Augmenting the Best of Children's Surgery at CCH

CCH expands pediatric surgery services


By Charles Stolar, MD


I recently joined with Dr. Tamir Keshen, Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Director of Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery, to expand pediatric surgery services at Cottage Children's Hospital.


A native of Missouri, I came to Santa Barbara after 30 years in New York City where I retain the title of Rudolph N. Schullinger Professor Emeritus of Surgery and Pediatrics at Columbia University. I was Director of Pediatric Surgery for Columbia University and Weill Cornell College of Medicine and Surgeon-in-Chief at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.


Charles Stolar, MD

I have research interests in newborn lung physiology and extracorporeal life support. From my laboratory, I have mentored 28 research/ECMO fellows to careers in pediatric surgery and congenital heart surgery, in addition to training 35 fellows in pediatric surgery. I have published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, emphasizing congenital diaphragmatic hernia, extracorporeal life support and childhood cancer. 


I am a member and leader of several prestigious national organizations including the American Board of Surgery, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, the American Surgical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Surgeons, the American Pediatric Society/Society for Pediatric Research, the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, and the British Association for Pediatric Surgery.


In addition to enhancing the broad scope of children's surgery at Cottage Children's Hospital, I hope to help develop and enhance children's surgical participation in antenatal consultation. As Director of the Center for Prenatal Pediatrics at Columbia, it was clear to me that the importance of prompt, expeditious, easily accessed and comprehensive antenatal consultation was an essential priority and could not be overemphasized. That importance is no less in the Cottage Health System. For a family with an antenatal diagnosis visited upon them, this is a crisis needing easily accessed, very informed multidisciplinary consultation.  All of this exists right here in Santa Barbara.  Also right here in Santa Barbara is the expertise to care for these newborns through delivery and beyond. Dr. Keshen and I look forward to working with specialists in neonatology, maternal-fetal medicine, genetics and nursing to offer just such a resource to families in our community and region.


Three things give me consummate pleasure (plus Mozart). First, that Carol Hutchens agreed to be my wife 38 years ago, second that I have been my son Jacob's father for 26 years, and third that I have had the privilege of caring for children. If you ask me why I moved to Santa Barbara, I might say my wife made me -- but that's not true. What I will say is how pleased I am to be in Santa Barbara and to have the pleasure of working to augment the outstanding work Dr. Keshen has done to bring the best of children's surgery to the region. I will also tell you how rewarding it is to be of service to the children and families at Cottage Children's Hospital.


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