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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Leading Virginia Tech Surgeon Joins West Penn Allegheny Health System as Director of Newly Created Division of Acute Care Surgery

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

PITTSBURGH, PA (October 19, 2010) - West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) announced today that R. Stephen Smith, MD, has joined the organization as Director of its newly established Division of Acute Care Surgery. He will assume his position at on February 1, 2011.

Dr. Smith comes to WPAHS from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, where he has served in a number of high level clinical and academic appointments, including Professor of Surgery, Vice Chair and most recently Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery and Director of Surgical Education. He brings to WPAHS more than 25 years of experience in acute care surgery and has noted expertise in critical care, trauma and advanced trauma life support.

At WPAHS, Dr. Smith will oversee all clinical, academic and research activities of the System’s acute care surgery programs, including its highly regarded Level 1 Trauma Center at Allegheny General Hospital and Burn Center at West Penn Hospital.

“We are very fortunate to have a surgeon of Dr. Smith’s caliber join our team, as a physician leader who shares our commitment to personalized patient care, innovation and academic excellence,” said Donald W. Moorman, MD, Chair, WPAHS Department of Surgery. “His experience will serve us well as we form our acute care surgery practices into one cohesive division and chart the organization’s future as a preeminent referral center for advanced acute surgical care services.”

Acute care surgery is a newer clinical model for serving patients who require immediate surgical intervention, Dr. Moorman said. According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, adding an acute care surgery service can help surgeons at academic medical centers provide more timely and effective care to patients who arrive at the hospital and need immediate surgery. 

"I am excited to join the West Penn Allegheny Health System and to work within this physician-led organization to establish an integrated acute care surgical division,” Dr. Smith said. “The System has a long and distinguished history of providing the western PA region with exceptional trauma and burn care and I look forward to helping continue that tradition. Providing compassionate, personalized care of the highest quality and innovation will always be our goal.”

Dr. Smith began his career as a staff surgeon at Naval Hospitals in Okinawa, where he was Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit, and Oakland, Cal., where he was head of the Surgical Critical Care Team. He also served with Operations Desert Shield and Storm, and on the USNS Mercy, as staff surgeon and Medical Director of the Intensive Care Unit. He is a retired Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve.
Before joining Virginia Tech, Dr. Smith was a Professor of Surgery at University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita. He has also served as Medical Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Trauma Department at Via Christi Regional Medical Center in Wichita during that time.

A graduate of Arkansas Tech University, Dr. Smith earned his medical degree at the University of Arkansas College of Medicine. He served his residency in general surgery at the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita and a fellowship in trauma/surgical critical care at Shock Trauma Associates of California, St. Mary Medical Center, Long Beach, Cal. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

He has authored nearly 500 book chapters, scientific articles, presentations and abstracts throughout his medical career, and has served as an Editorial Reviewer for several leading journals in his field, including the Archives of Surgery, World Journal of Surgery, Journal of Trauma and the American Journal of Surgery.



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