Wake Forest Baptist Faculty Members Receive Highest Honor from Wake Forest University

February 27, 2015

Louis C. Argenta, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Michael Morykwas, Ph.D., professors of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, have received Wake Forest University’s highest honor, the Medallion of Merit.

University President Nathan O. Hatch presented the awards Feb. 19 at the Founder’s Day Convocation in Wait Chapel on the Reynolda Campus.

Argenta and Morykwas were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the medical field. Most notably, they co-invented the Vacuum-Assisted Closure (V.A.C.), a negative pressure wound therapy that has helped more than 10 million patients worldwide, including many U.S. military personnel who suffered extremity injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wound V.A.C. also is estimated to have prevented more than a million amputations.

“This prestigious award is well-deserved, and we are extremely proud of Dr. Argenta and Dr. Morykwas,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO of Wake Forest Baptist. “Their work continues to improve patient care -- minimizing hospitalization, increasing outpatient comfort and achieving dramatic results – here at Wake Forest Baptist and around the world.”

Argenta is the founding chairman of Wake Forest Baptist’s Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Morykwas accepted Argenta’s offer to become the Director of Research for the newly created department in 1988. Since then, the department’s research laboratory has grown from a 179-square-foot space with a single technician to an 8,500-square-foot facility with 25 researchers, and it has become the highest funded plastic and reconstructive surgery lab in the country.

Media Relations

Erin Harris: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487