Welcoming New Faculty – Anupama Mehta, MD

Please join us in welcoming Anupama Mehta, MD, as a new faculty member in the Department of Surgery.

Anupama Mehta, MD
Associate Surgeon, Division of Trauma, Burn, Surgical and Critical Care

Dr. Mehta graduated with honors from Rutgers College and obtained her medical degree from the University of Vermont. She completed a general surgery residency at Loyola University Medical Center and a burns and critical care fellowship at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

She is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care. She is also a member of the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

Dr. Mehta’s clinical interests include: Burn surgery and reconstruction, wound healing, scar tissue management and burn critical care. She also treats pediatric burns and patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Additionally, she has interests in faculty development and resident wellness initiatives.

Welcoming Thomas G. Gleason, MD, chief of Cardiac Surgery and co-executive director of the Heart and Vascular Center at Brigham Health

Thomas G. Gleason, MD

Thomas G. Gleason, MD, has joined Brigham Health as the new chief of Cardiac Surgery and co-executive director of the Heart and Vascular Center.

Dr. Gleason joins the Brigham from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he served as the Ronald V. Pellegrini Endowed Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and co-director of the Heart and Vascular Institute, as well as director of the Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). In these roles, he directed the adult cardiac surgery programs for UPMC’s many Pennsylvania-based hospitals that provide cardiac surgical services and co-directed the cardiovascular disease service line.

A graduate of Middlebury College (BS) in Vermont and Rush Medical College (MD) in Chicago, Dr. Gleason completed his general surgical internship and residency at the University of Virginia, where he also obtained a Master of Science in immunology. He completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency and an advanced cardiac and thoracic aortic fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He has held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern University prior to joining UPMC.

Dr. Gleason has extensive clinical experience managing patients with valvular heart disease, thoracic aortic disease, hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease and atrial fibrillation. His clinical research interests are primarily focused on the development and refinement of novel valve therapies, particularly aortic valve repair strategies, and in developing a systematic approach toward the management of aortic dissections. His longstanding basic science research interest has been devoted to the study of the aortopathy associated with congenital bicuspid aortic valves (BAV)—the most common phenotype seen among patients with ascending aortic aneurysmal disease. His multidisciplinary Thoracic Aortic Disease Research Laboratory aims to facilitate translational research of the vascular biology and biomechanics of thoracic aortic diseases. The laboratory maintains a robust thoracic aortic tissue bank that now houses over 1,000 distinct aortic smooth muscle cell lines and 150 aortic endothelial cell lines, many of which have been immortalized, all used as the framework for this translational human cell-based research.

Dr. Gleason is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the American Surgical Association (ASA) and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS). He was a permanent member (2014-2019) of the Bioengineering, Technology, and Surgical Sciences (BTSS) Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review at the National Institutes of Health, and he currently serves on the editorial board of Circulation. He serves on the National Steering Committee for the STS/ACC TVT Registry and is co-chair of the Research and Publications Committee for the TVT. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST).

“Dr. Gleason will be bringing a wealth of clinical, academic and research leadership to his new Brigham roles,” Gerard Doherty, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery says. “I am confident that he will be highly effective in building on the strong foundation we have in place within our cardiac surgery programs and in partnering with John F. Keaney, Jr., MD, chief of Cardiovascular Medicine, to provide strategic oversight of the Heart and Vascular Center.”

Joel S. Weissman, PhD, Awarded $4.4M National Institutes of Health Grant

Joel S. Weissman, PhD, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for his study “Understanding and Improving Surgical Decision-Making for Persons Living with Dementia, their Family Caregivers, and their Providers: A Mixed Methods Study.

Surgical decision-making is challenging for persons living with dementia (PLWD) due to limited longitudinal data on outcomes, a patient’s limited ability to fully participate in the discussion, and an absence of evidence-based guidelines. The aim of this study is to understand the epidemiology of surgery for PLWD, as well as patient, caregiver, and provider practices and challenges of surgical decision-making in clinical settings. We focus on surgery because it is common among elderly PLWDs, represents a critical inflection point in quality of life, and therefore is a fraught process for all involved.

Results of our study will support key advancements in ADRD research by focusing on under-studied areas of surgical decision-making by key stakeholders. Currently, there is a need to understand the landscape of surgical decision-making among PLWDs and providers prior to assessing surgical outcomes among these patients. Results will provide critical data to inform training on how best to care for PLWDs facing surgery and support policy decisions designed to improved patient-centered care. Surgeons and other providers along with patients and their caregivers will be able to use these data to improve surgical decision-making to align care with patient values.

Joel Weissman, PhD
Joel Weissman, PhD

Joel S. Weissman, PhD
Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer, Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Professor of Surgery (Health Policy), Harvard Medical School

Joel S. Weissman, PhD, is deputy director and chief scientific officer of the Center for Surgery and Public Health (CSPH) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor of surgery in health policy at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Weissman received his doctorate in health policy from the Pew Fellows Program at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management – Brandeis University. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and has led numerous externally funded studies.

In addition to surgical health services, his research interests lie in the areas of patient-centered quality and safety, payment reform, disparities/vulnerable populations, uncompensated care, drug policy, comparative effectiveness research policy, and academic-industry relationships. He was the lead evaluator for the roll-out of Consumer’s Union Best Buy Drugs program, and his early work on access to care by the uninsured led to a co-authored book, “Falling Through the Safety Net: Insurance Status and Access to Care,” with a forward by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

During 2008-10, Dr. Weissman served as senior health policy advisor to the secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), followed by two months as visiting faculty at the Mexico National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca. During his time with Massachusetts HHS, he led the planning effort for a multi-million dollar statewide all-payer medical home pilot and examined the budgetary impact of universal health coverage in Massachusetts (NEJM perspective). In addition, he provided strategic thinking on public reporting of re-hospitalizations, non-payment for serious reportable events, improving care transitions, comparative effectiveness research and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.

Dr. Weissman is co-director of a course on health services research methods at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (portions of which have been taught in Singapore, Puerto Rico and Mexico), and serves as a tutor/seminar leader in the health policy course for HMS students.