February 7, 2011

Zenilman named JHM vice chair and regional director of surgery

Michael Zenilman

Michael E. Zenilman, who was until recently the chairman of the Department of Surgery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been appointed vice chair and regional director of surgery for Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Zenilman, a gastrointestinal surgeon and a specialist in geriatric surgery, will also operate a clinical practice out of Suburban Hospital, a Johns Hopkins hospital in Bethesda, Md. He joined Johns Hopkins on Jan. 1.

In this newly created position, Zenilman will be responsible for oversight of surgery services delivered at Johns Hopkins Medicine’s community hospitals and ambulatory locations. Along with Suburban, Johns Hopkins Medicine includes Howard County General Hospital in Columbia, Md., and Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. Zenilman’s role will be to work with leaders at those hospitals to develop a truly regional health care delivery system by ensuring that safety, quality and service standards in surgical care at each location are in line with best practices in the field.

“He is well-suited to oversee our surgical growth at Suburban, where he will primarily be based, as well as Howard County,” said Julie A. Freischlag, chair of the Department of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and surgeon in chief at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “He is an enthusiastic and can-do leader, a positive force to lead change. He and his wife have nine children, so he can manage just about anything with flexibility and a smile.”

Zenilman will work with officials at each of the hospitals in the region and will be involved in recruiting and retaining physicians and staff who support the mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine. He’ll also help to establish new clinical and research programs at the individual hospitals, boost education efforts and work on programmatic growth.

Zenilman received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate and completed his residency training in surgery and a fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital. His first academic appointment was in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as an assistant professor of surgery from July 1991 through 1994. He also has held appointments at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. He has been on the faculty at Downstate since 2001.

Zenilman is an established clinician, teacher and researcher. In 1993, he was awarded an American College of Surgeons Faculty Fellowship and was the principal investigator of an NIH-funded project that focused on pancreatic regeneration.

An author on more than 80 articles, he has published papers on techniques in pancreatic and laparoscopic surgery and recently completed the second edition of a textbook titled Principles and Practices of Geriatric Surgery. He serves on the editorial board of two major journals and is a member of the Geriatric Surgery Task Force of the American College of Surgeons. His clinical interests are in gastrointestinal, pancreatic and geriatric surgery.

“I am very excited to return to Johns Hopkins Medicine to help implement a novel approach to health care, coordinating high-quality surgical care while maintaining each hospital’s identity and critical role in the community,” Zenilman said. “Since I left in 1994, JHM has matured into an international health care network.  I remember very well being in the front lines of this local expansion, since I was based at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, and was the first to see patients in the Odenton campus. Now there are 26 outpatient sites, three new affiliated hospitals in Washington, Bethesda and Howard County, and expansion outside our local region. Health care systems are the future of medicine.”