Cheung Wong, M.D., vice chair of gynecology, director of gynecologic oncology and urogynecology, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and associate dean of Continuing Medical and Interprofessional Education at the University of Vermont's Larner College of Medicine, was invested in a formal ceremony on June 8, 2018 as the inaugural Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams Endowed Professor.
This newly created professorship honors Berta Pi-Sunyer Williams, who graduated from UVM in 1958 with a degree in nursing. Berta was a long-time employee of the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (now the University of Vermont Medical Center), and distinguished herself as a nurse through her dedication to her patients. Following her untimely passing in 1992, her family was inspired by her courage and strength in facing her own illness to establish an endowed fund in her memory at the Medical Center to provide support for education, research and patient services related to women’s health care.
After two decades, Berta’s family and the leadership of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the Larner College of Medicine decided that the best way to benefit women in the community was to grow and re-designate the fund to support an endowed professorship. This goal was achieved thanks to generous new philanthropic commitments from the Williams and Pi-Sunyer families, as well as from Berta’s friends.
Wong earned his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine, and completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and his gynecologic oncology fellowship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. He joined the UVM Medical Center and UVM Larner College of Medicine soon after in 2000. Wong’s clinical specialty is caring for women with pre-malignant and malignant gynecologic conditions, and he has published over two dozen articles in this field. In addition, Wong is a leader in developing and fostering collaboration between clinical service areas and among diverse health professionals. His doing so has led to improved clinical care, as well as new research and educational opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. A dedicated educator, Dr. Wong has received over 15 teaching awards from the medical students and residents at the UVM Larner College of Medicine and the UVM Medical Center over the past 18 years.
Following remarks by UVM Foundation President and CEO Shane Jacobson, UVM President Tom Sullivan and Larner College of Medicine Dean Rick Morin, M.D., Wong was presented with a medallion in front of family, friends, colleagues and students gathered in the Hoehl Gallery at the Larner College of Medicine on the UVM campus. Wong then presented a matching medallion to Larry Williams, Jr., who accepted it on behalf of the Williams and Pi-Sunyer families.
Formal investiture ceremonies such as this one recognize the importance of endowed positions, reflect that they are one of the highest honors the University of Vermont can bestow on its faculty members, and recognize the generous donors who make them possible. Since President Tom Sullivan began his tenure at UVM six years ago, UVM and the UVM Foundation have more than doubled the number of endowed faculty positions, a critical component of the Move Mountains campaign.