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Updated 10:00 AM October 19, 2009

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Burn Center celebrates 50 years of innovation, research

The U-M Burn Center, which has been a leader in the treatment and prevention of burns for the past half century, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

More than 125 people attended a celebration at Towsley Center, including current and former members of the U-M burn team, former patients, fire fighters, volunteers, donors, friends and other guests.

Speakers included its co-founder, Dr. Irving Feller, professor emeritus of surgery; Dr. Stewart Wang, current director of the Burn Center; and Dr. James Woolliscroft, dean, Medical School.

"The founders of the Burn Center 50 years ago were visionary," Wang said. "The original missions and values remain true and relevant: exceptional patient care, multidisciplinary teamwork, translational research, injury prevention and community outreach, and education."

The Burn Center was the idea of Feller, then a third-year U-M surgical resident, who was deeply moved in 1957 when two children died from burns involving only a small area of their bodies. He then decided to dedicate himself to improving the care for burn patients.

During its five decades, there have been tremendous improvements in burn care. The U-M Burn Center has transformed from a local burn unit to an internationally recognized leader in burn clinical care, education, research and injury prevention.

Throughout its history, the Burn Center has promoted education and intervention in the community. Many educational and training publications, films and materials have been produced. It plans to expand its collaborations and enhance its partnership with firefighters to increase injury prevention education efforts throughout our communities in Michigan and beyond.

"We also will be working more closely with schools and communities to facilitate the full re-integration of our burn survivors back into society," Wang said.

For more information about the U-M Burn Center go to

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