Dr. George Dewey Lyons Jr. passed away on October 6th, 2018 at the age of 90, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his adoring wife and lifelong partner of 64 years, Agnes Elizabeth (Betty) Lyons; his sons, George D. III (Julia) and Michael (Mona); his daughters Shelley and Pamela (Rob); his 8 grandchildren Alexandra and Isobel Pribil, Timothy, Jack, George, Catherine, Olivia and Grace Lyons. He is preceded in death by his mother, Rose Bordelon Lyons; his father George Dewey Lyons; and his son Timothy Newell Lyons.
George was a lifelong resident of New Orleans, LA and retired to his family farm in Houma, LA after Hurricane Katrina. He graduated from Jesuit High School in 1946. He played flute and piccolo (first chair) in the band. He joined the Navy shortly after graduation.
After serving in the Navy as a corpsman, he returned to graduate from Southeastern University in Hammond, LA and LSU Medical School, completing a specialty in Otorhinolaryngology. While in private practice, he began teaching at LSU Medical School in New Orleans, where he ultimately became Professor and Department Head of LSU School of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Biocommunication for over 25 years. George was a pioneer and recognized leader in the field of cochlear implants as well as interventional laryngeal and phono surgery. He helped educate physicians on the use of lasers in medicine in four continents.
Included in his academic and honorary achievements, George was an Emeritus Member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Laryngological Association; a Fellow of the American Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology Society, the American Otological, Rhinological, and Laryngological Society, the American College of Surgeons, the Pan-American Society of Otolaryngology, the Society of University Otolaryngology; a Senior Member of the American Broncho-Esophageal Association, and the Triological Society. During his medical career, George is credited with over 150 medial publications.
George loved teaching and had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and travel. He combined these passions to attend and teach at medical schools around the world, including Africa, Indonesia, South America, Asia, Russia and Europe. George was always generous with his time and especially with those who sought knowledge.
George and his wife Betty were very active socially in New Orleans, participating in multiple social and philanthropic endeavors. He was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Society of the War of 1812, and the Sons of the American Revolution. He helped form the Kam’s Foundation to help the hearing impaired and his favorite charity was St. Michael’s School for gifted children.
George was a passionate big game and bird hunter. He enjoyed shooting clay target sports, as well. He had the philosophy that the best way to see a country, experience its culture and understand its people is through hunting in remote areas of the world. George was the founding President of the Louisiana Chapter of Safari Club International and an avid promoter of hunting. George bred and raised several breeds of dogs during his life, but none warmed his heart more than hunting upland birds over his beloved Brittany Spaniels. He also enjoyed fishing the marshes of South Louisiana.
A man of impeccable integrity, humility and character; George made a significant contribution to our world during his lifetime. He will be missed dearly by his family, friends, and the many physicians and surgeons he educated.
Daniel W. Nuss, MD, FACS
George D. Lyons Professor and Chair
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center has once again been recognized among the best in the nation by US News and World Report in its 2017-2018 "Best Hospitals" rankings. The hospital ranked No.37 out of more than 4,500 medical centers evaluated in the US, placing it in the top 1% nationally.
The Facial Nerve Disorders Multidiscipline Clinic has launched at Our Lady of the Lake RMC in Baton Rouge, LA with extremely positive feedback from patients.
Dr. Rohan Walvekar's book, "Gland-Preserving Salivary Surgery: A Problem-Based Approach," is to be published by Springer.
Welcome to the Department of Otolaryngology
The LSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery was founded in 1931 as one of the charter surgical departments in the newly created Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. Although the geographics of the Department have changed as a result of Hurricane Katrina, our philosophies and commitment to patient care and education have remained the same.
The Department of Otolaryngology has continued to move forward and flourish. Our residents continue to be among the most sought after applicants and mature into compassionate and competent physicians of whom we can be proud. Since 1994, graduates of the LSU Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery residency program have had 100% success rate in board certification by the American Board of Otolaryngology. In the last 20 years, the department has produced about a dozen graduates who went on to pursue careers in academic otolaryngology, and four of these have risen to the rank of department chair or higher. We have also been consistently successful in matching our graduates to exceptional fellowships at institutions such as M.D. Anderson, Sloan-Kettering, University of California at San Francisco, University of Pittsburgh, University of North Carolina, Lahey Clinic, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and others.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced a major reorganization of our program. We managed to continue our critical objectives of restoring education and patient care by forming new hospital affiliations in nearby cities, incorporating residents and faculty into new training sites, transforming us into a new “regional program”. Our practice now includes University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital, Touro Infirmary, West Jefferson Medical Center, the LSU St. Charles Clinic, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and LSU Surgical Facility (out-patient) in Baton Rouge; and University Hospital and Clinics and Lafayette General in Lafayette.
We have worked hard at -- and had the good fortune of -- retaining and recruiting a very talented faculty, and as a team we have been able to develop a high-volume tertiary referral practice that serves as the cornerstone of our clinical training program. We have a strong balance of seasoned and experienced senior faculty who have achieved national/international reputations in their respective fields, younger but experienced faculty who are clearly on track toward national recognition, and multiple junior faculty members who have immense potential as innovators and teachers.
We have also dedicated much of our time to research advancements. Dr. Hamilton Farris, Dr. Jennifer Lentz, and Dr. Chu Chen have represented LSU through many publications. Dr. Hamilton Farris was published in Smithsonian Science and Nature Communications in 2011 for research applicable to communication disorders associated with hearing loss and attention deficits or difficulties. Dr. Jennifer Lentz and associates have made headway in therapy that may rescue hearing and balance in those with Usher Syndrome and Dr. Chu Chen has uncovered possible solutions to memory loss in diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia. Dr. Ikuma Takeshi continues to facilitate the analysis of HSV data using the PVG method, determines the clinically salient PVG features and works on adding new clinically relevant parameters to PVG. We are hopeful that this addition to our research team will help achieve our goal of sustainable funding from the National Institutes of Health on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
The history of the LSU Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is indeed a rich one. Our experiences have further defined us as resilient, creative, and indefatigable in our missions of patient care, research, and resident education.