Written By: Myron Yaster MD, Paul Samuels MD, and Juan Gutierrez-Mazorra, MD, FAAP
Dr. Theodore W. ‘Ted’ Striker, Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati passed away at home in his sleep this weekend. Ted played a pioneering role in the development of pediatric anesthesiology in the United States. As a model educator, clinician, and administrator, he shaped the careers of hundreds of physicians-in-training and imbued them with his core values of honesty, integrity, and responsibility.
During his anesthesiology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Ted rotated at CHOP, where “an air of excitement and innovation immediately captivated him. As he put it, something just clicked”. He became the first pediatric anesthesia and critical care fellow in Jack Downes’ legendary fellowship program. After completing his training and a stint at NIH he became the first full time, academic anesthesiologist at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he built, brick by brick, one of the most progressive departments of pediatric anesthesiology in the United States. Along with his colleagues and best friends, Drs. Juan Gutierrez-Mazzora (University of Alabama Birmingham) who I (Myron) asked to help write this, and Al Hackel (Stanford University), promulgated policies and procedures on a national level for the improvement of pediatric perioperative child care. Ted, along with Drs. Steve Hall, Mark Rockoff, and Frank McGowan was also instrumental in developing the Sub-Board in Pediatric Anesthesiology and defining “what is a pediatric anesthesiologist”. When the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia was founded in 1986, Ted was on its initial board of directors and he became a lifelong, ardent supporter of the Society. He was a beloved leader, mentor, colleague, and friend who lived his life with integrity, honesty, and curiosity. He built a diverse and talented department that will carry on his legacy of hard work, joyful practice, and respect for all. He will be missed by all who knew him.
For those who would like to know more about Ted and his many contributions see the History of Pediatric Anesthesia paper: Zulfiqar Ahmed et al. The development of pediatric anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: an interview with Dr. Theodore Striker. Pediatric Anesthesia, 2015, Vol.25(8), p.764-769 PMID: 25989362