Rebecca Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D. (Courtesy photo)
Stanford University School of Medicine anesthesiologist and expert in palliative care Rebecca Aslakson, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed as the next chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, effective September 1, 2022, following a national search. Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., and Jason Sanders, M.D., M.B.A., senior associate dean for clinical affairs at Larner and president and CEO of the UVM Health Network Medical Group, announced Aslakson’s appointment to members of the UVM community on July 8.
In her new role, Aslakson will lead a department of 59 faculty, 32 Advanced Practice Providers, 25 residents, 2 fellows, and 22 staff whose mission is to deliver state-of-the-art anesthesia services to patients, conduct groundbreaking research, and provide exceptional education to the next generation of anesthesiology providers.
Since 2018, Aslakson has served on the Stanford faculty as an associate professor in both the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine and the Department of Medicine in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health in its Palliative Care Section. In 2019, she was appointed division chief of Adult Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine. She is also a member of both the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Stanford Cancer Center. Prior to Stanford, Aslakson was on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was part of the Core Faculty of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality in Baltimore, Md. She is an internationally recognized investigator and leader on patient- and family-centered care and palliative care in perioperative and critical care, with extensive support from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among other funding organizations. A Fellow of both the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) and the American College of Critical Care Medicine, Aslakson has been recognized nationally with a 2015 Early Career Investigator Award from the AAHPM, the 2014 Presidential Scholar Award from the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the 2019 Grenvik Award for Ethics from the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
Aslakson received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed an anesthesiology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a surgical critical care fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She earned an M.Sci. degree from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, and received her Ph.D. in clinical investigations from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“Dr. Aslakson brings a record of clinical research, national service and academic leadership that will provide great value to the learners, staff and faculty of our Larner community,” says Page.
Sanders adds, “Dr. Aslakson will bring motivational leadership, clinical and population health expertise, and recruitment energy to our anesthesiology and patient care teams across the UVM Health Network.”
Since August 2020, Melissa Davidson, M.D., the Schapiro-Carroll Green and Gold Professor of Anesthesiology, has served as interim chair of anesthesiology, in addition to her roles as associate dean for graduate medical education at Larner and Designated Institutional Official at the UVM Medical Center.
Mitchell Norotsky, M.D., chair of surgery, and Anne Dixon, M.A., BM BCh, professor of medicine and director of the Vermont Lung Center, co-chaired the anesthesiology chair search committee.