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New Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery at UPHS

Robert Fry

A new Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, led by nationally recognized colon/rectal specialist Dr. Robert D. Fry, has been created within the Department of Surgery at the Health System.

" This important subspecialty addition will further enhance the level of care we provide to patients, and increase our strength as a recognized national leader in comprehensive surgical care," said Dr. Larry Kaiser, the John Rhea Barton Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery, in announcing the formation and staffing of the new division.

Dr. Robert Fry, who joined Penn this semester as Professor of Surgery and Chief of the Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, is joined in his new division by surgeons Dr. John L. Rombeau, Dr. Howard M. Ross, and Dr. Najjia N. Mahmoud. Complementing the surgical team will be a professional support staff consisting of a clinical nurse, Sara Gray, and a genetics counselor, Gretchen Matika.

Dr. Fry came to Penn from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he served as the Marks Professor and Chief of the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery. He served as President of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons during 2001, and now serves as Director of the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery. He recently completed a term as a Director of the American Board of Surgery. He served for five years on the Residency Review Committee for Colon and Rectal Surgery, including a term as Vice Chair.

It is estimated that Penn's Colon and Rectal Surgery Division will serve at least 300 additional patients each year at HUP and the Presbyterian Medical Center. One of every 18 people in the U.S. will develop colorectal cancer in his or her lifetime. Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in North America, after lung and breast cancer in women, and lung and prostate cancer in men.

Penn's new division will also provide an umbrella of services for colon and rectal conditions other than cancer, including colonoscopies and surgical procedures for inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis and anorectal pathology.



  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 9, October 22, 2002