Dismiss Modal

Patient Information

Meet Our Chest Wall Center Team

surgeons performing a procedureThe Chest Wall Deformity Center team works in collaboration with pediatric radiologists, pediatric cardiologists, and pediatric pulmonologists for evaluation; with pediatric anesthesiologists, adult cardiothoracic surgeons, and plastic surgeons for intraoperative care; and with pediatric intensivists, pediatric nurses, pediatric physical therapists for postoperative care. We have 24/7 access to a pediatric emergency department staffed by fellowship-trained pediatric emergency room physicians, should there be any sort of rare/unusual postoperative situation requiring urgent evaluation and/or treatment.



Dr. Phillips serves as the surgeon-in-chief of WakeMed Children's Hospital and the director of Pediatric Surgery for the physician practices of WakeMed Health & Hospitals. With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Phillips is board-certified in both general surgery and pediatric surgery. He earned his undergraduate degree in bioengineering from the University of California at San Diego, followed by earning his medical degree from the University of California at San Francisco and then completed his general surgery residency at the University of California - Los Angeles. He is fellowship-trained in both pediatric surgery and ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) therapy for critically-ill neonates. Throughout his career, Dr. Phillips has worked at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel-Hill and WakeMed Children’s Hospital. He brings decades of experience in the treatment of chest wall deformities, including pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, Poland’s Syndrome and other congenital chest wall problems.


Dr. David Hoover is a board-certified surgeon who brings more than 20 years of pediatric surgery experience from Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital in Concord, N.C., and Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He is board-certified in general and pediatric surgery as well as critical care. He earned his undergraduate degree in general science from Mississippi State University followed by a medical degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina State University. He is fellowship-trained in pediatric surgery, pediatric critical care and ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) surgery. Dr. Hoover has been performing complex chest wall surgeries for more than two decades, with a focus on exceptional patient outcomes.


Claire Gilbert is a pediatric nurse practitioner who provides care and education to patients and families about procedures, recovery and disease management. She began her medical career as a registered nurse, serving in numerous roles in both pediatric and adult trauma and surgery. Claire holds a master’s degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Pediatric Nurse Practitioner studies.


As a pediatric nurse practitioner, Julie works closely with WakeMed’s Chest Wall surgery team to provide pre- and post-operative care for surgical patients, working directly with patients and their families to provide education and coordinate services. Julie earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.; a bachelor's degree in nursing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a master's degree in nursing from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also graduated from the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program.


Dr. Alden Maier is a board-certified cardiothoracic and thoracic surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive thoracic surgery, which mainly involves surgical procedures of the lungs and esophagus, as well as other types of surgical procedures within the chest. Dr. Maier is fellowship-trained in cardiothoracic surgery and minimally-invasive thoracic surgery. She earned both her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill. Dr. Maier works in collaboration with our pediatric surgery team to help perform surgery on adults with chest wall deformities.


As a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon and the surgical director of the WakeMed Structural Heart Program, Dr. Bryon Boulton specializes in performing complex surgeries of the chest and heart. He is an award-winning researcher and has authored numerous articles and book chapters for prestigious medical publications. Dr. Boulton earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University in Oxford, OH and his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. He is board-certified in thoracic surgery. Dr. Boulton partners with our pediatric surgery team to perform complex chest wall surgeries in adults.