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 Rockford, IL, Vascular Surgeon Provides "Hands-on" Support for the Troops

​September 30, 2011   Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson   312-334-2311

CHICAGO – Vascular surgeon, Michael Kikta, MD, of Rockford, IL, volunteered to spend two weeks treating wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.

“As a Navy general surgeon during Operation Desert Storm, I wanted to contribute my vascular surgery skills to help our wounded soldiers,” said Dr. Kikta.

The two-week volunteer experience provided Dr. Kikta with both personal and professional rewards. “The ability to care for the wounded has improved dramatically since Desert Storm,” he said. “Today's wounded soldiers receive state-of-the-art care from battlefield to stateside. Military trauma protocols allow for system-wide care at a very high level - something to be emulated in the civilian world.” 

Dr. Kikta’s time at LRMC resulted in a renewed appreciation for America’s military. “I learned some new wound treatment techniques. Likewise, I enjoyed the professional interaction with members of the highly-motivated military staff. I will probably volunteer again at LRMC although I hope the need for volunteer surgeons will stop soon.” 

It was from July 9 - 24, 2011 that Dr. Kikta volunteered as a vascular surgeon at LRMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center. The largest American hospital outside the United States, LRMC medical staff has treated more than 64,000 Wounded Warriors since 2001. 

Since Sept. 2007, 72 Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) members have volunteered to supplement the limited number of vascular surgeons at the medical center. “The Society for Vascular Surgery is proud to have provided continuous two-week rotations of vascular surgeons at LRMC for the past four years,” said 2011-2012 SVS President Dr. Richard Cambia. “As vascular surgeons, we help repair damaged arteries and veins of coalition military personnel in the Global War on Terror."

It was in 2006 that SVS member and retired U.S. Army Col. David Gillespie of the Office of the U.S. Army Surgeon General and professor of surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., asked Society members to share their medical expertise as volunteer surgeons at LRMC. Immediately, SVS members responded to support the troops. Currently, there is a waiting list of 2011-2012 SVS members desiring to volunteer at LRMC.
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the United States advocate for 3,500 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at® and follow SVS on Facebook and Twitter.

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