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1938 - 2017

David M. Heimbach, MD, 1938-2017

In August 2017, Dr. David M Heimbach passed peacefully, surrounded by his loving family after bravely facing metastatic cancer. David was a proud member of the American Surgical Association from 1987, serving on the Flance/Karl Awards Committee from 2004-2009. Dr. Heimbach was legend in the national and international burn community for his cutting edge innovations in burn care. A member of the UW Medicine Department of Surgery for over three decades, David became the Director of the University of Washington Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center in 1976. As a constantly inquisitive surgeon-scientist, he was an early adopter of early burn wound excision and wound coverage with the mantra that burn teams should "do it right the first time."

Perhaps David's biggest legacy was his burn fellowship with which he trained a generation of over 25 burn fellows many of whom now serve as national and international leaders in burn care. His commitment to education extended to his longstanding authorship for the American College of Surgeons SESAP program and his 14-year tenure on the American Board of Surgery.

His many recognitions included the presidency of the American Burn Association and International Society of Burn Injuries, the ABA Harvey Stuart Allen Award for Distinguished Service and ABA President's Leadership Award, the Tanner Vandeput Boswick International Burn Award and the Dalai Lama's Unsung Heroes of Compassion Honoree.

David was known for his wry sense of humor and his holistic approach to patient care. Aside from making Harborview Medical Center an internationally recognized center for burn care, Dr Heimbach left an indelible legacy in the burn community that benefits all patients with burn injuries today.