Dr. Danny Sleeman Receives the Duane G. Hutson Endowed Chair in Surgical Education

In a ceremony that highlighted several generations of physicians of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, the Duane G. Hutson Endowed Chair in Surgical Education was presented to Danny Sleeman, M.D., professor of surgery, Vice Chairman of Surgical Education and Director of the Surgical Education Program.

Sleeman became the inaugural holder of the chair April 18 before Miller School leadership, family, friends and colleagues who gathered at the University of Miami Hospital.

“An endowed chair is one of the most significant gifts in higher education,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Dean of the Miller School. “It is the highest academic honor and is provided to world-class scholars to support their research and teaching programs in perpetuity. These endowments allow us to support the ongoing work of the top physicians and researchers, like Dr. Danny Sleeman.”

The Duane G. Hutson Endowed Chair in Surgical Education was funded by the department to foster surgical education and to honor Duane G. Hutson, M.D., professor of surgery and Co-Director of Residency Training.

A revered statesman, Hutson has been a member of the UM faculty for nearly 50 years and continues to teach clinical surgical skills on a daily basis.

“The DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery has been very honored to have you among us for so many years, teaching our residents and fellows,” said Omaida C. Velazquez, M.D., David Kimmelman Endowed Chair in Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, and Chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery. “It is a tremendously sacred part of our tradition of training surgeons.”

Dr. Hutson came to the University of Miami in 1963 for his residency and then joined UM as a surgery instructor in 1967. He witnessed the department’s growth into an internationally recognized organization, and served under six chairs, including the appointment of Dr. Velazquez, the first female chair. He moved his way up through the academic ranks and served as the Program Director of the general surgery training program for 25 years, mentoring hundreds of students. Dr. Sleeman joined him as associate program director in 1997.

Dr. Hutson said it was only fitting that Dr. Sleeman should be the first to hold the chair in his name.

“I am shocked, it is an incredible feeling,” said Hutson, who was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Olivia. “I couldn’t be more pleased that the chair goes to Dr. Sleeman. We have been together a long time and never had a bad day together.”

Alan S. Livingstone, M.D., the Lucille and DeWitt Daughtry Professor and Chairman Emeritus, credited both Dr. Hutson and Dr. Sleeman with committing themselves to educating the next generation of physicians, saying they had more than 80 years of experience between them. Livingstone called Hutson one of the finest technicians he had ever seen and said he was not only a mentor to many but had also taught many of the faculty members.

“This chair will be a testament to your commitment to the department,” Livingstone said. “Your 50 plus years of commitment to the medical center and all you have done will always be reflected upon.”
Dr. Sleeman came to UM in 1988 for a critical care fellowship and joined the staff two years later as an assistant professor of clinical surgery and anesthesiology.

In addition to his busy surgical practice, Dr. Sleeman is also very active in trauma surgery at the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. He is also an exceptional teacher with 23 educational awards from residents and fellows.

Dr. Sleeman was joined by his wife, Jenna, family members Jackie Barfield and Beverly Barfield, and children Jack, Carson, and Ella.

“The main thing for my kids is that I hope that they remember not that their father was honored, but that they were in a room full of incredible minds, brilliant people who help others,” said Sleeman, who is also Director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital. “I hope they will continue that in some way or another.”

Dr. Sleeman called Dr. Hutson the “father” of the department, who trained many surgeons, who in turn, trained him. Like so many, he considers Dr. Hutson one of his mentors.

“As long as we have brilliant people like Dr. Hutson, as long as the ground stays fertile, I am sure the department, the faculty, and the University will thrive,” Sleeman said.

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