BOSTON – Tracey Dechert, MD, FACS has been appointed Chief of Acute Care and Trauma Surgery at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and will assume her new role on July 1. Dechert is believed to be the first woman to be named surgical trauma chief at a Level 1 adult trauma center in Massachusetts.
Dechert joined BMC as a trauma surgeon in 2010, when she was also appointed as assistant professor of surgery at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). She rose to associate professor at BUSM in 2018. She was then promoted to director of BMC’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) and chief of surgical critical care in 2019. She also has previously served as associate director of the General Surgery Residency Program and currently serves as director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship.
“With her expertise and clear passion for health equity and serving vulnerable populations, Dr. Dechert is an invaluable part of our team,” said Jennifer Tseng, MD, MPH, Surgeon-in-Chief at BMC and James Utley Professor at BUSM. “We are thrilled to announce Dr. Dechert’s appointment, and we know that her leadership will only further enhance BMC’s mission and strengthen its values.”
Dechert completed her medical degree at Temple University, a residency in General Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia, and a fellowship in the Department of Traumatology and Surgical Critical Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2014, Dechert’s passions and interests led her to create Socially Responsible Surgery with BMC surgery residents to establish social responsibility as a core value of surgical practice, including equal access to surgical care, eliminating healthcare disparities, increasing patient advocacy, and educating and serving the local and global community. The organization aims to identify opportunities for leadership, research, and collaboration in the training of globally-minded surgeons committed to surgical equity.
“I have always been proud to be a part of BMC as its mission and values align so closely with my own, and I’m excited for this opportunity to have a greater impact on the communities BMC serves,” Dechert said. “I hope to build on BMC’s great legacy of working on behalf of those who need it the most – improving healthcare access and education, providing opportunities to those who can help further this goal, and ultimately achieving health equity.”
Dechert’s appointment takes place as Peter Burke, MD, Chief of Acute Care and Trauma Surgery, has decided to step down from clinical practice at the end of June. He will continue to be a member of the department’s research community. Burke joined BMC and BUSM’s faculty in 1999, with appointment as Chief and promotion to professor of surgery in 2008. In recognition of his many contributions to BMC, Dr. Burke received the Jerome Klein Award for Physician Excellence in 2019.
“Dr. Burke has been practicing for over 30 years, almost all of them at BMC, where he has excelled in all aspects of academic medicine and made a lasting impact on the lives of our patients and staff,” Tseng said. “A true leader and highly respected as both a clinician and colleague, Dr. Burke’s work has contributed to building BMC into what it is today and will not soon be forgotten.”
Boston Medical Center is the largest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England, and in 1994 became the first hospital in Boston to be verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 adult trauma center.
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