April 12, 2012

Hometown Hero flies with Thunderbirds

Airman 1st Class Saphfire Cook
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Dr. Peter Rhee, Chief of Trauma at the University of Arizona Medical Center, has been chosen as the Hometown Hero for the “Thunder and Lightning Over Arizona” open house and will receive an incentive flight with the Thunderbirds.

Dr. Rhee can be called many things. To his patients he is a doctor. To his colleagues he is a surgeon. To the city of Tucson, and everyone affected by the events of January 8, 2011, he is a hero.

Dr. Rhee was the Chief of Trauma at UAMC when gunshot victims began rolling into the emergency from a Safeway Super Market off of Ina Rd.

“I believe he got here at 11 a.m. and I don’t think he left much after the victims were brought in,” said Laura Ballesteros, UAMC Program Coordinator Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery. “The entire night he divided his time between caring for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and handling all of the media interviews.”

As Chief of Trauma, Dr. Rhee oversaw the medical care of the cases that came into the hospital as a result of the shooting.

“The hospital staff really pulled together during a stressful time,” Rhee said. “The level of involvement was intense and ranged from the first responders, to the care givers to the administrative support. No one person can take credit for anything done during trauma care,” Rhee said. “Any trauma care given requires a team effort.  “

Dr. Rhee was born in Korea and has been a part of the UMC staff since 2007. He is currently the Chief of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery, as well as Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona.


Photo by David S Ricker/Aerotech News and Review

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