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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014

News

Prominent UPMC Cancer Surgeon Tapped to Lead West Penn Allegheny Health System Department of Surgery

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System officials announced today that Howard Edington, MD, an internationally recognized surgical oncologist and physician leader at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), has been named Chair of the System’s Department of Surgery, effective in August 2012. Dr. Edington will also serve as Director of the West Penn Allegheny Cutaneous Oncology Center.

An Associate Professor of Surgery at UPMC in the Divisions of Plastic Surgery, Surgical Oncology and Dermatology, Dr. Edington has held many high level clinical, administrative and academic positions at UPMC over the past 20 years, including his current roles as Chief of Surgery and a member of the Board of Directors at UPMC Magee Women’s Hospital and Surgical Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Melanoma Center.

Among Dr. Edington’s past leadership roles include Director of Breast Surgery at Magee, Associate Director of the Wound and Limb Preservation Center at UPMC, Director of the UPMC Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program and Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital.

Dr. Edington specializes in wound healing and the surgical treatment of skin and breast cancer. Recognized and respected world-wide for his research in the fields of plastic surgery and anthropology, surgical oncology, molecular genetics and biochemistry immunotherapy, he has authored or co-authored more than 130 scientific articles, abstracts and book chapters in his fields of expertise and has also delivered more than 100 scientific presentations and lectures at medical symposiums around the globe.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Howard Edington to the physician leadership team at West Penn Allegheny. Howard is an incredibly talented and accomplished surgeon whose impressive clinical and academic credentials, leadership experience, commitment to quality and strategic vision will be vital to the growth and further integration of our Department of Surgery,” said Tony Farah, MD, Chief Medical Officer at WPAHS and President of the WPAHS Physician Organization.

Continuing, Dr. Farah said Dr. Edington’s outstanding reputation locally and nationally will also be critical to the System’s success as it seeks to expand on its high quality physician base and position itself strongly as the center piece of an innovative integrated healthcare delivery system for the region through its planned affiliation with Highmark.

“This delivery system will allow physicians to work in a patient centric, physician led environment which will provide the basis for delivering high quality, accessible and affordable care to our region,” he said.

Dr. Edington’s appointment coincides with West Penn Allegheny’s announcement today that the System has also recruited Blair Anderson Jobe, MD, from UPMC, one of the nation’s preeminent esophageal disease specialists. Dr. Jobe will serve as Director of the System’s new Institute for Esophageal and Thoracic Disease as well as Chair of the Department of Surgery at West Penn Hospital.

“The momentum of support for West Penn Allegheny is clearly building in our region as both independent physicians and those seeking employment are reaching out in greater and greater numbers to explore closer affiliations with the System - which promises a stable and sustainable health care delivery model,” Dr. Farah said.

At West Penn Allegheny, Dr. Edington will lead a department that consists of eleven subspecialty surgical divisions, including colon and rectal surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, otorhinolaryngology, pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, surgical oncology, urology, transplantation, general surgery, trauma surgery and bariatric surgery. He will oversee the continued integration of these divisions across the System as well as all programmatic, academic, research and quality initiatives within the Department.

The Department of Surgery at West Penn Allegheny has more than 220 physicians on staff, including 41 faculty members who hold appointments from the Temple University or Drexel University Schools of Medicine. There are also approximately 200 medical students and 55 surgical residents rotating through the System’s Allegheny General Hospital and West Penn Hospital campuses yearly.

As Director of the West Penn Allegheny Cutaneous Oncology Center, Dr. Edington will lead the development of a comprehensive skin cancer treatment program that unites the resources of specialists from multiple disciplines, including surgical and medical oncology, dermatology, immunology and molecular biology. The program will offer patients access to the complete spectrum of therapies for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, including novel treatments being explored in clinical trials.

“I am very excited to be involved in the reinvigoration of WPAHS and absolutely confident in the ability of the new management team to be successful in this endeavor. The importance of viable healthcare options for all of us cannot be overemphasized. I believe that our region will be best served by two viable healthcare systems and that ultimately patient care will improve significantly as a result of that healthy competition,” Dr. Edington said.

Dr. Edington completed his surgical training with residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in surgical oncology at the National Cancer Institute.

Certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, he is a member of numerous distinguished professional and scientific organizations and committees, including the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the Mcgowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative.

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