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This award is given in recognition of Frederik Meijer, whose humanitarian acts of selfless service made an enduring difference in the lives of others.
The 2016 recipient of the Frederik Meijer Service Above Self Award is Dr. Luis Tomatis.
Director of Medical Affairs for the Richard M. DeVos Family
Educated in his native Argentina, Dr. Luis Tomatis, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.C.C. received his Medical Degree at Rosario Medical School in 1954. He trained in General Surgery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then in 1956 he came to the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to train in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. In 1965 he moved to Grand Rapids where he worked at Butterworth Hospital (now Spectrum Health) for thirty years as a Cardiovascular Surgeon. During that time Dr. Tomatis became Chief of Butterworth Hospital’s Thoracic and Cardiovascular Department and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Michigan State University.
In 1983 Dr. Tomatis received a four-year grant from the Kellogg Foundation to study “Cost Containment in Surgery.” Based in Grand Rapids, this study was done in conjunction with Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
On December 31, 1995, Dr. Tomatis concluded his surgical career to become the Founding President of the Van Andel Institute, and from 2000 to the present he has acted in the capacity of Director of Medical Affairs to the Richard M. DeVos Family.
Dr. Tomatis has given much of his time and talent to Aquinas College (where he served on the Board of Directors from 2002-2011) and he continues to be actively involved in the Grand Rapids community at large. He is presently serving as an Honorary Board Member for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, as a member of the Vice Provost for Health Advisory Board at Grand Valley State University, as a board member at Christian Living Services, Holland Home, and as a member of the MSU Ethics Director’s Council. He serves as secretary for the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy Planning Committee, is a member of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams Leadership Advisory Committee and serves on Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s Organ Donor Advisory Committee. In 2012, he was appointed to the Certificate of Need Commission by Governor Rick Snyder.
He has been honored to receive such awards as the Galaxy Award of the National Kidney Foundation and the Recognition Award from the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons. He is a member of Butterworth Hospital’s Distinguished Physician Society and was the first recipient of the Emeritus Lifetime Achievement Award at Spectrum Health. A member of the Rotary Club of Grand Rapids since 1995, he has been honored twice as a Paul Harris Fellow. He has also been recognized as Ciudadano Ilustre de la Ciudad de Rosario, Argentina; as an Honorary Member of the Peruvian Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, the Argentine Vascular Society, Sociedad Venezolana de Angiologia y Cirugia Cardiovascular, and the Colegio Argentino de Cirujanos Cardiovasculares; as Doctor “Honoris Causa” of the University of Rosario; and as an Honorary Doctor of Science at Grand Valley State University.
In a recent tribute to Dr. Tomatis and his 10 years of service as Director of Medical Affairs to the DeVos family, Rich DeVos wrote, “…your professional and community leadership on health and research issues has been bold and visionary. Perhaps more than anyone, you’ve been the steward of what we now proudly know as the “Medical Mile.” Our community has been richly blessed by your extraordinary foresight, remarkable skill and sincere compassion.”
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