Dr. Thomas J. Fogarty Awarded Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation
October 22, 2014—The Fogarty Institute for Innovation announced that Thomas J. Fogarty, MD, has been awarded the Presidential National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the country’s highest honor for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. Dr. Fogarty will receive his award during a ceremony at the White House on November 20.
Dr. Fogarty is best known for inventing the embolectomy catheter, commonly known as the balloon catheter, more than 50 years ago. The balloon catheter became the industry standard to remove blood clots and is used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide per year. It is estimated to have saved the lives and limbs of more than 20 million patients. Edwards Lifesciences has been manufacturing the product since Dr. Fogarty acquired the patent in 1969. Dr. Fogarty is a named inventor on over 165 surgical instrument patents.
“I am humbled and honored to have my achievements receive this level of recognition,” stated Dr. Fogarty in the press release. “Our country and our industry have a number of significant challenges to overcome to continue innovating and getting solutions to patients quickly and safely. Through the work of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, we are striving to help the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs create products that will truly make a difference in people’s lives.”
Dr. Fogarty is the founder of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, which seeks to provide a streamlined path for entrepreneurial innovators working on promising new medical therapies. Hand-selected innovators and researchers are offered mentorship and support as they transform their creative ideas into practical solutions to improve patient care. The Fogarty Institute for Innovation is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit located on the campus of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California.
Fogarty Institute board member William Brody, MD, commented in the announcement, “There is no one more deserving of this honor than Dr. Fogarty. He has spent his entire life looking ‘for a better way’ to help improve patients’ health through his inventions, while providing guidance, mentorship, and support to aspiring entrepreneurs.” Dr. Brody is president of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.
Michael A. Mussallem, Chairman and CEO of Edwards Lifesciences, added, “Dr. Fogarty is a trusted partner, and we are proud to provide Fogarty catheters to help patients around the world. He is the originator and champion of many innovations and emerging companies. The medtech community and patients they serve have benefited significantly from his expertise and unique way of thinking. Dr. Fogarty is an icon of American medicine and entrepreneurship, and embodies what this Presidential Medal symbolizes.”
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered on behalf of the White House by the US Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes people who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the President. Dr. Fogarty is one of eight recipients of the award this year, noted the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.