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Mackenzie, MD Invested as First Endowed Chair of Orthopaedics
Shands/MacEwen Chair Honors First Two Medical Directors
From left, G. Dean MacEwen, MD and William G. Mackenzie, MD
William G. Mackenzie, MD was invested on May 8, 2013, as the first holder of The Shands/MacEwen Endowed Chair of Orthopedic Surgery in a ceremony at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (AIDHC). The chair honors the hospital's first medical director, Alfred R. Shands Jr., MD, and his protege, G. Dean MacEwen, MD, who would go on to succeed his mentor as medical director. Dr. Mackenzie has been Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery since 2004 and is an internationally recognized expert in skeletal dysplasia and other musculoskeletal conditions of childhood.
"I am extremely proud to have been chosen as the first holder of the Shands/MacEwen chair," said Dr. Mackenzie. "It is a testament to our rich history in pediatric orthopedic care and recognizes these two giants in the field. My career here has been a great ride — almost magical," he said. "We have done pioneering work and accomplished many things. This endowment ensures we will continue to make progress in the future."
Dr. MacEwen spoke movingly about the history of the department at the ceremony, attended by 200 people in the auditorium of the original 60-bed Alfred I. duPont Institute, which opened in 1940. Among the guests were his wife, Lynn, their five children, and nearly all of their grandchildren. Dr. MacEwen described the honor as the high point of a long career in pediatric orthopedics. He cited the many outstanding surgeons who had contributed to the growth of the department for which the hospital has been so well known, reserving special admiration for Dr. Shands.
"He was a visionary who made a great impact on my life and my career," said Dr. MacEwen. "He was not only a highly respected surgeon, he was my true friend and mentor." He also noted that "Alfred I. duPont and Mrs. duPont would have been proud and happy to see the hospital as it is today."
A prominent group of donors contributed a total of $1 million to endow the chair, including many orthopedic surgeons. The endowed chair holds great significance for the hospital and its 73-year legacy of excellence in treating orthopedic conditions in children. It helps to attract the best and brightest surgeons and enhances the already distinguished national and international reputation of the hospital’s Department of Orthopedics.
The endowment will make funds available in perpetuity to support research, clinical care, and professional education. This is just the second endowed chair at the hospital, the first being the Robison D. Harley, MD, Endowed Chair of Pediatric Ophthalmology, established in 2006 and held by Sharon S. Lehman, MD.