Herbert J. Proctor Award for Excellence in Surgical Research

Dr. Proctor, circa 1988Dr. Herbert J. Proctor was the principal leader in the development of aeromedical services at NCMH.

Dr. Herbert Jennings Proctor, the founder of the Department's Trauma Service, was instrumental in developing aeromedical services throughout North Carolina, and specifically at UNC. Gaining first-hand experience with the lifesaving capabilities of air transportation for critically injured persons as a military surgeon in Vietnam, he initiated a relationship with the Army at Fort Bragg, NC, that in 1972 resulted in the first aeromedical program in North Carolina, known as the “MAST” (Military Assistance of Safety and Traffic) Program.

As a trauma surgeon at UNC-CH, Dr. Proctor served as Aeromedical Commander for NCMH, dispatching military helicopters across the state for missions bringing neonatal and trauma patients to Chapel Hill. When the MAST Program closed in 1985, each hospital proceeded to develop its own program for aeromedical services, remaining loosely affiliated. The Carolina Air Care Program began at UNC Hospitals in 1986, saving innumerable lives. Dr. Proctor’s vision and energy had founded Carolina Air Care's formation and catalyzed its success.

In 1996, the UNC Hospital's Board of Trustees named the aeromedical facility on the roof of the new Neurosciences Hospital "The Herbert J. Proctor MD Memorial Aeromedical Facility," recognizing Dr. Proctor's contribution to trauma transportation and care in North Carolina.

Dr. Proctor, a popular member of the faculty and former Secretary-Treasurer of the Nathan A. Womack Surgical Society, died in 1990. The Proctor Award was created in his honor to provide recognition and support of surgical resident research.

Past recipients of the award include:




Michael Phillips, MD


Chris Tignanelli, MD


Michael Phillips, MD


Jason Glotzbach, MD


Megan Fuller, MD


Jeffrey Dehmer, MD

Jonathan Samuel, MD


Brian Bednarski, MD


Tach Bhati, MD

Aaron Garrison, MD


Paul Riesenman, MD


D. Shon Black, MD


Brian Clark, MD


Kyle Weaver, MD


C. Scott Hultman, MD


David McKalip, MD


Bruce Cairns, MD