Rao R. Ivatury Award

The Rao R. Ivatury Award is awarded yearly at the Rao R. Ivatury Trauma Symposium for a person who exemplifies many of the attributes and beliefs that Dr. Ivatury cherish and upholds including:

  1. Long life commitment to SERVICE – for all who contribute for the care of injured including, students, nurses, pre-hospital providers, physician extenders, residents, attendings, and administrators.
  2. Long life commitment to quality EDUCATION – prehospital, nursing, medical
  3. Superior INTEGRITY in the care of the injured
  4. Profound HUMILITY in success
  5. Long life commitment for MENTORSHIP 

About Dr. Ivatury

Rao R. Ivatury was born in Kakinada, India, on April 24, 1947. He comes from a family of doctors. His father was a general practitioner in Medicine and Surgery, which is how all of the siblings found their interest. Dr. Ivatury attended P.R. Government College in Kakinada, India, and graduated from Andhra Medical College, the oldest school in Visakhapatnam, India, in 1969. He completed multiple
surgical residencies, first at the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, in 1974, and then in the Bronx, New York, at Misericordia-Lincoln Affiliation in 1980. Dr. Ivatury became Director of Trauma and Co-Director of the SICU at Lincoln Medical & Mental Health Center between 1987 and 1997. His love for Trauma and Critical Care stems from the two decades he spent in Fort
Apache, South Bronx, during one of its most violent times. This experience was the foundation for many of the concepts that he promulgated in these massively injured patients, e.g. “damage-control” surgery, the need for open abdomen management, the relevance of intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome, and tissue specific end-points of resuscitation.

In 1998, Dr. Ivatury moved to Richmond, Virginia, where he became a full Professor of Surgery and was appointed Chief of Trauma, Critical Care and Emergency Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center, a position he held until his retirement in 2012. Between 2000 and 2012, he also served as Director for the Center for Trauma and Critical Care Education, Program Director for the Paramedic Training Program and Program Director for the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship. During his tenure at VCU Medical Center, he elevated the VCU Trauma Program to new heights with national and international academic recognitions. He grew the full-time Trauma faculty from three to eight surgeons plus two emergency medicine/surgical critical care intensivists and graduated twelve surgical critical care fellows. Under his leadership, the VCU Trauma Center became a Virginia OEMS and ACS verified Level 1 Trauma Center, receiving close to 4,000 trauma admissions per year. In 2013, Dr. Ivatury was appointed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he will continue to do what he loves and cherishes the most—teaching surgical residents and students.

Despite his incredible achievements and active academic life, Dr. Ivatury was always available for the faculty and staff and earned the nickname “Trauma Master Jedi Yoda,” for his academic prowess, operative superiority, humble demeanor, and profound wisdom and knowledge. As a Master Surgeon, he is sought after from far reaching corners of the world, especially Latin America, where he is often invited to help operate on difficult and intriguing cases. He has always stated that his help was not truly needed and the response has always been, “We could not have done it without him.”

Dr. Ivatury has served on numerous boards and played a leadership role in many international and national surgical organizations. Dr. Ivatury has nearly 300 publications, 100 abstracts, thirty chapters and three books to his credit. He became a member of AAST more than twenty years ago, served on several committees, was the AAST representative for the Board of Governors of ACS and was the Vice President of AAST. He is a past President and Executive Director of the Panamerican Trauma Society (PTS) and is the current Chief Editor of PTS. He is a past President of the World Society of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. He has served on the editorial board of numerous prestigious journals and is currently the Chief Editor of the Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery.

Dr. Ivatury has received many awards and accolades, including the Fred Parker Award for pre-hospital education and leadership and the Arnold M. Salzberg Award in Surgery for superior integrity, leadership, teaching and clinical ability by Chief Residents of Surgery, VCU, in 2009. In 2011, he was named the B.W. Haynes Professor of Surgery, VCU School of Medicine. He was nominated for Richmond Top Docs on numerous occasions and served on the Virginia Governor’s Commission EMS Advisory Board.

In 1975, Dr. Ivatury was married to the beautiful Leela Kriplani, a retired Anesthesiologist. They have two sons, Gautam, who is currently CEO and co-founder of Arth Labs, Head of Product and co-founder of ArthImpact, and Chairman and co-founder of MeraDoctor, and Arun, who is Policy Director at Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They have five grandchildren (the 4th and 5th are twins). His hobbies include reading, gardening and enjoying his grandchildren.

Dr. Ivatury is regarded as an icon in Trauma Surgery. For a man who has reached the  pinnacle of success and earned the highest awards and recognition in his profession, he walks humbly and considers no encounter as small or unimportant. His methods of teaching to all members of the surgical team—especially the students, nurses, and pre-hospital providers—have earned him the utmost love, admiration and respect. For those of us who have been taught and molded by him, we submit our deepest gratitude. He taught us that greatness lies in what we give of ourselves—and in that, he stands as one of the greatest.