Appointments Featured News Perioperative Medicine

Dr. Helga Komen appointed physician leader for POD 5

Dear Colleagues,

We are extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Helga Komen has accepted the role of an anesthesiology physician leader in POD 5.

In this important clinical leadership role, Dr. Komen will work closely with the WUSM and BJH perioperative leaders in supporting faculty and staff, and promoting safety, quality, and efficiency of perioperative care in POD 5. She will further our efforts towards enhancing teamwork, diversity and inclusion, and ensuring that POD 5 is a nurturing and safe environment for all members of the healthcare team.

Dr. Komen has focused her expertise on POD 5, in particular on anesthesia for ENT surgery, where she has functioned as an informal clinical leader. Dr. Komen has established herself as an expert in airway management and has made notable contributions to patient safety in this area, including leading a departmental difficult airway workshop, introducing airway carts across the BJH campus perioperative areas, and coordinating an airway rotation program for advanced trainees from other specialties, and others.

Dr. Komen completed her medical degree and residency in Anesthesiology at the University Rijeka School of Medicine, Rijeka, Croatia. She joined Washington University Department of Anesthesiology in 2014. Dr. Komen is a member of the Division of General Anesthesiology and currently holds an academic rank of assistant professor.

We are greatly indebted to Dr. Omokhaye Higo for the significant contributions he has made while in the POD 5 leadership role. Dr. Higo has been promoted to vice-chair for innovation but will continue to work closely with the departmental clinical leaders.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Helga Komen. We are delighted that she has accepted this important leadership position and look forward to working with her in this capacity.

Best wishes,

Ivan Kangrga, MD, PhD
Director of Clinical Anesthesiology
Vice-Chair for Health System Liaison

Mitchell Fingerman, MD 
Division Chief of Regional and Ambulatory       
Molly McCormick, MD                                                                                                         
Division Chief of General Anesthesiology        
Jason Gillihan, MD
Division Chief of Anesthesiology- BWCH                        
Michael S. Avidan, MBBCh, FCASA
Dr. Seymour and Rose T.  Brown Professor of Anesthesiology
Head of the Department of Anesthesiology
Anesthesiologist-in-Chief, Barnes- Jewish Hospital