SIR Foundation is proud to announce the 2007 recipient of its Leaders in Innovation award, Robert I. White, Jr., MD. This award recognizes and promotes innovation within the Society, acknowledging those individuals who have conceptualized and implemented an idea that has had a beneficial impact on the practice of interventional radiology. The innovation can be a device, technique, approach, or clinical practice model that has made a significant improvement in the quality of patient care or the economics of interventional radiology.
Robert White, MD, served SIR as president from 1984 to 1985 and has since continued to lead the specialty in clinical care and practice building. His concept of multi discipline care for the treatment of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) has been adopted by physicians across the globe and he has successfully organized 21 international HHT Centers and ten centers in North America. White is currently the Director of the Yale University Vascular Malformation Clinical and Research Group, a “center without walls” which includes physicians from seven medical disciplines. During his years at Johns Hopkins University, White participated in the development of four procedures new to the U.S.: occlusions of pulmonary arteriovenous malformation (PAVM), occlusion of varicocele, pulmonary valvuloplasty and balloon dilatation of coarctation restenosis.
White has authored 249 peer-reviewed publications and is a member of nine medical societies. He was awarded the SIR Gold Medal in 2000 and, in 2003, delivered both the Seventh Annual Charles J. Tegtmeyer Lecture at ISET and the David A. Dines Lecture at the Mayo Clinic. In 1985, White delivered the Eugene Pendergrass New Horizons lecture at RSNA, during which he stressed the importance of interventional radiologists caring for patients before, during and after a procedure. Michael Soulen, MD, Chair, SIR Foundation Research Education Division, described White by stating, “Bob’s distinguishing contribution is that while others talked, he created a formal clinical service within a major academic training center, published on its structure and success, and propagated it through the specialty.” Dr. White’s career has been a superior illustration of quality care and clinical practice, and he continues to teach by example, focusing on the importance of gathering a thorough patient history and making follow-up a part of every patient’s care.