Site News

Division to Department: Enhancing Neurological Care
April 21, 2010 -- Neurosurgery will no longer be a division under the Department of Surgery. Effective July 1, 2010, UNC will have the new Department of Neurosurgery Chaired by Dr. Matthew Ewend, the current neurosurgery Chief of Division. The department status will boost UNC in both retaining existing neurosurgery faculty and recruiting new faculty and residents. These changes will enhance patient care by increasing the division’s ability to treat and care for citizens suffering from neurological problems. Furthermore, the new status will also aid in improving neurosurgery educational and research programs at UNC.
Gerber Receives Outstanding Clinical Co-Mentor Award
April 15, 2010 – Dr. David Gerber, UNC Transplant Surgery Division Chief, was honored as an Outstanding Clinical Co-Mentor at the 2010 Translational Medicine Program Symposium at UNC-CH. Translational Medicine Program stemmed from a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant awarded to UNC in 2006 and strives to engage graduate students in translational medicine. Students enter the program at the end of their first year and remain in the program until graduation.
Conway Presented Nursing Recognition Award
April 14, 2010 – UNC Healthcare Ambulatory Care annually presents two nursing awards. The recipients not only excel in nursing practice, but also demonstrate special qualities of caring and compassion. Cynthia Conway was recognized as one of the 2010 award winners. The Award, which includes an educational stipend, may be used by the nurses over a three-year period to further enhance their knowledge and abilities in the health care setting.
Abrams Named Recipient of WakeMed's Harry Dascomb Award
April 7, 2010 -- Submitted by Dr. John Perry of the Dascomb Award Committee: I am happy to announce that Dr. Jeffrey Abrams is the 2010 recipient of the Harry Dascomb Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and Care.
McLean Named Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program Scholar
April 7, 2010 -- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has selected Dr. Sean McLean, of the Division of Pediatric Surgery, as a 2010-2014 Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program scholar. The award, granted on the basis of academic achievement, research, and potential, consists of $420,000 spread over four years.
UNC Spine Center Designated Center of Distinction by BC/BS
March 25, 2010 -- In an effort to help patients choose the best hospital when facing surgery, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina recognized select North Carolina hospitals for excellence in spinal surgery, knee replacement, and hip replacement. "We recognize these facilities not only for the volume of procedures they do, but for the superior expertise that comes from this experience."
Gerber to Teach Entrepreneurship Course
March 05, 2010 -- Dr. David Gerber, Division Chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery, will be co-instructing Entrepreneurship in Life Sciences, this fall on Mondays from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. The course, which is sponsored by the Department of Surgery, is part of UNC's Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, directed by the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Dr. Sheldon Presenting at Conferences in Washington
March 03, 2010 -- On Saturday March 6th, the Health Policy and Advocacy Group will be hosting a conference, lead by Dr. Michael Johns, Chancellor at Emory University, in Washington D.C. to discuss health care reform. Dr. George Sheldon will present at the conference on behalf of the Health Sciences Advisory of the American College of Surgeons. His presentation, Comparison of Workforce Provisions in the House and Senate Health Reform Bill, will concentrate on the workforce shortage for surgeons.
Sheldon Publishes Biography on Hugh Williamson
February 17, 2010 -- George F. Sheldon, MD, has authored his second book, Hugh Williamson: Physician, Patriot, and Founding Father. The biography recounts the extraordinary life and many achievements of Williamson (1735-1819), who was an influencing force behind the Boston Tea Party, spy for Benjamin Franklin, surgeon general of the N.C. militia, congressman in the first U.S. House of Representatives, signer of the Constitution, and member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina. Read reviews in The Carolina Curator and at the Department of Social Medicine.
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.