GERMANTOWN, NY, June 14, 2019 — Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to honor Dr. George Reed as a Top Doctor. An accomplished listee, Dr. Reed celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Best described by Donald Smith, Dean Emeritus of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, as “scholar, surgeon and healer,” George E. Reed DVM, MD devoted over 60 years to the practice of health care and philanthropy. A physician in the Oslerian tradition, his hands, mind and heart would be imprinted upon thousands of patients, either directly or through the physicians he trained to follow those principles he taught and embodied.
Born in 1923, he entered Cornell University in 1939 as recipient of a tuition scholarship, intent on becoming an engineer. As an undergraduate, he tutored in math, captained the Varsity Fencing Team, won the intracollegiate championship for 3 successive years, (retiring the Iron Man Trophy of Georges Comte) and was the instructor for the Women's Fencing Program for 2 years after Coach Comte left to join the Free French Army in World War II.
Received a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell's University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1944 and was discharged from the Army Specialized Training Program. He waived his deferment from the draft and enlisted in the Army as a private. After completing basic training, he was transferred to Field Artillery OCS but was commissioned in the Veterinary Corps for the duration of the war, during which time he established a school for training Veterinary Corp technicians. In 1947, he was separated from the Army as a Captain.
In the Fall, he entered the NYU-Bellevue College of Medicine, from which he received his MD degree in 1951. Surgical residency was completed in 1956 at which time he was appointed Fellow in Surgery with a modest fund and a mandate to establish a Large Animal Surgical Laboratory in which to develop an Open Heart Surgery Program. The first Open Heart Operation in April 1959 led to one of the most successful programs in NY. His appointment as the Cardiac Surgeon for Bellevue's Thursday Night Cardiac Clinic assured patients free surgical care without sacrificing their daily wages. As the Cardiac Surgeon for Irvington House (one of the earliest centers for treating children with rheumatic fever before artificial heart valves were available), he was successful in developing techniques for repairing valves with autologous and cryoconserved tissues, techniques applicable in adults as well.
The Large Animal Surgical Laboratory pursued an early interest in support of the failing myocardium as a result of changes in the metabolism; mechanical support of the left ventricle; the successful protocol for “counterpulsation”; transmission of electrical energy through the intact skin to energize ventricular assistance, without increasing infections; techniques for repair of cardiac valves; preservation and use of autologous tissue before mechanical valves were available. Additional areas of special interest and success were coronary bypass grafting utilizing both internal mammary arteries, and the use of magnification with binocular loupes were introduced and popularized.
He served at NYU-Bellevue as Professor of Surgery, Director of the Surgical Residency Program, Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory.
In 1977 the Federal HSA designated the newly built Westchester County Medical Center as a tertiary care hospital for the mid-Hudson Valley. Dr. Reed was recruited to establish a Cardiac Surgical Service there to serve this 7-county area with a population of 3 million. This rapidly became one of the busiest cardiac surgical services in the state because it operated on all patients who could benefit from surgery regardless of ability to pay or severity of disease.
At Westchester, he served as Professor of Surgery, Chief of Cardiac Surgery and Vice Dean of New York Medical College. The last 12 years were spent as Medical Director of this 1,000-bed public medical center and as Vice Dean of the Medical College, two positions for which he declined compensation to avoid the probability of conflict of interest as Medical Director with his position as president of The Medical Faculty Health Alliance (the full-time staff and faculty organization, which he was instrumental in founding).
Altruistic goals were evident from the beginnings of his career: training followed by surgical practice and teaching primarily in public hospitals such as Bellevue Hospital and Westchester County Medical Center, where he had continuing exposure to poverty in health care.
When he became aware of the inability of trained cardiac surgeons to establish programs in their home countries because of the lack of infrastructure, he invited those surgeons to bring the components of an open-heart team to Westchester for one or more months of one-on-one training in the pre- and post-op cardiac units and as spectators in the OR. (They practiced surgical techniques in the laboratory.) After this intensive training, they returned home with instructions to duplicate the infrastructure and to select two dozen patients suitable for operation. Westchester Teams (volunteers who waived vacation time) were then sent for two-week periods. The operations and post-op care were performed entirely by the local team, visitors only providing consultations with no hands-on participation. Meticulous selection and exquisite intra- and post-op management resulted in 100% survival and the momentum to go forward with positive anticipation. This program, or a close variation, was successful in Greece, Albania, Armenia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Thailand, Borneo, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Beijing, Xian, Nanning, Kunming. An offshoot of this program was used by Dr. Saw Huat Seong of Singapore to provide the same assistance to hospitals in other remote areas of China and Southeast Asia.
NYU-Bellevue Medical Center:
Chair, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
Dr. John H. Mulholland Fellowships
Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences:
Thelma Bilik Reed Carrel, Uris Library
George E. Reed Chair, Writing and Rhetoric
Elizabeth E. Reed Fund for Library Development: Laboratory for Preservation of Rare Book and Manuscripts,
Rare Book and Manuscript Reading Room
Westchester County Medical Center
Heart Center Research Fund
Program to Establish Heart Surgery in Third World Countries
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