Azizkhan Wins RK Gandhi Gold Medal

Friday, December 02, 2005

CINCINNATI -- Richard Azizkhan, MD, surgeon-in-chief and director of the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has been awarded the R.K. Gandhi Gold Medal, the highest award of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (IAPS). The medal was presented during the 2005 IAPS Congress in Bangalore, India.

Dr. Azizkhan was nominated by Devendra K. Gupta, MD, immediate past president of the IAPS, in recognition of his work creating international medical exchange programs. The award also recognized Dr. Azizkhan's contributions as a clinical scientist, particularly for his work with hemangiomas and vascular malformations and airway reconstruction.

Dr. Azizkhan's international work began in 1995, when a colleague at the University of Buffalo recruited him to work at a United Nations field hospital in Bosnia after its devastating civil war. He became a leader in reconstructing the Bosnian health care system.

Since joining the staff of Cincinnati Children's in 1998, Dr. Azizkhan has greatly expanded his commitment to international education. He has trained pediatric surgeons in countries around the world, including India, and he has established formal relationships with universities and hospitals in countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

More than 300 medical, surgical and nursing professionals have come for training at Cincinnati Children's from Bosnia, China, Croatia, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Russia, Ukraine and other countries. Their stays range from a few weeks to lengthy visits. A pediatric surgeon from India will be arriving in 2006 for a two-year training experience. While here, many of the trainees live at the old Ronald McDonald House, where Cincinnati Children's now has a 13-room International Hotel.

"We recruit talented young people who are going to make a difference in their country," says Dr. Azizkhan. The home countries and institutions provide salary and transportation for the trainees to come here, and Cincinnati Children's provides lodging, food and support while they are in Cincinnati.

"Our goal," Dr. Azizkhan says, "is to make Cincinnati Children's internationally known as the premier place to train in pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties, nursing, hospital management and leadership development. When an institution has the resources and skills Cincinnati Children's has, we have an obligation to share our knowledge."

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, jim.feuer@cchmc.org, 513-636-4656