Site News

Meyer Appointed President of Southeastern Surgical Congress
February 23, 2010 -- Dr. Anthony Meyer, Chair of the Dept. of Surgery, was appointed President of the Southeastern Surgical Congress at the annual meeting conducted Feb. 20 through 23 in Savannah, GA. While the Congress is comprised predominantly of members from the mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, it is open to all practicing surgeons as well as those currently in training. Dr. Meyer will preside over the 2011 annual meeting scheduled for Feb. 12 through 15 in Chattanooga, TN.
Sommer Awarded TraCS Grant
February 4, 2010 -- Courtney Sommer, currently a fourth year General Surgery Resident, was awarded one of five TraCS $2K grants by the North Carolina Transitional and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) for clinical and transitional research projects. Karyn Stitzenberg, UNC Surgical Oncology, will be Dr. Sommer's mentor for the Project.
Mendes and Tamaddon Highlighted in Healthy U Magazine
February 22, 2010 -- Drs. Robert Mendes and Houman Tamaddon are featured in the October-December 2009 volume of Health U for their efforts to educate people about vascular disease. In August, 2009, both physicians joined University Hospital, a 581 bed, not-for-profit community facility in Augusta, GA, where Mendes serves as the Medical Director of Vascular Services and Tamaddon as Medical Director of the University's Peripheral Vascular Lab. (See University Health Care System's press release.)
Ollila Joins "Here's to Your Health"
February 20, 2010 -- David Ollila, UNC Surgical Oncology, joins the "Here's to Your Health" radio show to discuss melanoma. You can tune in to WCHL 1360 AM either Saturday at 9 a.m., Sunday at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or Monday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m to listen to the Dr. Ollila's discussion.
Family House Diaries: Unyielding Spirit
February 19, 2010 -- The SECU Family House is a home away from home for patients at UNC Hospitals. Some of the most inspiring stories and unyielding spirits at the Family House are featured in the "Family House Diaries," and Jack Newmann is certainly one of those spirits. Although Newmann has been living with severe Type I diabetes and dealing with the resulting consequences, such as being legally blind, for nearly 54 of his 58 years. Nonetheless, he still lives "every day as if its his last." Not only that, as a retired rehabilitation counselor for the blind, he has the patience and the care to give other patients what they sometime need the most - a friend. Despite his own medical problems and complexities, he makes himself available as a counselor or a friendly ear to other patients and attempts to instill a life of his own at the House.
Jaycee Burn Center: "Center of Hope"
January 30, 2010 -- The News and Observer editorial board expressed admiration for the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center for its continued dedication to quality care for burn patients. The Opinion-Editorial especially praised the Center for its quick response in tending to the needs of disaster patients, the most recent being the three victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Speck Presents at Academic Surgical Congress
February 3, 2010 -- Dr. Elizabeth Speck, a general surgery resident finishing her 2nd year of pediatric surgery research under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Helmrath, presented at the 5th annual Academic Surgical Congress in San Antonio, Texas. Her presentation, entitled "Loss of IL-10 Results in Sustained Increases in Intestinal Adaptation," was part of the scientific program on February 3, 2010
Neurosurgery Residency Program to Expand and Restructure
January 26, 2010 -- The Neurosurgery Residency Review Committee (RRC) approved the expansion of UNC Neurosurgery Resident Complements to two residents per year. The change is effective starting this year; therefore, Neurosurgery will accept two residents from the 2010 resident applicants. In addition, the division will also shorten its residency program from 7 years to 6 years with a total of 12 residents.
Dehmer Appointed as Editor of Resident and Associate Fellows Webpage
January 26, 2010 -- Jeff Dehmer, General Surgery Resident at UNC, was recently appointed to a 5 year position as the editor of the Resident and Associate Fellows web pages on, the web portal of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Dehmer will have responsibility for editing and updating that section of the portal dedicated to surgical residents and fellows.
Personnel Actions: Schiro, Meyers, and Marston
February 1, 2010 -- The Department of Surgery announces the following appointments:
John B. Graham Student Research Day Winners
January 27, 2010 -- The John B. Graham Medical Student Research Society hosted the 42nd Annual Student Research Day on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. The event started with a keynote address by Dr. Edward Benz, President and CEO of the Dana Farber Cancer Center. Following the keynote address, 67 medical students presented their research projects focused on one of three categories: Basic Science, Public Health, and Clinical Science. The Society honored the best oral presentation and the best poster presentation with the Harold C. Pillsbury Award for First Place in each of the respective categories. The 2010 First Place Awards for the best oral and poster presentation for the Basic Science category were presented to Matt Skancke and Gita Madan, respectively.
Tesche Presents at Annual STS Meeting
January 27, 2010 -- Dr. Leora Tesche, a 4th year General Surgery resident at UNC, presented at the 46th annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Her presentation, Simulator Experience Enhances Medical Students' Interest in Cardiothoracic Surgery, was part of the General Scientific Session conducted on Tuesday, Jan. 26th.
UNC Burn Center Provides Care for Haiti Victims
January 27, 2010 -- When the earthquake hit Haiti on January 12th, it shattered the capital city, Port-au-Prince and caused devastating injuries to millions. Many of the victims are still struggling to find medical care. Among them were the three patients who were flown into RDU on January 26 to receive expert medical care at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center at UNC, one of the best and largest burn centers in the Southeast. The burn patients have suffered severe burns from oil, gasoline, and chemicals on over 25%-40% of their bodies and their conditions are further complicated due to the two week delay in proper medical care. Despite the complications, the burn center staff has promptly began treatment, with one of the patient scheduled to undergo surgery today.
Gerber Appointed to Health & Human Services Advisory Committee
January 22, 2010 -- Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has appointed David A. Gerber, MD, to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation in the Health Resources and Services Administration. According to its charter, the Committee is charged with the task of assisting the HHS in its oversight of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the "equitable and effective organ donation, procurement, allocation, and transplantation system" enacted in the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984.
News Story Features Egan's Transplant Research
January 18, 2009 -- Thomas M. Egan, M.D., of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is featured as the "Tar Heel of the Week" in a News & Observer story about Dr. Egan and his pioneering lung transplant research, which would make more donor lungs usable for transplant by treating the lungs ex-vivo (outside the body) to improve their health before transplant. Read the article here.
ISCU Relocates to 6PST
January 12, 2010 -- Effective Tuesday, Jan. 12, the N.C. Memorial Hospital is relocating the Intermediate Surgical Care Unit (ISCU) to 6PST and expanding from 8 to 18 monitored intermediate surgical beds. ISCU will continue to admit patients from all surgery services in accordance with the current admission guidelines/policies. Please note, the main phone number is 843-0727, the fax line is 966-3410, and the tube station is 601. With this expansion, overall hospital licensed beds increase from 768 to 778.
Inpatient Hospital Service Changes – GI Surgery
January 12, 2010 -- Effective Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the request of Dr. Anthony Meyer on behalf of Drs. Mark Koruda and Tim Farrell, ISD is modifying inpatient hospital services to differentiate between upper and lower GI surgery.
Department of Neurosurgery Endorsed by SOM Faculty
January 8, 2010 -- Please read the following letter from Drs. William Roper and Etta Pisano:
Charles Leads Surgical Care Advancement Initiative in Malawi
December 11, 2009 -- As part of UNC's surgical initiative in Malawi, Dr. Anthony Charles, UNC Trauma and Critical Care Surgery, and a volunteer surgery team from UNC travel to Malawi regularly to provide surgical care, but Dr. Charles aims to make adequate surgical care permanently accessible to Malawians. "Currently, there are only 15 trained Malawian surgeons of any specialty in the entire country of 14 million people." However, Dr. Charles hopes to change that by initiating a five-year surgical residency program to train Malawian doctors to become surgeons, implementing a patient data collection database to aid surgeons to provide the most effective care, and enouraging a long-term sustainablity of the changes through policy.
Best Doctors in America 2009-2010
November 12, 2009 -- Congratulations to the following Department of Surgery doctors who are identified as being among the best physicians in the nation, as compiled by the Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc.