Departmental News

Wong Invested as Inaugural Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams Endowed Professor

June 8, 2018 by Ben Yousey-Hindes

Cheung Wong, M.D., was invested as the inaugural Williams Professor at an investiture ceremony held June 8, 2018 at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.

Cheung Wong, M.D., vice chair of gynecology, director of gynecologic oncology and urogynecology, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and associate dean of Continuing Medical and Interprofessional Education at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine, was invested in a formal ceremony on June 8, 2018 as the inaugural Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams Endowed Professor. 

This newly created professorship honors Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams, who graduated from UVM in 1958 with a degree in nursing. Berta was a long-time employee of the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (now the University of Vermont Medical Center), and distinguished herself as a nurse through her dedication to her patients. Following her untimely passing in 1992, her family was inspired by her courage and strength in facing her own illness to establish an endowed fund in her memory at the Medical Center to provide support for education, research and patient services related to women’s health care.

After two decades, Berta’s family and the leadership of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Larner College of Medicine decided that the best way to benefit women in the community was to grow and re-designate the fund to support an endowed professorship. This goal was achieved thanks to generous new philanthropic commitments from the Williams and Pi-Sunyer families, as well as from Berta’s friends.

Wong earned his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine, and completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and his gynecologic oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. He joined the UVM Medical Center and UVM Larner College of Medicine soon after in 2000. Wong’s clinical specialty is caring for women with pre-malignant and malignant gynecologic conditions, and he has published over two dozen articles in this field.  In addition, Wong is a leader in developing and fostering collaboration between clinical service areas and among diverse health professionals.  His doing so has led to improved clinical care, as well as new research and educational opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad.  A dedicated educator, Dr. Wong has received over 15 teaching awards from the medical students and residents at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center over the past 18 years.

Following remarks by UVM Foundation President and CEO Shane Jacobson, UVM President Tom Sullivan and Larner College of Medicine Dean Rick Morin, M.D., Wong was presented with a medallion in front of family, friends, colleagues and students gathered in the Hoehl Gallery at the Larner College of Medicine on the UVM campus. Wong then presented a matching medallion to Larry Williams, Jr., who accepted it on behalf of the Williams and Pi-Sunyer families.

Formal investiture ceremonies such as this one recognize the importance of endowed positions, reflect that they are one of the highest honors the University of Vermont can bestow on its faculty members, and recognize the generous donors who make them possible. Since President Tom Sullivan began his tenure at UVM six years ago, UVM and the UVM Foundation have more than doubled the number of endowed faculty positions, a critical component of the Move Mountains campaign.

Announcements

CONGRATULATIONS to the following faculty who received promotions (July 2021):
Nathalie Feldman, MD
to Associate Professor and Navid Esfandiari, PhD to Professor

Navid Esfandiari, PhD, Professor, REI Division, received the "Star Award" from the 77th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) - October 2021

Congratulations to Justin DeAngelis, MD who was appointed interim assistant dean for students in the Office of Medical Student Education at the Larner College of Medicine, effective March 1. Read more here

A champion for women's health, diversity and science, Elizabeth Bonney, MD recognized in News Spotlight from UVM Larner College of Medicine.  Read the article here.

Navid Esfandiari, PhD, received the “Star Award” from the 76th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) – October 2020

Misty Blanchette Porter, MD, Associate Professor, REI Division, was invited to present at AIUM education webinar - teaching on ORADS and IOTA on the evaluation of adnexal masses – Sept 2020

Justin DeAngelis, MD, Assistant Professor, Ob/Gyn, was selected as Class Mentor to the residency by the class of 2021 and was recently awarded the 2019 APGO Excellence in Teaching Award.

SO PROUD! Congratulations to Katherine Menezes, MD (PGY-3) who was awarded the Clinical Resident of the Year Award by the LCOM graduating Class of 2021!!!!  These are the awards that are given out on Honors Night to and from the graduating class.  Check out the video here.

Marjorie Meyer, MD, Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine, was recognized for her work in the treatment of women with opioid dependence during pregnancy in Governor Phil Scott's State of the State address on Jan 9.  Read announcement here

Theresa Ko, PhD (Croucher Fellowship 2006), Assistant Professor in the Division of Reproductive Sciences, was recently interviewed with the Croucher Foundation in December 2019 about her molecular biology quest to reduce maternal deaths.   Read the article here

Elizabeth Bonney, MD, MPH, Professor and Head of the Division of Reproductive Sciences was selected to present the lecture entitled "A Theory of Maternal Immunity" at the 25th Annual Dr. Raymond O. Berry Memorial Lecture on October 18, 2019. Read the announcement here.

Congratulations to Marti Churchill, CNM who received the award for "Excellence in Advanced Nursing" at the Nursing Awards Ceremony  on May 6, 2019.

Congratulations to Tendai Chiware, MD who won the 2019 Beth Fitzpatrick M.D. Citizen of the World Award, awarded by the Global Health Program at UVM LCOM and the Western Connecticut Health Network. 

We are pleased to share news of the appointment of Anne Dougherty, M.D., as Gender Equity Liaison in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at The UVM Larner College of Medicine.    Read the announcement here.

Cheung Wong, MD was invested in a formal ceremony on June 8, 2018 as the inaugural Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams Endowed Professor.   Read all about it.

The cover photo on the March 2018 issue of the American Journal of Ob/Gyn is from Dr. Kelley McLean's article Mechanical heart valves in pregnancy:  the necessity of appropriate and careful anticoagulation.

Congratulations to Cheung Wong, MD for his recent appointment as the VP for Clinical Affairs for the University of Vermont Health Network.

Congratulations to Elizabeth Bonney, MD and Natalia Gokina, PhD who have won the NIH RO1 funding for "Systemic Vasculature Remodeling Females:  Effects of the Immune System and Experience of Pregnancy".  The application was scored at the 1st percentile!

Our match results are in!  Announcing our newest residents 2018-2022:  Hayley Pierce (Saint Louis University); Allison Walker (Oregon Health & Science University) and Rebecca Zuckerman (University of Chicago).  We look forward to seeing them soon!

We are excited to welcome our new fellows on July 2, 2018 for their 3 year fellowship:  Maximilian Klein, MD (Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility fellow) and Ankita Kulkarni, MBBS (Maternal Fetal Medicine fellow)

Nathalie Feldman, M.D., Educator Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, was recently awarded (along with her colleague, Judy Lewis, MD in the Dept. of Psychiatry) the UVM Larner College of Medicine Teaching Academy's "Educational Scholarship Award" for her work on the learning environment.  

Jenna Flanagan, MD (PGY-3) will be presenting a poster "A Needs Assessment for Somali Women:  Optimizing this Populations' Peripartum Care in a Tertiary Care Center in Vermont" at the North American Refugee Health Conference, June 16-18, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.

Erin Morris, MD, received the 2017 APGO Excellence in Teaching Award.  Dr. Morris is an active clinical member of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine.  She currently serves as our Associate Ob/Gyn Clerkship Director and the Faculty mentor for the Ob/Gyn Student Interest Group. 

May 15, 2017 - Elise Everett, MD was presented the Clinical Teacher of the Year Award from the Class of 2017 during Honors Night.

CONGRATULATIONS to our new interns starting June 2017: Johanna Kelley, Katherine Menezes & Rebecca Parad.