Gala Second Alumni Weekend In Pittsburgh

The weekend of June 24 and 25th indeed was a special one for the PITT Plastic Surgery Alumni. It was marked by a magical outdoor reception attended by 35 alumni spanning more than three decades in the garden of Phipps Conservatory. It was an evening when we formally inaugurated the PITT Plastic Surgery Alumni Association as the Futrell Society. The celebration honored and thanked Bill and Annie Futrell for their long-term dedication, leadership and commitment to the residents and the residency for more than 20 years. Arriving guests were photographed “on the red carpet” (see below) and additional photos of the reception are attached.

The closeness and special camaraderie for the alumni at this event was again palpable and exciting. It was hard to get people to sit down for dinner as the focus was on re-kindling, “catching up”, and sharing stories with fellow residents made over many years. Special tributes to Dr. Futrell and Annie were the highpoint of the evening. Poignant and touching remarks were given by Mike Bentz, Guy Stofman, Jaime Garza, Adam Katz, John Edney, Tom Mitts (by way of a letter) along with Linda Hurwitz, J. Peter Rubin and Ken and Cindy Shestak.   Bill and Annie were “deeply touched” by the events of the entire evening.


The second Futrell Society Alumni Educational Symposium held in Pittsburgh took place the following day and was absolutely outstanding. It featured presentations by our special guest Gary Burget from Chicago and Mario Solari a young rising star microvascular surgeon on the faculty who spoke about the principles and techniques of reconstructing fascial defects of various sizes. Then Chet Nastala gave an excellent overview on establishing a Center of Excellence for microvascular breast reconstruction in the private practice setting. This was followed by Steve Bernard’s equally outstanding presentation on doing the same thing in an academic medical center environment at the Cleveland Clinic. Following this I presented a talk on difficult revisions of implant breast reconstruction.   Kia McClean Washington gave a fantastic presentation summarizing her pioneering work on establishing a model for eye transplantation – for which she just received a 6 million dollar grant from the US Department of Defense.   Greg Dumanian eloquently recounted his path along the patenting process toward establishing a company manufacturing Mesh suture. The afternoon featured a “MEGA Panel” on adipose cell biology – summarizing the current skinny on fat.   It featured Sydney Coleman, J. Peter Rubin, Adam Katz, Jaime Garza, Ramon Llull and Jeffery Gusenoff. It was indeed a world class panel. Finally Mike Bentz spoke about pathways and opportunities for leadership in plastic surgery at the intramural and national level.

These activities were sandwiched around Pitt Plastic Surgery Resident Research Day on Friday June 24 with special guest judge Susan McKinnon, M.D., Chief of Plastic Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, and fantastic resident graduation ceremony on the evening of June 25. At that time eight residents joined the ranks of Alumni, and if we count the graduating fellows additional four alumni were added making the total 12 new Futrell Society members

Overall, the weekend was fantastic in every way. Some additional highlights are displayed below.

As our Alumni Association numbers continue to grow, so does our agenda for it. We are putting the finishing touches on a new website that will contain a special Alumni section. This will enable alumni to “login” and get a firsthand look at what is happening at the University in terms of teaching programs, special events, and it will provide a vehicle so that we call stay in closer touch with one another. We encourage ALL Futrell Society Alumni to contact us with any updated information they wish to share about themselves, their families, and practice environment.

We will initiate three new programs over the next two years.   The first will be an Alumni Visiting Professor Award. Alumni who wish to serve as visiting professors are requested to make this known on the website. Each year the chief residents will choose from the list of interested alumni and a special day will be announced when the chosen Visiting Professor will come to Pittsburgh and to spend a full day with the entire resident group to comment on presentations and projects, and to share their insights into areas of plastic surgery and life.

A second Alumni program will be entitled “Back to Your Roots”. This will be an opportunity for an interested Alumnus to visit the University for a week and see up close and personal the latest developments in virtually any area of plastic surgery – as either a refresher course or with the idea of broadening their scope of practice. We are working out the details for scheduling and housing accommodation – but it promises to be a fun venture.

Finally we would like to formalize a program allowing an Alumnus to accompany residents on a mission trip.   Alumni with special areas of interest or experience on mission trips will be encouraged to contact the Alumni Association through the website to arrange such a trip.

The next meeting of the Futrell Society will be a reception at the ASPS meeting in late September 2016 in Los Angeles. The date and time for the Reception Is as follows:

Function Name:  Pitt Plastic Surgery Alumni/Futrell Society Reception
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2016
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE
Room: Atrium 3


Warmest best wishes for a great summer,