Richard G. Azizkhan, MD
April 28, 2018 — The UVA Medical Alumni Association recognized Richard G. Azizkhan, MD, as co-recipient of its 2018 Walter Reed Distinguished Achievement Award during a presentation on April 28 in Charlottesville. Dr. Azizkhan received the award along with Joachim H. Tenuta, MD ’87.
Dr. Azizkhan has served as the president and CEO of Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, since 2015. He is also professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.
He spent his childhood in England, northern India and rural central Pennsylvania. His father George is a retired general surgeon and his mother Helga, a nurse, who later became a farmer.
He began his medical career at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. In 1976, he came to UVA, where he served as both resident and chief resident during his time in Charlottesville.
Prior to his current role in Omaha, Dr. Azizkhan previously served as surgeon-in-chief at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center for the 17 years. In Cincinnati, he was the Lester W. Martin Chair in Pediatric Surgery and professor of surgery and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. Prior to coming to Cincinnati, he also served as surgeon-in-chief as well as Division and Training Program Director of Pediatric Surgery at Buffalo Children’s Hospital from 1993-1998. He was the first pediatric surgeon and chief at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1985-1993).
Dr. Azizkhan has published extensively and authored more than 200 papers and chapters, and five books. His experience and innovations in the management of complex mediastinal airway disorders, surgical oncology, neonatal anomalies, chest wall deformities, vascular malformations, epidermolysis bullosa, esophageal disorders and pediatric trauma have led to international recognition and numerous awards.
Dr. Azizkhan has served in leadership roles in numerous national and international surgical organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics – Surgical Section, American Pediatric Surgical Association and the American College of Surgeons. He is the past president of the World Federation of Associations of Pediatric Surgeons. He has been active in establishing numerous international medical education exchange programs and medical humanitarian activities in Central Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
He was awarded an Honorary PhD from Tuzla University in 2001 and honorary citizenship of Tuzla in 2006 for his continuing contributions to improving the health system in Bosnia and all of the former Yugoslavian republics. He received the R. K. Gandhi Gold medal in 2005 from the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons for his impact globally.
“Dr. Azizkhan is arguably one of the most successful and influential graduates of our General Surgery Residency Program,” said R. Scott Jones, MD, professor emeritus at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Jones and fellow surgeon Bradley M. Rogers, MD, who both mentored Dr. Azizkhan at UVA, nominated him for the award.
Congratulations to Dr. Azizkhan on his distinguished career and on this well-deserved recognition.