities for mentored research.
He later completed a fellowship in critical care anesthesia and a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation before being appointed assistant professor of Clinical Anesthesiology in 2009.
“Dr. McGrane has been a clinical and systems innovation leader for his entire tenure at Vanderbilt,” said Warren Sandberg, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Anesthesiology.
“He’s been a willing leader for important, foundational projects, and this is another great example of Stuart’s patients-first approach to critical care. We believe that Dr. McGrane’s proven leadership skills and collaborative character will mesh well with Dr. Summitt in this capacity.”
The Burn Center is currently leading a pilot program in coordination with the Department of Anesthesiology and the Vanderbilt Informatics Center to use clinical electronic medical records information to create systems that further improve communications, assure consistency of care and create efficiency by reducing the need to search for patient data.
The center is also studying the use of nitrous oxide in both the unit and in the clinic to make complex dressing changes less painful for patients.
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