Ralph C. Wilde Leadership Award
Recognizes a physician who demonstrates exceptional skill in their clinical care of patients and dedication to the ideals of the medical profession as teacher or profession leader.
James D. Luketich, MD, FACS
Dr. Luketich is the Director of the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Institute at UPMC. Dr. Luketich has dedicated his career to the care of cancer patients in Pittsburgh and developed innovative therapies. His most significant contribution has been the development and refinement of minimally invasive techniques to perform esophagectomy. Recently at the prestigious American Surgical Association, Dr. Luketich presented the results of nearly 1000 patients who had undergone minimally invasive esophagectomy at Pittsburgh, with a very low mortality rate, establishing Pittsburgh as a world leader in the care of these patients. He has pioneered image-guided therapies for lung cancer and published widely in the medical literature with more than 500 publications. He is the prestigious Henry T. Bahnson Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Luketich teaches minimally and advanced laproscopic and thoracoscopic surgical procedures in one of the largest residency programs in the country. Only the Texas Heart Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital train as many residents, and both Massachusetts General Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering send residents each year for specialized training.