Pioneer heart surgeon and philanthropist Allan Lansing dies at 92

Allan Lansing, MD, PhD, a veteran cardiac surgeon, died on July 17, 2022. He was 92 years old.

Lansing performed the first coronary artery bypass and the first kidney transplant in the state of Kentucky, according to a loving tribute published in the Louisville Courier-Journal. He also authored or co-authored more than 130 papers in a variety of medical journals and textbooks, founded the school of nursing at Bellarmine University, helped set up intensive care units throughout the city of Louisville and assisted with the second artificial heart transplantation in the United States.

Lansing’s career began back in 1953, when he graduated from medical school and immediately started a residency in surgery and worked to earn his PhD in physiology. He went on to serve as a professor of surgery at the University of Louisville, becoming chief of cardiovascular surgery there in 1967, before entering private practice.

Lansing was also a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (Lansing was born in Canada in 1929), American College of Surgeons and American College of Cardiology. In November 1991, President George H. W. Bush recognized Lansing as one of his Daily Points of Light. He also volunteered throughout the world, performing life-saving procedures on children in countries such as the Dominican Republic and Panama.

According to a separate tribute from Bellarmine University, Lansing said he hoped to be remembered as “a very good surgeon and a very caring person.”

“I tried as much as possible to treat the patient not as a patient, but as a person that I knew and understood,” he said, as quoted by the university. “I just talked to them like a member of the family.”

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