Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary)
  • Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit, VA CT Healthcare System, West Haven

Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS, has been a member of the Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty since she completed her fellowship in 2008. Dr. Akgün is board-certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine. Her outpatient practice is primarily at VA-Connecticut (West Haven and Newington campuses) where she specializes in general pulmonary diseases. She also supervises Yale PCCSM fellows in their VA continuity clinic. Her inpatient practice is at both VA and Yale-New Haven Hospital campuses where she primarily focuses on adult critical care, particularly for older persons with multiple chronic conditions who may be approaching the end of their lives.

Dr. Akgün earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, Cook College with a major in the Biology. She received her MD from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden Campus. Dr. Akgün completed her internship, residency in internal medicine and her pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale University School of Medicine. Since joining the Yale PCCSM faculty, she completed a Masters of Science in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.

Dr. Akgün's clinical research has focused on outcomes for HIV-infected compared with uninfected patients following admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). She has received research support through her selection as a T. Franklin Williams Research Scholar through the Association of Specialty Physicians-CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians Geriatric Development Research. She also received a VA-based VISN1 Early Career Development Award. Dr. Akgün's more recent research projects have been focusing on the use of clinical informatics tools to develop and validate tools to measure the frequency and quality of palliative care delivered during ICU admissions.

Research interests
Aging; Critical Care; Epidemiology; HIV; Intensive Care Units; Terminal Care; Veterans; Pulmonary Medicine; Immunocompromised Host; Palliative Medicine
Research summary

Dr. Akgun's research is focused on critical illness in immunocompromised patients. Specifically, she is working with the Veteran's Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to investigate the risk factors for and incidence of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in HIV-infected patients. She received funding from the American Subspecialty Physicians-American College of Chest Physicians CHEST Foundation investigating ICU admissions in older HIV-infected patients and the impact of age on ICU admission diagnosis and outcome in this patient population. She was also funded by VISN from from the Department of Veteran Affairs to describe patient- and ICU-level risk factors for decrements in quality of life outcomes in ICU survivors. She is beginning to identify frequency and content of family meetings for patients admitted to the ICU using electronic health records.

Specialized Terms: Critical care, Pulmonary disease in HIV and other immunocompromised hosts, Aging, HIV and critical illness Palliative and end of life care in the intensive care unit (ICU), Resident debriefing and emotional distress during training

  • MS, Yale Graduate School of Public Health, 2014
  • MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 2001
  • BS, Rutgers University, 1997
  • Akgün KM, Gordon K, Pisani M, Fried T, McGinnis KA, Tate JP, Butt AA, Gibert CL, Huang L, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Rimland D, Justice AC, Crothers K. Risk factors for hospitalization and medical intensive care unit (MICU) admission among HIV infected Veterans. J Acquired Immunodef Syndrome. 2013 Jan 1;62(1):52-9. PMID: 23111572.
  • Akgün KM, Tate JP, Pisani M, Fried T, Butt AA, Gibert CL, Huang L, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Rimland D, Justice AC, Crothers K. Medical ICU admission diagnoses and outcomes in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-infected and Virus-uninfected Veterans in the combination antiretroviral era. Crit Care Med. 2013; 41(6): 1458-67. PMID: 23507717.
  • Akgün K and Siegel MD. Using standardized family members to teach end-of-life skills to critical care trainees. Crit Care Med, 2012; 40(6):1978-80. PMID: 22610211.
  • Akgün K, Crothers K, Pisani M. Epidemiology and management of common pulmonary disease in older persons. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 2012; 67(3):276-91. PMID: 22337938.
  • Akgün K and Siegel MD. Stranger in a strange land: A traveler’s guide to chronic critical illness. Crit Care Med, 2012; 40 (1): 312-13. PMID: 22179354.
  • Akgün K, Huang, L, Morris, A, Justice, AC, Pisani, M and Crothers, K. Critical Illness in HIV-Infected Patients in the Era of Combination Antiretroviral Therapy. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 2011 June; 8(3):301-7. PMID: 21653532.
  • Akgün K, Pisani, M, Crothers, K. Akgün, K, Crothers, K and Pisani, M. The Changing Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS Patients in the Intensive Care Unit. J Intensive Care Med 2011 May-June; 26(3):151-64. PMID: 21436170.
  • Akgün K, Pisani M, Crothers K. Epidemiology and outcomes for HIV/AIDS patients in the intensive care unit. J Intensive Care Med, 2011;26(3):151-64.
  • Akgün K, Huang L, Morris A, Justice AC, Pisani M, Crothers K. Critical illness in HIV-infected patients in the era of combination antiretroviral therapy. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 2011 June; 8(3):301-7. PMID: 21653532.
  • Kapo JM and Akgün KM. Integrating palliative care into the care of patients with advanced lung cancer. Cancer J 2015; 21(5): 434-9.
  • Akgün KM, Kapo JM, Siegel MD. Critical care at the end of life. Semin Respir Crit Care Med 2015;36(6):921-933.
  • Akgün KM, Tate J, Crothers K, Crystal S, Leaf DA, Womack J, Brown TT, Justice A, Oursler KK. Frailty-related phenotype and the VACS Index as predictors of hospitalization and mortality in HIV-infected and uninfected patients. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2014; 67(4): 397-404.
  • Rentsch C, Tate JP, Akgün KM, Crystal S, Wang KH, Greyson SR, Wang EA, Bryant KJ, Fiellin D, Justice AC, Rimland D. Alcohol-related diagnoses and all-cause hospitalization among HIV-infected and uninfected patients: a longitudinal analysis of United States Veterans from 1997 to 2011. AIDS and Behavior 2015, Epub ahead of print.
  • Bharakat L, Juthani-Mehta M, Allore H, Trentalange M, Tate J, Akgün, KM, Pisani M, Butt AA, Rimland D, Crothers K, Justice A, Quagliarello V. Comparing clinical outcomes of HIV-infected and uninfected older men hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia. HIV Med 2015 Aug; 16(7):421-30.
  • Attia EF, McGinnis KA, Feemster LC, Akgün KA, Butt AA, Graber CJ, Fine MJ, Goetz MB, Rodriguez-Barradas MC, Pisani MA, Tindle HA, Brown ST, Soo Hoo GW, Rimland D, Gibert CL, Huang L, Freiberg MS, Hough CL, Crothers K. Association of COPD with risk for pulmonary infections requiring hospitalization in HIV-infected Veterans. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2015; 70(3):280-288.
  • Akgün KM, Tate JP, Oursler KK, Crystal S, Leaf DA, Womack JA, Brown TT, Justice AC, Crothers K. AIDS. 2016 Sep 10;30(14):2185-93
  • Akgün KM, Miller RF. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Apr;37(2):303-17.
  • Depp TB, McGinnis KA, Kraemer K, Akgün KM, Edelman EJ, Fiellin DA, Butt AA, Crystal S, Gordon AJ, Freiberg M, Gibert CL, Rimland D, Bryant KJ, Crothers K. AIDS. 2016 Jan 28;30(3):455-63.
  • Akgün KM, Kapo JM, Siegel MD. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Dec;36(6):921-33.
  • DeBiasi EM, Akgün KM, Pisani M. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Dec;36(6):899-913.
  • Triplette M, Attia E, Akgün K, Campo M, Rodriguez-Barradas M, Pipavath S, Shahrir S, Wongtrakool C, Goetz M, Kim J, Soo Hoo GW, Brown ST, Crothers K. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 Jan 1;74(1):e23-e29.