Welcome to the Department of Surgery



"Honoring the Past, Building the Future"

Welcome to the Department of Surgery at Westchester Medical Center (WMC), Valhalla Campus, the flagship hospital of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network and the premier provider of advanced medical care in the Hudson Valley. The Department of Surgery’s mission is to provide all patients with state-of-the art clinical services from world-class clinicians, regardless of case complexity. In order to achieve our mission we are enhancing the department by building an academic and research program in which every member can reach his or her fullest potential.

Our main objective is to grow the clinical, academic, and research portfolios of the Department of Surgery by providing advanced teaching and education to residents, medical students, fellows, and allied health professionals. We are continually expanding our outreach and community initiatives across the Hudson Valley and beyond. Our motto is to honor the past, but at the same time, build and shape the future of surgery.

The Department of Surgery at WMC Health is home to the best surgical leaders both nationally and internationally. We perform the most complex and advanced surgical procedures available today, using state-of-the-art robotic technology, telemedicine, interdisciplinary collaborative approaches, and evidence-based practices. Our department has a long and rich clinical and research history in collaboration with New York Medical College, which includes Cardiac Surgery (including heart transplant), Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Burn Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, General Surgery, Intra-abdominal Transplant Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Thoracic Surgery, Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, and Vascular Surgery. WMC is also the home to the Joel A. Halpern Trauma Center, a Level 1 Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, which is accredited by the American College of Surgeons/Committee and serves the entire Hudson Valley Region.

Our faculty at WMC Health take great pride in training the surgeons of the future. The General Surgery Residency Program, Surgical Critical Care Fellowship, and Minimally Invasive Surgical Fellowship are highly competitive and sought after training programs, which have trained and continue to train some of the world’s leaders in surgery, trauma, critical care, and minimally invasive surgery.

The newly established Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit (DSCRU) at WMC is a catalyst to enhance research and publications of the department. The DSCRU provides support for attending staff, residents, and fellows through a number of initiatives and programs, including the International Research Fellowship. Finally, thank you for visiting the website of the Department of Surgery at WMC Health Network. I am delighted to show you our department, and welcome you to meet our clinical and research faculty, residents, and fellows.


The Department of Surgery has a long and rich history of clinical research, aiming to grow a serious academic portfolio, and advance teaching and education of medical students, residents, fellows, and allied health staff while at the same time expand our research activites into translational research and pursue grant applications and industrial partnerships.

In order to achieve the highest quality and coordination within the research realm, our department has created a professional and dedicated research team called the Clinical Research Unit. The faculty of the research unit consists of highly trained professional researchers who are available 24/7 to satisfy the entire department of surgery's research needs.

The Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit (DSCRU) will act as a catalyst to enhance the research activity of the department, and will also be responsible for research support for attending staff, residents, and fellows through a number of initiatives and programs including the International Research Fellowship. They also analyze large amounts of clinical and operational data that is used for quality assurance projects, research publications and conference presentations.

Research Priorities

  • Patient-centered Surgical Care
  • Complex abdominal surgery
  • Global Surgery and Surgical Volunteerism
  • Geriatric Surgery and Trauma
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Hemostatic Resuscitation
  • Surgical Infections
  • Nutritional Support in trauma and critically ill patients
  • Telemedicine and Telepresence
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis
  • Immunocompromised Surgical Patients
  • Chaos in Trauma and Surgery
  • Meta-analysis in Surgery

Associate Director

David J. Samson, MS

David J. Samson, MS, has had nearly 30 years of experience in evaluating clinical research. With training and experience in both chronic disease epidemiology and clinical epidemiology, his strengths include research design, research methods, biostatistics, critical appraisal of studies, health technology assessment, systematic review, comparative effectiveness research, meta-analysis and economic evaluation of healthcare practices. He previously worked in health technology assessment programs at the ECRI Institute and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. David has written over 100 technology assessment reports in all areas of clinical medicine. Since 1997, he fulfilled contracts with the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, completing highly rigorous systematic reviews on prominent healthcare questions. He has authored many major government reports and journal articles on comparative effectiveness. He has sat on panels for specialty society clinical practice guidelines and served as a member of the Medicare Evidence Development & Coverage Advisory Committee at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He has presented at numerous conferences and training seminars. At the Westchester Medical Center Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit, he advises on research design, guides projects through institutional approval, conducts statistical analyses, writes and edits journal manuscripts, prepares grant proposals and provides training in clinical research.

Please CLICK HERE for a list of publications.

Research Coordinators


Elizabeth H. Tilley, PhD

Elizabeth H. Tilley, PhD, specializes in research methods, study design, and statistical analyses. She has worked in an academic setting for over 15 years and has authored and co-authored numerous articles regarding telemedicine and emergency response. Dr. Tilley also provides expertise in grant-writing, project budgeting, human subjects protocol, and manuscript preparation. Her combination of research and administrative skills helps in the expediting and coordination of research projects. At the Westchester Medical Center Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit, she assists with research design, coordinates through institutional approval, conducts statistical analyses, writes and edits journal manuscripts, coordinates grant proposal applications, seeks funding opportunities, and works with human subjects and IRB for approval of projects.

Please CLICK HERE for a list of publications.


Saranda Gashi, MPH

Saranda Gashi, MPH, is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Public Health. Through her graduate work, she gained exposure in research design, implementation and evaluation. At the Westchester Medical Center Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit, she assists with research design, coordinates through institutional approval, monitors data collection, conducts literature reviews, identifies, analyzes and summarizes key research publications, and works with the IRB for approval of projects.

Manuscripts published in peer reviewed journals 2016

1.      Abu Saleh WK, Tang GHL, Ahmad H, Cohen M, Undemir C, Lansman SL, et al. Vascular complication can be minimized with a balloon-expandable, re-collapsible sheath in TAVR with a self-expanding bioprosthesis. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2016 Jul;88(1):135–43.

2.      Afifi I, Parchani A, Al-Thani H, El-Menyar A, Alajaj R, Elazzazy S, et al. Base deficit and serum lactate concentration in patients with post traumatic convulsion. Asian J Neurosurg. 2016 Jun;11(2):146–50.

3.      Amin A, Safaya A, Ronny F, Islam H, Bhuta K, Rajdeo H. Hemorrhagic Shock from Spontaneous Splenic Rupture Requiring Open Splenectomy in a Patient Taking Rivaroxaban. Am Surg. 2016 Feb;82(2):E54-55.

4.      Amin A, Zhurov Y, Ibrahim G, Maffei A, Giannone J, Cerabona T, et al. Combined Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Management of Postcholecystectomy Mirizzi Syndrome from a Remnant Cystic Duct Stone: Case Report and Review of the Literature. Case Rep Surg. 2016;2016:1896368.

5.      Asensio JA, Petrone P, Ogun OA, Perez-Alonso AJ, Wagner M, Bertellotti R, et al. Laparotomy: The conquering of the abdomen and the historical journey of pancreatic and duodenal injuries. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Jun;80(6):1023–31.

6.      Azim A, Haider AA, Rhee P, Verma K, Windell E, Jokar TO, et al. Early feeds not force feeds: Enteral nutrition in traumatic brain injury. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Sep;81(3):520–4.

7.      Cassuto J, Babu S, Laskowski I. The survival benefit of kidney transplantation in the setting of combined peripheral arterial disease and end-stage renal failure. Clin Transplant. 2016 May;30(5):545–55.

8.      Chen K, Garg J, Malekan R, Spielvogel D, Ahmad H. Assessing Intraoperative Bleeding Risk in Patients Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting with Prior Exposure to Clopidogrel: Single Center Retrospective Analysis. Am J Ther. 2016 Jan 28;

9.      Chirumamilla V, Prabhakaran K, Patrizio P, Savino JA, Marini CP, Zoha Z. Pericardiocentesis followed by thoracotomy and repair of penetrating cardiac injury caused by nail gun injury to the heart. Int J Surg Case Rep. 2016;23:98–100.

10.    El-Menyar A, Asim M, Latifi R, Al-Thani H. Research in Emergency and Critical Care Settings: Debates, Obstacles and Solutions. Sci Eng Ethics. 2016 Dec;22(6):1605–26.

11.    Gillick JL, Cooper JB, Babu S, Das K, Murali R. Successful Treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with Pseudoaneurysm Excision and Median Nerve Neurolysis. World Neurosurg. 2016 Aug;92:582.e5-8.

12.    Hadeed GJ, Smith J, O’Keeffe T, Kulvatunyou N, Wynne JL, Joseph B, et al. Early surgical intervention and its impact on patients presenting with necrotizing soft tissue infections: A single academic center experience. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2016 Mar;9(1):22–7.

13.    Hagler D, Prabhakaran K, Lombardo G, Marini CP. Splenic abscess requiring early splenectomy following angioembolization for blunt splenic injury in an immunocompromised host: implications for management. Am Surg. 2016 Nov;82(11):e310–2.

14.    Joseph B, Azim A, Haider AA, Kulvatunyou N, O’Keeffe T, Hassan A, et al. Bicycle helmets work when it matters the most. Am J Surg. 2016 Jul 28;

15.    Joseph B, Azim A, Zangbar B, Bauman ZM, O’Keeffe T, Ibraheem K, et al. Improving mortality in trauma laparotomy through the evolution of damage control resuscitation: Analysis of 1,030 consecutive trauma laparotomies. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Oct 31;

16.    Joseph B, Hadeed S, Haider AA, Ditillo M, Joseph A, Pandit V, et al. Obesity and trauma mortality: Sizing up the risks in motor vehicle crashes. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Mar 17;

17.    Joseph B, Haider AA, Azim A, Kulvatunyou N, Tang A, OʼKeeffe T, et al. The impact of patient protection and Affordable Care Act on trauma care: A step in the right direction. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Sep;81(3):427–34.

18.    Joseph B, Ibraheem K, Haider AA, Kulvatunyou N, Tang A, O’Keeffe T, et al. Identifying potential utility of REBOA: An autopsy study. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 May 18;

19.    Joseph B, Ibraheem K, Haider AA, Kulvatunyou N, Tang A, O’Keeffe T, et al. Identifying potential utility of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta: An autopsy study. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Nov;81(5 Suppl 2 Proceedings of the 2015 Military Health System Research Symposium):S128–32.

20.    Joseph B, Jokar TO, Khalil M, Haider AA, Kulvatunyou N, Zangbar B, et al. Identifying the broken heart: predictors of mortality and morbidity in suspected blunt cardiac injury. Am J Surg. 2016 Jun;211(6):982–8.

21.    Joseph B, Parvaneh S, Swartz T, Haider AA, Hassan A, Kulvatunyou N, et al. Stress among surgical attending physicians and trainees: A quantitative assessment during trauma activation and emergency surgeries. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Oct;81(4):723–8.

22.    Joseph B, Phelan H, Hassan A, Jokar TO, O’Keeffe T, Azim A, et al. The impact of frailty on failure-to-rescue in geriatric trauma patients: A prospective study. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Sep 16;

23.    Khalil M, Rhee P, Jokar TO, Kulvatunyou N, O’Keeffe T, Tang A, et al. Antibiotics for appendicitis! Not so fast. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Jun;80(6):923–32.

24.    Lansman SL, Goldberg JB, Kai M, Tang GHL, Malekan R, Spielvogel D. Aortic Symposium 2016: Aortic surgery in pregnancy. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2016 Jun 24;

25.    Latifi R, Gunn JKL, Bakiu E, Boci A, Dasho E, Olldashi F, et al. Access to Specialized Care Through Telemedicine in Limited-Resource Country: Initial 1,065 Teleconsultations in Albania. Telemed J E Health. 2016 May 24;

26.    Latifi R. Practical Approaches to Definitive Reconstruction of Complex Abdominal Wall Defects. World J Surg. 2016 Apr;40(4):836–48.

27.    Lee JY, Alizadeh K. Spacer Facial Artery Musculomucosal Flap: Simultaneous Closure of Oronasal Fistulas and Palatal Lengthening. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Jan;137(1):240–3.

28.    Leung A, Bonasso P, Lynch K, Long D, Vaughan R, Wilson A, et al. Pediatric Secondary Overtriage in a Statewide Trauma System. Am Surg. 2016 Sep;82(9):763–7.

29.    Lynch K, Cho S, Andres R, Knight J, Con J. Pre-operative Identification and Surgical Management of the Appendiceal Mucocele: A Case Report. W V Med J. 2016 Aug;112(4):28–30.

30.    Lynch KT, Essig RM, Long DM, Wilson A, Con J. Nationwide secondary overtriage in level 3 and level 4 trauma centers: are these transfers necessary? J Surg Res. 2016 Aug;204(2):460–6.

31.    Mahmood I, El-Menyar A, Dabdoob W, Abdulrahman Y, Siddiqui T, Atique S, et al. Troponin T in Patients with Traumatic Chest Injuries with and without Cardiac Involvement: Insights from an Observational Study. N Am J Med Sci. 2016 Jan;8(1):17–24.

32.    Maxwell J, Gwardschaladse C, Lombardo G, Petrone P, Policastro A, Karev D, et al. The impact of measurement of respiratory quotient by indirect calorimetry on the achievement of nitrogen balance in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2016 Sep 22;

33.    Zangbar B, Khalil M, Gruessner A, Joseph B, Friese R, Kulvatunyou N, et al. Levetiracetam Prophylaxis for Post-traumatic Brain Injury Seizures is Ineffective: A Propensity Score Analysis. World J Surg. 2016 Nov;40(11):2667–72.


The philosophy of the Department of Surgery is to provide an environment attractive to the best academic surgeons, where teaching and patient care are co-mingled with the phenomenal technological resources that have revolutionized modern surgery and reduced morbidity and mortality. The use of minimally invasive techniques and interventional access of the vascular system has radically changed our approach to the performance of many procedures, specifically robotic surgery, endovascular surgery, transcather aortic and mitral value replacement, advanced laparoscopy and videoscopic thoracic surgery to name a few.

Westchester Medical Center consistently has the highest patient severity of illness index in the USA, providing the residents of the Hudson Valley the only American College of Surgeons Level 1 Verified Trauma Center. The Department of Surgery provides a vigorous clinical and basic science educational and research program along with the development of technical skills in the simulation center.

Welcome to the General Surgery Residency Program of New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center

The goal of our program is to fully train the general surgeons with expertise in the management of complex surgical patients with high acuity. We aim to make our residents the future leaders in surgery by emphasizing critical thinking,operative skills, and the ability to understand and assess the literature.     

Our main sites are Westchester Medical Center and the adjacent Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a tertiary care academic medical center that serves as the regional referral center for the Hudson Valley serving a diverse population of about four million. We are the Regional Level-1 Trauma Center for both adult and pediatric patients. In addition, St. Vincent’s Bridgeport hospital is an affiliate site, which provides a robust community general surgery experience.

We offer a five-year program with four Categorical & four Preliminary PGY 1 Positions. Rotations in Minimally Invasive Surgery, Transplant, Pediatric, Thoracic, Vascular, Trauma, and Hepatobiliary provide a vigorous subspecialty curriculum in addition to the general surgery core to optimize the training experience/opportunity. The Department of Surgery Clinical Research Unit (DSCRU) will provide assistance on any research projects as well.

 Click HERE to visit the New York Medical College website for more information!

Download our latest brochure

Department of Surgery Fellowship Programs

Our department offers the following fellowship training opportunities:

Surgical Critical Care Fellowship

Thank you for your interest in our ACGME accredited Surgical Critical Care Fellowship (SCCF) Program at Westchester Medical Center, a 920 bed quaternary care and academic hospital. The SCCF at WMC has a long tradition and is one of the oldest surgical critical care fellowships in the USA, established by Dr. Louis R.M. Del Guercio (one of the founders and past presidents of Society of Critical Care Medicine) and Dr. John Savino.  Our rich academic tradition, has enabled us to train a number of surgical critical care leaders in the world, and continues to be a sought after surgical critical care training program. 


Download our latest brochure

Minimally Invasive Fellowship

The program emphasizes Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Bands, Revisions), Foregut Surgery (Esophagectomy, Nissen, Achalasia, Paraesophageal, Gastric pacemakers, Pancreas), Colonic surgery, Hernias and oncologic staging.  There is close relationship with the other services and the fellows get a varied exposure to technically challenging cases in Urology (staging for prostate Ca, prostatectomy, Nephrectomy, and radical cystectomy with intracorporeal ileal conduit creation) and Gynecology (Hysterectomy, oophorectomy – assistance in complex cases). 

International Research Fellowship

The International Research Fellowship creates a mutually beneficial relationship between academic surgeons at Westchester Medical Center (WMC) and aspiring researchers from abroad. Our training will provide you with an understanding of the principles of clinical research and enable you to critically evaluate studies. This collaboration between institutions will also involve instruction on how to carry out clinical studies, from conception of research questions through design, conduct, analysis, presentation, write-up and publication.

At our state-of-the art quaternary care facility, home to a level I trauma center, transplant surgery and children hospital, fellows will learn from professionals devoted to clinical excellence and researchers striving for the highest levels of scientific rigor. Accepted applicants will be exposed to new experiences from perspectives of our cultural environment and the health care delivery system. WMC shares faculty and a campus with New York Medical College. Our affiliated institutions both regard clinical research as among our highest priorities.

You will be expected to make valuable contributions to our research efforts. You will also grow tremendously as a scientist, gaining insights from mentors and learning to interact effectively with diverse team members. The Department of Surgery encourages presenting at several large regional and national meetings each year, including the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST), Eastern Association for Surgery of Trauma (EAST), American Surgical Association (ASA), American Surgical Congress (ASC), Western Trauma Association (WTA), Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Additionally, our Fellows participate in regional societies such as New York Surgical Society (NYSS) and New York Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (NYSCRS). Completing the one to two year program will produce tangible benefits; in addition to presentations, you will have opportunities to co-author publications and observe academic surgeons as they progress through exciting career paths.

The Fellowship provides accommodations located on the WMC campus, located in Valhalla, New York, which is 20 minutes north New York City via the Metro North train. Accommodations are within walking distance of the hospital. Fellowships are unfunded and tenure ranges between one and two years.

Applications for the 2018 academic year are due 1 September 2018. To apply, please submit your CV in the format provided with this announcement and completed paperwork to inforesearch@wmchealth.org. Selected candidates will be contacted for an interview, with an expected start date of 1 October 2018. 

International Research Fellowship

Click on the brochure above to download

Further Information:


Saranda Gashi, MPH
Fellowship Coordinator, Department of Surgery

IRF_CV format.docx

IRF_Personal Information Form.pdf

Please Click on Thumbnail for Larger Image.


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Westchester Medical Center
100 Woods Road
Valhalla, NY 10595
(914) 493-7000

Email: surgery.dept@wmchealth.org

By Car


Westchester Medical Center is served by Metro North's Harlem line via two stations:

  • White Plains - Bus transfer options available
  • Hawthorne - Taxi service available

For train fare and schedule information, call 1-800-METRO-INFO or go to www.mta.info/mnr .


There are three bus lines (Westchester Bee Line) you can take to our campus. Please call 914-813-7777 for bus routes and fares

Campus Map

The Westchester Medical Center campus includes the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and the Behavioral Health Center.