Site News

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.
NC Biotechnology Center Gives Loan to Egan's Biotech Firm
Sept. 16, 2009 -- The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has made a $30,000 loan to X-In8 Biologicals Corp., a new biotechnology company founded by Thomas M. Egan, M.D., M.Sc., a faculty member in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The company is a spinoff from work that Dr. Egan has done in his lab at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Carson Promotes Prostate Screening on NBC 17 News
September 12, 2009 -- Dr. Culley Carson III, of Urologic Surgery, was featured on a prostate cancer news segment aired by NBC 17 News on Sept. 12. September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and the UNC Urology Clinic is offering free prostate screenings on Sept. 22nd and 23rd.
CT Surgery Launches 6-Year Integrated Residency Program
In 2010, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will begin a new six-year integrated residency program, which residents will enter directly from medical school. The Residency Review Committee for Thoracic Surgery, the national residency accrediting body, approved the program in July 2009. Students at North American medical schools may now apply for the program through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), for a residency position to begin July 1, 2010. UNC is one of just six institutions in the United States to offer such a program.
Urology Clinic Offers Free Prostate Cancer Screenings
The Urology Clinic at UNC Hospitals will offer free prostate cancer screenings from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 23-24 for men 40 years old or older and younger men with a family history of prostate cancer. The screenings, which are being conducted as part of National Prostate Health Month, consist of a blood test and digital rectal exam. No appointment is necessary. For additional information, please call (919) 966-1315.
Surgery Alum Performs Heart Procedure on Pat Robertson
Dr. Andy Kiser, who completed residency training (General Surgery in 1997 and Cardiothoracic in 2000) at UNC, treated Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson for atrial fibrillation at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC. Kiser performed a convergence procedure and said he expects Robertson to make a full recovery. See full article at MSNBC.
Ewend Promoted to Full Professor
Congratulations to Matt Ewend, MD, Chief of the Division of Neurosurgery, whose promotion to Full Professor is effective Sept. 1, 2009.
Multidisciplinary Care: Germanwala and Zanation
Drs. Anand Germanwala, UNC Neurosurgery, and Adam Zanation, UNC Otolaryngology, are featured on UNC Health Care's Weblog in a story about multidisciplinary care.
Calvo Featured in UNC Health Care Video Highlighting New Cancer Hospital
Aug. 21, 2009 -- Dr. Benjamin Calvo, chief of the division of Surgical Oncology, is featured in a video about the evolution of cancer care at UNC Hospitals. His clip is one in a series that coincides with the opening of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. The full video, N.C. Cancer Hospital - Then and Now, is available on YouTube.
Family House Diaries: A New Liver for a New Life
UNC Health Care ran a series of stories on some of the patients and families who live at the SECU Family House in Chapel Hill while receiving treatment at UNC Hospitals. The most recent article featured Anna Barnhill, who received a liver transplant performed by Dr. Alexander Toledo of the division of Abdominal Transplant.