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Excellence in Community Service Awards

Giving back, every day: 3 surgeons win first-ever SVS Excellence in Community Service awards

Three outstanding surgeons have been selected to receive the SVS’ first-ever Excellence in Community Service Awards.

This prestigious annual award honors vascular surgeons who have been leaders in community service throughout their professional lives, who have gone far beyond the expectations for vascular surgeons, have had a strong civic presence and exhibited a lifetime of commitment to both vascular surgery and the community.

“Each of these awardees has dedicated his professional life and personal energy to his own local community, even though higher pay or more accolades might have been available in a larger city,” noted Dr. William Shutze. “If we are to ever fully address the shortage of vascular surgeons in parts of the country, it will be by encouraging more surgeons to follow these stellar examples of community service.”

The first three awardees will be honored at the SVS Foundation Gala at the Vascular Annual Meeting in mid-June. They are: Drs. Joseph Anain Sr., Carlo Dall’Olmo and Dr. Richard Lynn.

Is Dr. Anain in-house? Even if the problem was not vascular, that was likely to be the first question asked when the OR needed help. Usually, the answer was yes, he is, and his valuable insight was passed along immediately to his Buffalo, NY, colleagues. A consistent theme among all three of his nominators was his generosity with that most precious commodity – his own time – for students, residents and colleagues. For over 50 years, Dr. Anain Sr. has been generous with his time and knowledge, whether it was running the nursing education program at Sisters of Charity Hospital, serving as a pillar of the Buffalo area medical community, or mentoring the many students who rotated through. He also has been something of a legend. Stories abound of him reattaching the arm of a young boy who was mauled by a zoo bear and then made an amazing recovery, or operating for seven days and nights straight during a period of urban violence.

As a young college graduate, Dr. Anain immigrated to the U.S. after he spoke out against the oppressive government in his native Argentina and was labeled a rebel. He secured a general surgery residency at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo and went on to do one of the very first vascular fellowships.

Dr. Dall’Olmo’s emphasis on engaging the public has taken many turns over his career in Flint, Mich. In the 1980s, he and his partners were early champions of the concept of “best practices” that included standardized group protocols and new technologies. He offered free vascular health screenings long before they were popularized by Life Line Screening and worked to make theirs one of the first accredited labs in the country. He took staff and ultrasound machines to the state capitol in Lansing to screen elected officials and continues the screenings at the Michigan Vascular Center through a program he calls ASAP: Assess Your Risk for Stroke, Aneurysm and Peripheral Arterial Disease.

In 2008, he developed a blood pressure screening program to empower inner-city eighth-graders with knowledge about their own health after too many young African American males showed up in his clinic with renal failure.

He and his partners worked for four years to develop an accredited vascular fellowship program in Flint along with Michigan State University. He traveled the world in the ‘80s and ‘90s to make contacts that opened the doors for the Michigan Vascular Research Center to learn new interventional skills so that his group could participate in important aortic and carotid clinical trials.

Among his many other endeavors, he privately sponsored a local children’s ballet company. He also assisted at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany with treating wounded troops from Afghanistan.

Dr. Lynn. Nominators of Dr. Lynn attest to his voluminous volunteer efforts that range from serving on the board of directors of the American College of Surgeons Foundation for nine years, and with the historical Society of Palm Beach County, his synagogue and nine SVS committees.

He has held leadership positions in dozens of organizations. To name just a few: the South Florida Science Museum, Temple Emanu-el, the Greater South County Road Association, the Anti-Defamation League of Palm Beach County, and the Florida Vascular Surgery Society. The list is endless.

He has made several mission trips to Peru and Puerto Rico and has stepped up wherever he sees a need. As an example, on a holiday to the Caribbean a few years ago, he met a hotel worker who had a poorly fitting prosthetic. Dr. Lynn worked diligently to find the resources to get that young man a better leg. His rabbi notes that Dr. Lynn not only visits patients in the hospital and in nursing homes, but also visits them in their homes and drives people to doctor visits. He is still making mission trips, including a recent one to Puerto Rico.