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SMH Honors Two Outstanding Physicians, Installs New Physician Leaders

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Nov/06/2015

SARASOTA, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2015) Sarasota Memorial’s medical staff recently honored two physicians for outstanding service to the hospital and the community and installed its new leaders for 2015–2016.

Longtime Sarasota cardiovascular surgeon Thomas Kelly, MD, was awarded the health system’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, while neurologist Mauricio Concha, MD, was named the 2015 Physician of the Year.

Both were selected by a committee of physician leaders and recognized at Sarasota Memorial’s annual medical staff meeting last week.

Thomas Kelly, MD
Thomas Kelly, MD

Mauricio Concha, MD
Mauricio Concha, MD

Karen Hamad, MD
Karen Hamad, MD

Scott Stevens, MD
Scott Stevens, MD

Bruce Fleegler, MD
Bruce Fleegler, MD

Ashvin Patel, MD
Ashvin Patel, MD

Mark Ramos, MD
Mark Ramos, MD

Dr. Kelly was honored for his pioneering role in the health system’s cardiac surgery program and his ongoing contributions to the advancement of patient care and medical  innovation.

Dr. Kelly co-founded the hospital’s open heart surgery center (with Donald Snyder, MD). Recruited to SMH after a national search, he had trained at Baylor College of Medicine under Michael DeBakey, world renowned for his innovations in cardiovascular surgery.  

Dr. Kelly and Dr. Snyder performed the first open heart surgery case at SMH in 1983.  Although they only expected to do about 200 heart operations that first year, they did more than 450.  Within 15 years the program had grown to six surgeons, and almost 1,500 heart procedures and was named one of the top 50 heart surgery hospitals in the country.

Over the years, he has performed nearly 9,000 operations and his experience and expertise have been pillars of the program for more than three decades. 

Today, Dr. Kelly is a member of Sarasota Memorial's First Physicians Group, and his specialties and practice focus include the full range of cardiovascular and thoracic care.

In addition to his busy surgical practice, Dr. Kelly served as an elected member of the Sarasota County Public Hospital Board from 1998 to 2013.  

The medical staff also honored Dr. Concha as physician of the year. Dr. Concha joined SMH’s medical staff in 2001 and quickly established himself as an influential leader who would advance SMH’s stroke capabilities.

He has served as the medical director of SMH’s stroke program since 2003. During that time, he has spearheaded a number of advances in technology and treatments that have resulted in outcomes that are among the best in the nation.  

In 2005, Sarasota Memorial was recognized as the county’s first Primary Stroke Center – “with distinction” – by Joint Commission and the state of Florida.  Less than a year later, SMH was certified by the state as a “Comprehensive Stroke Center,”?which singled out the local hospital as a preferred provider for people facing the greatest challenges in stroke care.

In 2015, he helped SMH achieve national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from DNV Healthcare, one of the leading accrediting organizations in the nation. The hospital also has launched a telestroke program for patients experiencing strokes in rural areas. 

The medical staff also installed its Medical Executive Committee for the coming year.

Karen Hamad, MD, Internal Medicine-Pediatrics, was named chief of staff, serving as the top representative of Sarasota Memorial’s more than 800 medical staff members. 

She succeeds gynecological oncologist James Fiorica, MD, whose one-year term as chief of staff ended Oct. 31.

Dr. Hamad, who practices with Sarasota Memorial’s First Physician’s Group, has been a member of SMH’s medical staff since 2003. She earned her medical degree and completed her residency at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, La. Dr. Hamad also serves as a clerkship faculty member of Florida State University College of Medicine. 

Surgeon Scott Stevens, MD, was named chief of staff-elect. Pulmonologist Bruce Fleegler, MD, was named secretary/ treasurer, while orthopedic surgeon Ashvin Patel, MD, and cardiologist Mark Ramos, MD, were named Medical Executive Committee members at large. 

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