Site News

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.
McPhail Presents Gallbladder Study at ACS Clinical Congress
Dr. Lindsee McPhail, a fellow in Laparoscopy and Advanced GI Surgery, reported results of a study involving patients treated for gallstones at the Oct. 14 session of the 2009 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons. The study indicated that a more expedient referral for surgery could reduce pretreatment charges, for ER visits and diagnostic tests, by 50%. Read full article at Reuters.
Lee Article Published in the Journal of American Medical Association
October 15, 2009 -- Clara Lee, MD co-authored an article discussing the need to evaluate surgical procedures based on maximization of benefits for the patients. The article entitled "Beyond Outcomes-The Appropriateness of Surgical Care" (.pdf) is published in the October issue of the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA. 2009;302(14):1580-1581).
Damitz Promoted to Associate Professor
October 14, 2010 -- Dr. Lynn Damitz, of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, has been promoted to Clinical Associate Professor, effective Oct. 14, 2009.
Heart Transplant Patient Finds New Enthusiasm For Life
October 13, 2009 -- Russell Ford received a heart transplant at UNC Hospitals in July 2009 after suffering from congestive heart failure for 10 years. Dr. Michael Bowdish of the UNC Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery was his transplant surgeon. In "Family House Diaries," written by Elizabeth Swaringen for UNC Health Care, Mr. Ford tells the story of his illness, his surgery and the experience his family had at SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals. The Family House is a non-profit hospital hospitality house, offering housing and other support services to adult patients and their families.
Thoracic Surgeons Directors Association Renames Award to Honor Wilcox
The Thoracic Surgery Directors Association has renamed its Resident Award the Benson Wilcox Award for Best Resident Paper in honor of former TSDA president, Dr. Benson R. Wilcox. The award is presented annually at The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting for the best scientific abstract submitted by a cardiothoracic surgery resident. Dr. Wilcox was instrumental in establishing TSDA and drafting the association’s Bylaws. A leader in cardiothoracic surgery education, Dr. Wilcox was TSDA’s first secretary/treasurer from 1977-1980. He also served as president-elect from 1983-1984 and as president from 1985-1986. TSDA remains committed to Dr. Wilcox’s goal to improve cardiothoracic surgery education.
Sheldon Cited in Articles on Health Care Reform
Sept. 23, 2009 -- Dr. George Sheldon has been cited in several recent publications and postings on health care reform, including front page articles in The News and Observer (Sept. 23) and General Surgery (Sept. issue). On July 8, Dr. George Sheldon emphasized the looming surgeon shortage to a House of Representative committee. He urged congressmen to take this shortage and its implications into consideration while working on health care reform.
Prostate Screenings Publicized on WRAL News
Dr. Raj Pruthi, Urologic Surgeon at UNC, emphasized the importance of early detection of prostate cancer on a WRAL News broadcast aired on Sept. 21. He recommended that all men should begin PSA and digital rectal exam screening by age 50, but African American men and others with a family history of prostate cancer should begin screening by age 40. The North Carolina Cancer Hospital at UNC is offering free prostate cancer screening on Sept. 23rd and 24th from 1 to 7 P.M., no appointment necessary. For additional information, please call 919-966-1315. Keeping Up With Courtney Sommer
Duke Sports Information has published an interview with Dr. Courtney Sommer, a UNC General Surgery resident who was a three-time All-American field hockey player while an undergraduate at Duke University.
McLean Receives NIH Award
Sean McLean, MD, of Pediatric Surgery, has been awarded a two-year grant supplement for career development. Dr. Cam Patterson, division chief of Cardiology, is the principal investigator of the parent R01 and will serve as Dr. McLean's mentor. The project, entitled "The role of FGFR1 and FGFR2 in Repair of Damaged Intestinal Epithelium," covers the period 09/01/2009 - 08/31/2011 and was awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.