By Jeff Tucker

Bridget Fahy, MD, FACS, Named Endowed Professor


The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Bridget Fahy, MD, FACS, to the position of Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Professor of Complex Surgical Oncology.

“I am incredibly honored to be named the Victor and Ruby Hansen Surface Endowed Professor of Complex Surgical Oncology,” Fahy said. “I am fortunate to work with an exceptionally talented and dedicated group of cancer providers at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is a privilege to care for the patients of New Mexico.”

Fahy is currently a professor and chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology in the Department of Surgery at the UNM School of Medicine. She also is the medical coordinator of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center’s surgical services.

“Dr. Fahy is an outstanding faculty member who exemplifies all of the attributes required of an endowed professor,” said Cheryl Willman, MD, Maurice and Marguerite Liberman Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research and director and CEO of the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

In addition to her skill as a surgical oncologist, Fahy also is a recognized expert in palliative care and a skilled and respected educator.

She has won numerous awards, including this year’s Leonard Tow Humanism Award in Medicine and a UNM Faculty Teaching Award. She serves as the program director for the UNM Complex General Surgical Oncology fellowship, which accepted its first fellow this year.

The endowed professorship of Complex Surgical Oncology is one of 10 endowed chairs and professorships created by the Surface Family Trust. It was previously held by Ashwani Rajput, MD.

“Dr. Fahy’s contributions to the UNM Health Sciences Center demonstrate her commitment to patient care, education and research,” said Jessica Belmonte, MD, assistant professor of Hematology/Oncology with the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Her willingness to collaborate, teach and engage in multidisciplinary settings enriches the scholarly environment for everyone around her.”

Fahy has been with UNM since July 2013 when she was an associate professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology. In 2015, she was named associate professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Palliative Medicine.

“We were indeed fortunate to recruit Dr. Fahy to UNM from Weill Cornell Medical School/The Methodist Hospital in Houston in 2013,” said John Russell, MD, professor and chair of the UNM Department of Surgery. “She has brought unique clinical skills to UNM in both surgical oncology and palliative care, for which she has received national recognition"

In addition to receiving accolades as a medical educator, Fahy is an accomplished clinical researcher, serving as the UNM site director (with colleagues from Johns Hopkins and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute) for ‘A Multi-Centered Randomized Controlled Trial of Perioperative Palliative Care Surrounding Cancer Surgery for Patients and Their Families," federally funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Fahy was promoted to professor in both the Division of Surgical Oncology and Division of Palliative Care in July 2018 and in July 2020, was named chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology.

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine. Fahy completed her general surgery training at the University of California, Davis, during which she completed a two-year research fellowship in a cancer biology laboratory.

Fahy received dual fellowship training in surgical oncology and colorectal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center

The University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in a 500-mile radius.

Its more than 120 board-certified oncology specialty physicians include cancer surgeons in every specialty (abdominal, thoracic, bone and soft tissue, neurosurgery, genitourinary, gynecology, and head and neck cancers), adult and pediatric hematologists/medical oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and radiation oncologists. They, along with more than 600 other cancer healthcare professionals (nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, navigators, psychologists and social workers), provide treatment to 65% of New Mexico's cancer patients from all across the state and partner with community health systems statewide to provide cancer care closer to home. They treated approximately 14,000 patients in about 100,000 ambulatory clinic visits in addition to in-patient hospitalizations at UNM Hospital.

A total of nearly 400 patients participated in cancer clinical trials testing new cancer treatments that include tests of novel cancer prevention strategies and cancer genome sequencing.

The more than 100 cancer research scientists affiliated with the UNMCCC were awarded $35.7 million in federal and private grants and contracts for cancer research projects. Since 2015, they have published nearly 1000 manuscripts, and promoting economic development, they filed 136 new patents and launched 10 new biotechnology start-up companies.

Finally, the physicians, scientists and staff have provided education and training experiences to more than 500 high school, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowship students in cancer research and cancer health care delivery.

Categories: Comprehensive Cancer Center, Education, School of Medicine