Brent D. Matthews, MD

It was a college mentor – who happened to be a general surgeon – who helped convince Brent D. Matthews, MD to pursue medicine in the first place. Matthews couldn’t know then how much he’d achieve in such a short time.

At age 48, Dr. Matthews has already earned a lifetime achievement award. He was recently named the 2015 MedStar Georgetown University Distinguished Achievement Award winner for his work in abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR). The co-chairs of the annual AWR conference recognized him for his substantial contributions to the field as well as those to minimally invasive surgery, foregut and gastrointestinal surgery.

“This award validates from my peer groups that I’ve made an impact in the care of patients and that I’ve made contributions to the field,” said Dr. Matthews, who currently serves as senior medical director and academic chair of the surgery care division for Carolinas HealthCare System Medical Group. He is also professor and chair of the department of surgery at Carolinas Medical Center.

Dr. Matthews has been involved in numerous research projects over the last decade focusing on biomaterials for abdominal wall reconstruction, connective tissue biologic response to hernia repair, and clinical outcomes and quality improvements in foregut and hernia surgery. He has also been funded by the National Institute of Health to investigate the use of photo-acoustic imaging for Barrett’s esophagus screening.

Dr. Matthews serves on the board of – and is the immediate past president of – America’s Hernia Society. He also serves on the board of governors for the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and is a member of the American Surgical Association and Southern Surgical Association.       

The lifetime achievement award comes at a time in Dr. Matthews’ career when he has shifted into an even greater leadership role where he can directly support numerous surgeons in advancing their life’s work. He also remains supportive of the next generation of surgeons in hernia repair. He is also passionate about Surgical Outreach for the Americas, a non-profit that he jointly operates. Through his organization, his medical teams have provided surgical hernia repairs to about 900 patients in the Dominican Republic over the past seven years.

“I’m truly in a position of servant leadership,” Dr. Matthews said.

In addition to this most recent award, Dr. Matthews has earned five faculty teaching awards. He’s also authored or co-authored about 150 peer-review manuscripts, over 325 scientific abstracts and 11 book chapters. His ongoing dedication to helping shape tomorrow’s hernia repair subspecialists also contributed to his winning the award.     

During his downtime, Dr. Matthews enjoys running, golfing and fly fishing, as well as spending quality time with his wife and three daughters, ages 12, 10 and 8 months.