University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Week in Review – March 14, 2016

At the Top

Amy Liepert, MD, made the cover of this month’s Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons, for her article “Applying advocacy skills: Gaining influence from the statehouse to Capitol Hill.” In the article, Dr. Liepert shares her experience meeting Representative Paul Ryan at a forum to discuss health care and provides several insights into the importance of advocacy and its relevance to surgeons. Thank you, Dr. Liepert, for leading the effort to educate surgeon advocates.


The University of Wisconsin was well represented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Dysphagia Research Society in Tucson, Arizona, February 25-27. Several researchers and clinicians from the Division of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery presented two invited talks, seven oral paper presentations, and three posters. Our team brought home two awards: Heidi Kletzien, research assistant, was awarded Best Research Poster, and Corinne Jones, MS, CCCSLP, was honored with Second Place Presentation in the New Investigators Forum. Timothy McCulloch, MD, and his research team conducted two small group sessions on high-resolution manometry as part of the final aim of his R33 grant, “High Resolution Manometry: A Novel Pattern Recognition Method for Dysphagia.”

Last week Chuck Leys, MD, and the Division of Pediatric Surgery hosted the biannual meeting of the Midwest Pediatric Surgery Research Consortium (MWPSC) at University Hospital and WIMR. This included a group of 20 pediatric surgeons from 11 children’s hospitals throughout the Midwest. MWPSC was established as a means to conduct high-quality, collaborative, multi-institutional studies to work toward improving surgical care for children.


Suresh “Mitu” Agarwal Jr., MD, has been selected to serve a five-year term as associate editor for the Acute Care Surgery section of the “Journal of Surgical Research.” As associate editor Dr. Agarwal will review three to five articles per week, assign papers for peer review, and oversee the entire review process. Congratulations on this new role, Dr. Agarwal!

Clinical Excellence

Luis Fernandez, MD, was named Surgical Director of the Liver Transplant program, effective March 1, 2016. Dr. Fernandez completed his transplant surgery fellowship at UW and has risen through the academic ranks to his current position as a tenured associate professor. He has served in several leadership positions inside the institution and externally, recently concluding his position as Region 7 representative on the UNOS Liver Transplant Committee. He is also a distinguished researcher currently holding several clinical and basic research grants, including studies supported by the NIH. We look forward to his new leadership role in the liver transplant program.

Thanks to Tony D’Alessandro, MD, for his outstanding contributions as Surgical Director of the Liver Transplant program. He has led the program since 2008. His numerous accomplishments have provided the UW transplant program national distinction including the recent development of the liver transplant program at the Veterans Administration Hospital. Our liver transplant program has benefitted greatly from his leadership role.