Foad Nahai Named Jurkiewicz Chair

March 2016

Endowed professorships and chairs give grateful and engaged donors an ongoing mechanism for supporting faculty whose career paths have impacted and will continue to advance patient care, trainee education, and medical research. Foad Nahai, MD, recently named the first Maurice J. Jurkiewicz Chair in Plastic Surgery, is the Emory Department of Surgery's most recent beneficiary of this type of largesse.  

The Maurice Jurkiewicz Fund in Plastic Surgery was established in 1983 by an exceedingly generous contribution from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, a family philanthropy dating from the 1930s. Named in honor of Maurice Jurkiewicz, MD, Emory's first chief of plastic surgery from 1971-1993, the fund was earmarked for support of plastic surgery resident education until a more specific purpose could be identified. Dr. Jurkiewicz also contributed to the fund, as did the late Emory reconstructive surgery pioneer John Bostwick, MD, and the late Jack Culbertson, MD, Emory plastic surgery's initial liaison to the Kirby Foundation.

In the early 2000s, Dr. Culbertson and Grant Carlson, MD, current chief of Emory plastic surgery, spearheaded an effort to convert the Jurkiewicz Fund to support an endowed chair. Dr. Jurkiewicz had retired, though he remained an emeritus professor and advised Emory medical students, interns, and residents up until his death in 2011. The establishment of the chair was finalized in 2015 with alumni contributions and a large gift from Dr. Jurkiewicz's estate, presided over by his daughter Elizabeth Wilson.

Dr. Nahai was a natural choice for the chair's first holder. He is an acknowledged leader in aesthetic plastic surgery who has developed and refined various aesthetic and cosmetic procedures, received numerous national and international awards, served in many organizational capacities and on many editorial boards, and has authored a vast bibliography that includes several books, including 2011's Art of Aesthetic Surgery: Principles and Techniques, 2nd Edition.

Dr. Nahai also had an extensive history with Dr. Jurkiewicz himself. As an Emory plastic surgery resident and research fellow, he often trained with Dr. Jurkiewicz. When Dr. Nahai joined Emory's plastic surgery faculty in 1978, the two surgeons continued working together and co-wrote numerous journal articles.

In 1997, Dr. Nahai left Emory to join Paces Plastic Surgery, the aesthetic and reconstructive surgery private practice of fellow Emory alumnus T. Roderick Hester, MD, who also served as Emory plastic surgery chief from 2001-2010. Paces had long provided training rotations for Emory's plastic surgery residency. When the practice officially joined the Emory Clinic in March 2013 as the Emory Aesthetic Center at Paces, Dr. Nahai was reappointed to the Emory faculty.

"It is an honor and privilege to serve as the first Maurice J. Jurkiewicz Chair," says Dr. Nahai. "Dr. J, as we affectionately called him, was a mentor and role model to a generation of Emory trained plastic surgeons, including myself. I will strive to live up to the ideals he would have hoped would exist in the individual first appointed to the chair that bears his name."

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