2011 News Stories

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Recipients of the Ke Kauka Po‘okela (Outstanding Physician of the Year) award are defined as those who not only serve with distinction, but with aloha. For 2011, The Queen’s Medical Center honored two physicians who have contributed immeasurably to improving medical care for the people of Hawai‘i and are exemplary examples of the spirit of Queen’s. They are David Fergusson, MD, and Peter Halford, MD.

Hospital-Based Physician of the Year 
David J.G. Fergusson, MD, Cardiologist
As a youth, David Fergusson, MD, moved from the UK to South Africa, where he completed most of his medical training. He later completed a two-year fellowship at the Department of Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiac Laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Beginning in 1966, Dr. Fergusson served as a staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, where he worked with the late Dr. Rene Favaloro, who originated the coronary bypass operation. He moved to Hawai‘i looking for a personal approach to medicine, working at Straub Clinic and Hospital for 21 years, and then in private practice at Queen’s for 16 years before joining the Queen’s Heart Physician Practice in 2007. Specializing in invasive and interventional procedures, Dr. Fergusson has helped develop significant improvements in cardiac care at Queen’s, including the Door to Balloon protocol that gets heart attack patients from the doors of the ER to balloon angioplasty in 90 minutes or less, dramatically improving outcomes. Known for clinical excellence and compassionate care, he is also a faculty member of the newly established Queen’s Cardiac Fellowship.
Community-Based Physician of the Year
Peter Halford, MD, General Surgeon
A Queen’s private practice general surgeon, Peter Halford, MD, was born at Queen’s, had his first job at Queen’s, trained at Queen’s, and has had his entire career at Queen’s. Aspiring to be a surgeon since he was a teenager, Dr. Halford graduated with his MD cum laude from Tulane Medical School in 1970. His surgical internship was at San Francisco General Hospital, and first year surgical residency at the University of California, San Francisco. A local boy at heart, he returned to Hawai‘i to finish his surgical residency at Queen’s. Dr. Halford also has held, and continues to hold, many positions at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, as well as on medical associations and at Queen’s. He served as director of Trauma Services at  Queen’s from 1979 to 1996, establishing much of the trauma program; served as vice chief of staff for two terms; and chief of staff for two terms. He then served as Credentials Committee chair, then as chief of surgery. Dr. Halford has again served as Queen’s chief of staff since 2008. Being the chief of staff has been a gratifying challenge, in which he has built consensus amidst divergent opinions to establish hospital policy. A dirt biker and longboard surfer, Dr. Halford is known for his excellent surgical skills, humility, and a mischievous sense humor.

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