Dr. Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll Named Next UConn Health Chair of Surgery

Dr. Staveley-O’Carroll, an NIH-funded oncology surgeon-scientist, joins UConn this December.

The newly named chair of surgery at UConn Health is Dr. Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll MD, Ph.D., MBA.

Surgical-oncologist Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll MD, Ph.D., MBA will be the next Chair of the Department of Surgery at UConn School of Medicine.

“Dr. Staveley-O’Carroll is an excellent surgeon specializing in surgical oncology and is a NIH-funded surgeon-scientist, bringing a strong track record of achievement in clinical surgery, research, education, inclusion, and service,” shares Dr. Bruce T. Liang, UConn Health Interim CEO and dean of UConn School of Medicine. Staveley-O’Carroll is succeeding retiring Dr. David McFadden who has served as surgery chair for the last 12 years.

Dr. Kevin Staveley-O’Carroll.

“I have thought of Dr. McFadden as a role model throughout my career. It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to follow him as chair of surgery and continue the strong work he has done over the last 12 years. I look forward to working with the other UConn Health chairs and providers as well who go above and beyond serving the incredible institution, the state, and its people,” says Staveley-O’Carroll. “It is clear that UConn is a thriving and supportive environment in which people grow and spend their careers. Perhaps most important, as Dean and interim CEO, Dr. Liang has built a very strong academic culture, and I am eager to work under his guidance.”

Staveley-O’Carroll will join UConn on December 29 from the University of Missouri (MU) where he served as professor and chair of surgery and director of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center for nearly six years. As a clinical oncology surgeon he specializes in the treatment of liver, pancreas, and foregut tumors.

He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame and his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma. He then spent ten years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital where he completed his surgical training, a Ph.D., and fellowship in surgical oncology.

Staveley-O’Carroll has made many contributions to the advancement of clinical surgery including numerous publications on innovative techniques and on advancements in the surgical treatment of locally advanced esophageal and pancreatic cancer.

In addition, he has leveraged his background as a Ph.D. in immunology to obtain consistent NIH and VA funding over the last 20 years with 117 peer-reviewed journal articles. He currently serves as PI or MPI on four NIH R01 grants and a VA Merit Award with a focus on GI malignancy.

Working effectively in clinical teams has given him the background to design and grow systems of high-quality, low-cost care. During his leadership at MU, the Surgery Department’s national quality improvement rankings moved into the top decile in the country. Similarly, his dedication to research led to a dramatic increase in NIH funding for his department, as it rose from 56th to 30th in the NIH Blue Ridge ranking.

Staveley-O’Carroll is also an award-winning educator for exemplifying and teaching the art and science of surgery in the operating room. Under his leadership at MU, the first-attempt board pass-rate of graduating residents and fellows was nearly 100%. Throughout his career, Staveley-O’Carroll has maintained a commitment to inclusion and equity. For example, he was a founding member of MU’s LCME Task Force which created programs to attract underrepresented minorities into a more inclusive environment.

He has a distinguished record of service to his profession, having served as President of the Association for Academic Surgery. His dedicated efforts led to the development of mechanisms to foster the future of academic surgeons, helping to establish the Leadership Committee and construct the Fundamentals of Career Development Course that is now an annual event nationally and internationally.