AAAASF is saddened to announce that John D. Newkirk, PhD MD, 77, passed away on February 16, 2021. Dr. Newkirk served on the AAAASF Board of Directors since 2008 and was actively involved in increasing patient safety through his work as Chair of the Investigations Committee, member of the Education, Standards, Quality Assurance, and Accreditation Committees, and active surveyor at AAAASF.
Dr. Newkirk will be remembered as a true champion of patient safety and AAAASF who always supported fair and rational approaches to the most complex problems and erred on the side of what is right. Dr. Newkirk's passion for patient safety and dedication to this organization were evident by the many hours he spent poring over case files to ensure that AAAASF surveyors performed their jobs up to his exacting standards and that facilities always did everything possible to protect their patients.
After obtaining the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy from the Department of Biochemistry of Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, he received his MD degree from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Newkirk trained in general surgery at the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center and Loyola University of Chicago. He completed training in plastic surgery at Foothills Hospital, the University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. After 15 years of private practice in Central Pennsylvania, he returned to the Carolinas to run Columbia Plastic Surgery.
The AAAASF family has lost an important figure and an exemplar of our mission personified. In the coming months AAAASF will be announcing our plans to honor Dr. Newkirk's legacy.
A private celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to support COVID-19 Research, c/o Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 420 E. Superior Street, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611 or feinberg.northwestern.edu/giving.