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Michael A. DeVita, MD

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 1996-97.

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.