Jefferson Surgical Solutions

Article Title

On the Job


Jonathan Brody, PhD, Ernest Rosato, MD, Karen Chojnacki, MD, Charles J. Yeo, MD, Scott Cowan, MD, Francesco Palazzo, MD

When Dr. Yeo left Johns Hopkins in October of 2005 to lead the Department of Surgery at Jefferson, he had big plans. Over the last ten years, the improvements have been dramatic across the board thanks to the support and contributions of five faculty members he selected to serve as vice chairs:

Jonathan Brody, PhD, Vice Chair for Research, supervises and facilitates research activities in the Department. To support and publicize research initiatives, Dr. Brody manages a pilot grant program for the surgical faculty, a research seminar series, and a bi-annual resident research symposium. He works with other faculty to strengthen the research infrastructure, encourage faculty interests, increase investigator initiated clinical trials, expand the departmental grant portfolio, and establish a clinically useful biobank.

Ernest Rosato, MD, Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, is responsible for supervising many elements within the clinical domain including faculty roles, the maintenance of surgical outcomes, safety and volume. Dr. Rosato works closely with Dr. Yeo to develop strategies for clinical growth, faculty recruitment and retention, and program development within the Department and across Jefferson Health.

Karen Chojnacki, MD,Vice Chair for Education, is responsible for facilitating the educational mission of the Department, including overseeing the educational program for 40 surgical residents. In her role as Program Director, Dr. Chojnacki develops the resident lecture series, implements rotation and call schedules, manages resident recruitment, and maintains program compliance with the ACGME surgical residency requirements. Dr. Chojnacki and her education team work continuously to maintain the surgical residency’s status as a top tier program. In conjunction with the Dean’s office, she facilitates educational opportunities for faculty development including seminars and workshops on teaching methods.

Scott Cowan, MD, Vice Chair for Quality, is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and tracking of quality and safety initiatives within the Department. As Surgeon Champion for the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP®) at Jefferson and Vice President of the Pennsylvania NSQIP Consortium, Dr. Cowan is establishing Jefferson as a leader in promoting surgical quality and safety. The Department’s new Quality Based Initiative in Resident Training (QBIRT) program (led by surgical residents with Dr. Cowan’s guidance) has already demonstrated a direct and significant positive impact on patient care.

Francesco Palazzo, MD, Vice Chair at Methodist, is responsible for all professional, administrative, and research activities within the Department of Surgery at Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia. Dr. Palazzo continually assesses performance and elicits improvements to the care and services provided at Methodist. Under his leadership, two Methodist “white papers” have been completed. Dr. Palazzo also teaches third and fourth year students from Sidney Kimmel Medical College and Jefferson surgery residents during their Methodist Hospital rotation.