Dr. Rob Headrick Announces Sponsorship Of Team Zappa In Upcoming Iditarod

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Dr. Rob Headrick with longtime friend and fellow Chattanoogan,  Dr. Charles Portera.
Dr. Rob Headrick with longtime friend and fellow Chattanoogan, Dr. Charles Portera.

Growing up in Chattanooga, Rob Headrick and his friend Charles Portera shared a love of medicine that would ultimately lead both on different tracks to help others.  For Dr. Headrick, the road lead to a career as a thoracic surgeon, while Dr. Portera would become an oncological surgeon, leaving his hometown of Chattanooga to set up practice in Anchorage, Ak.

While thousands of miles separated the two and career responsibilities provided long days of service, the two recently managed to spend time together in Alaska where Dr. Portera introduced his friend to Monica Zappa, a young musher planning to race in her fourth Iditarod in March.

Dr. Headrick and his wife Anita have five beagles of their own and love how the dogs interact with each other.  However, what he learned in Alaska about the Iditarod race and dogs gave him pause.  Ms. Zappa explained that throughout the course of the race, various dogs would move from one position to another, with lead dogs changing to carry the team through various parts of the race.  She shared that each dog plays a critical role in the success of the overall team.  

Dr. Headrick noted that this same strategy is one that his own team uses for patients coming to him for surgical procedures. “We have an amazing team,” said Dr. Headrick.  “At any point during a procedure, a member of our team takes the lead to monitor the procedure and the critical care being provided to the patient.  I count on their leadership to provide the best information to me as the surgery proceeds.”

Dr. Headrick’s visit to Alaska provided tremendous respect for the Iditarod and the athletes who train and race in the annual event.  “Once I learned about the strategy behind these amazing teams, Anita and I decided we had to get involved.”  The Headricks joined on as sponsors along with Dr. Portera and Alaska Surgical Oncology to support the team.  

“Our medical careers have taken us in very different directions, but we share a passion for our patients and the special place that provided us with so much opportunity.  I see this same passion in those who participate in the Iditarod and I’m looking forward to seeing how well Team Zappa does in this year’s race,” said Dr. Headrick.

Dr. Headrick works with cardiologists, pulmonologists and specialists in internal medicine, family practive, women’s health, endocrinology and other medical specialties to addres patient needs with the latest surgical responses.  Dr. Headrick is a graduage of Vanderbilt University and the UT College of Medicine.  After an intership and residency in general surgery, he completed a thoracic and cardiovascular residency at Mayo Clinic.  Dr. Headrick is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.  His a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons, a memer of the shouthern Thoracic Surgical Association, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and, the Tennessee Medical Association.



Morning Pointe Residents Bond With Boyd Buchanan Students

The 2018 Olympics is over, but a group of students at Boyd Buchanan enjoyed keeping their version of the games going at Morning Pointe of Hixson.   The youth hosted a variety of activities for the residents at the assisted living and Alzheimer's memory care community, such as bowling, chair volleyball and a hula hoop contest, to name a few.    "It was a day ... (click for more)

Mark Kimball Named CEO Of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center

Mark Kimball, FACHE, has been named chief executive officer of Erlanger Murphy Medical Center, based in Murphy, N.C.  The announcement was made this week by Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, president & CEO of the Erlanger Health System.  The North Carolina-based healthcare facility became Erlanger’s sixth hospital on April 1 and its first in North Carolina.   When ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)