Arnold S. Leonard, M.D., Ph.D., Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Surgery

Profile of Dr. Donavan Hess, MD, PHD, MBA


Click here to attend: lecture 


“Disparities Research in Pediatric Surgery”

Donavon Hess, MD, PHD, MBA

Associate Professor, Division of Pediatric Surgery,
Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota

Donavon Hess received his undergraduate degree and his MD from the University of Minnesota. He then entered the surgery residency at the University of Minnesota. During surgery residency, he completed a PhD in Microbiology (U of MN) and an MBA (U of St. Thomas). After surgery residency, he entered the Pediatric Surgery training program at SUNY Buffalo and the Women and Childrens’ Hospital of Buffalo. In 2007, he returned to the University of Minnesota as a faculty member in Surgery and Pediatrics. He is an associate professor in the Departments of Surgery and Pediatric Trauma Medical Director at Hennepin County Medical Center, an American College of Surgeons verified level 1 pediatric trauma center. His recent research interests have focused on disparities in pediatric trauma. In 2017, he received NIMHD funding from the CHAAMPS to evaluate racial disparities in traumatic brain injury patients. This work has motivated an increased dedication to identifying disparities-based pediatric trauma quality metrics and testing their implementation in trauma programs.


About Arnold S. Leonard, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Leonard, an outstanding Minnesota-born and worldwide
medical pioneer, has been a surgeon specializing in pediatric
surgery from 1956 to 2006. After graduating from Breck School in
1948, Dr. Leonard earned 4 degrees from the University of
Minnesota, a BA, BS, MD, and PhD. all in 11 years with 2 of those
years serving his country in the U.S. Navy. He subsequently
received his Pediatric Surgical training at Columbus Children’s
Hospital under the tutelage of another U of M graduate, Dr.

Dr. Leonard’s accomplishments in Pediatric Surgery are
numerous. A founding member of the American Pediatric Surgical
Association, he was among the first group of founders to take the
specialty boards in Pediatric Surgery.

Miraculously, he was among the group that wrote and then
subsequently passed the Boards in Pediatric Surgery. In addition,
he served on numerous national and international committees that
propelled Pediatric Surgery well into the forefront of all Pediatric
Subspecialties. He has given over 60 national and international
talks and authored over 270 peer-reviewed publications.

Dr. Leonard is also an innovator. He developed a
novel long-term central venous access device that bears his
name – The Leonard Double Lumen Catheter. This catheter
is the most popular long-term central catheter used today in
the US for delivery of chemotherapeutic agents in cancer
patients. In addition, he developed the Leonard Long
Intestinal Tube – a novel device to treat the acute small bowel

When Big Boy, a beluga whale at the Minnesota Zoo,
developed a life-threatening infection of the mandible, Dr.
Leonard was among the team of surgeons that performed a
life-saving mandible resection and the whale went on to a long
life. He developed a novel method to expose the spine from
an anterior approach. A technique that has revolutionized
the treatment of scoliosis. Dr. Leonard also developed a novel
method to correct the chest deformities; Pectus Excavatum
and Carinatum. To date, he has performed over 1500 of such
repairs & is considered to be one of the world’s experts in the
treatment of such deformities. Dr. Leonard developed a
technique for the surgical removal of metastatic deposits of
various sarcomas to the lung. This technique is now
duplicated throughout the US and has literally saved or
extended the lives of thousands of children.

The Dr. Arnold S. Leonard Foundation for Cancer
Research has raised nearly 12 million dollars for cancer
research and he has established The AS Leonard Endowed
Chair in Pediatric Surgery that Dr. Saltzman currently holds.
Simply put, Arny has“failed retirement” and continues to be
actively involved in our laboratory, is an active gardener and
grows State Champion Dahlias, is an avid family man – he
has 8 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, and loves
cruising around in his Model T.



Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 7:30pm