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Dear UNC Medical Alumni—
Summer is slowly coming to close, and the buzz around Chapel Hill has already begun as students across campus returned. As we welcome back our medical students to the classroom, I am rejuvenated by their contagious enthusiasm and eager to witness their growth in another year at our alma mater. We are all reminded of our joint responsibility as we strive to be the nation’s leading public medical school.
We are thrilled to bring you this second issue of the Medical Alumni Association e-newsletter. The Alumni Spotlight features E. Carmack Holmes, M.D., a 1964 graduate who continues to advance medical technology and education and has spent most of his 35-plus years in medicine at UCLA. You will also find recaps on some of our events from 2008-09 as well as a link to our annual publication The Contributor, which details the allocation of alumni contributions from 2008-09. I encourage you to share this issue with Carolina colleagues and send us updates on your life or story ideas.
And finally, we thank you for making 2008-09 a success in spite of the economic strife across the globe. Your contributions do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated. Many of you volunteer for our special events and committees; others continue their support with annual gifts to sustain our valuable educational opportunities and programs; while others still have provided scholarship opportunities for deserving medical students. Every contribution, no matter the size, directly correlates to our success. Thank you.
Warmest Carolina wishes,
James R. Harper, M.D. '60
Alumni Spotlight: E. Carmack Holmes, M.D. '64
When a young boy from Pitt County decided to pack up his things and head west for school, no one knew then that he’d one day head much farther west and launch a career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. That young boy, E. Carmack “Mack” Holmes, completed his undergraduate degree at a little old school just a few miles down the road from Chapel Hill. He went on to Carolina for medical school and completed his MD in 1964.
Dr. Holmes, who served as senior class president, lists singing in a trio with classmates Dr. “Buzz” Jack and Dr. David Gillis as one of his favorite memories from his medical school days at UNC. But he admits, “I’m not sure everyone else shared our enthusiasm [for our music].” Dr. Holmes also enjoyed playing golf at Finley Golf Course with Jack and another fellow classmate, Dr. Bob Wheeless.
Dr. Holmes attributes the next steps in his career to the encouragement from Drs. Erle Peacock ’47, Bob Zeppa, Price Heusner and others. They “insisted that this naïve kid from a small town in Pitt County could become an academic surgeon and that I should go to Johns Hopkins,” Dr. Holmes recalls.
With their support and assistance, he was admitted into the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research. “These men and these events changed my career goals and my life profoundly. I want others to have these life changing opportunities,” he says.
Dr. Holmes’ experiences led him to have an immense impact on medicine. In 1973, he joined the faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and he has been leaving his mark there ever since. From 1994 to 2004, Dr. Holmes served as the surgeon-in-chief of the UCLA Medical Center and held the position of William P. Longmire, Jr. professor and chairman of the Department of Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine. The Department of Surgery at the new hospital now houses a conference room dedicated to Dr. Holmes.
Dr. Holmes currently serves as executive director of UCLA’s Center for Advanced Surgical and Interventional Technology (CASIT). According to the organization’s Web site, CASIT’s mission is “to define and advance the state-of-the-art surgical and interventional technology and to revolutionize surgical education and training.” Dr. Holmes played an integral role in developing this concept into the 3,700 sq. ft. CASIT facility that stands today. CASIT includes the Gonda Robotic Center, a wet research laboratory, a telecommunications center, a computer simulations facility, and an integrated operating room suite. The facility also maintains a da Vinci surgical robotic surgery system, a human patient simulator, and laparoscopic surgical simulators.
After more than 35 years at UCLA, Dr. Holmes continues to invest in the future of medicine at CASIT. And he certainly recognizes the impact his professors and fellow classmates had on his life by investing in the futures of current medical students with his annual contributions to the Loyalty Fund. The Loyalty Fund, designated for gifts from UNC medical alumni to support current UNC medical students, appreciates the generosity of its alumni, like Dr. Holmes, who help provide funding for more than 50 scholarships and 20 student programs each year.
For more information on CASIT, visit www.casit.ucla.edu. If you wish to contact Dr. Mack Holmes, his e-mail address is email@example.com. For more information about the Loyalty Fund, contact Jason Moon (Jason_Moon@med.unc.edu or 919.966.3931) or Marie Baker (Marie_Baker@med.unc.edu or 919.966.0019).
Fall Medical Alumni Weekend
October 2-3, 2009
Fun new change for Saturday! Friday night banquet will be at the Kenan Center. On Saturday, stop by our tailgate tent at the quad under the Bell Tower—conveniently located next to Tar Heel Town – for barbeque and hot dogs! Carolina Football takes on Virginia (game time is TBA) and our tent will open 3 hours before kick-off. Register by calling the Alumni Office at 919-962-8891. Hope to see you this fall!
Dean’s Reception, Greensboro
April 19, 2010
Please plan to join William L. Roper, MD, MPH, Dean of the School of Medicine, and fellow alumni in Greensboro at the Proximity Hotel for dinner on Monday, April 19th. Details and reservation information will be available soon.
Spring Medical Alumni Weekend
April 23–24, 2010
Save the dates for this spring. All alumni are welcome to attend! We’ll be celebrating reunions for classes ending in -0 and -5. More details to come.
Alumni Socials Spring 2010
The Medical Alumni Association will be hosting alumni socials in several locations this spring—we may be coming to your area. We hope you will be able to join us for the chance to connect with other UNC medical alumni in your town. Dates, locations, and times will be announced early 2010.