The Richard L. Prager Scholarship

The Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (MSTCVS) Education and Quality Committee and the MSTCVS Quality Collaborative (MSTCVS-QC) are excited to sponsor the first Richard L. Prager Scholarship to our annual MSTCVS meeting in August of 2023. Our goal is to sponsor a cardiothoracic surgeon interested in building a quality collaborative in their region focused on adult cardiac and/or general thoracic surgery. We have named it in honor of Dr. Richard L. Prager, who led the MSTCVS-QC initiative from its inception in 2001 until 2022.  He is a Past Director of the University of Michigan’s Frankel Cardiovascular Center, Past President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Past President of the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association as well as Past President of the MSTCVS.

The Richard L. Prager scholarship aims to support a surgeon and their team interested in spearheading a quality collaborative focused on adult cardiac or general thoracic surgery within their respective region. 

This scholarship is funded through the generosity of the Midland-MSTCVS Educational and Quality Fund, which also supports our annual resident competition.

2024 Recipient of The Richard L. Prager Scholarship

David L. Joyce, MD – East Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC)

Congratulations to Dr. David L. Joyce, MD, the 2024 winner of the Richard L. Prager Scholarship.  Dr. Joyce is the Medical Director for Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at EIRMC in Idaho Falls.

Dr. Joyce will engage in weekly virtual MSTCVS Quality Collaborative team meetings and interact with leadership and team members of the adult cardiac surgery, general thoracic surgery, and structural heart initiatives.  These sessions will provide insights into the establishment, funding, and impact of regional quality collaboratives in healthcare.




Midland-MSTCVS Educational and Quality Fund

A Midland resident couple funded the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons’ (MSTCVS) efforts to bring the country’s best and brightest cardiothoracic residents and medical students to present their research at our annual meeting. The residents’ presentation session has always been an important part of our yearly meeting. The session represents an opportunity to bring inspired research to our members by talented, young trainees who represent the future of our specialty. The fund is now also used as a way to attract medical students to our meeting through poster presentations of their research.

With this donation, the Midland-MSTCVS Educational and Quality Fund was created to pay for up to four surgical trainees to present their research in adult cardiac surgery, general thoracic surgery, education and critical care. Lodging registration, and travel expenses, are provided to each resident to honor their work.  The same is true with the medical students chosen to present their work. Additionally, these young investigators are given the opportunity to present their research to state, national, and international surgeons with whom they might interact during the course of the meeting.  It represents a unique opportunity for these young aspiring professionals.

An educational committee was formed from existing members, including Drs. Rishi Reddy, Tomaz Timek, Alan Silbergleit, Richard Prager, and Robert Jones, with Dr. Reddy serving as the first chairman of the committee.  The mission of the committee is to offer the best in surgical research to our members and attendees and to attract new surgical talent to work in the state of Michigan. In addition, it is our hope that through the resident and medical student engagement, more talented individuals will enter our specialty.

In late Winter, a request for abstracts is made to all of the cardiac and thoracic surgery programs in the US and Canada, and by late Spring 3-4 are chosen. Since the creation of the fund, the MSTCVS has been able to support some of the best and brightest general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery trainees from across North America.

Finally, the fund is structured in a way which allows donors to make charitable contributions which may also be used for quality initiatives deemed necessary by the MSTCVS.   The Fund therefore holds much promise for the MSTCVS, and it will hopefully grow to become something even greater than its originally intended use.

Past Winner – 2023 Inaugural Winner Of The Richard L. Prager Scholarship

Arman Kilic, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Arman Kilic, MD was the 2023 inaugural winner of the Richard L. Prager Scholarship. He participated in quality collaborative meetings over the summer of 2023 and joined us in person at our Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 3-6, 2023. 

He met leadership of the Adult Cardiac, Structural Heart, and Thoracic Collaboratives, and our team members to understand how the Collaborative was built, how it is funded, and how we have made a positive impact in surgical outcomes in our state.