June 11, 2018

Main Content

UMMC bids adieu to those who helped shape institution

Dr. Alan E. Freeland


Dr. Alan E. Freeland, professor emeritus and former chief of the medical staff at UMMC who practiced at the Medical Center for nearly 40 years, died June 6.

Born in 1939, Freeland graduated from Johns Hopkins University and earned his M.D. at the George Washington University School of Medicine. A member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and a world-renowned hand surgeon, Freeland founded the UMMC postgraduate Hand Surgery Fellowship Program in 1991 and directed it for 13 years. He authored numerous articles, book chapters and two authoritative books on the treatment of hand and wrist injuries using miniature implants.

Freeland chaired and/or was a leading faculty member on national and international hand trauma courses and a highly sought "visiting professor." He was named the American Association for Hand Surgery National Teacher/Clinician of the Year in 1997 and served as AAHS president in 2002. He retired from clinical practice in 2005 to focus on research.

Freeland received hand surgery's highest honor when he was elected as a "Pioneer in Hand Surgery" by the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand in 2013. UMMC funded the Alan E. Freeland, M.D., Chair of Orthopaedic Hand Surgery in 2014. Freeland was recognized as a "Distinguished Alumnus of Johns Hopkins University" in 2014 and served on the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors from 2002-15.

A memorial is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Flowood and at 10 a.m. Monday, June 11, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Flowood, with a funeral mass to follow at 11.


Dr. Raymond J. Grill


Dr. Raymond J. Grill, associate professor of neurobiology and anatomical sciences and a member of the UMMC faculty since 2015, died May 30. He was 52.

After receiving his dual B.A. in biology and psychology from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, in 1988, Grill obtained his Ph.D. in cellular biology and anatomy at the University of Cincinnati in 1995 and had a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California-San Diego.

A faculty member at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, from 1999-2015, Grill spent more than 20 years as a scientific researcher focusing on neurotrauma. His primary focus was on spinal cord injury; His research interests also included traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Recipient of decades of research support from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Wings for Life, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation, the TIRR Foundation and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, among others, Grill explored issues such as fertility, pain and autonomic function – important factors that affect the quality of life of individuals with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and ALS.

Grill was also passionate about his work with the ALS Association. He ran a fundraising team for the Mississippi Walk to Defeat ALS in Jackson – called the Mississippi ALStars – that raised more funds than any other team last year.

In lieu of flowers or cards, donations may be made in Grill’s name to the ALS Association at https://tinyurl.com/RayGrill.