With great sadness we announce the passing of Dr. Verne E. Chaney, the founder of Dooley Intermed International, Inc. and decorated Korean War battalion surgeon.
A graduate of Virginia Military Academy and Johns Hopkins University, at age 27 Verne Chaney enlisted in the Army the day after the Korean War started, becoming one of the most decorated medical doctors during the Korean War. Serving as a battalion surgeon in MASH and frostbite clinics, Dr. Chaney was wounded in the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge in Korea while working his way through a minefield with a bayonet in an effort to save three wounded medics. He was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry, and a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and French Croix de Guerre for his heroism.
Following his discharge from the Army, Dr. Chaney completed his residence in thoracic surgery at the University of North Carolina, then volunteered to work with Albert Schweitzer as Chief Surgeon at his hospital in Haiti. In 1960 he headed to Southeast Asia to help Tom Dooley “the jungle doctor” establish surgical procedures and train healthcare workers treating refugees displaced by war. Following Dooley’s untimely death the following year, Dr. Chaney gave up his private surgical practice to found the Dooley Foundation as a means to provide continuing care to people in need in the forgotten corners of the world. In 1971 he established Intermed Inc in Geneva as the international branch of the organization. In his long and dedicated career as President of Dooley Intermed, Dr. Chaney initiated, managed and supported medical programs in 14 countries in the far corners of the world. He was the recipient of numerous awards including Lao’s highest civilian awards, the Order of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol, the 1993 Distinguished Service Award, an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the first Sir Edmund Hillary Humanitarian Award from The Explorers Club in New York City.
Dr. Chaney is survived by his wife, Harriett, of Red Bank, NJ, and his sons, Christopher, of Elmyra, NY, and Steven and his daughter-in-law, Laurie, of San Francisco, CA. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Dooley Intermed at www.dooleyintermed.org