• By Kelly Reller

Famed Mount Everest climber named 2017 Hickman Lectureship speaker

January 16, 2017

Photo of man climbing the side of Mt. Everest

Photo courtesy of Lou Kasischke

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine has announced mountaineer Lou Kasischke as the speaker for the third J. Richard Hickman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship. The 2017 lectureship will take place on Feb. 3 at 12:00 p.m. CST in Leighton Auditorium, Siebens 3. This lecture is open to Mayo Clinic staff.

Kasischke was a member of the ill-fated 1996 Mount Everest expedition led by climber Rob Hall. He survived environmental extremes and exposure that included avalanches, high altitudes, ice, rock and a blizzard that claimed the lives of eight of his fellow climbers six weeks into the climb. He will discuss his experiences in a lecture titled, “1996 Everest Tragedy: A Survivor's Untold Story.”

“Lou Kasischke’s career and contributions to mountaineering have made him a great influence on the field,” says Clayton Cowl, M.D., division chair of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic. “His harrowing story is one that captivates and inspires our pursuit to better understand high altitude and environmental factors in medicine.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Kelly Reller, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

As a survivor of the disastrous summit, Kasischke has gone on to write a book, After the Wind, which describes the struggle he and his climbing team faced on the world’s tallest mountain. He also served as a consultant for Universal Studios in the production of the 2015 film “Everest,” which retells the story of the 1996 expedition.

The Hickman Lectureship is dedicated to the career and work of Dr. J. Richard Hickman, Jr., who formerly served as division chair of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic. He served as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force prior to his career at Mayo Clinic, where he was an expert in altitude physiology, aerospace medicine and preventive cardiology.

The 2017 Hickman Lectureship takes place during the 75th anniversary year of Mayo Clinic’s Aeromedical Unit, which was established in the early years of World War II to provide aviation research for the U.S. military. The top-secret products of this research include the high-altitude mask, five-bladder G-suit, M-1 straining maneuver of fighter pilots and groundwork for better understandings of the human body in relation to aviation.

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About the J. Richard Hickman, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship
The J. Richard Hickman Jr., M.D., M.P.H., Lectureship is an annual event sponsored by the Mayo Clinic Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine in honor of its fifth chair who led by example in delivering Mayo Clinic core values to each patient undergoing care. Dr. Hickman’s compassion for patients and faculty, diagnostic and clinical treatment excellence, and visionary leadership has inspired a generation of physicians working in Aerospace Medicine and Preventive Medicine. The lectureship was created to feature individuals from all walks of life performing research in the field; serving individuals in the aerospace sciences; or having an inspirational story related to physiology, preventive cardiology or aviation.

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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