"Seamless Patient Care" Offered by Emory/Saint Joseph's Hospital Surgical Oncology Collaboration

July 2013

Dr. David Kooby

As director of the linked surgical oncology services at Emory University Hospital and Saint Joseph's Hospital, Dr. David Kooby (pictured, right) looks forward to furthering the complementary strengths of both institutions. "It's an opportunity to help develop something new and exciting alongside great colleagues," he says.

Together, Saint Joseph's and Emory doctors provide a wealth of expertise and knowledge, along with innovative treatment options and clinical services. In 2002, Saint Joseph's became the first hospital in Georgia to perform robotic, totally-endoscopic, closed-chest heart surgery. The hospital is one of only five training sites in the world for the robotic da Vinci Surgical System. Dr. Kooby, an international leader in minimally invasive pancreatic surgery who has been performing robotic pancreatectomies at Emory University Hospital since 2011, is delighted to have additional access at Saint Joseph's to state-of-the-art surgical robots. "With more resources at the Saint Joseph's location, there is better throughput potential."

Currently, Emory surgical oncology colleagues Dr. Monica Rizzo, associate professor, and Dr. Ken Cardona, assistant professor and director of the core curriculum for Emory's general surgery residency, work with Dr. Kooby at St. Joseph's. In August, they will be joined by new Emory surgical oncology faculty member Dr. Joshua Winer.

While Saint Joseph's has not been traditionally a teaching hospital, one Emory resident will be rotating with the team. In time, the residency effort may grow with the program. "There will be a teaching component which will be invaluable for the residency and for the community," says Dr. Kooby.

The team also brings a commitment to research and development. As an ACS Commission on Cancer Liaison Physician at Emory University Hospital Midtown, Dr. Rizzo is actively involved in quality measures and initiatives to assure excellence in cancer care at the hospital. Dr. Kooby, who directed a national study of the efficacy of laparoscopic pancreatectomy, has conducted notable prospective and retrospective assessments of open and laparoscopic methods of pancreas, liver, and biliary tract resection. Dr. Cardona is on multiple national scientific committees and has a strong basic science and clinical research background. According to Dr. Kooby, "Saint Joe's patients will certainly be included in future outcome studies."

The doctors' patients can be seen at Saint Joseph's and Emory. "We can provide seamless care for the patient," says Dr. Kooby. Current patients, especially those living northwest and northeast of Atlanta, can choose to receive services at the most easily accessible location.

Dr. Kooby is pleased with the program. "The Saint Joseph's location will provide the same quality of care, with perhaps a more personal feel. It's a facility that will be preferred by some patients. This addition opens doors to further collaboration with the community."