UBMD team granted $15,000 at D’Youville Healthcare Hackathon

Team Journey wins competition with microservices platform

UBMD’s team Journey won D’Youville’s Healthcare Hackathon Competition on Friday, Sept. 27.

The Hackathon was a two-day, multi-round event which asked teams to “solve real world problems” in healthcare. Journey members –– Suakshay Bahal, UB management information systems student, Vito Galvez, UB computer science student, Ashley Levine, UBMD general surgery resident, Megha Shirodkar, UB management information systems student, Brian Quaranto UBMD general surgery resident and Colin Allen, RIT software engineering student –– created a microservices platform which will allow patients and families to track medical care experiences, progress of surgeries, patient’s location and receive live updates on status changes. The app helped Journey become a finalist in round one, earning $10,000, and the overall Hackathon winner, earning an additional $5,000 to further research and implement their project.

Team Journey with the two winning checks for a combined $15,000

Levine said she first got the idea for TrackOR –– one element of Journey’s project –– in her Innovators in Health Care class, when tasked with applying other areas of specialty to problems she faces.

“I was thinking about airlines and how good airlines are at keeping people informed of
when their flight comes and goes. So I was like, ‘Man, why is that not a thing for the operating room?’” Levine said. “Why is it not possible to see before you come in whether or not your surgery, or your ‘flight,’ was on time or delayed?”

Quaranto said the app brings together various concepts to help improve patients’ overall OR experience.

“The issue is there’s all these tiny concepts that would move the needle in a big way for
patients,” Quaranto said. “And we had this idea storming session where we had a whole bunch of [ideas] and none of them individually seemed like strong enough candidates to pursue direct competitors already in the market. But what would work… was to come up with an idea that allows a lot of the smaller ideas to become integrated, and then to allow purchasers to just pick whichever ones they want.”

Levine said the team spent roughly eight hours of the first Hackathon day “idea storming” before finalizing the winning project.

The $15,000 prize will help the team to work on software for the app and further develop the system before they can place the product in patients’ and surgeons’ hands.

Once the app is on the market, it will no doubt alleviate the stresses of patients and their
families alike.

“The TrackOR is really valuable in the preoperative phase for the patients’ families. And
then while their loved ones are being operated on, the real value is there while they’re under the knife,” Quaranto said. “Then afterwards there’s a complicated, long postoperative course. … And that’s the idea, that this whole operative course is a journey.”

JACKLYN WALTERS – Health Journalist

Dr. Chelsea Hoenes Presents at 78th Annual Meeting of The American Association for Surgery of Trauma

Dr. Hoenes at AAST
Dr. Chelsea Hoenes Presents at 78th Annual Meeting of The American Association for Surgery of Trauma


Chelsea Hoenes MD, Joshua K. Burk MD, Kabir Jalal Ph.D, Jeffery M. Jordan MD, Ph.D, University at Buffalo, SUNY


Patients with severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) require intubation to ensure adequate oxygenation, and many progress to tracheostomy. However, tracheostomy timing is controversial. We have previously demonstrated that, in our institution, a lower incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia in sTBI patients receiving early tracheostomy. Therefore, we sought to extend our results by evluating the American College of Surgeons Tauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) database to determine if an association between tracheostomy timing and development of ventilator-associated pnemonia exists.


The 2015 data from the TQIP was accessed and 5,662,524 patients were screened for inclusion in our retrospective analysis. Patients included in the analysis were those in whom tracheostomy was performed, had an isolated, sTBI, and those ultimately developing ventilator-associated pneumonia. Patients were matched by age and injury severity score. Fischer’s exact and multivariate analyses were used to observe the rate of pneumonia in TBI, the rate of tracheostomy in TBI, and impact of tracheostomy timing on the development of pneumonia. Hospital length of stay, number of days on a ventilator, and ICU length of stay were analyzed using a multivariate analysis.


A total of 4,045 patients met the inclusion criteria for our analysis. Five-hundred-sixty patients received tracheostomy by day 3 of their hospital stay (mean 1.15, SD 1.06) and 3,485 after day 3 (mean 10.44, SD 6.03). There were no statistically significant differences in age, ISS, respiratory rate, or oxygen saturation between the two groups. Early tracheostomy was associated with a rate of pneumonia of 10.23 (CI 7.86-13.02) compared to 21.49 (CI 20.15-22.88) in patients receiving trach after day 3 (OR 2.624, p-value 0.02).


Early tracheostomy was associated with a significant decrease in the rate of pneumonia in patients with severe traumatic brain injury. Future prospective studies are needed to validate the impact of early tracheostomy on patient morbidity and mortality in severe traumatic brain injury.

2019 Research Day Awards

Research Day at Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science 2019
Research Day 2019 held in Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Science

Oral Presentations

1st Place Winner

Pediatric vs Adult Trauma Centers: Closing the Gap in Non- Operative Management of Splenic Injuries – A National Trauma Data Bank Study

Authors: R Filipescu, C Powers, H Yu, DH Rothstein, CM Harmon, B Clemency, WA Guo and KD Bass

Presented by: R Filipescu

2nd Place Winner

Multisource Feedback Driven Intervention Improves Surgeon Leadership and Teamwork

Authors: J Hu, R Lee, S Mullin, S Schwaitzberg, L Harmon, P Gregory and PL Elkin

Presented by: J Hu

3rd Place Winner

The Association of Nodal Upstaging with Surgical Approach and its Impact on Long Term Survival after Resection of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Authors: M Hennon, A Groman, T Demmy and S Yendamuri

Presented by: L DeGraff


Group 1

Teaching Surgery Novices and Trainees Advanced Laparoscopic Suturing: A Trial and Tribulations

Authors: AT Train, J Hu, JR Narvaez, LM Miller, GE Wilding, L Cavuoto, E Noyes, AB Hoffman and SD Schwaitzberg

Group 2

Reentry Devices at the Infra-Popliteal Level

Authors: EN Fakhoury, M Rivero, SZ Khan, GS Cherr, LM Harris, ML Dryjski and HH Dosluoglu

Group 3

Ex Vivo Perfusion of Tumor Containing Human Liver Specimens: A Novel Model for Malignancy

Authors: MM Wach, SM Ruff, RI Ayabe, M Jafferji, K Remmert, I Alexander, S Sinha, A Ranjan, JD McDonald, S Gupta, M George, D Kleiner, JL Davis, and JM Hernande