DJP Update 8-1-2015 1. Dr. Jeff Terry hospitalized; Two departed Friends: Tony Angello and Norman McSwain, MD, FACS

DJP Update 8-1-2015 1. Dr. Jeff Terry hospitalized; Two departed Friends:  Tony Angello and Norman McSwain, MD, FACS

As previously explained, my updates are fewer now as I tweeted new information via Twitter:  @DJPNews

But recent sad events are put in this DJP Update.

The courageous Dr. Jeff Terry is seriously ill in the hospital.  Also two friends died.

1.  Dr. Jeff Terry.   I received word today from Dr. Jorge Alsip about Jeff.

Here is an excerpt from his note:

Jeff, Elizabeth and their family would greatly appreciate everyone’s prayers, and I would appreciate it if you could help us get the word out.  If anyone would like to send Jeff a card this is his home address:

60 Kingsway
Mobile, Alabama 36608



Jorge A. Alsip, MD, MBA
Vice Chairman
Alabama AMA Delegation
We can never forget Jeff’s courageous battle to educate the world about the problems of impending ICD-10.  A true leader.

Here is what I wrote about Jeff on July 8, 2015 on the Speaking As A Individual Listserv plus the Take Back the Profession Listserv:
I agree with praise for Jeff.

Dr Jeff Terry = True LEADERSHIP.  He did his homework, had courage, and didn’t give up!

Thinking of Dr Jeff Terry, the Poem IF by Rudyard Kipling comes to mind also.

Two excerpts especially:

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,”


“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Full text at:

Well done, Jeff!  American Medicine is in your debt though it is unlikely most will realize your service and give thanks.

Stay well,


2.  Tony Angello

The famous restaurant owner in New Orleans, Tony Angello, passed away after a fall resulting in a broken hip.  Many of you have had meals at his restaurant that I feature at:

The restaurant will continue under the leadership of his daughter Angel, nephew, and maitre d’ Dale Messina.
So sad. A wonderful gentleman. R.I.P. RT @NOLAnews: New Orleans restaurateur Tony Angello dies, TV station reports
7/14/15, 11:56 PM

History of late Tony Angello restaurant career; visitation and Mass arrangements Sunday and Monday. #Friend #Legend
7/15/15, 10:26 PM

2-  Norman McSwain, MD, FACS, “Tsa-La-Gi” “Medicine Man”
The second death is our dear friend, Norman McSwain, MD, FACS, “Tsa-La-Gi,” Medicine Man.  He is internationally famous as a trauma surgeon and teacher.  Below are more articles.  Be sure to read Tulane’s  tribute.   I wrote about Norman’s outstanding medical work during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 in my 2008 book, ON LEADERSHIP.

Services for Norman are as follows:  Tsa-La-Gi Gathering (Visitation) Saturday, August 15, 3-7 PM Central and Sunday, August 16, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Tribute service at 2:00 PM Sunday. (Date corrected here.  In my first mailing I had wrong date.)
All at Lake Lawn Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Boulevard, New Orleans, 70124 Phone 504-486-6331.  Condolences to his daughter Merry and to Dee Aucoin.

Note this excerpt from Tulane’s tribute:

McSwain wrote numerous textbooks and articles and received many awards for his trauma work. He is the only person in the history of the American College of Surgeons to receive all five of its major trauma awards.
Norman has received so many awards, too numerous to list here.  Here is a 2014 tweet with a photo.

Congrats Norman E. McSwain, Jr., MD, TULANE Surg Prof #NOLA : LSMS COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD @LaMedSoc #Leadership
2/1/14, 12:20 PM

R.I.P. Norman McSwain MD, FACS. My dear friend and internationally famous trauma surgeon died today. A great loss.
7/28/15, 10:41 PM
More about his amazing career here:

The American College of Surgeons said this about Dr. McSwain:


The staff and volunteers of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) were saddened to learn that Norman E. McSwain, Jr., MD, FACS, the most senior active member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), passed away Tuesday, July 28. He was 78 years old and died at his home in New Orleans, LA, after suffering a cerebral bleed on July 17.

An ACS Fellow since 1973, Dr. McSwain began his involvement with the COT in 1975 through his work with the Kansas Committee on Trauma. Four years later, he was appointed to the national COT where he led both the Pre-Hospital Care Committee and the Advanced Trauma Life Support® Committee. He played a leading role on the team that revised the initial Hospital Resources Document, which evolved into the current  COT  Verification, Review, and Consultation Program for Hospitals. Over the next three decades, Dr. McSwain led the Louisiana Committee on Trauma, served on the task force for Operative Skills, was a liaison to the Board of Regents, and most recently, served as the liaison for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).

Dr. McSwain was a founder of NAEMT, which developed the Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) program in collaboration with the COT. He was a champion of PHTLS and the NAEMT, and his work set the stage for the modern version of Tactical Combat Casualty Care. An inspiration to several generations of trauma and emergency care professionals, Dr. McSwain received every honor the ACS COT and NAEMT bestows. He presented the Scudder Oration at the 2003 Clinical Congress and received the NAEMT award that now bears his name—the Dr. Norman E. McSwain, Jr., PHTLS Leadership Award.

Dr. McSwain was director of trauma, Spirit of Charity Trauma Center, Interim Louisiana State University Hospital, and professor of surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans. View an online obituary in the Times Picayune newspaper.

And Tulane Medical School praise from Dr. Doug Slakey, Tulane Surgery Chair, and Dr. Lee Hamm, Dean and SVP… said this:

Remembering Trauma Surgeon Dr. Norman McSwain

“His commitment to improving the care of the injured patient saved countless lives and improved the quality of life of untold millions of people.”
⎯ Dr. Douglas P. Slakey, Professor & Chair, Tulane Department of Surgery

Internationally renowned trauma surgeon Dr. Norman McSwain who helped transform the way doctors and first responders treat the most severely injured, leaves an “unparalleled” legacy at Tulane and beyond, according to friends and co-workers.

McSwain, 78, died Tuesday (July 28) at his French Quarter home after a brief hospitalization for a cerebral bleed earlier this month.

“Dr. McSwain was a beloved, committed and devoted surgeon who has left an unparalleled legacy, not only in New Orleans, but also around the world,” said Dr. Lee Hamm, Dean of Tulane University School of Medicine.

McSwain joined the Tulane University faculty in 1977, but it was his dedication and commitment as a practicing trauma surgeon that gained him national accolades. He served as trauma director and a member of the teaching staff of Charity Hospital of New Orleans, surgeon for the New Orleans Police Department since 1979, and medical director of New Orleans’ Emergency Medical Services Division. Shortly after his arrival in New Orleans in 1978, the city tapped McSwain to develop an EMS system here.

McSwain viewed improving trauma surgical care as a global public health initiative, working with healthcare organizations and governments around the world to develop and improve systems for effectively caring for injured patients. In New Orleans, he worked tirelessly to ensure that the missions of clinical care education and research were at the highest levels and consistently applied and delivered to all people regardless of their personal circumstances, said Dr. Douglas Slakey, who holds the Robert and Viola Lobrano Chair of Surgery at Tulane.

“He was of a generation who largely put their self interest secondary to the mission of being a physician,” Slakey said. “He felt that the privilege of being a physician and caring for patients was of the highest calling and far more important than personal gain. He was the sort of person who would tell people that if you do what you love, success — however you measure it — will follow.”

McSwain’s commitment to the Charity trauma system transcended local politics, as he viewed service to the community as his highest responsibility.

“His focus was clearly on providing the highest quality of care and passing on his experience and knowledge in the form of education and training to not only physicians and medical students but also every level of health care provider,” Slakey said. “He truly thought that the team was more important than the individual.”

Honored in 2009 with the Senior Vice President’s Teaching Scholar Award, McSwain was known for sharing his 18 “Rules of Patient Care” with medical students and colleagues. The document is signed with “Tsa-La-Gi,” Cherokee for “medicine man,” reflecting his affinity for Native American cultures.

McSwain relocated to New Orleans because he considered Charity Hospital to be one of the nation’s most important trauma centers. But his efforts resonated worldwide: His work with the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma and National Association of EMTs resulted in a Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support program that is a global standard for trauma care. That program has trained more than 500,000 people in 45 countries.

McSwain wrote numerous textbooks and articles and received many awards for his trauma work. He is the only person in the history of the American College of Surgeons to receive all five of its major trauma awards.

Dr. Peter Meade, who holds the William Henderson Chair in Surgery at Tulane, remembered McSwain as the surgeon everyone wanted to emulate. Despite his legendary status as a doctor, he was approachable and generous.

“The great ones don’t have to act great. There was a tremendous amount of love for this man — at all levels of the hospital,” Meade said. “You just don’t meet a lot of people like that. He meant a lot to us. He was Tulane.”

Douglas P. Slakey, MD, MPH
Robert and Viola Lobrano  Chair  of Surgery
Tulane University

Post Script:  Norman and Dee and Robin and I had a wonderful “Feed Me” dinner at Tony Angello’s in the Wine Room.  I had my camera that also did video.  We did an interview with Tony Angello about his family history and his restaurant.  A fun night that will not be forgotten.  I put the interview on a thumb drive and gave it to Tony Angello’s daughter at the Visitation when Tony died.  Not long after Tony’s death, Norman became ill and died.  Legends gone.  But they will be remembered.

Dr. Norman McSwain, truly beloved and sui generis. A life well-lived saving others.  May he Rest in Peace.

Stay well,


Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD, FACS

Intrepid Resources®
5000 West Esplanade Ave., #432
Metairie, LA 70006
504-455-5895 office
(Author of ON LEADERSHIP (2008, 2011 2nd edition) and THE LITTLE RED BOOK OF LEADERSHIP LESSONS (2012 & in bookstores and AMAZON now!)
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