Benny Weksler, MD, Joins Allegheny Health Network as System Director of General Thoracic Surgery

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Dr. Benny Weksler has joined Allegheny Health Network and will lead the network's programs in thoracic surgery and lung cancer.

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) today announced the appointment of Benny Weksler, MBA, MD, FACS, FACCP, a nationally recognized thoracic surgeon with leading expertise in robotic and minimally invasive surgery, as its System Director of General Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Weksler comes to AHN from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he was chief of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, Professor of Surgery, and the Eastridge-Cole Endowed Professor of Thoracic Oncology. Prior to that, he served as Associate Professor, Director of Robotic Thoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System. He also previously served as Director of Minimally Invasive and Robotic Thoracic Surgery at Jefferson Medical College.

“We are very pleased to welcome a surgeon and physician leader of Dr. Weksler’s caliber to Allegheny Health Network. He is an exceptional clinician who shares our commitment to high-quality, multidisciplinary patient-centered care and who has a vision and health care business acumen that will serve our organization well as we continue to expand the capabilities and reach of our thoracic surgery program,” said George J. Magovern, MD, System Chair, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, AHN.

Dr. Weksler specializes in the surgical treatment of lung and esophageal cancer, hiatal hernias, thymic tumors, esophageal motility disorders, reflux disease, myasthenia gravis, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and chest wall diseases. He will also lead the lung cancer surgery division at AHN.

Dr. Weksler received his medical degree from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and trained in general surgery at the New York Medical College, in New York City. He completed two fellowships, in research and in thoracic surgery, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and also a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In 2010, Dr. Weksler was awarded the Alley-Sheridan Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons to complete the Leadership Program in Health Care Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

He has served on National Comprehensive Cancer Center panels on esophageal cancer and smoking cessation, and serves on the editorial boards of some of the most prestigious thoracic surgery journals, including the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Annals of Thoracic Surgery. His research interests include smoking cessation in surgical patients, novel approaches to esophageal cancer treatment and vaccines in the treatment of lung cancer.

“Dr. Weksler is an outstanding, highly innovative surgeon who will bring a wealth of experience and transformative ideas to our clinical, academic and research programs in thoracic disease. We are excited to have him on our team and look forward to the continued advancement and excellence of our lung cancer program in particular under his leadership,” said David Parda, MD, Chair, AHN Cancer Institute.

Thoracic surgery at Allegheny Health Network offers multidisciplinary care that provides patients with a comprehensive, effective treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs. AHN’s surgeons are among a select group with years of experience with minimally invasive and robotic esophageal and lung surgeries, using the state-of-the-art daVinci Robotic System. AHN’s cardiac surgery program is nationally recognized for pioneering some of the greatest medical advances for the treatment of heart disease. AHN’s cardiac surgeons bring decades of experience to a wide variety of heart and vascular procedures, from the simplest to the most complex, using minimally invasive and advanced robotic techniques.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, a Highmark Health Company, is a western Pennsylvania-based integrated healthcare system that serves patients from across a five state region that includes western Pennsylvania and the adjacent regions of Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The Network’s Cancer Institute employs more than 200 physicians and 500 oncology professionals who provide a complete spectrum of oncology care at more than 20 affiliated oncology clinics, including access to state-of-the-art technologies and new therapies being explored in clinical cancer trials. The Cancer Institute has the only cancer program in the Pittsburgh region with Integrated Network Cancer Program accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and its radiation oncology program is the largest in the country accredited by the American College of Radiology. AHN Cancer Institute is a Quality Oncology Practice Initiative certified practice, and is accredited by the Foundation for Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. AHN also has a formal affiliation with the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, one of the nation’s 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, for research, medical education and clinical services. To schedule an appointment with an AHN oncologist, please call 412.DOCTORS or visit http://www.ahn.org/find-a-doctor.

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Stephanie Waite