SIU Department of  Surgery  
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Thanks to a $20,000 donation from the doctors of SIU School of Medicine, Division of General Surgery, an interactive Mouth to Potty exhibit will be one of the 100 engagements that exist within the Healthy Body Gallery.

"The SIU Division of General Surgery surgeons provide surgical care for everything from transplants and trauma to critical care, bariatric, colorectal, endscopic, and complex cancer surgery.   As surgeons who care for the full spectrum of gastrointestinal disease, we are pleased to support this interactive model of the digestive tract.  We hope the children and families that visit will enjoy this exhibit, and the other displays offered by Kidzeum, promoting life-long health and wellness", said Dr. John Mellinger, Professor and Chair of the Division of General Surgery and J. Roland Folse MD Endowed Chair in Surgery, SIU School of Medicine

The Mouth to Potty exhibit is an interactive activity that tells the digestive story.  How the mouth, teeth, tongue, esophagus, stomach, enzymes and intestines all work to break down food for the body to use as energy is demonstrated as food pucks travel through the GI tract.  The activity ends as the food puck, which is now waste is eliminated with a flush sound.  This exhibit combines knowledge and grossology to entertain all ages.

“We at Kidzeum are so excited that SIU School of Medicine, Division of General Surgery is sponsoring such a fun exhibit.  Not only will the doctors be providing an entertaining exhibit to families in the Mid-west but will be able to collaborate with Kidzeum to bring educational programming to teach about digestive health,” said Kidzeum Board President, Rachael Thomson.

The Division of General Surgery at Southern Illinois University provides a broad spectrum of surgical specialty services, including trauma, surgical critical care, oncologic surgery, breast surgery, renal and pancreas transplantation, hepatobiliary surgery, dialysis access, bariatric surgery, colorectal surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and surgical endoscopy. The division of general surgery constitutes one of the most diverse, expertly trained, nationally recognized, and dedicated groups of surgeons in our region. It is the division’s goal to provide compassionate and expert surgical care to our patients, outstanding education and mentoring to our trainees, and faithful and diligent service to our colleagues and community. Through these activities, it is our higher goal to serve the University and the region it serves for the common good.

The Kidzeum of Health and Science will be located in the nationally registered, historic buildings at 412, 414 and 416 East Adams Street.  The Kidzeum of Heath and Science will be a children’s museum designed with a focus on fun and learning.  Kidzeum is almost $300,000 from beginning construction of the three-story, 25,000 square foot children’s museum dedicated to teaching children of all abilities about health and science through discovery and play.  Kidzeum volunteers have raised $5.68 million of its $6.8 million dollar goal.  Slated to open in Spring 2016. Please visit to learn more or to make a secure, on-line donation.


SIU School of Medicine Physicians Named ‘Top Doctors’

Fourteen physicians at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine have been named Top Doctors® by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.

Castle Connolly’s website lists more than 46,000 physicians in the nation who have been nominated by their peers and thoroughly reviewed by Castle Connolly’s physician-led research team. These Regional Top Doctors are considered to be among the top 10 percent of physicians in their communities and metropolitan areas.

Castle Connolly was founded in 1991 by John K. Castle and John J. Connolly, Ed.D. Physicians do not and cannot pay to be selected as Castle Connolly Top Doctors®.

The physicians named are:
Dr. Tom Ala, associate professor of neurology;
Dr. Stephen Beck, associate professor of urology;
Dr. Jeffrey Cozzens, professor and chair of neurosurgery;
Dr. Rodger Elble, professor of neurology;
Dr. Marc Garfinkel, associate professor of surgery;
Dr. James Gilchrist, professor and chair of neurology;
Dr. Kim Hodgson, professor and chair of vascular surgery;
Dr. Kevin McVary, professor and chair of urology;
Dr. John Mellinger, professor and chair of general surgery;
Dr. Michael Neumeister, professor and chair, plastic surgery and surgery;
Dr. Jan Rakinic, associate professor of colon and rectal surgery;
Dr. Khaled Saleh, professor and chair, orthopaedic surgery;
Dr. Brad Schwartz, professor of urology;
Dr. Peter White, professor of pulmonary medicine.

Retired SIU Surgeon Receives Order of Lincoln -
Dr. J. Roland Folse is second SIU faculty to be honored

J. Roland Folse, MD, surgeon and the founding chairman of the Department of Surgery at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, has received the Order of Lincoln, the highest honor bestowed by the state of Illinois.

Folse served on SIU-School of Medicine’s faculty for nearly 30 years, helping to establish and recruit faculty for seven divisions of the department. He has received numerous honors and awards for his teaching and research efforts, including six consecutive awards for Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Surgery.
Memorial Medical Center established the Folse Endowed Chair of Surgery in his honor. He has published more
than 80 articles and participates in numerous national organizations. Other achievements include two lectureships established in his honor. In May 2015, the SIU Surgical Skills Lab was renamed the J. Roland Folse Surgical Skills Center.

Janet Ketchum, Roland Folse, MD and Michael Neumeister, MD“Dr. Folse’s contributions to surgical education are unmatched,” said J. Kevin Dorsey, MD, PhD, dean and provost of SIU School of Medicine. “SIU School of Medicine is proud to have had two of its founders receive the state’s highest honor.” The medical school’s founding dean, Richard H. Moy, MD, received the Order of Lincoln in 2006.

Folse received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School and also completed a surgical internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. At the National Institutes of Health, he served two years in the U.S. Public Health Services as the Senior Assistant Surgeon.

Folse completed his surgical residency and later became chief resident at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle. He later became an associate professor of surgery at the University of Washington Medical School until he joined SIU School of Medicine in 1971. He retired in 2000.

Outstanding Illinoisans who have excelled in communications, medicine, business, the arts and social service are honored as Laureates of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. The Lincoln Academy, unique among the 50 states, was established in 1965 to honor Illinois' most distinguished citizens, either by birth or residence, who have brought honor to the state by their achievements. Past honorees include John Chancellor, Paul Harvey, Mike Royko, Ann Landers, Lester Crown, Gwendolyn Brooks and Louis “Studs” Terkel.


SIU Med School, St. John’s Hospital Use MRI for Accurate, Painless Prostate Cancer Detection

Men undergoing an evaluation for possible prostate cancer now have access to an advanced technique to manage the disease: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the prostate. The MRI program is a new partnership of a urological oncologist from Simmons Cancer Institute School of Medicine and radiologists from St. John’s Hospital.

MRI of the prostate is developing as a powerful tool to better detect cancer within the prostate. It also allows for safe, conservative management of prostate cancer in cases of low volume, low risk cancer tumors. Undergoing a painless MRI creates a more accurate diagnosis while being less invasive than the traditional ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate.

“There is increasing evidence that using the MRI before a biopsy can accurately identify patients who require immediate biopsies and those who could be deferred,” said Dr. Shaheen Alanee, head of Urologic Oncology and assistant professor of surgery at SIU. Alanee recently trained at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “The partnership with St. John’s radiology brings more accurate monitoring to the Springfield area. Our findings are already detecting cancer in areas a biopsy did not.”

Alanee and St. John’s radiologist Dr. Vincent Zata have taken special training in France to read these prostate MRIs. They have been amazed at how much more accurate the findings are than the traditional biopsy. Based on MRI findings, prostate biopsies may still be needed. St. John’s may purchase equipment to computerize the biopsy process.

“The potential of MRI in prostate cancer detection and management seems unlimited,” Zata said. “As the technology develops, more uses for MRI are being identified. It’s not too far in the future that we may be able to substitute prostate biopsy with a combination of blood tests and MRI imaging, thus saving our patients the discomfort of an invasive procedure.”