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September 20, 2013
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Upstate to honor Governor-General of St. Vincents and the Grenandines with alumni award

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– Awards and scholarship presentations, a cancer symposium, the annual Weiskotten Lecture, tours and class dinners are highlights of Upstate Medical University’s 138th Reunion of the College of Medicine, to be held Sept. 27 and 28.

A highlight of the event is the awards presentation, to be held Friday, Sept. 27 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall. Robert J. Kurman, MD, ’68; Kenneth A. Egol, MD, ’93; and Sir Frederick N. Ballantyne, MD, ’63 will be recognized for distinguished service to their profession.

More than 270 members of Upstate’s alumni are expected to visit campus for the 2013 reunion. “We are excited to have such a wonderful group coming back for Reunion Weekend,” said Lori Murphy, interim director of the Medical Alumni Foundation. “Reunion is a great opportunity to welcome our alumni back to campus, celebrating their success and introducing them to the many exciting changes that have been made to the Upstate campus.”

Robert J. Kurman, MD, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his research and clinical work in gynecological cancers. He is the Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor of Gynecologic Pathology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of Gynecologic Pathology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. His research has involved the morphologic and molecular genetic characterization of a variety of gynecologic cancers with the aim of developing methods for prevention and early detection. He and his colleagues, Drs. Bennett Jenson, Wayne Lancaster, Atilla Lorincz and Mark Schiffman, are credited with making seminal observations in the late 1970s linking human papillomavirus (HPV) to cervical cancer and its precursors which led to the development of molecular diagnostic tests for HPV that are now used in routine cervical cancer screening. He has been involved with the development of HPV vaccines over the last 15 years as a consultant for Merck Pharmaceuticals. Along with his colleague, Dr. Ie-Ming Shih, he developed a dualistic model of ovarian carcinogenesis that has now become widely accepted in the field. In addition, their recent studies implicating a precursor lesion in the fallopian tube as the origin of many so-called ovarian carcinomas have dramatically changed the thinking on this subject, with important implications for ovarian cancer screening and prevention.

Kenneth A. Egol, MD, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumnus award for his clinical expertise in fracture surgery, his work with orthopaedic residents and his impact on the global community. Egol is professor and vice chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD). He is credited with establishing the NYU HJD Fracture Research Group and has helped design a proximal humerus fracture plating system for the treatment of shoulder fractures. The recipient of numerous professional honors, he lists, as most important, being a three-time recipient of the Teacher of the Year award from the NYU HJD orthopaedic residents. Egol sits on the editorial board of several medical journals, and has authored four textbooks, contributed 25 textbook chapters and more than 200 scientific articles. He has served on many professional committees including the Instructional Course and Program committee for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Research Committee for the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and he recently completed a term as chair of the AAOS’ ICL Committee. He maintains an active clinical practice specializing in orthopaedic trauma and fracture, performing more than 450 operative procedures each year. He recently set up a rotating program that sends residents and staff orthopaedic surgeons to Haiti with a focus not only on patient care, but also in helping reestablish the countries only orthopaedic training program centered in Port Au Prince.

Sir Frederick N. Ballantyne, MD, the Governor-General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, will receive the Humanitarian award for his long and distinguished career as a medical doctor, educator and administrator. Ballantyne has become actively involved in improving the lives of the people of St. Vincent through a variety of initiatives, including decentralizing the Health Service, starting a vigorous family planning program, working with colleagues to start the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Heart Association and Diabetes Association, and starting the Visiting Specialist Program that continues today with visiting specialists in urology, neurology and ophthalmology along with a permanent pediatrician position. Ballantyne has upgraded the physical facilities of the General Hospital and District Clinics and expanded the immunization program so that today 100 percent of school children are vaccinated. He sought to influence the government’s health care policy, making it more affordable and accessible. Apart from his official duties as Governor-General, he maintains a strong interest in education, sports and the arts. He adopted a primary school of 200 students, he supports more than 20 students attending secondary school, started a National Art Collection, helped to fund the Music Association, helped to fund the Cricket Association, and has been involved in many other community initiatives.

Also included in Alumni Weekend is the annual Weiskotten Lecture, to be held Friday, Sept. 27 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Weiskotten Hall. The free, public lecture will be presented by NASA Flight Surgeon Joseph P. Dervay, MD, MPH, MMS, FACEP, ‘84, who will discuss the health and medical care of space shuttle and International Space Station crew members, and offer his insights into the challenges of lunar and exploration class missions.

Reunion Weekend is sponsored by the Medical Alumni Foundation at Upstate Medical University and the College of Medicine.

For more information, call 464-4361 or e-mail Lori Murphy, interim director of the Medical Alumni Foundation, at murphyl@upstate.edu.

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