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At the Top

Charles (Chuck) Leys, MD, has been named interim Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery at UW, replacing Dan Ostlie, MD, who will leave at the end of December to take a leadership role at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dr. Leys is a native Badger having earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Wisconsin. He then went on to complete his general surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. While at Vanderbilt, he engaged in a two-year Research Fellowship receiving a Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. He then completed a Pediatric Surgery Fellowship at the Children’s Mercy in Missouri. Following fellowship in 2009, he was recruited to the University of Indiana as an assistant professor, where he performed the institution’s first laparoscopic repair of duodenal atresia and the first thoracoscopic repair of a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. We were fortunate to recruit Chuck to the University of Wisconsin in 2013.

Dr. Leys is recognized as one of the top minimally invasive children’s surgeons in the United States. Shortly after his appointment, Dr. Leys began serving as Surgical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Director of Pediatric minimally invasive surgery for AFCH. Additionally, he is the Director of Surgical Critical Care for AFCH and he has also been instrumental in the development of the multidisciplinary Chest Wall Deformities Clinic. Dr. Leys is a Champion of the Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) and armed with this data base he is facilitating the implementation of standard practices to reduce the rate of surgical site infection.

We are thrilled that Dr. Leys has accepted the challenge of leading the Division of Pediatric Surgery, mentoring two new faculty members, Dr. John Kohler and Dr. Hau Le, and working closely with Dr. Peter Nichol who has been asked to oversee the operating rooms in The American Family Children’s Hospital. Congratulations, Chuck, in this new and important role.


Robert Redfield, MD, was selected for the UW Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR) Mentored Career Development Award KL2 Scholars Program. Dr. Redfield will receive $100,000 a year for up to four years for his project “Characterizing Novel Therapeutic Strategies for the Prevention and Reduction of Donor Specific Antibody in Kidney Transplantation.” Congratulations, Bob, this is a great honor for a young faculty member.


The Department of Surgery 2015 Update is off to the printer. This annual review of the department’s clinical, research, education, and philanthropy highlights will reach more than 2,000 people throughout the country, including surgery department chairs nationwide, campus leaders, donors, and other friends of the department. The piece will arrive in mailboxes in early January, along with a message for best wishes for the New Year. The Update design was inspired in part by the UW-Madison All Ways Forward fundraising campaign. The cover features a photo of surgeons in a modern operating room juxtaposed with historical operating room photos along with the tagline “Moving Surgery Forward,” a nod to Wisconsin’s state motto. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System