Honoring A Legend: Dr. Niall Scully
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2011

NHCH proudly honored Dr. Niall Scully as he retired from his surgical practice that spaned more than 56 years in Hawaii, including 15 at NHCH.

The evening honoring Dr. Niall Scully was held at Kahilu Theatre and included a blessing from Father Bob of Annunciation Church, remarks from Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH, Dr. William Park, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Howard Wong, General Surgeon.  A State Senate Resolution Certificate honoring Dr. Scully for his achievements was presented by Senator Malama Solomon. 

Throughout Dr. Scully’s 56 year career, he achieved much and contributed greatly to his field.  He was also a major key player in moving Hawai‘i forward in thoracic surgery.  Following his training in open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Scully started the second open heart team in Hawai‘i at The Queen’s Medical Center (1962).  Other notable accomplishments include inserting the first epicardial cardiac pacemaker in Hawai‘i (1964), completing the first coronary artery bypass graft (1969), and introducing the first fiberoptic bronchoscope in Hawai‘i.  Dr. Scully’s innovations in thoracic surgery in Hawai‘i continued in 1987 when he implanted the first automatic implantable defibrillator and completed the first video-assisted thoracic surgical procedure (1992).  

Dr. Scully was born in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to the U.S. at the age of three.  He attended the University of Dayton on a football scholarship and graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1947. During the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps, Surgical Team #7, on the hospital ship USS Repose. 

After the war, Dr. Scully moved to Hawai‘i and worked at Leahi Hospital on O’ahu.  In 1956, he joined the Straub Clinic and conducted thoracic surgery at Queens. In 1960, Dr. Scully completed a sabbatical at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio where he learned the techniques of open heart surgery.  In 1961, Dr. Scully returned to Straub Clinic where he practiced for the next 35 years until retiring in 1996. Dr. Scully and his wife, Pegi, live in Kamuela, HI.  They have seven children and seventeen grandchildren.

Although retiring from his surgical practice, Dr. Scully will take on a new role as Director of Quality Improvement in the North Hawai‘i Medical Group.  In this new role, Dr. Scully will be the key liaison with physicians concerning quality initiatives to achieve patient outcome goals, including patient satisfaction, care coordination, adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) and health information exchange (HIE), and standardization of treatment based on best practices.