UTMB hosted an Italian delegation visiting to discuss a potential collaborative relationship with the University of Palermo. UTMB’s Dr. Luca Cicalese accompanied the visitors as they called on numerous members of the UTMB community, including Dr. David Callender, UTMB president.

The visitors included Antonio Bono, president of Ente Regionale Study Universitari, the organization that assigns student and faculty grants for universities in the Sicily region; Francesco Cappello, director of international relationships for the University of Palermo; Enzo Graci and Maria Audenzia Giacone of the Confederation of Sicilians in North America; Commander Vincenzo Arcobelli, president of the Committee of Italians Working Abroad and Fabrizio Nava, Consul General of Italy in Houston.

Jong Lee, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery, recently was appointed as holder of the Annie Laurie Howard Chair in Burn Surgery. The endowment was established by the Annie Laurie Howard estate in 1987. This, and other generous gifts from our benefactors and supporters, enable us to make great strides in the medical and surgical treatment of burns.

A well-respected burn, trauma and critical care surgeon, Dr. Lee is a member of several professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons and the International Society for Burn Injuries.  He also serves on several committees at UTMB and Shriners Hospital for Children.  Dr. Lee is active in teaching medical students, interns and residents and serves as Program Director for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. An accomplished teacher, he has received several teaching awards from the Department of Surgery. Dr. Lee’s current research includes vitamin E supplementation in pediatric burn patients and exploring advanced therapies to prevent infectious complications of burns.

Dr.  Lee earned his MD degree in 1996 from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He completed his residency in General Surgery at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and a fellowship in Burn Surgery and Surgical Critical Care at UTMB.  In 2002, he joined the UTMB faculty.

Dr. John Badalamenti, associate professor and director of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Internal Medicine, has been appointed holder of the Paul R. Stalnaker, MD Distinguished Professorship in Internal Medicine.  Established in 1994 by the Stalnaker Trust, the professorship honors an internationally recognized faculty member who has demonstrated superior medical, teaching and leadership skills.

An outstanding clinician-educator and leader, Badalamenti enjoys a distinguished career in Nephrology that has been defined by his exceptional patient care. He is praised by his colleagues, students and patients alike for his excellent clinical skills, his bedside manner, and his commitment to deliver quality clinical care. 

Melissa Eitzen, MS, RQAP-GLP, MT (ASCP), director of Regulatory Operations for the Office of Regulated Nonclinical Studies (ORNcS) at UTMB, was elected for a two-year term as a Director for the Society of Quality Assurance (SQA). The SQA is a professional membership organization dedicated to promoting and advancing the principles and knowledge of quality assurance essential to human, animal and environmental health. Its membership is comprised of nearly 2,500 members in over 30 countries working in industry, government, academia and consulting.

Angelica S. Robinson has accepted a role as Director-at-Large for the Gulf Coast Region of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas. The Breast Health Collaborative is a network of more than 350 nonprofit and corporate organizations and individuals dedicated to improving access to breast health services. Their mission is to educate, advocate, and leverage resources to ensure no Texan goes without breast health care.
The responsibilities of a Director-at-Large include representing and reporting on breast health information, access issues, disparities and needs in their public health service region. There are eight total public health service regions in the state of Texas. UTMB has been a member of the collaborative since it was founded; other academic institutions actively involved with this statewide effort include Baylor College of Medicine and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

UTMB alumni Brenda Hingle has been named executive director of Houston Solari Hospice Care.  In her new position, Hingle oversees the management and operations of all aspects of the Houston hospice program, including operations of the newly-opened 12-bed Inpatient Hospice Home and all in-home patient care. 

Prior to joining Houston Solari Hospice Care, Hingle served as director of case management at Triumph Hospital in Webster, Texas. She also served as regional director of case management and corporate director at Cornerstone Hospitals in Webster and Bellaire, Texas; chief executive officer for Cornerstone Hospitals in Clear Lake and Bellaire, Texas; case manager at HCA Clear Lake Regional Medical Center and director of nursing at HCA Mainland Medical Center in Texas City, Texas.  Hingle earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from UTMB in 2005.