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Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery
Meet our dedicated team of clinicians and staff at the Codman Center for Clinical Effectiveness in Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Matthew M. Hutter, MD, MPH, is the medical director of the Codman Center. He is also a surgeon at Mass General who specializes in general and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Hutter received his master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health Program in Clinical Effectiveness. His research focuses on surgical outcomes and quality of care. He works closely with fellows within the Department of Surgery to complete division-specific research projects that utilize the data and resources of the Codman Center. Dr. Hutter is the co-director of the Department of Surgery Quality and Safety Program.
Dr. Hutter is the co-chair of the Massachusetts Surgical Quality Collaborative, a state-wide surgical collaborative with the Massachusetts State Chapter of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) that shares data and identifies best practices. Dr. Hutter sits on several national society committees, including the Board of Governors for the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and the Healthcare Quality and Outcomes Committee for the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract. He was recently elected a councilperson at large to the Executive Council for the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Dr. Hutter is the architect of and continues to lead the ACS Bariatric Surgery Data Collection Program, which has now become the sole national bariatric surgery data collection program. He is the chair of the Committee to Develop a Quality Metric for Complex GI Surgery for the GI Intersociety Group, which comprises members of all the GI surgical societies that work towards developing a quality metric for complex GI surgery.
David M. Shahian, MD, joined the Department of Surgery in May 2007. He currently serves as Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, vice president of the Mass General Center for Quality and Safety and associate director of the Codman Center. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Shahian trained in general surgery at Mass General and was a fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. For nearly two decades, Dr. Shahian was chair of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the Lahey Clinic.
In addition to his clinical career, Dr. Shahian has been involved in health policy issues for several decades, particularly in the areas of performance measurement and public reporting. He previously served as chair of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Workforce on National Databases, and is currently chair of the STS Quality Measurement Task Force and the STS Council on Quality, Research, and Patient Safety, in which capacities he has led the development of STS risk models and performance measures. Dr. Shahian has been a leader in the implementation of the mandatory cardiac surgery public reporting initiative in Massachusetts and the voluntary, nationwide public reporting program established by the STS. He is the author or co-author of more than 225 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in the areas of cardiothoracic surgery, risk modeling, performance measurement, public reporting and related health policy issues. Dr. Shahian received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Dr. Shahian is a member of the NQF Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He previously served as chair of the NQF Evidence Task Force and was a member of various NQF panels and steering committees. Dr. Shahian is a member of the PCPI Board of Directors and co-chair of the National Quality Registry Network. He serves as Deputy Editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Donna Antonelli, BS, CPHQ, is the program director of the Codman Center. As part of the Department of Surgery Quality Program, she provides analytical, statistical and project management support for surgical outcomes reporting, research and quality improvement projects. Donna has more than three decades of experience in health care research, operations, quality measurement and project management. She has worked in various quality data management positions at Lahey Clinic, including the performance measurement analyst for clinical indicators. Donna also worked at UMass Memorial and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and as a private data management consultant to develop and utilize health care databases for quality improvement and research purposes. She has held research positions at UMass Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health and published articles on care coordination. Donna received a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).
Yanik J. Bababekov, MD, MPH, is the Marshall K. Bartlett Surgical Research Fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and a Surgical Outcomes Research Fellow at the Codman Center. He is also a resident in general surgery at Mass General. His research focuses on surgical outcomes and quality of care in transplantation, hepatobiliary surgery and general surgery. A product of New England, Dr. Bababekov graduated from Belmont Hill School, received a BA in Neuroscience from Middlebury College, and earned medical and public health degrees from Tufts University School of Medicine. He lives in Boston with his wife, Lindsay, and daughter, Noa.
Sarah Bird, BA, is a project specialist at the Codman Center. She works with the Codman faculty and staff on surgical quality data analytics, visualization, and reporting. Sarah is working on the design and implementation of interactive Tableau reports and dashboards for different quality metrics for the Department of Surgery. Additionally she works to support the NSQIP and MBSAQIP data collection efforts as well as Codman Center research projects. Prior to joining Mass General, Sarah worked as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Sarah has a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.
Laura T. Boitano, MD is a vascular surgery resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital joining the Codman Center as part of her dedicated research time. Her interests include vascular surgery outcomes research. Prior to starting her residency at Mass General, she received her BS in Human Science from Georgetown University, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She then earned her medical degree from Northwestern University with an honors in research. She intends to pursue a career in academic vascular surgery.
David C. Chang, PhD, MPH, MBA, is an associate professor of surgery at Mass General, Harvard Medical School, and the director of healthcare research and policy development in the Codman Center. Dr. Chang earned his Doctor of Philosophy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2004, after completing both his Master’s of Business Administration and Master’s of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to Hopkins, Dr. Chang graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University with a double major in neurobiology and social psychology. Dr. Chang started his professional career with a primary appointment in the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and then continued on to the University of California San Diego, where he was the director of outcomes research for the Department of Surgery.
Dr. Chang has committed his entire professional life to bridging the gap between clinical surgery and public health. Dr. Chang has published more than 250 peer-reviewed original research articles and book chapters on various issues related to surgical outcomes research, disparity research, quality improvement, and health policy issues, and has received numerous awards, including the EMS Geriatrics Award from the governor of Maryland. Dr. Chang is a member of several advisory committees and review groups, such as the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs at the Department of Defense, the Roundtable on Emergency Trauma Research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the California EMS Authority Core Measures Task Force, and the Surgical Patient Safety Advisory Committee for the State of California.
Lynn Devaney, RN, MSN, is a senior clinical nurse reviewer for the Codman Center and is the longest-serving member in the center. She brings many years of experience in the surgical/trauma intensive care unit at Mass General to her work in surgical outcomes. Along with her colleagues, she maintains the ACSNSQIP database and is involved in multiple projects around quality improvement and surgical research. Lynn is also the brand manager for the Department of Surgery’s On-Call Program and its Morbidity and Mortality Conference, website and database. She has been the recipient of the Department of Surgery STAR Award and the Mass General Partners in Excellence Award and has published in the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN). She has a BSN from Salve Regina College.
Zhi Ven Fong, MD is a general surgery resident at Mass General and is the MGPO E.A. Codman Research Fellow in Clinical Effectiveness at the Codman Center. Also serving as the Andrew L. Warshaw, MD Institute for Pancreatic Cancer Research Fellow, his clinical interest centers around health service and patient-centered outcomes research for hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer. Current ongoing work includes benchmarking cholecystectomy outcomes in California, health-related quality of life research in long-term pancreaticoduodenectomy survivors, impact of regionalization on access to care in complex surgery and patient preferences in travelling for care. Dr. Fong received his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University and intends to pursue a surgical oncology fellowship.
Meridith E. Greene, PhD, is a research scientist at the Codman Center. She completed her doctoral dissertation at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Her work focuses on modeling national clinical health data and patient-reported outcome measures as a means to understand patient risk factors for good and bad outcomes following treatment. Meridith has extensive experience managing international, multicenter outcomes studies as well as national linkage studies utilizing administrative data, clinical registries and patient-reported outcomes data. At the Codman Center, Meridith is responsible for managing the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funded initiatives. She works closely with faculty and staff conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses to nationally implement patient-reported outcome measures into the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP).
Alex B. Haynes, MD, MPH, is an attending surgeon in the division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, with a primary clinical focus on the surgical management of melanoma and sarcoma. He received his undergraduate, medical, and public health degrees from Tulane University, Wayne State University and Columbia University. He completed surgical residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship at Harvard School of Public Health and subsequently completed a fellowship in complex general surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Dr. Haynes’ research focuses on interventions to improve health care systems and delivery. His work includes development and evaluation of checklist-based interventions to improve surgical care, as well as analyzing factors critical to the coordination of multidisciplinary cancer care. He serves as a faculty member at the Codman Center, as well as the Ariadne Labs of the Harvard School of Public Health. In addition, he chairs the research board of Lifebox, an international non-profit organization committed to improving the safety of surgical care on a global basis.
Haytham Kaafarani, MD, MPH, is a trauma surgeon at Mass General. He completed his medical degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital, residency in general surgery at Tufts Medical Center and a fellowship in Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Mass General. He is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. During his residency, Dr. Kaafarani also obtained a Master's in Health Policy and Management at Harvard University and completed a Health Services Research Fellowship at the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research (CHQOER).Dr. Kaafarani's research focuses on improving surgical outcomes, patient safety and quality benchmarking of surgical care, using advanced health services methodologies. He is currently studying intraoperative adverse events and exploring methods to benchmark the quality of intraoperative surgical care. He serves as the director of quality and safety in the Division of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at Mass General.
Elizabeth Lancaster, MBA, is the executive director of the Department of Surgery and manages all administrative aspects of the Codman Center. Elizabeth received her Master’s in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has an extensive background in managing quality improvement activities, including data management, operations and clinical and administrative teams, and has held positions as a project specialist in the Mass General Hospital Decision Support and Quality Management Unit and as a data analyst in Quality Improvement and Strategic Planning at Kaleida Health in Buffalo, New York. Prior to joining the Department of Surgery, Elizabeth served as program director in the Partners Healthcare Inc. High Performance Medicine “Uniform High Quality Initiative.”
Grace C. Lee, MD is a general surgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and research fellow at the Codman Center, supported by the Research Training in Alimentary Tract Surgery T32 program. Her research interests focus on quality and clinical outcomes research related to colorectal cancer and IBD. Current projects include optimizing perioperative care of geriatric patients undergoing colorectal surgery, functional outcomes after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis surgery for IBD, development of perianal fistulae in patients with IBD, and disparities in surgical treatment of patients with colorectal cancer. She received a B.S. in Biology from MIT and M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and intends to pursue a fellowship in colorectal surgery.
Michelle McKiernan, MHA, CPHQ, is Project Manager for Performance Improvement in the Department of Surgery. She started her career as an occupational therapist after graduation from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She worked in various sub-acute rehabilitation settings in the greater Boston area. She later earned her Juris Doctor from New England School of Law and a Master of Health Administration degree from Suffolk University Sawyer Business School. She was a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School/E.K. Shriver Center, where she studied the programs and policies that affect people with disabilities and their families. Her commitment to health care quality and safety further developed at NSMC, where she was the Director of Quality Reporting and Analytics. She is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ) and has been trained in performance improvement methodologies. Her most recent position was the Director of Quality Improvement and Risk Management for a program that provides care to the elderly in the community. Michelle has been a Mass General volunteer and advisor to the MGHfC Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Family Advisory Committee (FAC) and the Parents Offering Parents Support (POPS) initiative. Michelle’s primary responsibility is project management for high priority performance improvement projects throughout the Department of Surgery.
Sahael M. Stapleton, MD, is the E. A. Codman Surgical Research Fellow at Mass General and Harvard Medical School. He is also completing his residency in General Surgery at Mass General. His current work includes developing projects aimed at improving quality metrics in general and vascular surgery, and exploring factors that are central to understanding of inequality and advocacy in healthcare. Prior to arrival in Boston, Dr. Stapleton received his B.S. in Neuroscience from UCLA, studied medicine at Johns Hopkins and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at UCSF.
Kathleen Swierzewski, RN, is a surgical nurse reviewer for the Codman Center. Since joining, Kathleen has been involved in pilot projects focusing on improved data collection, review and analysis with the American College of Surgeons, specifically working to evaluate the most effective methods to collect and predict patient outcomes. She brings broad clinical experience with more than 25 years of practice in surgical and cardiothoracic ICU settings. Prior to joining the Codman Center, Kathleen transitioned to the role of clinical nurse reviewer through experience working with databases from the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
Brooks Udelsman, MD, MHS is a general surgery resident at Mass General and is the E.A. Codman Research Fellow in Clinical Effectiveness at the Codman Center. He is also serving as the Society of University Surgeons KARL-STORZ research fellow. His clinical interest centers around end of life care and surgical palliative care. Current ongoing work includes design of goals of care documentation tools to improve communication of patient preferences among inpatient teams. Dr. Udelsman received his medical degree and masters in health sciences from the Yale University School of Medicine and intends to pursue a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship after completion of general surgery residency.
Brenda Velasquez is a Quality Data Specialist for the Codman Center. Along with her other colleagues, she acquires and processes data into the endocrine-CeSQIP and Pedi-NSQIP database. Before MGH, she worked in a different Partners institution working on quality improvement projects along with extensive data collection. Brenda has a Bachelors of Science from Worcester State University and is also pursuing her degree as a Registered Nurse here in Boston.
Maggie Westfal MD, MPH is a surgical research fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Codman Center. Maggie just completed three years of general surgery residency at Mass General. She will be focusing her research on clinical outcomes related to pediatric surgery. Maggie graduated from Yale University with a BA in political science while completing her pre-medical requirements. She played both varsity soccer and ice hockey at Yale and continues to play recreationally around Boston. She then attended Tufts University School of Medicine where she studied both medicine and public health. It was there that she met her soon to be husband, Doug Cassidy, who is also a surgery resident at Mass General.
Cameron Wright, MD, graduated from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his residencies in surgery and thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and is board certified in both areas. Dr. Wright’s clinical focus is on thoracic oncology, airway surgery (tracheal surgery) and pulmonary thromboendarterectomy. Dr. Wright sits on several boards and national society committees, including the American Board of Thoracic Surgery where he serves as director of the STS and as chair of the General Thoracic Database. His interest in quality and patient safety in surgery informs his role as chair of the Mass General Hospital Department of Surgery Quality Assurance Committee. Dr. Wright also serves as a colonel in the United Stated Army Reserve and has deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
General and Gastrointestinal Surgery
Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care
Surgical Critical Care
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