M. Gage Ochsner

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Dr. M. Gage Ochsner, Jr. - SAVANNAH - Dr. M. Gage Ochsner, Jr. died peacefully at home on Friday morning with loved ones surrounding him. He was 59 years old. Gage loved life and lived it to it's fullest. He fought a tremendous battle and finally succumbed to lung cancer. He was born in New Orleans, LA to Dr. Mims Gage Ochsner, Sr. and Paddy Cousins Ochsner. He spent his youth living in New Orleans, Japan, Virginia, and Tulsa, OK. In 1975, he graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA degree in Chemistry. He completed his medical school education at Tulane University in 1979. During his medical school years he was awarded the United States Naval Reserve Health Professions Scholarship. He completed a surgical internship at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He completed his residency in surgery at the Naval Regional Medical Center in San Diego, CA. In 1985, Dr. Ochsner then became the Chief of General Surgery and Director of Intensive Care at the Naval Hospital at Subic Bay, Philippines. From 1988-1990, he completed a fellowship in Trauma Critical Care at the Washington Hospital Center under the tutelage of his longtime friend and colleague Dr. Howard Champion. Following his fellowship training he stayed on there to become an attending surgeon in trauma critical care and an Associate Professor of Surgery. In 1994, Dr. Ochsner was recruited by Dr. Carl Boyd to come to Savannah, Georgia to become Chief of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Memorial Health University Hospital. He became a full Professor of Surgery, and was then appointed as Academic Chairman of the Mercer University School of Medicine Department of Surgery in 2011. He continued to hold all of these positions until his death. He retired from the US Naval Reserve as a Captain (O6) serving 15 years active duty and 7 years in the Reserve. Dr. Ochsner served on numerous surgical society boards of directors and played a leadership role in many national surgical organizations. He was the president of the Ambrose Pare Society, the president of the Western Trauma Association, the president of the Georgia Surgical Society, the vice president of The American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, the vice president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress, and was the Secretary Treasurer of the Georgia Surgical Society. Dr. Ochsner authored more than 50 peer reviewed scientific publications and contributed eleven book chapters in major texts on trauma surgery. He was the principal investigator on four grant-funded studies at Memorial Health and directed fifteen separate educational courses in Savannah. During his tenure at Memorial Health University Hospital, Dr. Ochsner grew the Trauma Service from 900 admissions per year to 2,700 admissions per year, developed a respected and admired surgical critical care service, developed an Orthopedic Trauma Service, and expanded the full time Trauma Faculty from 3 to 9 surgeons. He served as president of the medical staff of Memorial Health in 2010 and 2011. He played a major role in the development of the statewide Georgia Trauma System. He received many awards and accolades including the Memorial Health Lifetime Achievement Award and the Georgia Medical Society Health Hero Award. A generous grant was donated in his name to develop the M. Gage Ochsner Institute for Injury Research and Prevention. Gage met his wife, best friend, and soul mate while they were both stationed in San Diego. They traveled together, hunted and fished together, and loved each other dearly until his last breath. He was a woodsman and a lover of the outdoors. Gage was passionate about hunting and fly-fishing, and raised his children to appreciate the same. He enjoyed his garden of home grown vegetables, jalapeno peppers, and citrus trees. He also enjoyed grilling self-cut rib eyes, spending time with good friends, cold drip coffee, and a quality single malt scotch. His most important accomplishment though, was the raising of his family. Gage was a gentle soul, and no one understood this more than his beloved Jack Russell Terriers, Tess and Charlotte. He was an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Judy Rochelle Ochsner, his daughter, Julia Katherine Ochsner of Chicago, and his two sons, Mims G. Ochsner, III (Trey) and Matthew Cousins Ochsner, both of Savannah. He is also survived by his mother, Paddy Cousins Ochsner, his sisters, Laura Ochsner and Corrine Ochsner Dalby, all of Tulsa, OK, and a sister, in Lecco Italy, Alexandra Ochsner Dubini. A special service for colleagues, coworkers, and friends associated with Memorial University Medical Center will be held at the Hoskins Center on Monday April 29th at 3 pm. Visitation is on Monday April 29th as well, from 6pm to 8pm, at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors on Hodgson Memorial Drive. In Lieu of flowers, please direct remembrances to Memorial Health Foundation, Ochsner Injury Institute, P.O. Box 23089-3089, Savannah, GA 31403 or St Thomas Episcopal Church, 2 St. Thomas Ave. Savannah, GA 31406. Savannah Morning News April 28, 2013
Published in Savannah Morning News on Apr. 28, 2013
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