Gerald B. Healy
MD, FACS, FRCSEng (h), FRCSIre (h)
Dr. Healy became the Chief of Otolaryngology and the first Healy Chair at Children’s Hospital Boston in 1976. Beginning with one part-time surgeon and a part-time assistant with a single office and two exam rooms, Dr. Healy helped build one of the pre-eminent pediatric otolaryngology departments in the world, which today has 16 full-time physicians and 170 employees, 25,000 square feet of clinical space in three locations and a fully-funded NIH research laboratory. Under his leadership, the department became the world-leader in pediatric otolaryngology, introducing renowned innovations in airway surgery, laser surgery, surgical augmentation for hearing impaired children and pediatric head and neck cancer surgery.
Dr. Healy has always had a passion for teaching and teamwork, and his department at Children’s Hospital became the major pediatric training location for all three of Boston’s otolaryngology training programs (Harvard, Boston University and Tufts). He started the second U.S. pediatric otolaryngology fellowship program in 1977, which to date has trained 72 surgeons, many of whom have become current leaders in the surgical world, and which is considered the premier program globally. The American College of Surgeons continues Dr. Healy’s tradition of teaching excellence with a mentoring program named in his honor, The Gerald B. Healy Traveling Mentorship Award.
Dr. Healy has an in-depth understanding of the realities that surround running surgery centers and hospitals – in 1996 he was asked to serve as Surgeon-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital, and in 2007 was elected President of the American College of Surgeons. He also served as Executive Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology and was a founding member of the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators – he is the only Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck surgeon so honored.
One of the two principal surgeons on the OR Dx + Rx leadership team, Dr. Healy has extensive experience in team building and behavior management in the operating room. His interest in and work with surgical teams around the world on issues related to perioperative care and surgical quality led him to co-found OR Dx + Rx, and his passion for patient care, teaching and team building drives his work with OR Dx + Rx clients.
Dr. Healy lives in Massachusetts with his wife Anne, and enjoys spending time with his four grandchildren, supporting Boston College’s Eagles on the gridiron and the ice, and cheering on the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. He continues to teach and mentor, and is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and a former trustee at Boystown in Omaha, Nebraska.
Article highlight: On a flight in 2004, Dr. Healy sat next to a United Airlines pilot, and learned about the teamwork system used for safety at United. Dr. Healy helped the American College of Surgeons adopt that protocol for operating rooms – you can read more about that interesting collaboration here: Healy GB, Barker J, Madonna G. Error reduction through team leadership: Seven principles of CRM applied to surgery. Bull Am Coll Surg. 2006; 91(2):24-26.