MARC ALLEN ROZNER

1952-2016

Houston Chronicle - - LIFE TRIBUTES -

Marc Allen Rozner, Ph.D., M.D., passed away peace­fully on Jan­uary 9, 2017 af­ter a bat­tle with brain cancer, sur­rounded by fam­ily and close friends. Marc leaves as lega­cies his two great pas­sions in life – his ac­com­plish­ments in the field of medicine and his son, Joshua Scott Rozner, who shares Marc’s cu­rios­ity, aca­demic en­thu­si­asm, and many of his in­ter­ests. Marc’s ed­u­ca­tion and ca­reer path were wind­ing, and his di­verse knowl­edge served him and his pa­tients ex­traor­di­nar­ily well.

Marc re­ceived his B.A. in Chem­istry from Case West­ern in 1974 and earned his Ph.D. in tox­i­col­ogy at the Univer­sity of Rochester in 1980. His fas­ci­na­tion with all things me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal led him to start his own com­puter pro­gram­ming com­pany, pre­par­ing him for his later work with the “small com­put­ers” known as pace­mak­ers. Driven by his per­pet­ual cu­rios­ity and re­lent­less de­sire to learn, he be­gan med­i­cal school at the Med­i­cal Col­lege of Vir­ginia, grad­u­at­ing in 1990. Af­ter com­plet­ing a res­i­dency in Anes­the­si­ol­ogy in 1994, he joined the fac­ulty at the Univer­sity of South Florida Col­lege of Medicine. He joined MD An­der­son Cancer Cen­ter in 1998, where he was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ing the pro­to­col for the pe­ri­op­er­a­tive as­sess­ment of pace­mak­ers. In 2001, he was elected by his physi­cian peers to the Best Doc­tors in Amer­ica and in 2005 to the As­so­ci­a­tion of Univer­sity Anes­the­si­ol­o­gists.

Marc was a tire­less ad­vo­cate for pa­tient care and the ad­vance­ment of medicine. Af­ter be­com­ing the first anes­the­si­ol­o­gist in the world to earn CCDS (Cer­ti­fied Car­diac De­vice Spe­cial­ist) sta­tus from the In­ter­na­tional Board of Heart Rhythm Ex­am­in­ers in 2001, he helped six more anes­the­si­ol­o­gists earn the same cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He pre­sented across the world and pub­lished over 100 manuscripts, book chap­ters, and meet­ing ab­stracts. He ef­fected prac­tice changes and safety im­prove­ments, es­pe­cially in im­planted pace­maker and de­fib­ril­la­tor care. He helped pioneer safe mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing in pa­tients with these de­vices, per­form­ing nearly 500 such pro­ce­dures with­out any pa­tient in­jury.

Marc cared deeply about his in­sti­tu­tion, MD An­der­son Cancer Cen­ter, and his col­leagues, and served on nu­mer­ous com­mit­tees. He had over 200 mentees and was al­ways ea­ger to an­swer ques­tions or of­fer ad­vice on any topic. In 2016, MD An­der­son rec­og­nized his ded­i­ca­tion by cre­at­ing the Marc A Rozner, Ph.D., M.D., En­dow­ment for Out­stand­ing Clin­i­cal Ser­vice and by grant­ing him the Distin­guished Ser­vice Award for his ex­em­plary clin­i­cal care, con­tri­bu­tions to clin­i­cal re­search, and com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion and men­tor­ing.

Out­side of medicine, Marc was fond of bowties, kit­ties, and jazz. His pas­sion for tin­ker­ing brought him hap­pi­ness, and his ca­pac­ity to re­pair any­thing, from di­ag­nos­ing com­put­ers to rewiring houses, earned the eter­nal ap­pre­ci­a­tion of friends and neigh­bors. Marc was an avid ball­room dancer and could not re­sist do­ing the Lindy, Fox­trot, or Waltz when the mu­sic was play­ing. He loved to ski and of­ten com­bined this pas­sion with speak­ing at win­ter con­fer­ences. He could be found in his char­ac­ter­is­tic pur­ple shirt talk­ing pace­mak­ers in the morn­ing and on the slopes in the af­ter­noon.

In ad­di­tion to his son, he is sur­vived by his wife Hazel Hed­dings, M.D., sis­ter Jer­ri­lyn Rozner, brother Jeff Rozner, and long time friend Short Stuff. He re­mains in­debted to his own men­tors, in­clud­ing Bob McA­foos, Edgar Pul­sifer, Don­ald Taves, Tom Fee­ley, and Paul Levine.

A memo­rial ser­vice will be con­ducted at the First Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church of Hous­ton, 5200 Fan­nin, on Satur­day, Jan­uary 21, at 11:00am.

In lieu of cus­tom­ary re­mem­brances, memo­rial con­tri­bu­tions may be di­rected to the Marc Rozner en­dow­ment or to the Anes­the­sia Pa­tient Safety Foun­da­tion (APSF). For the en­dow­ment, do­na­tions can be made to the De­vel­op­ment Of­fice, MDACC, PO Box 4486, Hous­ton, TX 77210-4486, attn: Marc A. Rozner, Ph.D., M.D., En­dow­ment in the Depart­ment of Anes­the­si­ol­ogy and Pe­ri­op­er­a­tive Medicine or by call­ing 713-792-3450.

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