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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 75  

A life of accomplishment

Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Director of HH Publications and Executive Coordinator for Research; Director, Non-Invasive Cardiology (1981-2014); Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Date of Web Publication4-Sep-2015

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.164455

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How to cite this article:
Hajar R. A life of accomplishment. Heart Views 2015;16:75

How to cite this URL:
Hajar R. A life of accomplishment. Heart Views [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Sep 27];16:75. Available from: https://www.heartviews.org/text.asp?2015/16/3/75/164455

We mourn the passing of Dr. Floyd D. Loop, a friend and a pioneer in cardiac surgery. He died at the age of 78, surrounded by family on June 11, 2015 at his home in Gates Mills, Ohio, USA. He led a life of accomplishment. He was a great man.

Dr. Loop graduated from Purdue University, Indiana, USA in 1962 and obtained his medical degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He served in the United States Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base, and later trained in cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 1970. He was named chairman of the department in 1975, and was appointed chief executive officer in 1989, a position he held for 15 years.

Dr. Loop's training in Cleveland coincided with the beginning of coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG), and he played an important role in its development and refinement, including publishing with his colleagues the landmark 1986 New England Journal of Medicine paper describing that the routine use of an internal mammary artery (IMA) graft, rather than exclusive use of saphenous vein graft (SVG) during coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) led to improved survival. It was the strength of the survival and other clinical benefits of an IMA graft identified in their publication, which led to the widespread increase in IMA use throughout the world. They established the superiority of using the internal mammary artery in CABG procedures.

Dr. Loop went on to perform more than 12,000 cardiac surgeries and to author more than 350 papers on all aspects of cardiovascular surgery. In addition to his leadership in establishing the internal mammary artery graft as the gold standard for CABG, he refined arterial grafting in other ways, improved reoperative techniques and led comprehensive follow-up studies of bypass patients. He also was instrumental in establishing the world's first computerized registry of cardiac surgery outcomes.

Over three decades as an active surgeon, Dr. Loop was named an honorary member of a dozen international medical organizations, served on the editorial boards of 15 medical journals, and taught at countless cardiology and surgical meetings around the world. In addition to serving as President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 1997-98, he was the honored guest lecturer at the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1998.

Dr. Loop was married to Dr. Bernadinve Healey, The first woman to direct the National Institute of Health and he was very proud of her. She earned her M.D. at Harvard Medical School in 1970, and completed her training in internal medicine and cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed her director of the National Institutes of Health. In 1995 she became the dean of Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health and professor of medicine from 1995 to 1999. She was appointed president and CEO of the American Red Cross in late 1999 until 2011. She also was president of the American Heart Association from 1998 to 1999. She died from brain tumor August 6, 2011.

Dr. Loop was named Cleveland Clinic's CEO in 1989 and soon after was elected Chairman of its Board of Governors, guiding Cleveland Clinic through an era of unprecedented growth and expansion. He was responsible for leading the Clinic to its present pre-eminence in cardiology and cardiac surgery and as a renowned health care center. Under his leadership, Cleveland Clinic was named one of America's 10 best hospitals for more than 10 years in a row in U.S. News & World Report's newly instituted "Best Hospitals" survey. Because of Dr. Loop, the stamp of Cleveland Clinic is known throughout the world as a center of excellence.

In 2009, he published a book, titled Leadership and Medicine. "I think physicians should lead health care institutions," he explains. "They can talk to fellow doctors better than business people can, and they can always learn business fundamentals."

Indeed, he was a man for all seasons. His death was a big loss for science and medicine. We shall miss him and we shall forever remember and honor his memory.

"To everything there is a season,

And a time to every purpose under the heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to get, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and time of peace."

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


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