New Faculty Appointment: Joseph Costa, DHSc, PA-C

by Columbia Surgery on October 29, 2013

Joseph Costa, DHSc, P

Joseph Costa, DHSc, PA-C

Instructor in Clinical Surgical Sciences (in Surgery), Division of Thoracic Surgery

Joseph Costa, DHSc, PA-C, is the first Physician Assistant to become a faculty member at NYP/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He gained this historic status through a unique path that began with his position as Dr. Craig Smith’s private PA in Cardiothoracic Surgery (2000-2010). There he began his role as a key oversight team member on pediatric and adult heart procurements, and later in performing lung procurements. When he became the Chief PA in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation, his role expanded to include complete responsibility for all aspects of onsite evaluation of potential lung allografts for transplant, which included review of chest x-rays, CT scans, and intraoperative bronchoscopy.

His duties as lead surgeon include performing and teaching the intraoperative evaluation, cardiac dissection and cannulation for perfusion of lung allografts, and performing the en-bloc pneumonectomy. In addition, Dr. Costa is responsible for evaluating and performing the operative phase in re-operative donors and Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) donors.

Along with his clinical responsibilities, Dr. Costa has taught and mentored surgical interns and fellows since 2003. He was featured in the book, “The Surgeons,” casted in the movie “Awake” as a transplant surgeon, and is the author of numerous journal articles, abstracts, and poster presentations. He is the recipient of numerous awards including CUMC’s PA of the Year in 2011. Having earned his Doctorate in Health Science with a focus on Health Policy and in combination with Dr. Costa’s unique surgical and teaching experience, a motion was made to appoint him as faculty at Columbia P&S, which was granted this year.

Dr. Costa wishes to acknowledge the effort by Dr. Joshua Sonett in helping to facilitate this unique PA role and its evolution into the division’s current model. He also includes a special thanks to Drs. Frank D’Ovidio and Matthew Bacchetta for their tremendous support.


atsJournals_logoThe Medical ECMO Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center recently published two papers in the August volume of Annals of the American Thoracic Society.  The hospital was also featured on the cover of the journal.   One paper focuses on the program’s successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support in a pilot study for patients with severe exacerbations of COPD with respiratory failure.  The other paper discusses emerging indications for the use of ECMO, such as moderate ARDS and as a destination therapy for patients with chronic lung disease.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is one of several terms used to describe a circuit outside the body (“extracorporeal”) that directly oxygenates and removes carbon dioxide from the blood. ECMO functions as an artificial lung working in addition to the patient’s own failing lungs.

Please follow the links below to access links to both papers and a podcast featuring Dr. Darryl Abrams, Medical ECMO Program Attending, discussing these papers.

To learn more about the Medical ECMO Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, please visit us at


2013 Lung Cancer CME: Updates and Challenges in Lung Cancer

June 11, 2013

TweetIf you are a medical professional involved with the management of patients with lung cancer, be sure to attend the 2013 Lung Cancer CME: Updates and Challenges in Lung Cancer Friday, June 21. This one-day CME accredited educational course will focus on challenging aspects of lung cancer care as well as updates on screening, work-up, […]

Read the full article →

CT Lung Cancer Screening Program

May 13, 2013

TweetLung cancer screening with computed tomography (CT) effectively detects lung cancer at an early stage when it has the best chances of being fully removed and cured. Screening is performed before the onset of any symptoms; patients who exhibit any symptoms undergo diagnostic testing prescribed by their doctors. Based on the landmark National Lung Screening […]

Read the full article →

Diaphragmatic Pacing Program

May 3, 2013

TweetTherapy improves quality of life for paralyzed patients by eliminating the need for mechanical respiration. We’ve been hearing a lot recently about the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and the serious challenges they now face. Meanwhile, the Thoracic Surgery Section is helping a different set of patients to cope with unique disabilities and health […]

Read the full article →

BlogTalkRadio: ECMO Advances Clinical Care Practice

January 30, 2013

TweetHave you ever wished you could sit down and freely talk with an expert about a particular health condition or treatment that you or a loved one may be facing? Columbia Surgery is giving you the next best thing – BlogTalkRadio shows featuring experts in every surgical specialty, available to answer questions by listeners like […]

Read the full article →

New Research on Lung Sparing Surgery for Mesothelioma

July 12, 2012


Read the full article →

Esophageal Cancer: Recent Study Supports the Effectiveness of Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

July 7, 2012

Tweet Esophageal cancer is on the rise. The American Cancer Society estimated that there are over 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer in 2012. Currently, traditional surgical treatment of esophageal cancer involves a procedure called an open esophagectomy. An open esophagectomy is an invasive procedure, which involves removing the diseased portion of the esophagus.  If […]

Read the full article →

Dr. Hiroo Takayama Wins AATS Residents Association Award

June 27, 2012

TweetHiroo Takayama, MD, PhD is the winner of the 2012 Dwight C. McGoon Award, a national award given by the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association, which represents thoracic surgery residents across the nation. The award recognizes a distinguished young faculty member in cardiothoracic surgery with an outstanding commitment to resident education and mentorship. Dr. Takayama works […]

Read the full article →