MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Alison Wilson, M.D., chief of the West Virginia University Division of Trauma in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Surgery, and Bill and Ann Skewes have two very important characteristics in common: their love for the people of West Virginia and their desire to change lives.

On one of their many trips back to Morgantown, the Skewes met with Don K. Nakayama, M.D., chair of the WVU Department of Surgery, Dr. Wilson, who is also the director of the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center at Ruby Memorial Hospital, and trauma surgeons Jennifer Knight, M.D., and Hannah Hazard, M.D.
“They have a great attitude. We could see that they’re very dedicated to what they’re doing,” Bill Skewes said. “Dr. Nakayama told me that they needed an endowed chair in order to retain good people.”

“Every time Alison Wilson goes to a professional meeting, she gets several job offers, often from the top trauma centers in the U.S. They know her reputation and the quality of the trauma program at WVU,” Nakayama said.

“I could relate to that,” Bill Skewes recounted. “In my business experience, it’s critical to keep your best employees while bigger businesses constantly try to steal them away.”

Understanding this need, the Skewes’ passion and generosity led them to endow the Skewes Family Chair for Trauma.

Wilson has been named the inaugural recipient of the chair. The $1.5 million endowment will provide a broad range of faculty support for patient care, education, and outreach services for the people of West Virginia and beyond with a particular focus on the areas of trauma care, acute care services, surgical care, and quality surgical care.

“We want to help the largest number of people. I was struck by the vision and the big heart there at the Trauma Center,” Anne Skewes said. “This kind of endowment benefits everyone in West Virginia and even benefits the whole world through Dr. Wilson’s travels.”

Wilson, who has helped facilitate trauma programs in the Ukraine and China, said she is very appreciative of the Skewes family’s generosity and humbled to receive such a prestigious honor.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Skewes family for their generosity and honored to be selected as the first Skewes Family Chair for Trauma,” she said. “Their support will help us provide the highest quality trauma care to the citizens of West Virginia by continuing to attract the best and brightest trauma surgeons to WVU.”

Wilson joined the WVU faculty in 2002. She received her medical education at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where she also completed her surgical residency and surgical critical care fellowship. She is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

“Endowed chairs enable the School to attract and keep the most talented and productive physicians and scientists as faculty members – and support the work they do, over decades and generations, to educate physicians, advance science, and care for patients. This endowment in particular will have a lasting impact on the care of seriously injured West Virginians,” Arthur J. Ross III, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the School of Medicine, said.

The endowment was created through the WVU Foundation in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The campaign is a $750 million fundraising effort being conducted by the Foundation on behalf of the University.
For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, News Service Coordinator, 304-293-7087
ajk/ab: 03-17-14