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The Curtis National Hand Center Chief James Higgins, MD, Awarded Prestigious Fellowship

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The Curtis National Hand Center Chief James Higgins, MD, Awarded Prestigious Fellowship


Named the 2013 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellow by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Megan Loewe

Baltimore—Honored for his expertise in the field of hand surgery, James Higgins, MD, chief of The Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, has been named the 2013 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellow by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH).

The award, granted annually to one surgeon in the United States, was created to foster the development of national and international relationships, contributing to their pursuit of higher learning and exemplifying the principles of scholarship of the ASSH.

According to E.F. Shaw Wilgis, MD, chief emeritus of The Curtis National Hand Center, “this traveling fellowship was established by the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand to choose an outstanding young hand surgeon to follow in the tradition of Dr. Sterling Bunnell, who is considered the father of American hand surgery. This is the most prestigious traveling fellowship awarded in the area of hand surgery.”

Dr. Higgins is the third former Hand Center fellow to be chosen to receive this award. His hand surgical practice is highlighted by a clinical and research interest in the microsurgical treatment of upper extremity trauma.

“The Bunnell Fellowship is an honor and privilege for which I am grateful. I will remember this period as a highpoint in my career,” said Dr. Higgins. “This opportunity enables the fellow to take pause from the demands of routine practice to collaborate with colleagues across the world, inspiring innovation and advancing the field.”

As the Bunnell Fellow, Dr. Higgins will visit clinical and research leaders in the field to stimulate new techniques for treatment and develop new areas of research endeavors. His particular areas of focus will be microvascular bone transfer, microneurovascular toe/toe joint transfers, functioning muscle transfer, and venous flap reconstruction. His travel plans include major hand surgical centers in Japan, South Korea, Spain, Germany, Austria and Turkey, as well as around the United States.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Higgins and The Hand Center. To learn more about the Bunnell Fellowship, click here.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 249-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial has been caring for members of the community for more than 160 years.

We are renowned for The Curtis National Hand Center, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Heart Institute, and our Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine program. In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including diabetes and endocrinology, eye surgery, general surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial was among the highest rated Maryland hospitals based on Consumer Reports rankings in 2013, and is the only hospital in Maryland to receive the Delmarva Foundation’s highest honor, the Excellence Award for Quality for Hospitals, for six years in a row.

MedStar Union Memorial has ranked among the nation’s top 50 “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, earning national recognition for seven consecutive years. Our excellence in care also has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Award), the American College of Cardiology (ACTION Registry Award)and Thomson Reuters (Top Hospitals®: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success).

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). We are the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial also is designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for the state of Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional healthcare system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area.

About the American Society for Surgery of the Hand

Founded in 1946, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) is the oldest medical specialty society in the United States devoted to continuing medical education related to hand surgery. ASSH members are hand surgeons and medical professional who specialize in the treatment of hand and upper extremity related conditions.

The mission of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) is to advance the science and practice of hand surgery through education, research, and outreach.

For more information on this or any other MedStar Union Memorial Hospital story, you may contact us at 410-554-2500.