University of Vermont

Medical Reunion 2014: Alumni Hyman, Persing, Baumhauer and Hitti Receive Distinguished Achievement Awards

Neil Hyman, M.D.
Neil Hyman, M.D. (Photo: UVM College of Medicine)

Four alumni were honored with the Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Academic Achievement Award during the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s 2014 Reunion. Established in 1985, the award recognizes outstanding scientific or academic achievement. The recipients who were honored at the “Legends and Leaders” awards ceremony, held Friday, June 6, 2014, include: Neil Hyman, M.D.’84, Samuel B. and Michelle D. Labow Green and Gold Professor of Colorectal Surgery, University of Vermont; John A. Persing, M.D.’74,Chief of Plastic Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine; Judith F. Baumhauer, M.D.’89, M.P.H., Associate Chair of Academic Affairs and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Orthopedics, University of Rochester Medical Center; and Jane E. Hitti, M.D.’89, M.P.H.,Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, University of Washington.

Hyman, who is chief of the division of general surgery, also serves as co-director of the Digestive Disease Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care. He has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed original articles or textbook chapters. He serves on many regional and national committees and is a member of numerous national organizations and societies and has been president of the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, associate editor of Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, principal investigator of the New England and Vermont Colorectal Cancer Quality Project, and chairman of the Standards Committee of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Hyman has been the recipient of many teaching awards, including three UVM Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards. He received the Jerome S. Abrams Teaching Award in 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1997-98; the Howe Outstanding Surgery Faculty Award for 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2010-2011; and the Humanism in Medicine Award for 2001-2002. He was named Teacher of the Year by the Chief Surgical Residents in 1991, 2007 and 2009. In 2005, he delivered the Commencement Address at the College of Medicine graduation. Dr. Hyman was named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society in 2011.

Persing is the Irving & Silik Polayes Professor of Plastic Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., where he has chaired the Section of Plastic Surgery for over two decades. At Yale, he has expanded the Section’s scope and mission while traveling the world teaching surgical techniques. He has published widely, and is an international expert in craniosynostosis, a condition in which sutures in the infant skull fuse prematurely. As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Persing has a long history of involvement with international aid organizations that provide cleft lip and reconstructive surgeries in developing areas of the world. He co-founded such an organization, the Virginia Children’s Connection, in 1989; he became a volunteer provider, trip leader, and later a board of directors’ member for the reconstructive surgery organization Interplast. As an advisory board member of Operation Smile, he has overseen a DNA study into the genetics of cleft lip/cleft palate. Persing is past chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and president of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons and the current president of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Baumhauer was named the first woman president of both the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society for 2012-2013 and the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 2012. Additionally, she was the first president of the Eastern Orthopedic Association, the largest Regional Orthopedic Society, where she served from 2009 to 2010. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties; Board of Directors of the Orthopedic Education Foundation and Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation, the major humanitarian and research fund raising organizations in her specialty. Baumhauer has also been an editor or reviewer for major medical journals including the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Clinical Orthopedics, and serves on many committees for the University of Rochester. Her honors of note include: the Distinguished Alumna Award from Springfield College in 2008; the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2010; and the ATHENA Award of the Rochester Business Alliance’s Women’s Council in 2012. Baumhauer also received the Alumni Award for Surgical Excellence from UVM at her graduation in 1989 and has received multiple research grants and published widely. She is noted for her superb leadership and her dedication to career and family, and is a highly respected researcher and clinician.

Hitti went on to develop a first-rate career in her chosen field of maternal fetal medicine following her graduation from the UVM College of Medicine. Her work focuses on infectious disease in pregnancy and has been recognized with several prestigious awards. She is also an adjunct professor of epidemiology and director of the maternal fetal medicine fellowship program. She joined her department in 1998 and is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and the subspecialty of maternal fetal medicine. "Every woman deserves to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, within the context of her own circumstances,” she says. “I hope to advocate effectively for the health of women and their infants and to encourage my patients to participate actively in their care." Hitti’s clinical interests include the effects of HIV and other infectious diseases in pregnancy; multiple gestation, and prematurity prevention; and ultrasound. Her expertise encompasses high-risk obstetrics, infectious diseases, and perinatology.

View a full schedule of Medical Reunion events here.