On February 13th, my family lost a dear friend and doctor of the last 13 years. Dr. Bijoy K. Khandheria, MD, MBBS, FASE, became our cardiologist and personal physician after I had undergone my first open heart surgery. Through crisis after crisis and medical issue after medical issue, Dr. Khandheria kept me alive. He was a doctor’s doctor and a professor of the highest degree. All of his wonderful accomplishments are set out in an obituary published by the American Society of Echocardiology (Remembering Bijoy K. Khandheria, MD, MBBS, FASE (asecho.org)).
Upon Dr. Khandheria’s arrival at Aurora Healthcare, and under his direction, he launched an international cardiology center for Aurora Healthcare. My wife, Bev, greatly admired Dr. Khandheria. After serving as Aurora’s Board Chair, Bev became the President of the Aurora Foundation at the same time that Dr. Khandheria’s arrived at Aurora.
Doctors are overstressed dealing with life and death issues on a daily basis, but are still the most needed and essential of our professionals. Dr. Khandheria was a world renowned expert in echocardiograms, but more importantly he was a compassionate human being who cared about his patients, his patients coming first and foremost.
Dr. Khandheria was the mainstay of Aurora’s Global and Executive Health Program, and had an international following. He assembled an exceptional team of skilled professionals, including but not limited to, Jennifer Lesniewski, Amy Alms, and Brittney Vierck, who revered him. He was never in a rush, always positive, and willing to give explanations and further explanations, as well as comforting the patient’s family. We will always remember him for his special holiday notes, his availability day and night, his update calls to my son, Steven, also a doctor, and his keen sense of humor. Dr. Steven Greenberg described Dr. Khandheria as “one-of-a-kind.”
Dr. Khandheria will be sorely missed, not only as a doctor and an expert in his field, but as a wonderful human being, a “gentle giant.” Bev and I send our deepest condolences to not only his wonderful family, but to all his colleagues and patients who cherished him so dearly.