For Thanjavur S. Ravikumar M.D., FACS, innovation, quality and patient centeredness are the pillars of his professional philosophy. As the Director of Oncology Services, Chief Quality Officer Surgery/Interventional and Director of Surgical Innovation at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, he focuses his attention on all of them.
“Some of my ideas about patient centeredness and surgical innovation come from my time at Maimonides,” says the surgeon who completed his residency here between 1976 and 1980. “Maimonides was then and continues to be today a very innovative place.”
In September, The Annals of Surgery published his article on a validated value-based model to improve hospital-wide perioperative outcomes, a compendium of his work in hospital patient safety during 10 years. Dr. Ravikumar also has been busy this past year as principal investigator of “Geisinger’s Rural Initiative in Cancer.” This program, selected by the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Center Program (NCCCP), aims to bring the benefits of state-of-the-art cancer treatment to rural and underserved areas.
In reminiscing about his early career, Dr. Ravikumar recalls the excitement of arriving in New York City from his native India. “I liked New York from the beginning. Coming to Maimonides was a big step for me.” He cherishes his 25-year friendship with Joseph Cunningham, M.D., currently MMC Senior Vice President for Strategic Projects and former chair of surgery.
“After my fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Joe sought me out to return and help develop the surgical oncology program as a faculty member at Maimonides and Downstate. I was grateful for the invitation and I am most grateful that we’ve been good friends all these years.”