Friday, May 13, 2011
The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees appointed a new vice president and chief executive officer in Arizona and recognized two recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships at its quarterly meeting today.
Wyatt Decker, M.D., has been named Mayo Clinic vice president and chief executive officer in Arizona, succeeding Victor Trastek, M.D.. Dr. Decker will work closely with administrative and physician leaders in Arizona in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.
"Dr. Decker brings a wealth of experience to his new role," says John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO. "Dr. Decker is an excellent physician leader with a well-earned reputation for health care knowledge and operational excellence. He understands how health care issues affect patient care and has a deep appreciation of Mayo's mission and strategic vision."
Dr. Decker has been with Mayo Clinic for more than 16 years as a consultant and professor of emergency medicine. He has served in numerous leadership roles, including chair of Emergency Medicine, with responsibilities for the emergency departments at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Jacksonville, Fla. He currently serves as chair of the Mayo Clinic Personnel Committee in Rochester and is leading the Rochester Destination Medical Community initiative. In addition, he is a member of the Diversity Oversight Committee, the Rochester Executive Operations Team, and the Mayo Clinic Medical Transportation System Board of Directors.
"We deeply appreciate Dr. Trastek's outstanding leadership, which enabled Mayo Clinic in Arizona to establish itself as the premier academic medical organization in the Southwest," says Dr. Noseworthy.
The Board of Trustees also honored two named professors.
Michael Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., a consultant in the divisions of Cardiovascular Diseases and Pediatric Cardiology and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is recognized as the Windland Smith Rice Cardiovascular Genomics Research Professor. The professorship was established by the Frederick W. Smith family of Tennessee. In 2006, the family made a gift in memory of Windland "Wendy" Smith Rice. The gift established this professorship, the Windland Smith Rice Sudden Death Genomics Laboratory and Research Program, where research is devoted to identifying individuals at greatest risk for sudden death during the first four decades of life, and an alert and prevention system for acute and life-threatening conditions.
Dr. Ackerman's research focuses on sudden cardiac death due to inherited cardiac abnormalities known as channelopathies. His research focuses on the heart rhythm disorder long QT syndrome and other cardiac channelopathies and on the genetic underpinnings of sudden infant death syndrome and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, holds two patents and developed a diagnostic test for long QT syndrome genetic testing.
Robert Spinner, M.D., a consultant in the Department of Neurologic Surgery with a joint appointment in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, is recognized as the Burton M. Onofrio, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery. The professorship was established in 2010 by John M. Nasseff, a well-known Minnesota philanthropist. Mr. Nasseff and his wife, Helene Houle, have contributed to several of Mayo Clinic's rheumatology, cardiology and neurology education and research programs, including an additional professorship established in 2002, the John M. Nasseff, Sr., Professorship in Cardiology in Honor of Dr. Burton Onofrio. Mr. Nasseff's relationship with Mayo Clinic began when his youngest son, Arthur, was a patient at Saint Marys Hospital. Dr. Onofrio, a resident in neurosurgery, was involved with Arthur's care, and he performed lifesaving surgery. A friendship formed between the Nasseff family and Dr. Onofrio that has spanned more than 40 years.
Dr. Spinner's research focuses on two types of nerve surgery: peripheral nerve surgery and brachial plexus reconstruction. His main area of clinical research relates to the mechanisms of benign and malignant peripheral nerve tumors, masses on or near the nerves that link the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. His basic science research relates to nerve regeneration and the development of novel nerve conduits as possible alternatives for standard nerve grafting.
Named professorships at Mayo Clinic represent the highest academic distinction for a faculty member. Faculty are appointed to a professorship through nomination and endorsement of their peers and then confirmed by Mayo Clinic senior leadership. Appointed individuals are recognized for distinguished achievement in their specialty areas and service to the institution.
These professorships are named in honor of Mayo benefactors who recognize Mayo's role in pursuing answers in health and medicine. The gift funds, which may be unrestricted or focused on a specific medical area, are held in endowment. All income from the endowed professorships supports Mayo Clinic programs in medical education and research.
The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 31-member group of public representatives and Mayo Clinic physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research activities at Mayo Clinic's sites in Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Ariz.
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