Since opening more than 30 years ago, the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center has treated thousands of patients with severe burn injuries and saved many lives. In doing so, it has become recognized as one of the best comprehensive burn centers in the world.
The 21-bed center opened February 23, 1981, when patients were transferred from N.C. Memorial Hospital’s five-bed burn unit. Today, the Burn Center has become the largest specialized burn care facility between Baltimore and Miami. Beyond treatment of local burn survivors, the Burn Center supports burn-related tragedies across the nation. Recently, the Burn Center offered support during the Boston marathon attack, the Texas plant explosion and last year’s earthquake in Haiti. The Burn Center also trains Special Forces at Fort Bragg to address wounds they may encounter in combat.
“When you think about the attacks that just happened in Egypt and Libya, you realize, there was a lot of smoke and fire involved. Our work is helping to inform how to deal with that kind of disaster.”
~ Bruce Cairns, Medical Director
The opening of the Burn Center was the culmination of one man’s mission. John Stackhouse owned an electrical contracting company in Goldsboro. When several of his workers suffered severe electrical burns in the 1960s, he learned that the state had no burn center. So Stackhouse set out to improve the quality and accessibility of burn care in NC.
In 1973, the Goldsboro Jaycees sold jars of jelly to help raise money. The statewide organization adopted the idea, and the first Jaycee Jelly Week was held in January 1974. Chapters across the state raised nearly $150,000 by selling jelly for $1 a jar. Stackhouse bought the first jar for $10,000.
The NC Jaycee Burn Center offers over 20 years of service to the citizens of NC. Eric Munson, President and CEO of UNC Hospitals, says, “We tend to think of the Burn Center as a physical facility, but really it is a team of healthcare professionals who have been serving around the clock in probably the most stressful environment in the entire hospital. Tribute should be paid to the people of NC for making it possible.”