November 2, 2007

Pediatrics academy honors O’Neill’s skills, contributions

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James O'Neill Jr., M.D.

Pediatrics academy honors O’Neill’s skills, contributions

James A. O'Neill Jr., M.D., J.C. Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Emeritus, at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, received the William E. Ladd Medal at last week's 2007 National Conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Francisco.

The award, established in 1954, recognizes an individual who has significantly advanced the surgical care of children. The Ladd Medal was named in honor of William E. Ladd, M.D., considered the father of pediatric surgery in the United States. Only 32 Ladd Medals have been given since the award's inception.

“Jim O'Neill is a friend and a colleague, but most of all, he is one of the country's finest pediatric surgeons,” said Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice-chancellor for Health Affairs. “The Ladd Medal is a distinguished honor and Jim is certainly deserving of this recognition.”

O'Neill, who also serves as director of Clinical Program Development and Education for the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, is the only Vanderbilt surgeon to receive the award.

O'Neill received his medical degree from Yale University, where he was later named a distinguished alumnus. He was an instructor and chief resident in Surgery at Vanderbilt Medical School from 1964-1965.

He served as chief of Pediatric Surgery from 1971-1981 and chief of the medical staff from 1976-1977 at VUMC. From 1981-1995, O'Neill served as surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and C.E. Koop Professor of Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to Vanderbilt in 1995 as chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences and surgeon-in-chief at VUMC.

“Jim O'Neill is an icon of American pediatric surgery who has contributed greatly to this field through his exceptional clinical practice, outstanding leadership, research, scholarly productivity and his generous mentoring of young surgeons and students,” said Dan Beauchamp, M.D., J.C. Foshee Distinguished Professor of Surgery and chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences at VUMC. “I can think of no one who is more deserving of this great national recognition.”

O'Neill is a member of many medical societies and national committees. He has authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, given more than 500 invited lectures and presentations and authored several editions of “Pediatric Surgery.”