Friday, March 23, 2012

Appointments announced

MGH names new chiefs for Department of Neurology, Department of Urology


THE MGH WILL WELCOME new chiefs for the Department of Neurology and the Department of Urology later this spring.

Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, current director of the MGH Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic and the Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, has been named chief of the Department of Neurology, effective May 1. Cudkowicz will succeed Anne Young, MD, PhD, who has led the department since 1991.

“It is a tremendous honor to be asked to take over as the next chief of this outstanding Neurology Department at MGH, following in the footsteps of so many great leaders,” Cudkowicz says. “Under Anne Young’s leadership, our clinical and research enterprise has grown tremendously over the last 20 years. Our residents and training program are superb. The MGH Neurology Department is one of the best in the nation. Now is an enormously exciting time for neurology, with rapid-pace growth in basic science and new potential for developing treatments.”

Cudkowicz came to the MGH as a resident in 1991 and joined the faculty in 1995. She is an internationally respected expert on the treatment of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In addition to her role as director of the ALS Clinic, she serves as co-director of the Neuromuscular Division and director of the Neurology Clinical Trials Unit at the MGH. Cudkowicz also has been involved in significant work related to Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Young, who was the first woman chief of a clinical service at the MGH and who, among her many contributions, established the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease in 2001, will remain active clinically.

“On behalf of the entire Neurology Service, I’d like to recognize Anne Young’s extraordinary leadership over these past 20 plus years,” says Lee Schwamm, MD, vice chair of Neurology. “Over these two decades, she oversaw a major expansion of the department, revolutionized neuroscience research and championed the growth of neurocritical care. No single figure has had a bigger impact on the field of neuroscience during her tenure. She has left the department in a wonderful position, poised for a new decade of opportunity and innovation under the new leadership of Dr. Cudkowicz. We look forward to working closely with Anne for many years to come, as we continue to rely on her insights, expertise and commitment to the success of the department.”

In addition to the change in Neurology leadership, Michael Blute, MD, who is currently director of the Cancer Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, has been named chief of the MGH Department of Urology, effective April 2. Blute will succeed Scott McDougal, MD, who has led the department since 1991. “I enthusiastically look forward to working with faculty and directing clinical services, education and research for the MGH Department of Urology,” Blute says. “It will be an honor to continue the legacy of MGH Urology that has been so ably led by Dr. Scott McDougal. In his tenure, MGH Urology and its faculty have gained national and international recognition, and it will be a privilege for me to lead as chief.”


In addition to his leadership of the UMass Cancer Center, Blute has served as interim chief of the UMass Division of Urology in the Department of Surgery and also held the Mary C. DeFeudis Chair in Cancer Care and Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Prior to joining UMass, Blute spent more than two decades at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, Minn., where he served as chair of the Department of Urology from 1999 to 2006 and from 2006 to 2009 served on the Board of Governors, a group responsible for meeting quality outcomes and the financial and educational goals of the Mayo Clinic Strategic Plan. He also was the Dr. Anson L. Clark Professor of Urology at the Mayo Clinic.

McDougal will remain clinically active at both the main MGH campus and at the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers. Under his leadership, the department has become nationally recognized as a top urology program and significantly increased patient volume – with outpatient visits increasing from 14,000 to more than 30,000 annually and office procedures increasing from 2,000 to more than 6,000.

“I am delighted that the department will be led by Dr. Blute, who I regard as one of the most accomplished individuals in the field,” McDougal says.

Read more articles from the 3/23/12 Hotline issue.


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