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Date: 12/18 & 25/2019
Time: 7:30 a.m.
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UNM Orthopaedics Mourns Recent Passings of Past Faculty Members & Former Department Chair

John Veitch, MD (photo)

Dr. John Veitch

The UNM Orthopaedic family was saddened to learn that Dr. John Veitch, father of faculty member Dr. Andrew Veitch, passed away January 18, 2015. “Dr. John Veitch, in my estimation, exemplified a true professional equal only to his life as a loving husband and wonderful family man,” said Orthopaedics Chair Dr. Bob Schenck. John was born and raised in North Dakota, and eventually came to New Mexico for his Orthopaedic training, graduating in 1978. Settling into practice in Roswell, New Mexico, John began a very fruitful orthopaedic career, while simultaneously starting a family with his wife, Mary Ellen. “Thereafter, they moved to Missouri for John’s successful hand surgery practice until we were able to welcome him back to the Department in 2003 as a very productive faculty member.” recalled Schenck. “I will never forget working alongside ‘Papa Veitch’ in faculty clinic watching his calm demeanor, and scrubbing with him during an ulnar nerve transposition during which his abilities as a superb teacher were exemplified. It was appropriate that John was named ‘Outstanding Teacher for UNM Orthopaedic Surgery’ shortly after his arrival,” he added. Our prayers, thoughts, and deepest sympathy are with the Veitch's. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sandia Orthopaedic Alumni Society in Dr. John Veitch’s name. Contact Ryan Wood for more information about making a donation.

View John Veitch's obituary.

E. Szalay, MD (photo)

Dr. Elizabeth Szalay

Elizabeth Szalay, MD, former head of pediatric orthopaedic surgery at UNM Carrie Tingley Hospital, died December 29, 2014.

A memorial service took place February 7, 2015 at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Albuquerque. A eulogy was delivered by orthopaedics chair Dr. Robert Schenck. Dr. Szalay who passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. She was born February 2, 1953, and grew up in Los Alamos, NM. She received her undergraduate degree and Doctor of Medicine at the University of New Mexico. She completed her orthopaedic surgery residency in San Antonio, TX, with fellowship training in pediatric orthopaedics at Texas Scottish Rite in Dallas. She worked as a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Vanderbilt, Beaumont, Santa Fe and finally at UNM Carrie Tingley Hospital. Dr. Szalay is survived by her husband, Ken Gilman. "Our condolences go out to him and their family," said Orthopaedics Chair Dr. Schenck. "Elizabeth was instrumental in paving the road for women in the field of orthopaedics here at UNM and nationwide," he added.

omer (photo)

Dr. George Omer, Jr.

George E. Omer, MD, Jr. passed away on November 20, 2014 in Spring, Texas. Dr. Omer established UNM’s Department of Orthopaedics as Professor and Chair in the early ‘70s after a successful military surgeon career. He rose to the position of Chief of Orthopedic Surgery and Hand Surgery at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio during the height of the Vietnam War. “Dr. Omer was a true Orthopaedic Educator and thought leader,” said Dr. Robert C. Schenck Jr., Professor and Chair of Orthopaedics. A memorial service was held Sunday, December 7, 2014, in Houston with internment in San Antonio at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on December 8. An additional memorial service was held for family, friends and colleagues here in Albuquerque on January 16, 2015.

hoekstra, MD (photo)

Dr. Dale Hoekstra

It is with great sadness that we share the Health Sciences Center’s loss of Dr. Dale Hoekstra, who passed away on Monday, November 3, 2014. Dr. Hoekstra served as medical director for Carrie Tingley Hospital, specialized in pediatric orthopaedics and had been a practicing medical doctor for nearly 40 years. Dr. Hoekstra earned his MD at Wayne State and completed an internship and residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. He fulfilled a second residency in Pediatric Orthopaedics at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Additionally, he provided eight years of military service at USAF medical facilities nationwide as Chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics. He also worked in private practice for 18 years as a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Rochester Hills Orthopaedics where he served as president and leader of his group. Dr. Hoekstra joined the UNM School of Medicine in 2007 where he became a committed leader and sage advisor to faculty, residents, and medical students.In August of 2014 Dr. Hoekstra was nominated for the UNM School of Medicine Golden-Headed Cane Award which recognizes faculty showing exceptional accomplishments in academics, ethics/professionalism, and/or community service or advocacy. “He was a respected didactic lecturer on Pediatric Orthopaedics and key contributor to the annual Carrie Tingley Hospital Annual Winter Conference,” said Dr. Schenck. “He will remain in our memories as a wonderful husband, father, teacher, physician, colleague and friend. He gave so much to us at UNM and will be sincerely missed.”

We invite you to leave a remembrance about these faculty members on the UNM School of Medicine Faculty Memorial web page.

Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation

MSC10 5600
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: 505-272-2231 (clinic hotline) 505-272-4107 (academic office)
Fax: 505-272-8098