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Accomplished Rockville Centre Surgeon Dr. Luke K. LiCalzi, Dies

Posted: Dec. 13, 2017
Accomplished Rockville Centre Surgeon Dr. Luke K. LiCalzi, Dies

One of South Nassau’s most revered general and vascular surgeons, Luke K. LiCalzi, MD, has passed away.  He was 68 years old. While his achievements were many during his illustrious 45-year career in medicine, Dr. LiCalzi will be remembered for his clinical leadership; surgical skill; commitment to excellence; and passion for the medical profession.

“Dr. LiCalzi was an exemplary gentleman and physician,” said Dr. Rajiv Datta, Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Medical Director of the Cancer Program at South Nassau Communities Hospital.  “He was a man of integrity, humility, loyalty and kindness.  As a physician, he set the standard for quality and compassion, relentlessly fulfilling the needs of his patients, while devoting hours of his time to train and mentor the next generation of surgeons.”

Dr. LiCalzi began his surgical career in the operating room at South Nassau. During college summers from 1967-71, he worked as an operating room surgical technician and surgical assistant.  In 1982, Dr. LiCalzi chose to return to South Nassau to join his uncle, Nicholas LiCalzi, MD, who was the hospital’s chief of surgery from 1975-95, and to serve as an assistant attending physician in the department of surgery.

From that point forward, he established a legacy of advancing South Nassau’s research and introduction of advanced medical technologies, minimally invasive surgical techniques and the ongoing modernization of its facilities and services.  In 1986, just four years after joining South Nassau’s medical staff, Dr. LiCalzi was appointed chief of South Nassau’s trauma service.  While serving in that capacity until 1999, he was appointed director of vascular surgery in 1992 and director of wound care in 1998.  Dr. LiCalzi retired from practicing medicine in 2016, serving 24 consecutive years as South Nassau’s director of vascular surgery and 34 years at South Nassau.

During his tenure as chief of trauma services, South Nassau made the necessary advancements in trauma and emergency medicine that would establish it as one of Long Island’s premier trauma centers.  It didn’t take long for Dr. LiCalzi to do the same for vascular surgery at South Nassau.  Under his vision and leadership, South Nassau emerged as a provider of state-of-the-art care for patients with all types of vascular diseases, from common vascular problems to the most complex.  He also had the same positive impact on South Nassau’s Wound Care Center.  By the time he relinquished his duties as director in 2003, the center was one of the hospital’s top performing service lines in terms of patient outcomes, safety and volume, with a cure rate well above the national average.

The inaugural recipient of South Nassau’s Community Service Award, Dr. LiCalzi attended and graduated with honors from Albany Medical College of Union University in 1975 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society.  He completed residency training in general surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital in 1980 and a fellowship in vascular surgery at New York University Medical Center in 1982.  Early in his medical career he demonstrated a passion for teaching, serving as assistant professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine from 1980-81, instructor in surgery at New York University Medical Center from 1981-82 and assistant professor of clinical surgery at SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine in 1982.

Dr. LiCalzi is survived by his wife Rita, four children and five grandchildren.