Michael A. DeVita, MD
Professor, Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Michael A DeVita, MD is Associate Medical Director, UPMC Presbyterian
Shadyside Hospital, a position he has held since February 1997. He
is charged with evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of clinical
care, creating and analyzing data sets that trigger redesign of care
processes with the goals of decreasing error and improving patient
safety. Dr. DeVita has specific responsibility for the hospital’s
medical crisis response system. This system prevents hospital deaths
through crisis intervention and post hoc analysis/process redesign.
DeVita was appointed Chair of the UPMC Medical Ethics Committee in
1992. During his tenure, the committee has developed the nation’s
first policy on non-heartbeating organ donation. This effort took 18
months, involved over 100 UPMC staff and dozens of reviewers outside
the institution who provided analysis and suggestions. The result is
the most widely recognized policy of its type, one that serves as a
template for hospitals and organ procurement organizations nationally.
The committee achieved another national first in a policy creating
CORID (the Committee for the Oversight of Research Involving the Dead).
This policy, which permits and regulates cadaver research, has been
the focus of a national consensus conference and reports in Science
and US News and World Report. In addition, DeVita served as Chair of
the Ethics Committee of the Society for Critical Care Medicine from
During his 16 years at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. DeVita has
distinguished himself clinically and administratively across a wide
spectrum of patient care. He was Director of the Surgical ICU from
1991-6. As Medical Director of the Rapid Treatment Unit, a center for
quickly initiating diagnostics and therapy, he led the project from
inception through implementation. The project demonstrated the clinical
effectiveness and feasibility of caring for patients in a radically
altered time frame: hours instead of days. He assisted planning and
development of the University’s Transitional Care Unit, a subacute
facility. He was that unit’s Medical Director from before its
opening in 1997 until 1999. Finally, he was Co-Medical Director of
the Respiratory Care Department from 1995 to 2004. As a clinician,
he has practiced critical care in all of the center’s intensive
care units. In addition, he is a member of the hospital’s palliative
care physician team.
An experienced consultant in ethics, DeVita is well published in the
fields of ethics and critical care medicine. He is a widely recognized
speaker on ethical issues confronting physicians especially regarding
end-of-life care and organ donation. In 1998 he received the Christer
Grenvik Award for contribution to ethics in critical care from the
Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is a member of the faculty of
the Center for Bioethics and Health Law at the University of Pittsburgh
and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
He was awarded a grant from HRSA to perform research to validate and
find new candidate identification criteria for Non-heartbeating organ
donors. The results of this study will likely help Transplant surgeons,
critical care professionals and palliative care consultants in determining
who is likely to die rapidly after withdrawal of life sustaining treatments
in the ICU.
He is active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has
been a member of their Lay Review Panel, which has final authority
over their annual 100 million dollar granting process. In addition
he a member of their Research Advisory Board Executive Committee, which
helps determine goals for their research portfolio. He is currently
chair of their Clinical Affairs Advisory Committee which is responsible
for setting clinical research funding priorities.
His wife is Sharon C. Kiely, a physician and Vice Chair of the Department
of Internal Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital, and they have four
children: Lizzie, Chris, Tim and Annie.