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Dr. Sharo Raissi Honored with Precepts of Hippocrates Award

The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation exists today because a surgeon, Dr. Sharo S. Raissi, was deeply touched by the plight of bicuspid aortic valve and thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection patients and families. In recognition of this, the Board of Directors of the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation designated a special award, which was presented to Dr. Raissi at the time of its 2005 Annual Meeting in April. To be given only once by the Foundation, this award recognizes Dr. Raissi not only for his care of patients in the tradition of Hippocrates, but also for his vision of a better future, from which the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation emerged. As expressed in its text, the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Precepts of Hippocrates Award was given to Dr. Raissi "in recognition of his compassion, skill, and unwavering commitment to excellence in the treatment of thoracic aortic disease and in gratitude for his visionary, courageous leadership in establishing this Foundation".

 Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Randall Griepp

The Foundation's first Distinguished Scientist Award was presented to Professor Randall B. Griepp, MD, at a dinner in his honor on April 10, 2005 in San Francisco. Dr. Griepp's numerous pioneering contributions to the surgical treatment of aortic aneurysm and dissection in the chest have greatly advanced the ability to address even the most difficult aspects of these conditions. His ground breaking paper on the aortic arch in 1975 opened the door of hope to those patients with arch aneurysms. In addition to providing aortic surgical training to many residents, Dr. Griepp has been the program director of the Aortic Surgery Symposium for many years. Since its inception this Symposium has been invaluable, providing an international surgical forum focused solely on the treatment of the thoracic aorta. The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply grateful to Dr. Griepp for his tremendous contributions in the United States, and through sharing his knowledge with other surgeons, touching the lives of those with Thoracic Aortic Disease through out the world.

Bicupid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos 

Dr. Nicholas T. Kouchoukos of St. Louis, known through out the world for the quality and integrity of his work, was the 2006 recipient of the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award. When the award was presented,  Dr. Randall Griepp and Dr. Sharo Raissi both spoke of the many wonderful contributions Dr. Kouchoukos has made to aortic surgery. In speaking of the great breadth of Dr. Kouchoukos' contributions in an era which has seen tremendous progress, Dr. Randall Griepp pointed to one particular achievement of special importance for those with bicuspid aortic valve disease:  the "button" Bentall operation. Dr. Griepp mentioned that the original Bentall technique for the aortic root, developed by Bentall and Edwards, did not find wide application. It was not until Dr. Kouchoukos' development of a "button" technique that this operation could be readily adopted by others. Learning from him, surgeons around the world have used this button Bentall technique to achieve a durable surgery on the aortic root. Dr. Sharo Raissi particularly highlighted Dr. Kouchoukos' pioneering work in extending the use of  hypothermic circulatory arrest to protect the spinal cord during surgery on the descending aorta. In speaking of his personal experience with this technique, Dr. Raissi said, "We lived it, and as we grew up, you taught us how to protect the spinal cord. How to be brave and extend hypothermic circulatory arrest to the descending aorta." Dr. Raissi mentioned that many questioned whether this would work, but in his own practice it has proven to be just what was needed, resulting in a clear improvement in survival, reduction of paraplegia, and elimination of kidney failure. Dr. Raissi ended by saying, "We lived your teachings, and through out many years, indirectly we all have benefited from you, and the patients have benefited from you."

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Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Teruhisa Kazui

At a dinner in his honor on April 11, 2008, Dr. Teruhisa Kazui, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Director, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan, graciously accepted the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation. This award recognizes Dr. Kazui's contributions over many years to the advancement of thoracic aortic surgery. His work on the most complex procedures in the chest, including surgery of the aortic arch, has pioneered a path for surgeons through out the world and positively touched the lives of patients every where.   The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply grateful for the support of Dr. Kazui, whose courageous and highly skilled pioneering work is used in life-saving aortic surgeries performed today.

 Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Wouter Schievink

On May 26, 2010, Dr. Wouter Schievink received the Bicuspid Foundation’s Distinguished

Scientist Award, following his presentation on BAV and brain aneurysms. Present to honor

Dr. Raissi that day was BAF Board Member Carrie Mettler, pictured at left with Dr. Schievink

along with Dr. Sharo Raissi and BAF President Arlys Velebir.  Dr. Schievink, in a highly

successful surgery, clipped the brain aneurysm behind Carrie’s left eye.

Dr. Schievink, who first published on BAV and brain aneurysm in the 1990’s, published an important paper on BAV and aneurysm in May 2010, describing the incidence of brain aneurysm in a study of 61 patients with BAV.  The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply grateful for his dedication to helping those with not only BAV and thoracic aneurysm, but also brain aneurysms.
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