Dr. Gary Fudem, longtime plastic surgery specialist at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH), will leave the hospital and Island to become the associate director of the burn unit at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.
“The burn unit at University of Washington is one of the top burn units in the country. They see over 900 major burn cases a year,” Dr. Fudem told The Times Wednesday. Dr. Fudem will also work with burn patients at the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Seattle.
“This is a career move,” he said. “I love living here and I love my patients, especially the 60-to-100 age group.”
Dr. Fudem’s last day at MVH is Tuesday, but he won’t be rushing off. A condition of his new contract is that he doesn’t have to leave the Island until Oct. 20, so he can fish the Derby, which ends Oct. 19. “The last three years I’ve really gotten into fishing. I learned so much and had so much fun fishing with Ed Amaral. I’ll miss him a lot,” he said. Dr. Fudem will take a 12-day break from the Derby to make a volunteer trip to Nicaragua.
Dr. Fudem handpicked his successor, Dr. Richard Montilla. “I was one of his attending physicians while he finished his residency six years ago,” Dr. Fudem said. “He’s a caring, skilled doctor, and a good family man. I was very happy that the hospital approved him.” Like Dr. Fudem, Dr. Montilla will work at MVH on a part-time basis. In addition to plastic surgery, Dr. Montilla also specializes in hand surgery.