Neurosurgery Alumni Newsletter

Dear Henry Ford Neurosurgery Alumni,

As we work together through the challenging times of the COVID-19 crisis, we are thrilled to share an unrelated but important message regarding the Neurosurgery Department’s leadership. Our department’s response to this crisis --and our future-- has been nothing short of phenomenal, and we are confident that even within the new pandemic reality, our trajectory will continue.

I have been transitioning from my role as neurosurgery chair into new roles as CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group and Chief Academic Officer of Henry Ford Health System. I am delighted to announce that Jack Rock, M.D., has been appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. Jack’s legendary status in the Department and his international reputation for excellence make him the obvious choice for this critical role. Given that Dr. Rock is moving out of his program director role to become Interim Chair, we are also announcing that Dr. Ellen Air will become the next Program Director for the Department of Neurosurgery. These new leadership roles for the Department of Neurosurgery are effective immediately.

I have been privileged to chair the Department of Neurosurgery since 2014, and I will maintain an active role, especially given my position as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons this year, and given that we will be hosting, for the first time ever, the 2021 Society of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Detroit next May. Jack’s leadership skills and ability to manage the daily operational aspects of the department will provide the support needed to continue our amazing advancements. Jack has led the Neurosurgical Residency Program since 2002, so this is a significant change for him. We will likely begin a national search for the permanent chair position in 2021.

Dr. Rock joined our neurosurgery senior staff in 1986 after completing residency training at Cornell, and has been appointed to numerous leadership roles ever since. He currently serves as director of the Neurosurgery Residency Program, co-director of the surgical neuro-oncology clinic, co-director of the skull base, pituitary and endoscopy center as well as co-investigator on numerous clinical trials. He received his M.D. from the University of Miami, Florida, was a research fellow in surgical neurology at the National Institutes of Health and was a clinical fellow in neuro trauma at the University of Maryland.

An internationally respected expert, Jack has authored and contributed to more than 100 publications and books and has presented at more than 40 national/international conferences. In 2004, Jack became an active member of the Federation for International Education in Neurosurgery (FIENS), where he continues to serve as a board member. Through FIENS, he has volunteered in Thailand, Ethiopia and Myanmar. He received the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) Humanitarian Award in 2018. He is former president of the Michigan Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Air is our co-director for Functional Neurosurgery and Associate Residency Program Director, as well as clinical associate professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She earned both her M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati. She completed her neurosurgical residency at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and specialty fellowship training in Epilepsy and Functional Neurosurgery at the University of California at San Francisco. In addition to maintaining an active research program, she dedicates herself to the education of medical students and residents.

She will be the first female residency program director in our department’s 75-year history and one of a select few in the country. She is secretary for the AANS/CNS Joint Section on Women in Neurosurgery, serves on the CNS Executive Committee, the Board of Directors for the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, as well as on the editorial boards of Neurosurgery ® and AANS Neurosurgeon.

We are moving onward and upward on so many fronts, and we invite you, our department alumni to join and support us on our journey.


Steven N. Kalkanis, MD
CEO, Henry Ford Medical Group
Chief Academic Officer, Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford II Chair and Senior Vice President, Henry Ford Health System

Upcoming Highlights for 2020

  • Dr. Steven Kalkanis will preside over the 2020 CNS Annual Meeting, Vision for the Future, September 12-16, 2020, Miami Beach, Florida. The honored guests will be Bob S. Carter, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital and our own Mark L. Rosenblum, MD, Chair Emeritus, Henry Ford Hospital, Department of Neurosurgery.
  • 2020 will see the opening of the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, although it has been postponed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has in turn caused construction delays. The Henry Ford Cancer Institute and Henry Ford Health System leadership teams remain steadfast in their resolve to complete the Cancer Pavilion that will serve as a beacon of hope and care for cancer patients in the Detroit area and beyond. 
  • The HFH Medical Group and Alumni Association celebrate our 105th anniversary with a Diamond Jubilee Reunion, October 8-10, 2020. The event will be held at the MGM Grand Hotel, Detroit, MI and showcase some of the newest additions to the Henry Ford infrastructure, including our new, state of the art Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, as well as the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine and Detroit Pistons Performance Center.
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