Skip to Main Content

Yale Surgery Legend Dr. Nina Horowitz Retires, 40-year Career Inspires Past and Future Generations

December 09, 2021
by Cecelia Smith

Dr. Nina Horowitz has retired, culminating more than 40 years of patient care, research, and mentorship as a Yale Medicine breast surgeon and clinician educator. She performed her last surgery at Yale New Haven Hospital on Nov. 10, 2021.

“Dr. Horowitz is widely respected for her expertise as a breast surgeon … and so much more. She is, foremost, a champion of patient-centered care as well as a generous teacher and friend to everyone who had the privilege of working with her — in and out of the OR,” said Division Chief of Surgical Oncology, Dr. Ronald Salem.

Dr. Horowitz is somewhat of a fixture at Yale — and to New Haven — having joined the community as a General Surgery resident in 1979 following her medical school training at Columbia University. Dr. Horowitz graduated to become one of the first female breast surgeons in the area. In 1984, she built a thriving community practice, before joining the Yale faculty in 2010. Over the years, Dr. Horowitz and her teams of residents, nurses, and partnering physicians, have served thousands of patients and families impacted by breast diseases.

“Everyone knows and admires Dr. Horowitz for the special, lasting relationships she develops with patients and their family members. She has a gift for communication and a real passion for partnering with her patients to navigate a diagnosis, and the medical system,” said Dr. Donald Lannin, a Yale colleague of more than 20 years.

Over 200 surgical residents and breast surgery fellows have studied the craft under Dr. Horowitz’ tutelage. She has received several esteemed awards for her dedication to education, including the 2010 C. Elton Cahow MD Teaching Award, and the Edward Storer MD Award for Excellence in Surgical Teaching.

In 2014 Dr. Horowitz received the Yale Cancer Center Award for Clinical Excellence, a true testament to her accomplishments. And in 2019, Dr. Horowitz was named the inaugural winner of the Walter E. Longo MD Award; the award recognizes one faculty member each year who has made a significant impact on the cultural legacy of the Yale Surgery community.

“Although we will deeply miss Dr. Horowitz, she leaves an incredible legacy that will be remembered for decades to come… fierce advocacy for excellence in patient care, tireless mentorship and education of Yale trainees, and her unparalleled spirit,” said Section Chief of Breast Surgery, Dr. Rachel Greenup.

In New Haven too, Dr. Horowitz and her husband (who she met during residency) continue to serve the community: The Horowitz and Sussman Family Fund, established in 2019, supports early childhood access to health care and education for local families.

Submitted by Stevi Kramer on December 10, 2021