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Dr. J. Roland Folse portrait
Dr. Gary Dunnington portrait

October 30, 2009

First Folse Endowed Chair Awarded to SIU Surgery Chair

Dr. Gary Dunnington, professor and chair of surgery, has been named recipient of the
J. Roland Folse, M.D. Endowed Chair in Surgery at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.  Memorial Medical Center established the endowment to honor Folse’s 29-year career as the first Department of Surgery chairman for SIU School of Medicine and his many extraordinary contributions to the field of surgical education

“An endowed chair is the highest honor that a university can bestow on a faculty member who has had a distinguished career in a particular field of study,” said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, SIU’s dean and provost.  “Dr. Folse has meant so much to not only the medical students, fellows and faculty but also to his peers across the world.  He started the department and brought it to a level of international recognition, particularly in the area of surgical education.”

Interest earned from the endowment will be used to further research and education in the area of surgery.

“Memorial Medical Center is honored to recognize the accomplishments of Dr. Folse through our support of this endowed chair.  We are proud to partner with SIU School of Medicine to continue Dr. Folse’s legacy of serving the community as an exceptional clinician, researcher and educator for generations to come,” said Edgar J. Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System. 

For 29 years, Folse was chair of SIU’s surgery department and helped establish and recruit faculty for seven divisions of the department.  He joined the faculty in 1971 and stepped down from the chairmanship in 2000.  Folse said he enjoyed the challenge of building the department while meeting the mission of SIU as a community-based medical school.

Dunnington is currently the professor and chair of SIU’s surgery department and director of the Breast Center at SIU.  Prior to joining the SIU faculty, Dunnington served as senior associate dean for academic affairs and director of the Breast Center at the University
of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Throughout his career, Dunnington has achieved the highest honors for academic and teaching excellence.  He has received a total of twelve teaching awards at three institutions and frequently serves as visiting professor to medical schools throughout North America.  He is nationally renowned for his published work and research achievements in the fields of surgery and surgical education with more than 120 peer reviewed publications.

Dunnington completed his surgery residency training at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson (1985) and his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis (1980).  Dunnington is board certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery.  He is a member of numerous academic and professional organizations including the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association and the Society of Surgical Oncology.  He is past president of the Association for Surgical Education.

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