Incoming Medical-Dental Staff President Joseph Bennett, M.D., welcomed his colleagues to the M-D Staff’s signature event, the annual banquet and awards ceremony, Nov. 4 at Deerfield.

“This evening is dedicated to celebrating the Medical-Dental Staff and all that you do for Christiana Care,” Dr. Bennet said. “While we are all part of a larger system, ultimately it is about the interaction that each one of us has with our individual patients and with each other that makes Christiana Care a special place. We serve our neighbors with the heart of a community hospital, while also being at the forefront of medicine and surgery and providing innovative and exceptional care that rivals the nation’s top institutions.

“Tonight, we celebrate all members of the Medical-Dental Staff who continue to care for our patients and who make this institution great. We celebrate retirees who practiced before us and who paved the way. We honor the special individuals who went above and beyond, and we celebrate each and every one of the Medical-Dental Staff who have dedicated their lives to taking care of our patients.”

Commendation for Excellence

The 2017 Commendation for Excellence was awarded to Virginia U. Collier, M.D., MACP, who retired in January 2017 as the Hugh R. Sharp, Jr. Chair of Medicine at Christiana Care.

“No one personifies the single-minded pursuit of excellence at Christiana Care more than Ginger Collier,” wrote colleagues Timothy A. Manzone, M.D., and Robert M. Dressler, M.D., authors of the nomination.

“The clinical acumen and compassion of many area physicians are direct results of her training and inspiration,” they wrote. “She has championed countless transformational initiatives, served as an impeccable role model, and worked tirelessly to promote the best patient care in a changing environment.”

Dr. Collier was unable to attend the ceremony in person but accepted by video address.

Rising Star Awards

Banquet attendees also congratulated 10 Rising Stars — physicians whose outstanding clinical, leadership and teaching achievements have earned high praise from their department head, service line leaders and other colleagues, presented here in excerpts from their nominations:

Lindsay Ashkenase, M.D.
Family & Community Medicine

Lindsay Ashkenase, M.D., with David M. Berkaw, M.D.

A 2012 graduate of the Family & Community Residency Program, Dr. Ashkenase’s talents were so highly regarded that she immediately was hired as a faculty member and now serves as the program’s assistant director.

She is consistently ranked as a superior teacher and mentor by residents.

During her residency, Dr. Ashkenase demonstrated excellence in the primary care provider role for patients in Christiana Care’s HIV Community Program and has continued serving that population as a clinical physician embedded in their office.

Under her mentorship, several family medicine residents have followed in her footsteps and are planning upon incorporating a similar role into their career paths.

Priyanka Dixit-Patel, M.D.
Primary Care & Community Medicine

Priyanka Dixit-Patel, M.D., with Omar Khan, M.D., MHS

Dr. Dixit-Patel is a critical player in the transformation of primary care during an exceptional period of opportunity and challenge for the service line.

As the practice leader of a team of providers, nurses, and medical assistants at Smyrna Family Medicine and the patient-anchored care team, she demonstrates new ways of engaging in the important work of caring for patients.

She has piloted a unique scribing program to which she attributes substantially improved diagnostic ability and presence for patients. In doing so, she has demonstrated important parts of care transformation, providing lessons that are applicable throughout the health system.

Andrew Ellefson, M.D.
Pediatrics / Neonatology

Andrew Ellefson, M.D., with David A. Paul, M.D.

Andrew Ellefson, M.D., is an emerging leader with excellent clinical, research and teaching skills.

With a history of military service, he sought out additional leadership training during his fellowship and as a young faculty member.

Today he has taken the lead on a pathway to reduce the proportion of term infants admitted to the NICU.

His leadership skills emerged during the planning of the clinical pathway that required the collaboration of multiple diverse stakeholders. To date, the pathway has been clinically successful in safely reducing admissions of healthy term infants to the NICU.

Jennifer Goldstein, M.D. MSc
Medicine – Internal Medicine

Jennifer Goldstein, M.D., MSC, with LeRoi S. Hicks, M.D., MPH

Since her arrival at Christiana Care in July 2014, Dr. Goldstein has become a leader in scholarship across the organization and has further strengthened our department’s reputation locally, regionally and nationally.

Dr. Goldstein completed her Internal Medicine Residency at the Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, and fellowship in general internal medicine and master’s in health policy research at the University of Pennsylvania.

A Department of Medicine faculty member, hospitalist and Value Institute scholar, Dr. Goldstein has focused her research on health care disparities and care transitions.

Shortly after her arrival in 2014, she won a two-year Mentored Research Development Award from the Delaware Clinical Translational Research Program, which resulted in several peer reviewed publications related to care transitions and national quality metrics.

Kathryn Y. Groner, M.D.
Emergency Medicine

Kathryn Y. Groner, M.D., with John T. Powell, M.D.

Kathryn Y. Groner, M.D., completed her emergency medicine training at Christiana Care after graduating from Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia. She also completed an administrative fellowship at Christiana Care and has shown exceptional leadership in a number of dimensions beyond her basic clinical role.

She received Green Belt training for Lean Six Sigma and then developed and executed a number of important clinical projects, including several ED patient flow and disposition initiatives.

She acts as liaison with the Trauma Program and also is co-liaison with the Heart & Vascular Service Line.

Dr. Groner also has an interest in political and legislative matters, and has represented Emergency Medicine at both state and national levels. She is president of the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and often interacts with legislators and others in the formulation health care related matters.

Kaveeta Vinaya Kumar, M.D., MBA

Kaveeta Vinaya Kumar, M.D., MBA

Kaveeta Vinaya Kumar, M.D., MBA, is director for women’s health clinical innovation and associate medical director of women’s health ambulatory services for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Division of Education.

She brings a unique educational background and skill set to Christiana Care Health System. She is constantly interested in looking for innovations in patient care and has taken a lead in the department’s Wilmington practice.

Dr. Kumar has demonstrated creative thinking and collaboration to improve patient access and has implemented a new intake process for new obstetric patients that has markedly decreased “no-shows” and translated into fewer emergency department visits.

She has demonstrated the ability to work effectively and collaboratively with residents, nursing staff and patients and always does so with a smile and a positive attitude.

Brian T. Nam, M.D.
Cancer Service Line – Thoracic Program

Brian T. Nam, M.D., with Charles R. Mulligan, M.D.

Brian T. Nam, M.D., was recruited in November 2012 as a member of the thoracic multidisciplinary team at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.

He is an expert in minimally invasive thoracic surgery and performed the first minimally invasive esophageal cancer operations in Delaware.

Dr. Nam plays a key role on the thoracic multidisciplinary team, which includes medical and radiation oncology, radiology, interventional pulmonology, and supportive and palliative care.

Dr. Nam has been a productive member of the Graham Cancer Center/ Wistar Institute Cancer Center partnership, which started in 2014.

He is the principal investigator on two translational research projects with the Wistar Institute Cancer Center. These include development of a single circulating biomarker for the early detection of lung cancer and the study of T cell and myeloid cells in the tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Nam received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, followed by his medical degree at the University of Minnesota. He completed a general surgery residency at the Mayo Clinic in 2010 followed by a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship
at the University of Wisconsin, completed in June of 2012.

Lindsey Romak, M.D.
Radiation Oncology

Lindsey Romak, M.D., with Adam Raben, M.D.

Lindsey Romak, MD., joined Christiana Care in 2016, coming from the Mayo Clinic.

In a short time she has proven to be an excellent clinician and colleague and is beloved by staff and patients.

She has taken on the role of building a comprehensive gastrointestinal multidisciplinary center, increasing the visibility of the team and the exposure of patients to clinical trials, and expansion of the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy for oligo metastatic disease.

In addition, she rebuilt the departmental patient brochure and has participated with the marketing communications team in developing an online video describing the treatment of lower gastrointestinal cancers at Christiana Care.

Dr. Romak also volunteers outside of the institution, including participating in a recent 5K run at the Concord Health Center campus to raise awareness of cancer therapy.

She is involved in the radiation oncology departmental event reporting committee, which meets weekly to evaluate process insufficiency and issues that require resolution within the department. She demonstrates excellent, intuitive leadership skills.

Samson Wong, M.D.

Samson Wong, M.D., with Vinay Gehyi, M.D.

A valued member of the Emergency Radiology team, Dr. Wong joined Christiana Care after completing a women’s imaging fellowship from New York University in January 2013. He also received his medical degree and residency training at NYU.

Dr. Wong demonstrates an ability to critically evaluate processes in place and a commitment toward process improvements.

He recently participated in a nine-month Advanced Quality and Safety Improvement Science Program at Christiana Care. This training provided him with advanced knowledge and skills in improvement and safety science to lead, mentor and teach quality improvement and patient safety.

He was a leader of the multidisciplinary team that created a new workflow designed to reduce the percentage of unnecessary delayed phase CT scans obtained in trauma patients. This practice has achieved significant decrease in radiation dose as well as turnaround time for the trauma patients.

Dr. Wong was a team member for a Lean Six Sigma project that helped create newer guidelines for the oral contrast usage in Emergency Department patients getting CT scans of the abdomen and pelvis. Implementation of this practice has substantially decreased the order-to-report turnaround time and patients’ length of stay in the Emergency Department.

Parth Mohanbhai Viroja, M.D.

Parth M. Viroja, M.D., with Linda Lang, M.D.

Parth Mohanbhai Viroja, M.D., joined Christiana Care in 2016 after completing his residency in psychiatry at the Delaware Psychiatric Center.

During his residency training he did several rotations at Christiana Care, including a year-and-a-half of outpatient psychiatry under the supervision of Department Chair Linda Lang, M.D.

Dr. Viroja is a person of great integrity and has been an integral member of the Department of Psychiatry. He has volunteered to welcome and onboard new psychiatrists, and his commitment to the strategic aims is evidenced by his leadership in developing education for behavioral health patients about the risks of diabetes.

Dr. Viroja has received certification in transcranial magnetic stimulation and electroconvulsive therapy.

He received his medical degree from BJ Medical College of Ahmedabad, India.

His humanitarian efforts include volunteer work as a member of the Haiti Family Initiative medical team that spent a couple weeks in Haiti in 2011 and 2012, serving as a physician aiding victims of the January 2010 earthquake.