Dr. Isaac Gielchinsky, 80, of West Orange died Feb. 23, 2015. He was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia.
Dr. Gielchinsky worked at Valley Forge Military Hospital and then began his practice at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. As director and chief of cardiac surgery, he built a widely acclaimed heart program in which the state’s first heart transplant was successfully performed.
He graduated first in his class at Nacional Universidad de Colombia, where he was awarded a national academic scholarship and the opportunity to continue his medical education. He attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and then completed several residency programs, including at Albert Einstein and New York Medical College. He became chief resident of cardiovascular-thoracic surgery at Metropolitan Medical Center.
In 1969, he was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve during the Vietnam War, where he spent one year, as a surgeon. He achieved the high rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received many service acknowledgments, including the prestigious Bronze Star Medal for meritorious duty in a combat zone.
As an active member of the medical community, he also enjoyed teaching, lecturing, and being involved in various organizations, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Janet (Fields); two sons, Robert and David; his daughter, Karen; a brother, Jacob; and eight grandchildren.
Private services were held with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston.