Mark L. Gestring, M.D., professor of Surgery, Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, has been appointed chief of the Division of Acute Care Surgery in the Department of Surgery.
Gestring joined the faculty of URMC in 2001, when he became medical director of Strong Memorial Hospital’s Kessler Trauma Center. Gestring was instrumental in achieving Level I Trauma Center designation for SMH, making it the only designated Level I facility in the 14-county Finger Lakes Region.
In his new role as division chief, formerly held by Paul E. Bankey, M.D., Ph.D., Gestring will oversee and grow three busy service lines: Trauma, Emergency General Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care. He also plans to develop a focused geriatric trauma program, and to establish a designated step-down unit for the Acute Care Surgery population.
The results of the national search for division chief of Acute Care Surgery garnered outstanding candidates, with the best already on faculty at URMC, according to David C. Linehan, M.D., the Seymour I. Schwartz Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery.
“Mark’s strategic vision for of the division builds on his experience as director of the Kessler Trauma Center, and on his successes in extending the trauma center expertise into the community and throughout the region. I look forward to working with Mark as he assumes leadership of the Acute Care Surgery Division,” Linehan said.
“My commitment to this region, and to the more than 2,000 patients a year who are transported to Strong Memorial for emergency, lifesaving care, has only been strengthened during my 17 years in Upstate New York,” Gestring said. “I look forward to further enhancing our team and our services so that we can continue to do the important job of saving the lives of those in our community.”
In 2014, Gestring led the Kessler Trauma Center through a rigorous verification process conducted by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), resulting in SMH being at that time one of only two programs in New York State designated as a Level I trauma center and the only one in Upstate New York. It also was the first trauma center in New York State to be re-verified by ACS.
Gestring is well known for his engagement with the local and regional community and its law enforcement and first responder organizations, particularly the relationship developed between URMC and the New York State Police. Gestring serves as the Rochester-area Chief Surgeon of the State Trooper Surgeons, a Division of the NYS Troopers Police Benevolent Association.
Gestring is committed to providing community education and support, including:
- Offering nationally recognized interventions for kids who present in the Emergency Department with violence-related injuries, collaborating with families, law enforcement agencies, social services, school districts and personnel from various hospital departments to ensure the child, as well as his or her siblings who may be at risk, are safe.
- Supporting high school driver’s education curriculum related to responsible teen driving, and working with Monroe County to develop drunk driving prevention programs.
- At a national level, Gestring is recognized as a leader in the Stop the Bleed initiative, a nationwide campaign that empowers individuals, both health care providers and community members without medical training, to use tourniquets and other techniques to stop blood loss during an emergency. The program has been implemented throughout the Finger Lakes Region, with hundreds of individuals from all walks of life – law enforcement, EMS, education – trained over the past several years.
Gestring received his medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School. He completed his surgical training at Brown University and his fellowship training in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania.
He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in both Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He is currently a member of the ACS Committee on Trauma, for which he serves as chair of the EMS Committee and the co-chair of the National Stop-The-Bleed Steering Committee.