Frito-Lay Honors Couple’s Sacrifice for Patient Care with 76K Bags of Chips

By Morag Maclachlan, Duke Health

Dr. Melanie Hollidge and her husband, Murray Lubja

Dr. Melanie Hollidge and her husband, Murray Lubja

Melanie Hollidge, MD, PhD, jokes that her anesthesiology and critical care medicine colleagues at Duke University Hospital (DUH) say she’s “all that and a bag of chips.”

The phrase describes someone you believe is all that and more. And in this case, it can also be taken literally as Hollidge’s husband worked with Frito-Lay to surprise Duke Health with a donation of 76,752 bags of chips.

“He knows I like to take a bag of chips with me when I work the overnight shift,” Hollidge said. “He saw an ad on TV from Frito-Lay asking people to share stories of how they are supporting their community during the pandemic. So, he submitted our story.”

76,000 bags of chips from Frito-LayHollidge and her husband, Murray Lubja, are originally from Ontario, Canada. When it became clear in mid-March that COVID-19 was quickly spreading throughout the United States, the couple made a difficult decision. Lubja, who has three chronic immunocompromising conditions, would return to Canada so Hollidge could care for patients with COVID-19 without the risk of exposing him. They haven’t seen each other in person since.

“I am so lucky to have such a supportive partner. Throughout my career, he has never once complained when I’ve worked late or picked up extra shifts,” Hollidge said. “He understood that I wanted to keep him safe and that I needed to be here. I don’t see this as a job. It is a privilege to serve patients in their most vulnerable time.”

The Frito-Lay donation is one of the largest food donations Duke Health has received since the COVID-19 crisis, said Aaron West, CPPS, the administrative director at the DUHS Patient Safety and Quality office. Robin Thomas, executive director of Engineering and Operations at Duke Health, said four members of her team unloaded the shipment of 26 pallets and will assist with distributing the snacks across the health system.

“I’m really grateful to Frito-Lay for responding to Murray’s request with such a big gesture,” Hollidge said. “I hope it brings a smile to people’s faces because I’m sure there are lots of coworkers making sacrifices to put patient care first.”

Stacey HiltonFrito-Lay Honors Couple’s Sacrifice for Patient Care with 76K Bags of Chips
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Dr. Wischmeyer Earns Education Award

Paul E. Wischmeyer, MD, EDICThe American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) has selected Duke Anesthesiology’s Paul Wischmeyer, MD, EDIC, as the 2020 recipient of the Excellence in Nutrition Support Education Award. He was selected by national/international nominations by his peers and colleagues for this award, which recognizes a clinical nutrition educator’s excellence in the delivery of professional education.

According to Wischmeyer, this is among the highest awards for the education of dietitians, pharmacists, physicians, and other practitioners that ASPEN bestows.

“I am extremely honored to be nominated and chosen for this award by my peers in the nutrition field recognizing my contributions to nutrition education. Without doubt, teaching and lecturing on nutrition is one of my greatest career and life passions,” says Wischmeyer, professor of anesthesiology and associate vice chair for clinical research within Duke Anesthesiology. He also serves as the director of the TPN/Nutrition Support Team at Duke University Hospital.

“Clinical nutrition interventions, and the dietitians and others who provided it, have played an essential role in saving my life many times over during my ongoing hospitalizations and surgeries from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Thus, my entire career has been committed to giving back to those who have given me so much to me, by focusing on the education of dietitians, pharmacists, physicians and patients on the critical role nutrition plays in patient outcomes and how to provide the best evidenced-based care for those we care for.”

Wischmeyer received this award virtually on March 30 at the ASPEN 2020 Nutrition Science and Practice Conference.

Stacey HiltonDr. Wischmeyer Earns Education Award
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Duke Anesthesiology Ranked #4 in the Nation Among Specialties

Duke Anesthesiology - 4th in the Nation!

U.S. News & World Report assessed 120 medical schools and once again ranked the Duke University School of Medicine among the best in the nation, placing it 12th. The medical school’s physical therapy program ranked No. 7 among 244 programs evaluated. Seven of the School of Medicine’s clinical departments ranked in the top 10 among specialties: 

  • Surgery (fourth)
  • Anesthesiology (fourth)
  • Internal Medicine (fifth)
  • Radiology (tied, fifth)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (tied, fifth)
  • Psychiatry (tied, tenth)
  • Pediatrics (tied, ninth)

Earlier this year, the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research ranked Duke eighth among the nation’s top medical schools for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Eight Duke School of Medicine departments and one basic science discipline also ranked among the top ten in the country for NIH funding:

  • Pediatrics (first)
  • Surgery (third)
  • Internal Medicine (fourth)
  • Neurosurgery (fourth)
  • Orthopedics (fifth)
  • Ophthalmology (seventh)
  • Anesthesiology (eighth)
  • Psychiatry (ninth)
  • Genetics (tenth)

In addition to its national rankings, Duke is also ranked among the top 10 United States medical schools in the World University Rankings.

“Our stature as one of the preeminent medical schools in the nation and world is a direct reflection of our exceptional faculty, students and staff who consistently raise the bar for medical research, education and patient care,” said Mary E. Klotman, M.D., dean of Duke University School of Medicine. “I am especially proud of our departments and medical education programs which consistently rank in the top among their peers each year.”

“Our school of medicine is ranked amongst the best in the world, thanks to the extraordinary talent, and commitment of our faculty, staff and trainees,” said A. Eugene Washington, M.D., chancellor for health affairs at Duke University and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System. “Year after year, the Duke University School of Medicine has consistently pushed our patient care, research and education missions to higher levels of excellence and impact and for that, we are very proud.”

Source: Duke University School of Medicine’s Med School Blog (Durham, NC – March 17, 2020)

Stacey HiltonDuke Anesthesiology Ranked #4 in the Nation Among Specialties
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