Roberta Hines, MD
Nicholas M. Greene Professor and Chair
Department of Anesthesiology
Yale University School of Medicine
The Department attracts faculty who have trained at top tier programs in the United States and abroad. Over 90 percent of our faculty have advanced subspecialty fellowship training in a particular clinical area of focus. Currently, the Department is comprised of 140 faculty members, 76 residents, 100 CRNAs and 20 clinical fellows, as well as postdoctoral research fellows. The Department provides clinical care in a care team model wherein we deliver care in conjunction with a variety of clinical practitioners including CRNAs, APRNs, PAs, RNs and anesthesia technicians.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Department will provide anesthetic care for over 90,000 patients. Our clinical anesthesia practice is composed of divisions and sections which provide clinical service in a specialty specific manner. This approach assures that our patients receive the most contemporary and evidenced based care. These clinical divisions include: Ambulatory, Cardiac, Adult Perioperative, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Pain Medicine, Non-OR anesthesia (NORA), Intensive Care Medicine (SICU, CT-ICU and MICU), The St. Raphael Campus, Bridgeport Hospital and the West Haven VA facility. The section of perioperative adult anesthesia is the largest division and is further divided into the following divisions: bariatrics, regional, thoracic and vascular, neuro, ENT, preadmission testing and intensive care medicine. All divisions and sections incorporate faculty with fellowship expertise to assure in depth educational experience for all trainees and provide our patients with the most contemporary and highly specialized clinical care.
Our pain medicine practice includes both acute and chronic pain management. The outpatient practice is located within the musculoskeletal center at Long Wharf in New Haven, which focuses specifically on the interdisciplinary treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. Cancer pain treatment is provided in conjunction with faculty from the palliative care program at Smilow Cancer Hospital.A recent outpatient expansion is directed to assist patients with work related pain conditions.
The acute pain services care for in hospital patients with a focus on the management of postoperative pain and the treatment of sickle cell disease in both adults and children.
The Department is strongly committed to providing perioperative care across the entire clinical care continuum. This is demonstrated our active presence in all the Post Anesthesia Care Units (PACU's) as well as the multiple intensive care units (ICU’s) The Department has 20 board certified intensive care anesthesiologists, who practice in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU), Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), and the Cardio-thoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU).
A dedicated pediatric anesthesia section provides specialized care for our pediatric patients, with faculty who all have added expertise in pediatric anesthesia. This pediatric anesthesia practice is responsible for the care of all children <16 years of age. The pediatric anesthesia service provides both intra-operative care, as well as anesthesia services in the MRI and catheterization laboratory, as well as in the interventional radiology and oncology areas. The division of pediatric anesthesia is comprised of 12 faculty, all board-certified subspecialists. The Department also has dedicated clinical sections which provide specialized care in the areas of obstetric, cardiac anesthesia, regional anesthesia and neuro-anesthesia.
The Department is continually assessing its quality and clinical performance via a robust quality assurance process. As our institutional clinical presence expands, the Department is adding new and innovative clinical programs to address these demands. Examples of such programs include: a rapid response airway call team for emergency care, pre procedural screening program, extended use of transesophageal echocardiography for management of patients undergoing cardiac surgery, management of high risk obstetrical patients (including a pre-assessment clinic) and a highly skilled regional anesthesia service providing regional analgesia for patients requiring orthopedic, oncological, urologic or general surgery. The Department is an active participant in the solid organ transplantation program, which provides transplantation in the following areas: renal, intestinal, cardiac, and liver. A specialized anesthesia transplant team (for both pediatric and adult patients) is available 24/7 to assure state of the art care.
The primary focus of our educational initiatives is our resident and fellow training programs. Our core residency training program is comprised of 59 PGY II – PGY IV residents with an additional 17 PGY I residents. Our educational mission focuses on preparing our residents to become leaders in our field, as demonstrated by the emphasis on both their scholarly, educational and clinical activities. The pursuit of academic activities during the residency is strongly encouraged and protected time is available to pursue such endeavors. Residents with a strong interest in research are encouraged to enroll in the Resident Scholars Program (please see link for future details). In addition to this formal program, during the CA-III year, residents may receive up to 6 months of protected time for research related activities.
Our educational program incorporates innovative and novel educational methods, as well as simulation, board review course preparation, PBLD hands on workshops and lecture presentations. We have recently introduced the concept of the “flipped” classroom into our didactic program. Workshops aimed at providing experience in techniques for vascular access, regional anesthesia, airway techniques/devices and cardiovascular devices (pacemakers, ECMO, VADs) are given annually. Our grand rounds programs highlight faculty from within the Department as well as the extended Yale community. We host numerous visiting professors (from national and international institutions) as part of our Grand Rounds program, which covers the broad range of cutting-edge research advances in clinical care and science and health policy. Clinical fellowship opportunities are offered in the following areas: ambulatory, cardiothoracic (ACGME), pediatrics (ACGME), regional, OB (ACGME), quality and safety, neuro-anesthesia and thoracic anesthesia. Our newest fellowship offerings are in the areas of pain medicine and critical care medicine both accredited by ACGME. Research fellowships are available via an NIH supported T-32 program and via the National Clinical Scholars Program. These may be pursued as a primary fellowship or in combination with any of the above clinical fellowships. (See associated links for details).
The Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Medical Center are among the premier research and training institutions in the country. As part of this rich tradition, the areas of research interest in the Department of Anesthesiology encompass both traditional areas of anesthesia research, as well as new areas of science and medicine. Expanding and enhancing the research mission of the Department is one of our top priorities.
The department research program has seen a significant expansion both in scope and breadth. Dr. Laura Niklason serves as Vice Chair for Research and her lab focuses on cutting edge research in the areas of vascular biology, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Her group was one of the first to achieve the culture and successful implantation of tissue engineered lungs in a rat model, work that was published in Science and that has continued to expand in subsequent years.
Other faculty members in collaboration with Dr. Laura Niklason are studying topics in vascular biology, as it pertains to peri-operative outcomes and sepsis, as well as stroke and the regeneration of blood vessels that are damaged by injury or disease. This work is performed in collaboration with numerous investigators in the Interdisciplinary Vascular Biology program at the Yale School of Medicine. In addition, the Department is working on pioneering new strategies for regeneration of entire segments of functional lung for the treatment of end-stage lung diseases such as emphysema and cystic fibrosis.
Dr. Miriam Treggiari, Vice Chair of Clinical research is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the area of clinical trials.Dr. Treggiari’s work has been instrumental in advancing the care of patients in the operating room and in the intensive care units. As a neuro anesthesiologist and physician scientist, Dr. Treggiari’s work has redefined sedation guidelines in the ICU as well as the management of patients with acute spinal cord injuries. Clinical research ongoing in the Department of Anesthesiology includes industry-funded clinical trials, NIH-funded research of new care delivery models, and foundation grants that range from patient safety and outcomes research, to environmental impact assessments, to research into the history of Anesthesiology. Clinical studies of several novel agents that are active in the cardiovascular arena and coagulation systems are underway in the operating rooms and intensive care units. Dr. Robert Schonberger, Associate Director of Clinical Research, focuses on large scale database research studies looking at peri-operative and post-operative outcomes, the impact of preoperative beta blockade, and the impact of aging on anesthetic dosing requirements. The Department is a participant in the national multi-center perioperative outcomes group (MPOG).
Looking at the practice of anesthesia holistically, faculty members are studying the environmental impact of disposable items and exhausted gasses that are used in anesthetic practice, with the goal of mitigating environmental effects of these agents. These exciting areas of research, in addition to many others, are part of the Yale training and clinical experience. Working together, we are breaking new ground and forging new links in science and medicine.
Another strength of our Departmental research is in the basic neurobiology of the perception of pain, touch and itch. Research in this area spans the entire gamut from whole animal studies (including human) to fundamental molecular approaches looking at the gene expression patterns of single neurons that are involved in sensation. Dr. Robert LaMotte’s lab is renowned for its work in identifying the neural mechanisms of pain and itch. This research program complements a variety of other research programs in the world-renowned Neurobiology laboratories at Yale University and the neuroimaging facilities of the Yale School of Medicine.
Dr. Helene Benveniste, Professor of Anesthesiology, is an internationally recognized expert in anesthesia imaging and brain metabolic systems. Her work incorporates imaging (MRI) into the study of various metabolic pathways of the brain and has been instrumental in defining the glymphatic pathway and its implication to a host of neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The Department is fortunate to be able to provide advanced research training opportunities to both residents and fellows, via an NIH T-32 grant. This is a two-year NIH sponsored program under the direction of Dr. Laura Niklason, MD, PhD, Director and Dr. Helene Benveniste, Associate Director. The T-32 program provides an opportunity to train the next generation of physician scientists. T-32 trainees can choose from a variety of research venues and opportunities. Please visit this link on the site to learn about this exciting program.
National Clinical Scholars Program
The Department is delighted to offer fellowships within the National Clinical Scholars Program, formerly known as The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. This is an inter-professional fellowship program, designed for future clinician leaders to improve healthcare in the US through scholarships and activities at the national, state and local levels.
It is clear that we are in the midst of a rapidly evolving health care environment. The Department remains committed to delivering exemplary clinical care while training the next generation of leaders in anesthesiology. Our clinical education and research programs are designed to advance clinical care and scientific knowledge across the entire spectrum of modern anesthesiology.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the chair of the Department since 1995. I am delighted that I have been able to share a brief overview of the many innovative and exciting opportunities that the Department is currently engaged in. I encourage you to explore the many links provided on this site to learn more about your specific areas of interest.