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July 6, 2006

Obituary: Eugene S. Wiener

Eugene S. Wiener, professor of pediatric surgery at the School of Medicine and executive vice president and chief medical officer at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, died unexpectedly at his home in Squirrel Hill June 29, 2006. He was 66.

Wiener had a long-standing interest in the management of children with cancer. His involvement included serving on the Children’s Oncology Group, the nation’s largest clinical research organization devoted to pediatric cancer. He also had received several research grants to investigate aspects of pediatric cancer treatment and had published extensively on surgical oncology and venous access, including more than 85 journal articles.

As chief physician for quality and patient safety issues at Children’s, Wiener helped lead recent hospital-wide efforts to improve patient quality of care, including the 2002 implementation of a computerized physician order-entry system that gives physicians instant access to information about patients and medications.

“All of the staff here at Children’s are deeply saddened by the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene’s family as they go through this difficult time,” said Roger A. Oxendale, Children’s president and chief executive officer. “He will be sorely missed by all of us who had the privilege of working with him. Gene was a great colleague and friend, and I have learned so much from him over the years. Children’s will not be the same without him.”

Wiener also played a key role in the development and design of Children’s new location in Lawrenceville, Oxendale added.

Wiener earned his medical degree in 1964 at the Medical College of Virginia. Following a surgical internship at that college’s hospital, he entered the military in 1966. During his two-year service, Wiener served as a surgeon at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and as a commander and deputy chief health officer in Vietnam.

He came to Children’s in 1972 as assistant pediatric surgical resident. He was named professor of pediatric surgery in 1992 and was appointed medical director at Children’s in 2001. His appointments at the medical school and the hospital included chief of the Department of Pediatric Surgery and surgeon-in-chief.

Wiener was a member of numerous professional societies and held several national positions, including adviser to the American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) revenue update committee, president of the southwestern chapter of the American College of Surgeons and Pittsburgh Surgical Society, president of the pediatric surgical directors program, member of the APSA board of governors, state chair of the Commission on Cancer and governor of the American College of Surgeons.

Among his professional awards was the 2004 Ralph C. Wilde Award from the Allegheny County Medical Society.

Wiener is survived by two sons, Jeff of Belize and Justin of San Francisco.

Memorial contributions may be made in Wiener’s name to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, 3705 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh 15213.

A memorial service is being planned.

—Peter Hart

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