IHPBA Distinguished Service Award

IHPBA Distinguished Service Award 2016 - Dr C. Wright Pinson

The 2016 IHPBA Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Dr C. Wright Pinson

C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD graduated with distinction in Physics from University of Colorado in 1974.  While an engineer for IBM, he completed a Master’s in Business Administration (finance) in 1976.  A 1980 graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he trained in general (OHSU), hepatobiliary (Lahey Clinic), and transplant surgery (Harvard/Deaconess Hospital). He is boarded in surgery and critical care and is a fellow in American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Pinson was promoted to Professor of Surgery two years after completing training. He has held a very many important posts over his career including H. William Scott Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Program Director of the Vanderbilt General Surgery Residency, Chief of Staff of the Vanderbilt Hospitals, and Chief Medical Officer.  Dr. Pinson started the first liver transplantation program in the Pacific Northwest, the first liver transplantation program in the V.A. system, and was then recruited to Vanderbilt University to start the liver transplant program and liver surgery division in 1990. While he was the Director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center for 18 years, 6500 transplants of all types were performed. 

Since 2009, Dr. Pinson is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs and, Chief Executive Officer of the Vanderbilt Health System. This integrated system includes 2,000 academic clinical physicians, 4 hospitals with 62,000 admissions/yr, 65,000 operations/yr, 100 outpatient clinics with 2.1 million visits/yr, and a budget of $3.2 billion/yr. The system has grown 35% during his tenure. Starting 2011, he helped organize the fastest growing provider network in the nation, becoming President and Chairman of the Board of the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network, a 50 hospital affiliated system covering the state of Tennessee.

In 2008 Dr Pinson co-founded the Masters in Management in Health Care program and is a Professor in the Graduate School of Business. He has also been an active clinical and laboratory investigator in transplantation surgery leading to 300 publications. He has supervised 35 Research Fellows since 1988, received numerous grants and the Grant Liddle research mentoring award.  He has been active in myriad organizations, serving as President and on the boards for many including the editorial board of 4 surgical journals. In 2012 he received the TJ Martell Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2015 the AHPBA Distinguished Service Award.

Dr Pinson has enthusiastically served the IHPBA for many years.  He first joined our predecessor association, IHBPA, in 1988 and during the 1990s he became key to the success of our Americas regional association, the AHPBA, where he has served as treasurer, chair of the development committee, and president 2003-5.  For the IHPBA, he has served on the Scientific Program Committee, Membership Committee, the Warren Foundation Board, the Nominating Committee, the IHPBA Council for 14 years, the Executive Committee for 10 years, Treasurer, and as President from 2010-2012.  He chaired the IHPBA World Congress in 2004, in Washington DC.  Notable aspects of that congress were parallel sessions for anaesthesiologists and interventional radiologists as well as welcoming speeches by the US Surgeon General and a US Senator with major healthcare expertise.  However, as well as the undoubted educational and financial success of that congress, another highlight was a performance by the Band, Soul Incision, with Dr Pinson on drums.

Dr Pinson also provided invaluable assistance and support for the successful IHPBA World Congress in Buenos Aires in 2010, and played a pivotal role in negotiating publication contracts for our journal HPB. 
Dr Pinson’s contribution both to the field of HPB surgery and to the IHPBA cannot be overstated. 

The award was presented on 22nd April at the General Assembly of the 12th IHPBA World Congress 2016, São Paulo, Brazil.


IHPBA Distinguished Service Award 2015 - Professor Jacques Belghiti

Professor Belghiti was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1948. He graduated from the University of Medicine, Paris in 1974, qualified as a surgeon in 1980 and became a Professor of Surgery in 1988. He became a First Class surgeon in 1995, an Exceptional Class surgeon in 2008, and was further recognised with the honour of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2003 and five years later, Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite. 

He was the Head of the HepatoBilioPancreatic Surgery and Liver Transplantation department in Beaujon Hospital, University of Paris, for 20 years, until 2014. In addition Professor Belghiti is the author of more than 70 book chapters and is co-editor of the highly acclaimed specialty reference book, Surgery of the Liver, Biliary Tract and Pancreas edited by Blumgart. He is also a member of numerous editorial boards; international associations of surgery and, as an honorary member, many national societies including the prestigious American Surgical Association. In 2014 he was nominated by the President of France to the board of the High Authority for Health, where he chairs the evaluation committee of medical devices. He was recently appointed head of the selection committee for innovative devices. 

Several associations have benefitted from Professor Belghiti’s expertise including as chairman of the scientific committee of the IHPBA, president of E-AHPBA and president of the ILTS (International Liver Transplantation Society). He was responsible for the organisation of the ILTS World Congress in Paris in 2008, as well as the 10th World Congress of the IHPBA in Paris, which attracted over 3000 participants.

Professor Belghiti’s contributions to the science of HPB surgery have been enormous and include the fields of hepatocellular carcinoma and liver transplantation. He has produced important studies in the surgical techniques of liver resection and HPB surgical oncology. Not only is he one of the most imaginative surgeons involved in liver surgery, he is also one of the most active and rigorous researchers in liver transplantation. In addition to his academic and surgical prowess, Professor Belghiti is an exceptionally skilled, approachable and charismatic teacher.

Professor Belghiti has undoubtedly made an outstanding contribution not only to HPB surgery, but also to the IHPBA.

The award was presented at the E-AHPBA Congress 2015, Manchester, UK, on Wednesday 22nd April 2015 at the President's Dinner, held in the historic Manchester Town Hall.


IHPBA Distinguished Service Award 2014 - Professor Yuji Nimura

Professor Nimura was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1943 and graduated from Nagoya University School of Medicine in 1969. He started to study HPB Surgery in Nagoya University Hospital in 1974 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1980 and Professor and Chairman of the First Department of Surgery, Nagoya University School of Medicine in 1991. He retired from Nagoya University in 2007 and moved to Aichi Cancer Center as the President and has been President Emeritus since 2012.

Professor Nimura has contributed toward the progress of HPB Surgery, most especially aggressive surgery for HPB malignancies. He has contributed important work relating to: Icteric liver regeneration, Liver regeneration after portal vein occlusion, Biliary secretion and hepatic microcirculation, Intrahepatic subsegmental biliary anatomy, Vascular and biliary anatomy at the hepatic hilus, Percutaneous transhepatic cholangioscopy for cholangiocarcinoma and hepatolithiasis, Preoperative biliary drainage with selective cholangiography, Preoperative portal vein embolization, Hepatic segmentectomy with caudate lobectomy and bile duct resection, Combined liver and vascular resection and reconstruction.

As a result of his work, Nagoya University Hospital became the highest volume center in the world for hilar cholangiocarcinoma.

Professor Nimura has also made a great effort and remarkable contribution to the scientific development of HPB Surgery. He became a member of International Biliary Association (IBA) in 1980 and joined the IHPBA in 1994, where he has held numerous positions: as a member on the Scientific and later the Membership Committees, Treasurer, President Elect, President from 2008 to 2010 and as Past-President until 2012.

He is an honourary member of a number of associations including the American, French, European and Japanese Surgical Associations, and has been the honourary President of the Japan Biliary Association since 2009. He sits on various editorial boards including that of HPB and the British Journal of Surgery, and his achievements have been recognised with the award of The Best Video Prize at Bologna 2nd World Congress of IHPBA in 1996, the Prize of Princess Takamatsu Cancer Research Fund in 1997 and in 2005, the Chunichi Cultural Prize.

Professor Nimura’s university service includes two years as Director, Nagoya University Hospital (2000-2002), External member of Nagoya University Management Conference since 2009 and as Director and Master, Nagoya University Judo Club since 1985.

There is no doubt that Professor Nimura has made an outstanding contribution to HPB surgery, in particular surgery for hilar cholangiocarcinoma, but also to IHPBA.

 To view a list of all past recipients of the Distinguished Service Award please click here

Corporate Partners

Ethicon logo
Angiodynamics logo
Sirtex logo

If you are interested in becoming a Corporate Partner of the IHBPA please contact industry@ihpba.org

Find out more