(Left to right) Janet Carroll, Dr. Schapiro, Dr. Davidson and her husband, Mark Mulder, Provost Prelock and Dean Page stand outside the Larner College of Medicine’s Health Science Research Facility. (Photo: David Seaver)
In a ceremony held February 7, 2022, Melissa Davidson, M.D., a faculty physician leader at the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine, was invested as the inaugural holder of the Howard Schapiro, M.D.’80 and Janet Carroll, M.S.N., M.P.H., Green & Gold Professorship in Anesthesiology.
Joining Larner Dean Richard L. Page, M.D., for the event were UVM Provost and Senior Vice President Patty Prelock, Ph.D.; UVM Health Network President and Chief Executive Officer John Brumsted, M.D.; and UVM Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Leffler, M.D.
This endowed professorship was made possible through the generosity of not only its namesakes, married couple Howard Schapiro, M.D., and Janet Carroll, M.S.N., M.P.H., but also the faculty of the Department of Anesthesiology in honor of their colleague and former leader, Schapiro.
A Larner College of Medicine Class of 1980 alum, Schapiro returned to Vermont following residency and in 1996, became interim chair and then permanent chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at the UVM Medical Center and Larner College of Medicine. After serving in this role for 16 years, he held several leadership positions, including as interim president of the physician practice group at the medical center, interim senior associate dean for clinical affairs at Larner, and chief clinical integration officer and chief population and quality officer for the UVM Health Network. In June of 2021, Schapiro retired from full-time work. He currently serves the UVM Health Network as a senior advisor on population health and on the new UVMHealth Advantage plan.
Carroll began her career in Vermont as a labor and delivery nurse, then as a Certified Nurse-Midwife, attending more than 1,000 deliveries at the former Medical Center Hospital of Vermont. In 2000, she transitioned to administrative roles at the former Fletcher Allen Health Care, first as a quality improvement manager, then in two separate nursing director roles. In 2017, she became the chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in upstate New York, after which she was promoted to senior vice president and system chief nursing officer of the St. Lawrence Health System. She recently retired from this position.
Since August 2020, Davidson, has served as interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology while concurrently serving as Larner's Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education and as the Designated Institutional Official of the UVM Medical Center—roles she began in 2017.
“Exceptional faculty leaders—like Dr. Davidson—create a dynamic and engaging academic environment, and the endowed professorship recognizes this important achievement,” said Page.
Davidson, who joined UVM in 2013, was Schapiro’s last faculty recruit as chair of the department. She earned her medical degree and completed a residency in anesthesiology at The University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School, now known as Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. Her leadership positions at UVM include director of anesthesia education since 2014, and chair of the anesthesiology residency Clinical Competence Committee, which has oversight for faculty development in the department. In addition, she is a Distinguished Educator and member of the Teaching Academy Task Force at Larner and in 2021, received Larner’s Polaris Award for Outstanding Mentorship at the annual Celebration of Gender Equity in Medicine and Science.
A member of The American Society of Anesthesiologists, she currently is a member and serves on the board of directors and Committee on Research in Education for the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA). She also co-directs the SEA Annual Workshop on Teaching and is senior editor for the American Board of Anesthesiology certification exam. In 2020, she received the SEA Duke Award for Excellence and Innovation in Anesthesia Education.
“We hear a lot about life-long learners, but anyone who knows Melissa or takes the time to look at her career accomplishments knows that she is the embodiment of the definition,” said Schapiro at the ceremony. “Jan and I are thrilled that she will be the first to hold this position, not only because of her clinical talents but her career-long commitment to training the next generation of physicians,” he added. “We want to thank the donors who joined us in making this day possible.”
In her address to the audience, Davidson recognized Schapiro and Carroll’s many contributions to UVM and the UVM Medical Center and their excellent leadership in their respective professions.
“What distinguishes good from great leaders is humility,” said Davidson after receiving her medallion. “Jan and Howard exemplify humility, individually and as a team. I will do my best to strive for that same humility so that I can make you proud and worthy of the gift that you provided to this department. There are no words to express our department’s gratitude for your supporting us in this tangible and sustainable way. Know that we will do our best to honor your legacy in the only way we know how: exceptional patient care, highest-quality education and research, and a collegial and cooperative department whose members are always there for each other. That’s the legacy that you’ve built, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”