McNaull Receives 2018 Fuller Award

Peggy McNaull, MD, associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, has been honored with this year’s H. Fleming Fuller Award. McNaull received the award at the November 19 meeting of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors.

McNaull Receives 2018 Fuller Award click to enlarge Peggy McNaull, MD, poses with members of the Fuller Family after receiving the 2018 Fuller Award

Peggy McNaull, MD, associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, has been honored with this year’s H. Fleming Fuller Award. McNaull received the award at the November 19 meeting of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors.

The Fuller Award, which has been given annually since 1986, is meant as a permanent memorial to Kinston physician H. Fleming Fuller, and awarded to the physician who best embodies Fuller’s lifelong commitment to patient care, teaching, and community.

Fuller’s obstetrics and gynecology practice in Kinston, NC, spanned nearly 50 years. He is credited with helping to bring women’s health care to the forefront of American medicine, and helping to destigmatize cancer. He was also a founding member of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors. Several members of the Fuller family, including Dr. Fuller’s sons Lyndon and Kirk, were on hand for the award presentation.

In his introduction of McNaull, Tony Lindsey, MD, UNC Health Care’s Chief Medical Officer, described her as a “teacher and clinician revered by everyone.”

In accepting the award, McNaull said she was “humbled to be chosen from among my peers.” She also reflected on the impact that many past Fuller Award winners – including several who were in the room for the presentation – have made on her career.

McNaull, a Louisiana native, began her medical career as a nurse before attending medical school at LSU. She first came to UNC as a resident in 2003 and returned to Chapel Hill following a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology at Texas Children’s Hospital, to join the UNC School of Medicine faculty.

“From the moment I first stepped into UNC Hospitals, the commitment to the best in patient care has always been palpable,” McNaull said.

Over the last several years, McNaull has assumed more leadership and administrative roles at UNC Hospitals. She currently serves as UNC Hospitals’ Associate Chief Medical Officer for Quality and Safety and the Vice Chair for Patient Safety and Quality Improvement in the Department of Anesthesiology

A major focus of McNaull’s work has been coordinating UNC’s opioid stewardship efforts. This work, aimed at decreasing the amount of unused opioids in the homes of patients, has significantly reduced the number of excess opioids prescribed without impacting patient’s perception of their pain management.

McNaull has also directed much of her efforts towards furthering a culture of safety in UNC’s operating rooms through TeamSTEPPS, an evidenced-based set of teamwork tools developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

One of her nominators summed up McNaull’s qualifications for the Fuller Award this way:

“She sees the possibilities of better outcomes, and encourages all of us to up our game.” 

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