University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Department of Surgery

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Division of Acute Care Surgery

Dr. Charash explains a surgical procedure

The Division of Acute Care Surgery provides comprehensive services in the area of trauma, burns, elective and high risk general surgery, and surgical critical care. We are a highly skilled team of board certified surgeons (certifications in surgery and surgical critical care), a Physician Assistant, an advanced practice nurse, a critical care Pharm. D., and social workers/case managers. Our team also includes a trauma nurse coordinator, an injury prevention specialist, and a data registrar.

We have been an American College of Surgeons verified Level I trauma center for 18 years without interruption. The maintenance of this verification requires that we demonstrate the highest standards of patient care and institutional commitment. In Fiscal Year 2011, 1250 victims of trauma were admitted to The University of Vermont Medical Center. The trauma team provides direct surgical services, the coordination of specialty surgical and medical services, and the delivery of critical care services.

Our surgeons also provide elective general surgical services, with expertise in complex wound management, hernia repair (including complex abdominal wall reconstructions), as well as open and laparoscopic abdominal surgery. Our surgeons, along with three board certified critical care anesthesiologists, a critical care Pharm D., a nutrition support specialist, respiratory therapists and critical care nurses, provide state of the art care to the most critical surgical patients in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.


Our faculty is committed to educating medical students, residents, pharmacy residents, and established physicians. We utilize the University of Vermont’s state of the art Simulation Center to enhance the learning of critical skills including central line placement, needle thoracostomy, chest tube placement, pericardiocenthesis, vessel ‘cut down’, wound management, and difficult airway skills including surgical airway.

Our faculty are instructors in Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Burn Life Support, Advanced Trauma Operative Management. We offer courses that are widely attended by participants throughout the Northeast.

We also offer a highly successful, annual critical care conference, attended by physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, respiratory therapist, nurses and the occasional hospital administrator. We have offered workshops that teach a variety of skills including critical care ultrasound, difficult airway management, surgical airway, advanced ventilator management, and inferior vena cave filter placement.


Our division has been highly active in clinical research. We have a multidisciplinary research meeting were we share ideas and propose new research initiatives. We have 13 clinical studies that are active, and have contributed to the publication of 43 manuscripts in the past 3 years. We are members of ReCONECT (the Regional Consortium of New England Centers for Trauma) a group of New England trauma centers that coordinates multi-institutional investigation in the field of Trauma.

One of our surgeons, Dr. John Fortune, has completed a Department of Defense Phase I SBIR study on “tissue simulation”. A phase II grant application has been submitted.

Patient Care

Experienced and highly trained surgeons, nurses and support staff help work with patients, their family and friends through evaluations, operations and post-surgical follow-ups to assure high quality care. Our trauma attending surgeons specialize in critical care, have expertise in trauma care and are board-certified in General Surgery. Specific areas of focus in patient care include:

  • Level 1 Trauma Center
  • Hernia surgery
  • Complicated hernia surgery
  • Minimally invasive, or laparoscopic surgery
  • Anti-reflux surgery
  • Burns
  • Complicated wound management

Jump arrowVisit Trauma and Burn Surgery at The University of Vermont Medical Center, our clinical teacher partner.

Last modified May 23 2016 12:15 PM