Centenary alumnus to aid in recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

Shreveport, LA(KSLA)- A local Centenary College Alumnus is gaining national attention for being part of the medical team that will aid in the recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

According to a news release by Centenary College NewsService,  Dr. John Holcomb, M.D., graduated from Centenary College in 1981 with a B.S. in Biology with Honors Cum Laude, from the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock in 1985, and served in the U.S. Army from 1985 until 2008, retiring with the rank of colonel. He currently serves as professor and chief of acute care surgery and director of the Center for Translational Injury Research at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and is one of the nation's preeminent trauma surgeons, specializing in traumatic brain injuries.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is expected to begin the next phase of her recovery at Memorial Hermann's level one trauma center in Houston, Texas where she will be evaluated prior to being transferred to nearby TIRR Memorial Hermann.

"The congresswoman has received exceptional care while in Tucson and we are encouraged by her progress," said Dr. Holcomb.

"Upon her arrival, our experienced, multidisciplinary team in the Neuro-trauma intensive care unit (ICU) will evaluate her condition to ensure she is ready for the next step in her recovery. We anticipate that her time in the ICU will be brief and that she will move quickly toward a tailored and comprehensive rehab plan at TIRR Memorial Hermann." said Holcomb, who also is Vice Chair of Surgery and Chief of the Acute Care Surgery Division at the UT Health Medical School."

Holcomb is one of the nation's preeminent trauma surgeons, specializing in traumatic brain injuries. In 2008, Dr. Holcomb received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Trauma Resuscitation Science from the American Heart Association, the United States Special Operations Command Medal, and the Service award from the American College of Surgery, Committee on Trauma for outstanding scientific contributions to the surgery of trauma and dedication to the care of wounded warriors.

Early Friday morning, Rep. Giffords left the Tucson, Ariz. hospital where she has been treated since receiving a gunshot wound January 9. The ambulance she was in was escorted by a group of motorcyclists from the Veterans of Foreign Wars according to her office.