James S. Tweddell, MD
September 2, 1959 – July 1, 2022
It is with tremendous sadness that the WSPCHS observes the passing of its President, Dr. James Scott Tweddell after a heroic battle with brain cancer. Jim was a modern day giant in congenital heart surgery. His skills, intellect, and innovations were inspirational to surgeons around the world, and his passing is an enormous loss to our community.
A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, OH and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, he completed his surgical training at NYU and Washington University, Jim joined Dr. Bert Litwin at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in 1993. Over the subsequent twenty years, Jim established himself as an elite surgeon with unmatched technical prowess, exemplary outcomes, and impactful innovation. He rose to become Professor and Chief for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and S. Bert Litwin Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery while in Milwaukee. He published extensively, sharing these insights with the worldwide community and was highly respected for his intellectual honesty. He moved back to his hometown in 2015, assuming the role of Executive Co-Director and Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute and Professor, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In the workplace, he was patient-centric and was devoted to the education and training of the next generation. He held many leadership positions during his career, including tenures as Secretary-Treasurer of the CHSS and its 10th President, Director, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Director, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular. Jim was given the CHSS Lifetime Achievement award for his enormous contributions to our specialty on May 27, 2022.
Those who knew Jim well will remember him for his self-effacing humor, his ability to lead with grace and equanimity, his genuine humility, and his love of the banjo. A widely loved and respected colleague, his contributions will live on for years to come. He was a leader by example, a mentor, a role model, and a human being extraordinaire.
On behalf of the WSPCHS, we extend our sincere condolences to Jim’s wife, Susie and their three daughters Sarah, Alison, and Caroline. In lieu of flowers, in consultation with the Tweddell family, the CHSS will establish a Travelling Fellowship in Congenital Heart Surgery in Jim’s name. More details will follow about donations to this important legacy for Jim and his family.
David M. Overman
WSPCHS Governing Council Member, and President-Elect, CHSS