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James B. Steichen

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James B. Steichen Obituary

James B. Steichen, M.D.

James Baptiste Steichen M.D. passed away on May 22, 2014 in Indianapolis. He was born in St. Joseph, MO September 23, 1941. He lived in many cities in the Midwest growing up due to his father's job with Standard Oil Company. Jim attended high school and college in Colorado and Medical School at the University of Illinois.

In 1968, Jim moved to Indianapolis for his orthopaedic residency at Indiana University and began his career and association with St. Vincent Hospital. It was also at St. Vincent Hospital in 1968, where he met his beloved wife, Joan.

In 1972, Jim finished his residency, and departed for Fort Sill, Oklahoma to serve in the US Army where he achieved the rank of major and Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery until the fall of 1974.

In 1974, Jim and Joan were married in Indianapolis at St. Luke's Catholic Church. After they were married, Jim continued his training and completed fellowships in Microvascular surgery in Melbourne, Australia, Hiroshima, Japan and San Francisco.

They returned to Indianapolis in 1975 whereupon he co-founded Hand Surgery Associates of Indiana, which later became the Indiana Hand Center. He also performed the first replantation surgery of toe to thumb in the midwest.

Jim served on the clinical staff of every hospital in Indianapolis, served as attending staff at many clinics at the IU School of Medicine as a volunteer educator and was appointed a Full Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery.

At St. Vincent Hospital, he was appointed chairman of the Department of Hand Surgery and served as Surgeon in Chief from 1991 - 1997, and recognized in 1998 with the Distinguished Physician Award.

In the field of Hand and Microvascular surgery, he served as President of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery as well as the International Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery. He also served on the Executive Council for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and Vice President of the Pan Pacific Surgical Association

In the Indianapolis community, Jim was involved with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for many years and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2 terms. He was also President of the American Pianists Association, Trustee at Large for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Medical History Museum. In 1999, he was recognized with the Otis R. Bowen Physician Community Service Award and the Physician Community Service Award. He also was also awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, the state of Indiana's highest award, by Gov. Evan Bayh in 1993 and again by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2006.

Since 1992, Jim also served as the Honorary Consul of Luxembourg.

He is survived by his wife Joan, his children, Brooke and Jimbo, his sister Kate and brother Michael (Teri) and nieces Amy, Lisa and Laura and nephew Tommy.

Jim had many passions in life and lived life to the fullest. He set a high standard for everything he did. He will always be remembered for his love of travel, antique cars, fine wine, art, watches, canes, knowledge of hand surgery and the endless collection of hand memorabilia around his home and office. He was known as a skilled negotiator. He will always be remembered for his generosity, sincerity, love of family and friends and his jokes and stories always told with a dash of his dry wit!

A celebration of life service will be held on Wednesday May 28, 2014 11:30 a.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church 7575 Holliday Drive East, Indianapolis, IN 46260. Visitation will be held on Tuesday May 27, 2014 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery . In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, The of Indiana, or the St. Vincent Foundation.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on May 25, 2014
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