American Surgical Association Transactions

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1940 -2017


Dr. Richard Kempczinski earned his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross in 1962, then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated with honors in 1967. He completed an internship at University Hospitals in Cleveland, a general surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and served as a major in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Vietnam. Following his military service, Dr. Kempczinski began teaching surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and practiced surgery at hospitals in the Denver area.

Dr. Kempczinski came to Cincinnati from Denver in 1979 to become Professor and Chief of the Vascular Surgery Service. He developed the Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory at the University Hospital. He was a member of multiple societies, held many national and regional offices, and was President of the Midwestern Vascular Surgical Society. He published 135 scientific articles and chapters, and authored or co-authored several books.

Over the years, Dr. Kempczinski held visiting professorships at 17 prestigious universities and hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He received many awards and honors including the Alpha Omega Alpha and the Guthrie Award for outstanding research in vascular surgery. He was listed in The Best Doctors in America and served on the boards and councils of national societies and organizations, such as the American Board of Surgery and the American College of Surgeons. He also received millions of dollars in research grants, funding 20 separate studies.

In 1994, Dr. Kempczinski suffered an accident which left him paralyzed from the neck down; however, he continued his scholarly research in the field of vascular surgery. For his tireless dedication to healing, his intellectual rigor and the inspiration of his example of courage and acceptance, the College of the Holy Cross presented Dr. Kempczinski the Sanctae Crucis Alumni Award in 2000.

Dr. Kempczinski died on March 8, 2017, after a short bout of pneumonia.