Nigerian Pediatrician Is Now Head Of One Of The Largest Children’s Hospital Surgery Departments In The World

Nigeria has had its moments of bad publicity this year but that is not all of its story. There are many Nigerian citizens excelling positively across the globe. On our radar is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye. The pediatrician was recently promoted to the position of Surgeon-In-Chief of National Children’s Hospital, Ohio, United States. The appointment took effect from 1st August 2019. However, according to a hospital website,

“In his role, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye will lead one of the largest children’s hospital surgery departments in the world. Through his leadership of 11 surgical departments, Dr. Olutoye will work to advance Nationwide Children’s common mission, philosophy and approach to excellence in patient care, dedication to outstanding clinical outcomes, commitment to academic excellence and education of the next generation of leaders in children’s surgery.”

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye
Nigerian Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye Is The New Surgeon-In-Chief At A US Children’s Hospital -Photo source: Youtube

Also, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye will hold the appointment of a professor and the E. Thomas Boles chair of pediatric surgeon at The Ohio State University (OSU) College of Medicine. Consequently, he will be the primary surgical liaison between the OSU College of Medicine and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Reacting to his appointment, Dr. Olutoye said,

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is respected nationally for building outstanding integrated research and clinical programs, its seminal work in healthcare quality and patient safety, and as a leader in improving pediatric health outcomes. [However], this is a very opportune time to be joining the organization as we build upon the already impressive success of our surgical services to help children around the country and increasingly around the world. I look forward to the privilege of leading and collaborating with this team in the next phase of our journey.”

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye’s inspiring fetal surgery

In 2016, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye led a team to operate on a fetus to correct the baby’s sacrococcygeal teratoma. This is a rare tumor growing at the tail bone of the fetus. However, if nothing is done, the tumor overworks the fetus’ heart leading to death. This type of condition occurs in about 1 in 40,000 pregnancies. Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye and his team were able to operate on the fetus (Lynlee Hope) at 23 weeks. After the surgery, they returned the baby into the uterus to continue growing. Subsequently, Hope was born at 36 weeks.

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye
Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye and Lynlee Hope(Photo source: face2faceafrica

In a TEDx talk in 2017, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye talks about how the biography of Christiaan Neethling Barnard inspired him to become a pediatric surgeon. Dr. Olutoye specializes in congenital diaphragmatic hernia and complex wounds. In his inspiring speech, he also talked about how it was possible for fetal wounds to heal without scars. However, he also explains the risks of the procedure.

Career success and awards

Before rising to Surgeon-In-Chief, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye has occupied important positions throughout his career. He was the Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Fetal Center at the Texas Children’s Hospital. However, he is also an affiliate to multiple hospitals including St. Joseph Medical Center and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. Reacting to his new appointment, Richard J. Brilli, MD, chief medical officer at National Children’s said,

“We are tremendously delighted to welcome Dr. Olutoye to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to further elevate the visibility and reputation of one of the best overall children’s surgical programs in the country that, through its clinical care and research, is forging the future of children’s surgery. Having a world-renowned fetal and pediatric surgeon join our leadership team will further advance Nationwide Children’s commitment to establishing a preeminent fetal surgery program.”

Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye has won several awards. Some of his accolades are as follows;

  • Mark A. Wallace 2014 Catalyst Leader of the Year at the Texas Children’s Hospital.
  • Molecular Surgeon Research Achievement Award at the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery
  • Academy of Distinguished Educators Award at the Baylor College of Medicine
  • The 2012 Denton A. Cooley Surgical Innovator Award at the Texas Children’s Hospital

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