FARMINGTON - Dr. Carolyn Elaine Reed died Nov. 16, 2012 after a short illness. She was born March 4, 1950, in Farmington, the daughter of Margaret E. Reed and the late Clayton E. Reed. She grew up in Farmington and attended the local schools there.
She is survived by her mother, Margaret E. Reed; twin sister, Joyce Greenacre and brother in-law, Allen Greenacre; loving niece, Lisa Drummond and husband, Richard Drummond; adored twin great-nieces, Anna and Emily Drummond, and several cousins.
Dr. Reed graduated with honors from the University of Maine in 1972 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She subsequently received her M.D. Degree from the University of Rochester where she was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She then moved to New York where she received her general and cardiothoracic surgery training at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. During this time, she spent one year as a fellow in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Upon completion of her training she was recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina in 1985 as an assistant professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery to succeed Edward F. Parker, the father of thoracic surgery in the state of South Carolina. At MUSC, her academic progress was rapid, and she was promoted to associate professor in 1989 and to full professor with tenure in 1997. At the time of her death she was the Alice Ruth Reeves Folk Endowed Chair of Clinical Oncology at MUSC. She played numerous important roles in the development of Hollings Cancer Center serving as associate director for Clinical Affairs (1998-2000), director of the Hollings Cancer Center (2000-2004), and deputy director of Clinical Affairs (2004-2012). She achieved a national and international reputation as a thoracic surgeon and oncologist with specific expertise in lung and esophageal cancer. Beginning in 1996, she was recognized each year on one or more "Top Doctors" lists. She became the "go-to" thoracic surgeon in the state of South Carolina not only for patients but also for her peer physicians around the state. She had an incredible passion for the care of patients with cancer, and her patients and families demonstrated their love and respect for her in many ways. Dr. Reed was a widely renowned surgical educator. She was completely committed to medical student and resident teaching. In 1987, she received the Student Teaching Award at MUSC and was subsequently nominated for the Golden Apple Award for teaching on four separate occasions. Throughout her career, Dr. Reed was a strong advocate for research as the way to find more successful treatment for cancer. To this end, she held numerous important research grants from the National Institute of Health as well as other funding organizations. She was an investigator in numerous cancer related clinical trials. During her career she was the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications in highly respected journals as well as 20 book chapters. She was the editor of the text, GENERAL THORACIC SURGERY (7th Edition), which is widely recognized as the "bible" for general thoracic surgery. She made over 120 scientific presentations at national and international thoracic surgical meetings and was sought after as a visiting professor at some of the most prestigious medical institutions in the United States. She was elected to membership in the most prestigious and important surgical organizations including the American College of Surgeons, American College of Chest Physicians, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, American Surgical Association, and the Halsted Society. Most notably, she served in important leadership roles in many of these organizations. In the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, she served as council member, secretary-treasurer, and in 2006 served as the president, the first woman to ever serve as president of a major thoracic surgical organization. She played numerous important roles in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons including service on the Executive Council, the Program Committee, and a five-year term as treasurer of this largest organization of thoracic surgeons in the United States. She served on the Council of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the most prestigious thoracic surgical organization in the world. She served on the boards of the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education and joint council for Thoracic Surgery Education. She was the first woman to ever be elected to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the accrediting body for thoracic surgeons in the United States. She subsequently was elected as chairman of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (2005-2006), again the first woman to serve as leader of this organization. She served as a governor in the American College of Surgeons and as vice chair of Thoracic Surgery Residency Review Committee. She served on numerous editorial boards including, The Journal of the American Cancer Society, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and Surgical Laparoscopy and Endoscopy. Of the numerous honors that she received, perhaps the one that meant the most to her was being selected as the commencement speaker in 2005 at her alma mater, the University of Maine, at which time she was awarded an honorary degree. She was an outspoken proponent for the role of women in surgery and specifically in thoracic surgery. In that regard, she served as mentor and advisor for numerous medical students, residents, and women faculty members not only at MUSC but throughout the United States. Dr. Reed was widely recognized as a superb clinical surgeon, as an outstanding educator, and as a leader in the field of thoracic surgery throughout the world. It is truly ironic that she succumb to cancer-a disease that she spent her entire life trying to cure.
Private services with Rev. Susan Crane officiating will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to The Carolyn E. Reed, M.D., Distinguished Endowed Chair in Thoracic Surgical Oncology. Mail to The MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee St., MSC 450, Charleston, SC 29425-8610. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott's Cremation and Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington.