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Laurel Highlands to honor Hall of Fame inductees

| Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A recognition breakfast is being held this morning to honor inductees of the second Laurel Highlands Life Achievement Hall of Fame.

The six inductees were introduced during Friday's Laurel Highlands High School football game.

The Life Achievement Hall of Fame was established in the spring of 2012.

Jes Hutson with the Laurel Highlands School District Academic Foundation that sponsors the event said a primary purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor outstanding achievement and significant contributions by graduates or students of Laurel Highlands, North Union and South Union, who have made an impact by distinguishing themselves in their career, their community or in society, and brought fame or recognition to Laurel Highlands, North and South Union.

The nominees could be eligible because of their contributions in their professional career, public service, education, military service, music and the arts, athletics and other.

This year's class includes the late Joseph DiNunno of the 1938 class of South Union; Dr. Rosemary Duda of the 1973 class of Laurel Highlands; Dr. George Garrow of the 1977 class of Laurel Highlands; Dr. Mark Esper of the 1982 class of Laurel Highlands; Douglas Matthews of the 1983 class of Laurel Highlands; and Dr. David Sheba of the 1990 class of Laurel Highlands.

• After graduating from high school, Sheba completed his orthopedic surgery residency at Ohio University St. Joseph's Health Center in Warren, Ohio, and an advanced fellowship in adult trauma and joint reconstruction at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

During his fellowship his research was focused on a two incision minimally invasive hip arthroplasty and a multitude of comprehensive joint revision surgeries of the hip and knee. After completing his training, he returned to Uniontown in 2004 and opened his practice.

• DiNunno began his college education at the Penn State Fayette Campus and transferred to the University Park campus in 1940 to complete his BS degree in electrical engineering in 1942.

DiNunno returned to the Navy Department where he provided oversight for development of advanced instrumentation and controls for naval nuclear reactors. In the early 1960s, he transferred to the US Atomic Energy Commission and became one of the regulatory staff who monitored the safety of nuclear reactors, along with uranium and plutonium processing plants before retiring from the federal government in 1972.

• Matthews, a Uniontown native, has been highly involved in the steel-making industry where he oversaw iron production at the former USS/KOBE steel-making venture in Lorain, Ohio, and at Gary Works in Gary, Ind. from 1998 to 2003, and was appointed vice president and general director of the former U. S. Steel Serbia, in May 2006, where he was responsible for overseeing all activities at facilities in Smederevo, Šabac and Kučevo.

In 2007 he was named president and general manager of U.S. Steel Canada. He currently serves as vice president-tubular operations and president-U. S. Steel Tubular Products with executive responsibility for the company's tubular operations and associated functions.

• Duda's career is devoted to academic pursuits, including patient care, teaching, research and volunteer activities.

Her first academic appointment was as an assistant professor of surgery at Northwestern University, Chicago. She later relocated to Boston, where she held several administrative positions at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, including serving as the director of the BIDMC Center for Faculty Development.

• Esper attended the U.S. Military Academy and graduated from West Point in 1986 as a dean's list student and recipient of the MacArthur Award for Leadership.

Esper served in various leadership positions in the 101st Airborne Division and deployed with the Screaming Eagles for the 1990-91 Gulf War.

His battalion was part of the famous “left hook” that led to the defeat of the Iraqi Army. For his actions, Esper was awarded a Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, and various service medals.

He went on to command an Airborne Rifle Company in Europe, was selected to serve as an Army Fellow at the Pentagon, and completed his master's degree at Harvard University's JFK School of Government.

• After medical school, Garrow completed a post-graduate internship and residency at Presbyterian/St.Luke's Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, and was selected to serve as the chief medical resident from 1988-1989.

He then completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Vanderbilt University in 1992. He has earned board certification in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice and palliative care.

Currently, Garrow is the senior vice president and chief medical officer at Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland.

Hutson said the six inductees were chosen from about 20 to 25 nominations.

“I thought our committee did a nice job in organizing this last year, giving a nice template for us to continue to move forward with it for this year,” he said.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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