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West Virginia University School of Medicine

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MORGANTOWN, WV - Dr. Alison Wilson, chief of the West Virginia University Division of Trauma in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Surgery, has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Skewes Family Chair for Trauma.

The $1.5 million endowment will provide a broad range of faculty support for patient care, education and outreach services for the people of West Virginia and beyond with a particular focus on the areas of trauma care, acute care services, surgical care and quality surgical care.

Wilson, who has helped facilitate trauma programs in the Ukraine and China, is the director of the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center at Ruby Memorial Hospital.

She joined the WVU faculty in 2002. She is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she also completed her surgical residency and surgical critical care fellowship.

She is board-certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

The endowment was created through the WVU Foundation in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. The campaign is a $750 million fundraising effort being conducted by the foundation on behalf of the university.

In other news at WVU, Dr. Ronald L. Gross, professor and chairman of the West Virginia University Department of Ophthalmology, has been chosen as recipient of the Jane McDermott Shott Chair in Ophthalmology in the WVU School of Medicine.

Originally from Huntington, Gross graduated from Rice University in Houston and earned his medical degree at WVU in 1982. He completed internship and residency training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a glaucoma fellowship at the Jefferson Medical College and Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

After serving as the Clifton R. McMichael Chair in Ophthalmology at Baylor, Gross joined the faculty at WVU in 2013.

The endowed chair, honoring the wife of former Bluefield newspaper publisher Hugh Ike Shott Jr., was funded with a $1 million gift from the Hugh Ike Shott Foundation. The inaugural holder of the chair was Dr. George W. Weinstein, former chairman of the WVU Department of Ophthalmology.

Shott, a 1923 graduate of WVU, dealt with blindness in his own family. His wife Jane Shott was blind due to deterioration of optic nerves and her mother, Louise Maclean McDermott, lost her sight after suffering with cataracts. Hugh Ike Shott, Shott’s father and the founder of the Daily Telegraph, suffered from cataracts and eventually lost his sight.

The elder Shott was born in Staunton, Va., in 1866 and worked in printing and in mail service with the Norfolk & Western railway before coming to West Virginia and in late 1895 investing $800 to purchase an irregularly published newspaper called the Bluefield Telegraph. In 1896, he re-launched the paper as a daily publication. He later was appointed postmaster of Bluefield. Active in Republican politics, he served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator following the resignation of Matthew M. Neely. He died in 1953.