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Legendary Houston Heart Surgeon Wins a Prestigious National Award — Bud Frazier and Texas Heart Institute Celebrate

A True Medical Pioneer

BY // 07.30.21

There was much to toast when Dr. O.H. “Bud” Frazier was fêted by the Texas Heart Institute at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. The celebration was in honor of the legendary surgeon’s receipt of the prestigious 2021 Scientific Achievement Award from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Perhaps unexpectedly on that very day, U.S. News & World Report named the medical institution the highest-ranking heart care center in Houston.

Champagne glasses raised in one hand, masks in the other, Texas Heart Institute notables, friends, and associates celebrated the surgeon and THI in the intimate reception held in the Ansary Atrium at the Denton A. Cooley Building.

The award was established in 1994 to honor those who have distinguished themselves with significant scientific contributions in the arena of thoracic surgery. It is considered the highest recognition that the association bestows. Previous Houston recipients include two of the most distinguished cardiac surgeons in the history of the field — Dr. Michael DeBakey (1999) and Dr. Denton Cooley (2000).

Considered one of the top transplant and mechanical circulatory support surgeons in the world, Frazier has dedicated more than 40 years to improving the treatment of severe heart failure and advancing heart transplantation and artificial devises that substitute or assist with the pumping action of the human heart.

“As the cornerstone of one of the most dominant and innovative cardiac programs in the world, Dr. O.H. Frazier is a true cardiovascular pioneer whose impact on patients and the specialty is immeasurable,” Dr. Marc Moon, president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, notes in the THI newsletter.

“The leadership, innovation, and ingenuity that he has modeled throughout his career have revolutionized the field of heart transplantation and cardiac assisted devices. It is truly a distinct honor of my career for the opportunity to present the 2021 Scientific Achievement Award to Dr. Frazier.”

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Dr. Billy Cohn, Eric Wade_courtesy of Joe Brewton & THI
Dr. Billy Cohn, THI board chair Eric Wade at the Texas Heart Institute event honoring Dr. O.H. ‘Bud’ Frazier. (Photo courtesy of Joe Brewton, THI)

Joining the chorus of praise for Frazier were THI board chair Eric Wade; THI president and CEO Dr. Joseph Rogers; Dr. Alan Speir, director of cardiac surgery a Inova Medical Group; and former first lady of Houston Elyse Lanier, who presented the surgeon with a City of Houston proclamation on behalf of Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“Being recognized by one’s peers is something I value to the utmost degree,” Frazier says. “It is an honor to join two of my mentors, Doctors Cooley and DeBakey, in receiving the Scientific Achievement Award. Any award that includes even one of them, let alone both, among its recipients is one that anyone in the medical field would feel immeasurable.”

PC Seen: Dr. Billy Cohn, Dr. James Emerson, Dr. Stephanie Coulter, Dr. David Ott, Dena and Don Houchin, David Grimes, Elizabeth Youngblood, Dr. Joseph Coselli, Shafik Rifaat, Mimi Swartz, and John Wilburn.

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