Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
The Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine is a multi-faceted division with full time faculty who provide care for any form of acute or chronic lung disease or critical Illness.
The mission of the Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine is to provide the best clinical care available for patients with lung disease and associated medical illnesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We feel that this care can best be delivered within the VCU Health System. Our mission is further to provide the best teaching of lung disease and associated disorders to future physicians. Finally, we strive to explore critically important lung and vascular and metabolic diseases through organized research.
VCU is a flourishing medical center of excellence in respiratory and critical care medicine. Seeing high numbers of patients helps our doctors develop specialized knowledge that is built on years of experience. Division faculty have extensive training and experience in caring for patients exactly like you, and it shows. This knowledge and experience gives our patients the best chance for getting the treatment and care to help them feel better and live healthier and more productive lives.
From the initial visit through follow-up, VCU's pulmonologists work hard to know each patient’s concerns and then to set about creating an individualized and thorough treatment plan. Our team includes pulmonary physicians, cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, pulmonary nurse specialists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, and nutritionists. We are committed to providing all patients solace, answers, options and results.
Division faculty are always searching for better ways to help patients. VCU’s Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine Division has an active pulmonary clinical trials program. We've led research into the causes of COPD, adult cystic fibrosis, emphysema, asthma, interventional pulmonology , pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis, pulmonary fibrosis and acute lung injury. We always lead the search for safer and more effective therapies for these problems. Engaging in clinical trials research allows the VCU faculty to find the best new therapy for our patients. VCU has developed strong clinical centers with accredidation for the treatment of our patients.
Clinical Division faculty have both outpatient and inpatient practices where care for patients occurs. The Division currently has 19 clinical faculty and five research faculty. Clinical faculty are regional and national award winning teachers and clinicians who provide the best patient care available in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Outpatients are cared for in the Ambulatory Care Center on the VCU Medical Center Campus, at the Stony Point Medical Center Campus, and at VCU’s West End location just off Mayland Drive. Clinical Division faculty care for patients with many forms of lung disease. Other examples: Dr. Kristin Miller cares for patients who develop serious lung disorders following bone marrow transplantation. All Division faculty provide care for many patients with asthma of any severity. Patients with chronic obstructive lung disease (emphysema) receive expert care by all faculty. Dr. Daniel Grinnan is a recognized national expert on diagnosis and treatment of patients with Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. Catherine Grossman directs the severe asthma case management clinic.
Additionally faculty members within the pulmonary disease and critical care medicine division train pulmonary disease and critical care medicine fellows, internal medicine housestaff and medical students. The Division also provides medical directorship to the Departments of Respiratory Care, Pulmonary Function, Exercise Physiology, Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit and as mentioned above Pulmonary Outpatient Medicine. Divisional responsibilities include Critical Care attending coverage and teaching of bedside medicine in the Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit at the VCU Medical Center and the Medical Intensive Care Unit at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center. Division faculty members also direct the Pulmonary Consultation Service and the Interventional Bronchoscopy Service. The Division has a fully developed basic research unit within the Victoria Johnson Center for Lung Disease Research located on the VCU School of Medicine campus in 10,000 square feet within the Molecular Medicine Research Building.
- Mario Acunzo, PhD
- Lisa K. Brath, MD
- Nauman A. Chaudary, MD
- Orlando Debesa, DO
- Marjolein de Wit, MD
- Laszlo Farkas, MD
- Bernard J. Fisher, BS
- Alpha A. Fowler, MD
- Shobha Ghosh, PhD
- Daniel C. Grinnan, MD
- Catherine E. Grossman, MD
- Thomas Iden, MD
- Markos Kashiouris, MD MPH
- Kristin B. Miller, MD
- Patricia J. Sime, MD - Department Chair
- Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD - Division Chair
- Sammy Pedram, MD
- Curtis N. Sessler, MD
- R. Wesley Shepherd, MD
- Samira Shojaee, MD
- Aamer Syed, MD
- Janet Pinson, MSN, ACNP
The Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine excels in helping seriously ill patients. Our results speak for themselves. Our strengths and accomplishments include:
General Pulmonary Consultation
Faculty and staff of the division provide rapid and comprehensive care for lung disease and are experts in diagnosing and treating pulmonary disease. The conditions most commonly seen at the VCU are:
- Acute and Chronic Bronchitis
- Abnormal Chest X-rays
- Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
- Atypical Mycobacterium
- Immunological Lung Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Sleep Apnea
Pulmonary faculty will arrange for all necessary testing to provide an accurate diagnosis of your lung problem. Testing commonly includes pulmonary function testing and exercise testing; blood work or sputum samples for lab tests; chest x-rays or other imaging tests like a CT scan; electrocardiograms, echocardiograms; or sleep studies. Importantly, Division faculty work closely with Cardiology faculty in case cardiac catheterization is needed. For your convenience, all of these tests and doctor visits can be done at VCU. Your illness may require special tests or highly specialized care. Once your condition is diagnosed, your pulmonary doctor will describe your options for treatment and refer you to the appropriate clinic as needed.
The Interventional Pulmonology Service led by Dr. R. Wesley Shepherd with faculty members Dr. Hans Lee, and Dr. Rajiv Malhotra provides care for patients with structural lung disease such as severely narrowed airways, patients with lung cancer, pleural effusions and many other diseases which require interventional care.
The Pulmonary Hypertension Center at VCU is headed up by Drs. Paul Fairman, Daniel Grinnan, and Dr. Norbert Voelkel. This center provides correct diagnosis and individualized care for patients with pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure.
Asthma Case Management Clinic
The asthma clinic headed up by Dr. Catherine Grossman provides aggressive and individualized care for patients with severe asthma. Patients who have had histories of frequent hospitalizations for asthma receive focused care which restores quality of life and cuts the cycle of frequent hospital admissions.
Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic
Patients who have had bone marrow transplantation sometimes develop lung problems. We provide highly specialized care for all patients who develop pulmonary problems following bone marrow transplantation.
Critical Care Medicine Inpatient Service
If you or other adult family members develop critical illness, Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine faculty at VCU are experts in caring for patients with acute illness such as severe pneumonia, or bacterial bloodstream infection. Division faculty direct all care in VCU’s Medical Respiratory Intensive Care. The excellent outcomes of care in the MRICU occue due to the fact that the unit is a closed unit. Division faculty are experts in mechanical ventilation.
InPatient Pulmonary Consultation
Division faculty direct the inpatient pulmonary consultation service. You or your family will receive prompt and rapid diagnosis of pulmonary problems severe enough to require hospitalization. Your care will be rapid and accurate.
Important Divisional Educational Fellowship Activities
The faculty of the Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine are experts in educating medicine’s next generation. All faculty members are award winning educators. The faculty educates medical students and Internal Medicine Residents. Fellowship training in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine is sponsored by VCU’s Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. The Division is comprised of both physician educators and physician scientists who are focused on educating and training physicians in all aspect of the clinical and basic sciences of respiratory medicine. VCU Medical Center and the McGuire Veterans Administration are the teaching institutions for this activity and it includes state of the art inpatient and outpatient facilities a location for nationally recognized diagnostic and treatment center for advanced lung diseases. Following a three year fellowship, Fellowship trainees will be board eligible for certification in pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. All physician trainees will have access to research programs that focus on pathophysiology, cell biology and molecular biology. The integration of research with patient care assures complete training in pulmonary and critical care medicine, and provide opportunity for Fellows to enter either academic medicine or private practice. Dr. Lisa Brath, Professor of Medicine is the Director of the Division’s Fellowship Program
VCU’s Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine is conducting critically important active ongoing research projects involving clinical and basic science. Division research faculty are engaged in intricate probing of pressing mysteries such as acute Lung Injury and critical illness, Pulmonary Hypertension, and hyperlipidemia with its accompanying vascular disease. Research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.
- Treatment interventions for Lung injury, sepsis and organ failure
- Delirium and sedation practices in critically ill patients
- Novel treatments for asthma
- New pharmacologic treatments for Pulmonary Hypertension.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
The Division is participating in national clinical trials for sepsis, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome.
- Mechanisms of lipid peroxidation and cholesterol ester hydrolysis in coronary artery plaques and in diabetes
- Molecular control of inflammation in sepsis and its mediation by ascorbic acid.
- Molecular pathogenesis of ischemia reperfusion injury
- Molecular control of antioxidant injury in endothelial cells
- Molecular control of lung water through sodium channels
- Molecular mechanisms of development of pulmonary hypertension
Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
1200 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia, 23298
Phone: (804) 828-9071
S. Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD
Richmond Virginia 23298-0050
Phone: (804) 828-6956