Dr. Sharo Raissi Honored with Precepts of Hippocrates Award
The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation exists today because a surgeon, Dr. Sharo S. Raissi, was
deeply touched by the plight of bicuspid aortic valve and thoracic aortic aneurysm and
dissection patients and families.
In recognition of this, the Board of Directors of the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation designated a
special award, which was presented to Dr. Raissi at the time of its 2005 Annual Meeting in
To be given only once by the Foundation, this award recognizes Dr. Raissi not only for his
care of patients in the tradition of Hippocrates, but also for his vision of a better future, from
which the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation emerged.
As expressed in its text, the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Precepts of Hippocrates Award was
given to Dr. Raissi
"in recognition of his compassion, skill, and unwavering commitment
to excellence in the treatment of thoracic aortic disease
and in gratitude for his visionary, courageous leadership
in establishing this Foundation".
Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Randall Griepp
The Foundation's first Distinguished Scientist Award was presented to Professor Randall B.
Griepp, MD, at a dinner in his honor on April 10, 2005 in San Francisco.
Dr. Griepp's numerous pioneering contributions to the surgical treatment of aortic aneurysm
and dissection in the chest have greatly advanced the ability to address even the most
difficult aspects of these conditions. His ground breaking paper on the aortic arch in 1975
opened the door of hope to those patients with arch aneurysms.
In addition to providing aortic surgical training to many residents, Dr. Griepp has been the
program director of the Aortic Surgery Symposium for many years. Since its inception this
Symposium has been invaluable, providing an international surgical forum focused solely on
the treatment of the thoracic aorta.
The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply grateful to Dr. Griepp for his tremendous
contributions in the United States, and through sharing his knowledge with other surgeons,
touching the lives of those with Thoracic Aortic Disease through out the world.
Bicupid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Nicholas Kouchoukos
Dr. Nicholas T. Kouchoukos of St. Louis, known through out the world for the quality and
integrity of his work, was the 2006 recipient of the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Distinguished
Scientist Award. When the award was presented, Dr. Randall Griepp and Dr. Sharo Raissi
both spoke of the many wonderful contributions Dr. Kouchoukos has made to aortic surgery.
In speaking of the great breadth of Dr. Kouchoukos' contributions in an era which has seen
tremendous progress, Dr. Randall Griepp pointed to one particular achievement of special
importance for those with bicuspid aortic valve disease: the "button" Bentall operation. Dr.
Griepp mentioned that the original Bentall technique for the aortic root, developed by Bentall
and Edwards, did not find wide application. It was not until Dr. Kouchoukos' development of a
"button" technique that this operation could be readily adopted by others. Learning from him,
surgeons around the world have used this button Bentall technique to achieve a durable
surgery on the aortic root.
Dr. Sharo Raissi particularly highlighted Dr. Kouchoukos' pioneering work in extending the
use of hypothermic circulatory arrest to protect the spinal cord during surgery on the
descending aorta. In speaking of his personal experience with this technique, Dr. Raissi said,
"We lived it, and as we grew up, you taught us how to protect the spinal cord. How to be
brave and extend hypothermic circulatory arrest to the descending aorta." Dr. Raissi
mentioned that many questioned whether this would work, but in his own practice it has
proven to be just what was needed, resulting in a clear improvement in survival, reduction of
paraplegia, and elimination of kidney failure. Dr. Raissi ended by saying, "We lived your
teachings, and through out many years, indirectly we all have benefited from you, and the
patients have benefited from you."
Creating a Climate of Hope, an Atmosphere of Caring, and Information for All
Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Teruhisa Kazui
At a dinner in his honor on April 11, 2008, Dr. Teruhisa Kazui, Professor Emeritus and
Honorary Director, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan, graciously accepted
the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation.
This award recognizes Dr. Kazui's contributions over many years to the advancement of
thoracic aortic surgery. His work on the most complex procedures in the chest, including
surgery of the aortic arch, has pioneered a path for surgeons through out the world and
positively touched the lives of patients every where.
The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply grateful for the support of Dr. Kazui, whose
courageous and highly skilled pioneering work is used in life-saving aortic surgeries
Bicuspid Aortic Foundation Honors Dr. Wouter Schievink
On May 26, 2010, Dr. Wouter Schievink received the Bicuspid Foundation’s Distinguished
Scientist Award, following his presentation on BAV and brain aneurysms. Present to honor
Dr. Raissi that day was BAF Board Member Carrie Mettler, pictured at left with Dr. Schievink
along with Dr. Sharo Raissi and BAF President Arlys Velebir. Dr. Schievink, in a highly
successful surgery, clipped the brain aneurysm behind Carrie’s left eye.
Dr. Schievink, who first published on BAV and brain aneurysm in the 1990’s, published an
important paper on BAV and aneurysm in May 2010, describing the incidence of brain
aneurysm in a study of 61 patients with BAV. The Bicuspid Aortic Foundation is deeply
grateful for his dedication to helping those with not only BAV and thoracic aneurysm, but also