(June 30, 2005)
Dr. Michael F. Rotondo has been named chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
Rotondo, a professor of surgery, had served as interim chairman for more than a year.
"Dr. Rotondo assumed the responsibility as interim chairman of the Department of Surgery in December of 2003, and has done an exceptional job in this undertaking," Dr. Cynda Johnson, dean of the medical school, said in an official e-mail announcing his appointment. "Dr. Rotondo is an accomplished surgeon, leader, mentor, innovator and kind and caring physician and colleague."
Rotondo came to ECU in 1999 to serve as chief of the section of trauma and surgical critical care in the Department of Surgery. No plans have yet been announced for who will lead that section following Rotondo's promotion. Rotondo will continue to serve as director of the Center of Excellence for Trauma and Surgical Critical Care of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina and its flagship, Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.
Rotondo succeeds former chairman Dr. W. Randolph Chitwood, who recruited him to Greenville. Chitwood was named director of the Eastern Carolina Cardiovascular Institute, ECU senior associate vice chancellor for health sciences and chief of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at the Brody School of Medicine in 2003.
Rotondo said that as chairman of surgery he will concentrate on strengthening the department as a whole with a focus on the divisions of surgical oncology and pediatric surgery. National searches are underway for leaders of those programs, he said.
"We've got tremendous strength here that's been built over the years by Dr. Walter Pories, the first chairman of the Department of Surgery, and then by Dr. Chitwood," Rotondo said. "We're going to build on that strong foundation."
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Rotondo came to Greenville from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was associate professor of surgery and trauma program director. Rotondo has a bachelor's degree in chemistry, a master's degree in cardiovascular physiology and a medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He completed a surgery residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia and a fellowship in traumatology and surgical critical care at the University of Pennsylvania.
Rotondo has published more than 130 manuscripts, abstracts, book chapters, monographs and educational materials and delivered over 125 regional and national presentations. He is credited with the development of the concept of "damage control," an innovative approach to critically injured patients that aims first to control bleeding and prevent wound contamination and further injury, then repair damage as the patient recovers and is able to withstand further surgeries.
Rotondo is a member and leader of numerous state and national boards and committees related to trauma. He is president of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the largest academic trauma surgery group in nation.
Rotondo thanked Johnson and PCMH President Deborah Davis for giving him the chance to lead the surgery department and, by extension, the surgery service at PCMH. He credits Chitwood and Pories as exceptional role models.
"I came to lead a major effort to build trauma and surgical critical care," Rotondo said. "Now, I'm humbled to have this tremendous opportunity to build surgical services."
In addition to his duties as chairman, Rotondo will continue to see patients and operate. He also will continue teaching and, as chairman, will become even more involved in the surgery residency program at ECU.