Hurricane Florence, NC Surgeons and Residents Answer the Call
As Hurricane Florence swept through North Carolina causing massive destruction, injury and death, there are many stories of unsung heros. One of those stories involves the surgical residents at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Below is Dr. Samuel A. Heathcote, Sr.’s personal account.
The surgery residency at New Hanover Regional Medical Center was well prepared for Hurricane Florence. We divided up into a “storm team” and “relief team.” The storm team stayed in the hospital from Wednesday, September 12th until Tuesday, September 17th, while the relief team evacuated to a wide array of locations both in and out of state. Prior to the storm, many of our stable patients were transferred to other hospitals around the state and for that assistance, we are incredibly grateful. This allowed us to evacuate the top three floors of the bed tower and keep our remaining patients safe.
Alex Smith, MD, Lourans du Pisanie, MD, Jens Flock, MD, and Chris Carballo, MD (all surgery residents) are pictured with several of the internal medicine residents and nurses who were also part of the storm team.
The storm team did an amazing job keeping the hospital running during the crisis. While all elective cases were cancelled, there were still patients who required emergency surgeries. At one point, Dr Hope and one of our chiefs was sent to a patient’s home where a fallen tree had trapped his legs. While our team was ready to perform field amputations of his legs, fortunately for all, the fire fighters were able to get the tree off of him and salvage his legs.
During the storm, the hospital sustained some damage that resulted in water damage to parts of the Internal Medicine Residency and OB/GYN Residency offices, as well as the resident work room. The surgery residency offices became a “bomb shelter” for most of the residents of all specialties after that and the surgery conference room was converted to a new resident work room.
When the storm ended, the relief team had to find a way back home. This was no small task due to the delayed flooding and rising rivers. It was difficult to know which roads were open or closed because the water levels were changing rapidly. One of our residents actually caught a flight from Raleigh on a Coast Guard C130 carrying other critical care doctors, nurses, and other personnel. All evacuated residents were able to return safely and get the storm team some much needed rest.
The hospital is functioning essentially at normal speed these days. NHRMC and the surgery residency overall fared very well due to the storm, but Hurricane Florence is not one that any of us will forget.
Samuel A Heathcote, Sr., MD, PGY 4
If you have a Hurricane Florence story involving NC surgeons, please send it to us at Kathyb@ncfacs.org.
Dr. Anthony Charles to Lead Global Surgery at UNC
Anthony Charles, MD, MPH, FACS (Photo by Max Englund/UNC Health Care)
Trauma surgeon Anthony Charles, MD, MPH, FACS has been named the Director of Global Surgery for the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. “I have met few people in my life with Anthony’s energy and commitment,” says Myron Cohen, MD, director of the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases. “We are so lucky to have his leadership of our Trauma surgeon Anthony Charles, MD, MPH, has been named the Director of Global Surgery for Global Surgery Program.”
Charles is chief of the Division of General and Acute Care Surgery and director of the Adult Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program or ECMO. In 2009, he launched the Malawi Surgical Initiative (MSI), a training program based at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe that prepares Malawian clinicians for a career in surgery. The MSI has increased the number of Malawian surgeons in the country from 14 to 25.
“We now have more surgeons than operating rooms,” Charles says. “And our trained surgeons are now trainers, holding leadership roles within the surgery department at Kamuzu Central Hospital. This would not have been possible if they had been trained abroad. To solve local problems, you need to be in Malawi day-to-day.”
The Malawi Surgical Initiative is a collaborative effort between UNC, Haukland University in Norway, Kamuzu Central Hospital and the Malawi College of Medicine. Charles says the training runs smoothly because of institutional and departmental support as well as a commitment from surgical partners in UNC’s Departments of Radiology, Pathology and Anesthesiology. The training is accredited by the College of Surgeons of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. Malawian trainees can specialize in several surgical areas including general surgery, pediatrics and orthopedics.
The UNC Project-Malawi surgery program graduated its first surgeons in the spring of 2015, providing a model for future surgical training programs.
Charles says the need for surgeons in Malawi is great due to the high percentage of traffic accidents and abdominal surgeries, like appendicitis. The program not only attracts Malawian trainees, but also American-trained surgeons who are passionate about global health. Rebecca Maine, MD, MPH, and Gita Mody, MD, MPH, joined the UNC Department of Surgery within the past year because of the opportunity to work abroad.
“Joining UNC has been a great opportunity to advance my work in global surgery due to the strength of the collaboration with the Malawi Surgical Initiative with the UNC Project-Malawi and the local surgeons in Lilongwe,” says Mody. “Together, they are making great strides in education, capacity building and research in low-resourced settings. I look forward to joining Dr. Charles’ team.”
Jared Gallaher, MD, MPH, spent two years as a research fellow in Malawi and plans on joining the UNC Department of Surgery upon completing a surgery fellowship in Oregon.
“When I started my training at UNC, I was immediately enthusiastic about Dr. Charles’ vision for a partnership-centered approach to global surgery,” says Gallaher. “Working with Dr. Charles and the Malawi Surgical Initiative gave me the opportunity to help improve surgical care in Malawi through multiple approaches including education, research, public health and system development.”
While the bulk of global surgery initiatives are centered in Malawi, Charles says future efforts may focus on the UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases’ sites in Asia, where the need for surgeons in rural areas is great.
Republished with permission from UNC Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases
Congratulations to North Carolina’s 2018
American College of Surgeons Initiate Class
More than 1,900 Initiates will be inducted as Fellows of the American College of Surgeons at the Convocation Ceremony held during the Clinical Congress later this month. Initiates from North Carolina include:
The 2018 Convocation Ceremony will take place at 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 21 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA. The procession into the ceremony will begin at 5:30 pm. Attendance is not required, and Fellowship will be conferred in absentia upon all Initiates who are unable to attend the ceremony.
If you are attending the Convocation Ceremony at Clinical Congress in Boston, please tag us in your Twitter posts (@NCSurgeons) so we can share your wonderful achievement.
ACS 2018 Clinical Congress
There is still time to register for the ACS 2018 Clinical Congress.
While you are attending, make sure you are staying up to date with everything happening at Clinical Congress 2018 with the meeting app. With the app you can view sessions, build your program schedule, tweet about the meeting, and much more.
The ACS 2018 Clinical Congress app is available on all smartphones and tablets (iOS/Android). A web version is also available for Blackberry and other mobile platforms. Browse online on your laptop/computer using the web version.
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Use the ACS 2018 Clinical Congress app to check out the times and locations of all the NC-ACS surgeons, residents and students presenting!
All attendees of this year's Clinical Congress are encouraged to participate in Operation Sock Drop to benefit Boston's homeless. For those experiencing homelessness, clean, warm socks are a luxury. This year, ACS is asking you to help us support the Friends of Boston's Homeless by bringing one pair of cotton or wool socks to donate during the meeting. Donation bins will be located in the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel and in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
The ACS Store located in ACS Central in the exhibit hall will also be selling ACS logo socks and for every pair purchased, you will receive a pair of cotton socks to donate. Friends of Boston's Homeless supports Woods Mullen Women's Shelter and Southampton Men's Shelter in Boston's South End. These shelters serve over 800 people experiencing homelessness every day (about 70% are men and 30% women), providing safe, dignified care and basic emergency services: a nutritious meal, a hot shower, and a warm bed to each and every individual in need Socks are among the most frequently requested clothing item at homeless shelters. Clean, dry socks help protect against frostbite and disease. We encourage you to donate at least one brand new pair of men's or women's socks!
2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summit
Save the date for the 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Summit, March 30–April 2, at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, and encourage your colleagues to attend.
For information on the Leadership Summit, please contact Brian Frankel at email@example.com or 312-202-5361.
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NC/SC – ACS Joint Annual Meeting 2019
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