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Mayo Clinic Trustees Welcome New Members, Recognize Named Professors

PHOENIX — The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees welcomed Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.,as a new member, re-elected two internal trustees and one public trustee, and also recognized three recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships at its board meeting today.

Dr. Farrugia was named Mayo Clinic vice president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, in August 2014. He replaces William Rupp, M.D., who retired at the end of 2014 and was elected as an emeritus trustee. Michael Powell, who joined the board in 2011, was re-elected as a public trustee. Powell, who is president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2001 to 2005 and a member of the FCC for eight years.


The board re-elected two internal trustees:

  • Pam Johnson, R.N., chair, Mayo Clinic Department of Nursing. Ms. Johnson will serve a one-year term.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees also recognized three new named professorships, the highest academic distinction for faculty members at Mayo Clinic.

Barbara Pockaj, M.D., a physician in the Department of General Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and section head for Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery, is recognized as the Michael M. Eisenberg Professor. The professorship was established in 1991 through a gift from the George M. Eisenberg Foundation.

It is the seventh of eight professorships at Mayo Clinic funded by generous gifts from Mr. Eisenberg and his foundations — and one of two professorships named in honor of his brothers.

As a surgical oncologist, Dr. Pockaj treats patients with breast cancers and skin neoplasms, especially melanoma. Working to establish Mayo’s practice of sentinel lymph node biopsies in Arizona, Dr. Pockaj organized and mentored the different clinical departments and ancillary staff to create efficiencies in working together. She heads the disease site team for melanoma and is leading efforts for conducting multicenter phase III clinical trials. With breast cancer continuing to be a large portion of her clinical and research practice, she is also involved with many clinical studies and trials designed to inform better treatments and therapies. She currently chairs the Breast Cancer Interest Group (BIG) at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, a group of clinicians and basic scientists focusing on breast cancer-related translational research projects.

Richard Ehman, M.D., a physician in the Division of Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Department of Radiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, with a joint appointment in the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering, is recognized as the Blanche R. and Richard J. Erlanger Professor in Medical Research.

Dr. Ehman is best known for his groundbreaking work in medical imaging, specifically in nuclear magnetic resonance and its use in diagnosing a variety of conditions. He also is credited with developing magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), which allows physicians to determine the stiffness of internal organs without invasive procedures. His research program is focused on developing new imaging technologies. Dr. Ehman holds more than 40 patents, and many of these inventions are widely used in medical care.

Bernard Bendok, M.D., a physician and chair for the Department of Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, is recognized as the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor. Four professorships were established in 2004 to celebrate the Mayo brothers’ commitment to learning and teaching.

Dr. Bendok leads innovative clinical trials for stroke, neurovascular and cranial base diseases. His research includes a focus on utilizing simulation to enhance the precision and safety of surgical care. His clinical career focus has been on the management of complex neurovascular and cranial base diseases utilizing microsurgical, interventional and radiosurgical techniques.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 31-member group of public representatives and Mayo Clinic physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research at Mayo Clinic’s sites in Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Article courtesy of the Mayo Clinic News Network.

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