Lauren Caggiano
Freelance Writer
June 14, 2017 // Special

Fort Wayne physician remembered for caring and excellence

Lauren Caggiano
Freelance Writer


A longtime physician, devout Catholic and dedicated husband and father was honored posthumously with a distinguished lifetime achievement award May 17 at Fort Wayne Country Club.

Dr. John Csicsko died suddenly in August 2016, while still actively working. A parishioner of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, he was a thoracic and cardiac surgeon and practiced in Fort Wayne for many years. A graduate of Bishop Noll High School in Hammond, he obtained degrees from Purdue University and Indiana University School of Medicine.

In addition to his medical practice, he held various teaching and administrative roles throughout his career, including chief of staff at St. Joseph Hospital and president of the Fort Wayne Medical Society. He served as the Fort Wayne Medical Society Foundation president from 2005 until his death.

A friend to many, he was known to be a patient, kind and caring doctor who put his patients first. His work touched the lives of many people who were facing medical crisis. For these reasons, he was publicly recognized at the Fort Wayne Medical Society and Fort Wayne Medical Society Alliance annual dinner. His widow and sons — Barbara, Nick and Chris Csicsko —accepted the award, in front of a room of members of the local medical community.

From left, Nick, Chris and Barbara Csicsko accept the Physician Exemplar award presented by Dr. Zachry L. Waterson, Fort Wayne Medical Society president, in honor of Dr. John Csicsko’s career excellence.

According to the society, the honor carries great significance. Specifically, it recognizes medical professionals known for exceptional patient care, medical education, research, administration or combinations thereof.

Many colleagues offered high praises for Dr. Csicsko, at the event. Dr. Bill Clark offered this remembrance in a written tribute:

“One of the first patients with whom we shared care returned to see me as an outpatient following cardiac surgery. He had already seen John for outpatient follow-ups, and had been given an appointment for a one year return visit. He said he was disappointed not to see John sooner, the reason being: “because I just really like talking with him.” That story suggested to me that John could fix a lot more for patients than just their heart, lungs or blood vessels. He held strongly principled views; while at the same time to my observation, he always spent as much or more time listening to others than in to talking to them.”

Those who knew him on a personal level were aware of the role his Catholic faith played in both his personal and professional lives. In his wife’s words, “he might be the only person I have ever known who never missed Sunday Mass as an undergraduate or graduate student. His faith and belief in God’s love was very strong. He believed in the communion of saints and had an uncanny understanding of history.”

She described him as a lifelong teacher and learner. Despite his credentials and esteem, he remained humble and hardworking. Perhaps most importantly, he knew how to tend to the spiritual needs of patients.

“He provided hope in a way that others could not,” she said. “He had the heart of a servant, and the hands of a healer.”

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