Tricia Brentjens, MD, appointed Vice Chair for Perioperative Management

Tricia Brentjens, MD, a master anesthesiologist and national leader in transplant anesthesiology and critical care medicine, has been appointed Vice Chair for Perioperative Management.

Dr. Brentjens will direct the activities of the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), Ambulatory Stay Unit (ASU), and all preoperative assessment and optimization areas. This position articulates with the clinical workflows of the Surgical and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Units. Dr. Brentjens will work directly with the patient care director and a team of approximately 60 PACU nurses, and will direct the PACU rotation for residents.

As an expert in hepatic physiology and transplantation, Dr. Brentjens built, expanded, and directs the department’s liver transplant anesthesiology program, and has contributed to CUIMC’s rise to national prominence in liver transplantation. She also has accomplished a great deal to improve patient care and safety and increase operational efficiency as medical director of the post-anesthesia care unit and associate director in anesthesiology of the Milstein operating rooms. In the PACU, she initiated protocols for management of patients with sleep apnea and developed a rapid triage system to identify patients who may need intensive care, along with protocols that resulted in reduced length of stay, increased patient safety, and expanded ICU patient capacity.

During last spring’s pandemic surge, Dr. Brentjens, together with other clinical and administrative leaders, rapidly assessed the logistics of the evolving situation to convert the Milstein operating rooms into a dedicated COVID-19 ICU, then merged multidisciplinary clinicians into teams and deployed them to the impromptu intensive care units. A number of COVID-19 clinical care protocols and innovations resulted from her remarkable efforts during this time; they are models for the pandemic response at other institutions nationally and internationally.

“Dr. Brentjens brings superb clinical acumen, professional commitment to sharing expertise, and dedication to the clinical training of hundreds of subspecialists to this appointment,” wrote department chair Ansgar M. Brambrink, MD, PhD in his announcement. “Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brentjens in her new role as Vice Chair for Perioperative Management.”