Howard Kaufman MD

Howard Kaufman MD

Director, HMRI Colorectal Research Program, Medical Director, Huntington Hospital Cancer Center, Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery, Huntington Hospital

Research Focus

A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Kaufman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Haverford College, where he received his BS with honors in Biology and Physics. He attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed his surgical training, research fellowship, and fellowship in gastrointestinal surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Kaufman joined the faculty of The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and held triple appointments as Associate Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, and Oncology through 2002. He received his MBA from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Dr. Kaufman was recruited to the Department of Surgery at USC as Chief of the Division of Colorectal and Pelvic Floor Surgery and was Chief of the General Surgery Service at USC University Hospital from 2004-2008. Dr. Kaufman became Medical Director of the Huntington Hospital Cancer Center in 2007 and left the USC faculty in 2009 to focus his attention exclusively on private practice, the Colorectal Research Program at HMRI, Cancer Center activities, and the training of Huntington surgical residents.

Throughout his career, Dr. Kaufman has passionately pursued efforts to reduce the effects of surgical trauma on his patients through early adoption of new technologies, advancements in multidisciplinary care, and leadership positions in patient safety and quality initiatives. He was one of the early pioneers of minimally invasive surgery for Crohn’s disease and was the first surgeon on the west coast to perform colon resections laparoscopically through a tiny single incision in the umbilicus (single port or single incision surgery). He has developed multidisciplinary pelvic floor programs on both coasts and has demonstrated how advanced pelvic imaging influences surgical treatment decisions. Dr. Kaufman served as the USC University Hospital Surgeon Champion for the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program and was Vice Chairman for Patient Safety and Quality in Surgery at Keck. He was the first surgeon at Huntington and USC to implement the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist, a tool proven to reduce complications and improve outcomes in surgery.

Dr. Kaufman’s research efforts have paralleled his clinical interests and expertise. He has published over 63 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 16 book chapters and has presented his work at major national and international meetings. Dr. Kaufman is a member of several national surgical societies and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He leads the Colorectal Research Program at the Huntington Medical Research Institutes, where he directs numerous clinical and translational studies in both benign and malignant diseases.