Jefferson Surgical Solutions


Milagros “Milly” Yax and Dominique Vicchairelli

With more than 25 combined years of experience, Dominique Vicchairelli and Milagros “Milly” Yax have made helping others the focus of their careers. Before joining the Department of Surgery, Yax worked as a medical assistant, most recently with Jefferson Internal Medicine in Voorhees, NJ. Since becoming Clinical Coordinator in Surgery last November, she no longer checks patients’ vitals or assists physicians with exams – but she’s found a new way to make a difference. Yax is responsible for assisting patients of Harish Lavu, MD, FACS, and Jordan M. Winter, MD, FACS, who both specialize in pancreatic cancer surgery.

Since 2009 Vicchairelli has provided the same service for the patients of Charles J. Yeo, MD, FACS, the Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chair of Surgery and Co-Director of the Jefferson Pancreas, Biliary and Related Cancer Center. As Clinical Coordinators, they each serve as their patients’ primary point of contact – from scheduling the initial appointment and navigating diagnostic tests and referrals through treatment and follow-up.

“I enjoy taking care of our patients from beginning to end,” Yax says. “They get to know me, and we build a relationship. They know they can come to me with questions or concerns. I think it makes a huge difference for them to have my email address and direct phone number versus talking to someone different every time they call. It’s much more personalized.”

In addition, Vicchairelli provides administrative support for the Jefferson Pancreas Tumor Registry (JPTR), which collects information from pancreatic cancer patients and family members who enroll in the study. The registry, established in 2008, now has well over 500 people enrolled: 65% have sporadic (non-hereditary pancreatic) cancers, 14% have familial (hereditary) pancreatic cancers, 14% are non-affected family members and 7% have closely related conditions. All registrants are asked to complete an extensive questionnaire. The Registry is directed by Theresa P. Yeo, PhD, and Harish Lavu, MD.

“I know it’s a lot of paperwork, but it’s so important for our patients and their families to complete it,” Vicchairelli says. “The data is invaluable in helping us study the disease, so we can understand not only the genetic components but also potential environmental and occupational risk factors.”

For more information about the JPTR or to download questionnaires, please visit Jefferson.edu/Pancreasregistry