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Surgical Skills Center in Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation to be Named After J. Roland Folse, MD


The Surgical Skills Center in the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation has been named after Dr. J. Roland Folse, the first chairman of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.

The J. Roland Folse, MD, Surgical Skills Center honors his legacy in the field of surgery and recognizes his commitment to teaching and research efforts. Folse joined the faculty of SIU School of Medicine in 1971 after receiving his medical degree from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completing his surgical residency at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle.

"It is an honor and privilege to name the SIU surgical skills lab after Dr. Folse,” said Dr. Michael W. Neumeister, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at SIU School of Medicine and Elvin G. Zook, MD, Endowed Chair. “He was a pioneer in surgical education and a mentor to most surgeons in our community. This will keep his memories with us forever.”

Folse served as department chairman for 29 years until 2000 and helped establish and recruit faculty for seven divisions of the department. He has received numerous honors and awards for his teaching and research efforts, including six consecutive awards for Excellence in Teaching in the Department of Surgery.

“Dr. Folse’s countless contributions to the medical community reflect his legacy of service as an exceptional clinician, researcher and educator,” said Edgar J. Curtis, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System. “He has inspired and challenged the lives and careers of hundreds of medical residents. We are honored to recognize his contributions to improving the health of the people we serve in central Illinois.”

Folse is a 2015 recipient of the Order of Lincoln, the state of Illinois’ highest honor for professional achievement and public service. He and five other recipients will be honored at the 51st annual convocation of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in the chambers of the Illinois House of Representatives on May 9.

Memorial Medical Center established an endowed chair in Folse’s honor in 2009. Interest earned from the endowment – the J. Roland Folse, MD, Endowed Chair in Surgery at SIU School of Medicine – will be used to further research and education in the area of surgery.

Folse has published more than 80 articles and participates in numerous national organizations. Other achievements include two lectureships established in his honor.