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Spring/Summer 2011

Surgeon to the Region

Michael Zenilman knows that networking is the future of medicine.

By: Neil A. Grauer
Date: May 20, 2011

Michael Zenilman
Zenilman, who served on the “front lines” of Hopkins Medicine's expansion in the 1990s, has now been tapped to serve as regional director of surgery.
photo by Keith Weller

When Michael Zenilman originally was on the Hopkins surgery faculty from 1991 to 1994, he witnessed the beginnings of what since has become Hopkins Medicine’s evolution into a regional health care network. “I remember very well being on the front lines of this local expansion,” says Zenilman, who had been an assistant professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins Bayview and was the first surgeon to see patients at Hopkins’ suburban Odenton center when it opened.

Hopkins now has 26 outpatient sites throughout Maryland; plus three new affiliated hospitals—Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md.; Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.; and All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Health care systems are the future of medicine,” says Zenilman, who became Johns Hopkins Medicine’s first vice chair and regional director of surgery on January 1.

Zenilman, who until recently served as chairman of the Department of Surgery at the State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, will be responsible for overseeing surgery services delivered at both Hopkins Medicine’s community hospitals and its ambulatory locations. He will work with leaders at the hospitals to develop a truly regional health care delivery system, ensuring that surgical standards of safety, quality, and service at each location are in line with the best practices in the field. In addition, Zenilman, a gastrointestinal surgeon and a specialist in geriatric surgery, will operate a clinical practice at Suburban Hospital.   

Zenilman earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate and completed his residency and a fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at Washington University School of Medicine’s Barnes Hospital. During his initial faculty appointment at Hopkins, he received an American College of Surgeon’s Faculty Fellowship and was the principal investigator of an NIH-funded study on pancreatic regeneration. He later was on the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center before returning to SUNY in 2001. The author of more than 80 peer-reviewed articles, he recently published the second edition of a textbook, Principles and Practices of 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,” he says. Neil A. Grauer