CREATES/Skull Base Surgery/Surgical Innovation

S+S, Spring 2024, p. 5

The Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has a unique center called Pittsburgh CREATES (Collaborative Research, Education And Technology Advancement in Surgery). CREATES received a $1 million grant from the English Bonter Mitchell Foundation for a joint surgical cognition project with Parkview Health System in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Scientific goals include establishing new metrics for video evaluation of surgical performance and exploring new measures of surgical performance. Expected outcomes include identifying students and physicians with greater aptitude for surgery, developing improved, standardized training methods, improving surgical performance and post-operative outcomes, and deploying technology to improve access to these methods.

CREATES was also the recipient of approximately $400K in funding from Department of Otolaryngology alumni for carts and other equipment with the intent of developing a state-of-the-art training center for the Department of Otolaryngology.

The Myers/Maroon Chair in Skull Base Surgery has been funded by lead gifts from SBS pioneers Eugene Myers and Joseph Maroon, along with other donors such as EEF Board members, patients, and Otolaryngology alumni. Dr. Carl Snyderman is the intended recipient. This chair will commemorate the pioneering SBS work of Drs. Myers and Maroon while also encouraging the training of the next generation of skull base surgeons.

In the surgical innovation area, several grants have been received from the Edith Trees Foundation/PNC Charitable Trusts for the development of equipment to be used in surgery on individuals with special needs, as their windpipes are a bit trickier to maneuver.

Additionally, CREATES continues to work with companies on new products that have input from surgeons during development on what is needed in surgery as well as products that may be helpful in overcoming problems in the operating room.