MINT HILL, NC – On Monday, June 13, Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center gave a “Hero’s Welcome” to Dr. Charles Munyon, who recently returned from a four-month deployment to the Role 3 Medical Center in the army in the diplomatic security of Baghdad. Compound, where he served as part of Task Force Med 16 in support of Operation: Inherent Resolve.
Munyon was made a captain in the Army Reserve Medical Corps in April 2007. “I was first attached to the Army Personnel Management Command,” he explains, “and then to 1487e Head and neck augmentation team. I was promoted to major in 2014 and lieutenant colonel in August 2021.”
In the United States, Munyon performs incisionless brain surgery at Novant Mint Hill Medical Center. ‘No-incision brain surgery’ may look like something straight out of star trek, but in reality, it involves using high-intensity sound waves to create small lesions in the brain that can be used to disrupt pathological circuits. Currently, the technique is FDA-approved to treat essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, but it’s being studied for the treatment of chronic pain, epilepsy, and even psychiatric disorders. “Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center is currently the only active focused ultrasound treatment site in North or South Carolina, and even extends as far south as Georgia,” Munyon says.
Whether he’s serving his country in Baghdad or performing cutting-edge surgery at Novant’s focused ultrasound treatment site, Munyon’s motivations are the same: to make a difference. “I went into medicine because I couldn’t think of a better way to make a difference in people’s lives while continuing to explore my passion for science, especially neuroscience,” he says. “I joined the military because there was a great need for neurosurgical expertise and because I was inspired by the example of one of my medical school mentors, Major John Pryor , MD.”
“Major Pryor was a trauma surgeon and critical care specialist, as well as an exceptional teacher,” Munyon continues. “He was a big part of both my decision to go for surgery (albeit neurosurgery rather than trauma surgery) and to join the military. Sadly Major Pryor was killed on his third deployment by a rocket attack on his facility near the Iraqi city of Mosul. I often think of him.”
Munyon was surprised and delighted to receive such a warm welcome at Novant. “I was caught off guard!” he’s laughing. “I had no idea my comeback was going to be made, let alone the kind of reception I received. Novant has provided tremendous support for the programs I have set up here in Charlotte,” he continues, “including the laser ablation and deep brain stimulation programs at Presbyterian Hospital and the focused ultrasound program here. at Mint Hill Medical Center, but I was absolutely appalled by the gesture. It’s one of the many things that makes me love working here.