Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine Cardiologist David Wilber, MD, an internationally recognized leader in the treatment of heart rhythm disorders, has received the prestigious Stritch Medal, the highest honor given by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

The Stritch Medal recognizes outstanding accomplishments of a Loyola graduate or faculty member who exhibits dedication to research, education and patient care.

Dr. Wilber, the George M. Eisenberg Professor of Cardiovascular Sciences, received the award during Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine's 67th Annual Awards Dinner on November 18 at the Hilton in downtown Chicago.

Electrophysiologists treat heart rhythm disorders with medications, implantable devices such as pacemakers and ablation procedures that correct heart rhythm problems. Dr. Wilber established Loyola's electrophysiology program in 1986, and became a national leader in clinical trials of new medications, procedures and technologies.

"Whenever you discuss electrophysiology anywhere in the world, his name comes up," said Mamdouh Bakhos, MD, chair of Loyola's department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. "His academic accomplishments are the dream and inspiration of every young physician."

Dr. Wilber is the author or co-author of more than 500 original papers, book chapters and abstracts, including studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Circulation, New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association. He is founding editor-in-chief of the high-impact Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Clinical Electrophysiology. Dr. Wilber is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association. He has repeatedly been named to Chicago magazine’s Top Doctors list.

Dr. Wilber has helped to educate and train hundreds of medical students, residents and fellows, and has treated thousands of patients with atrial fibrillation, tachycardia, bradycardia and other heart rhythm disorders.

"I have found great personal satisfaction during my career from identifying patients whose quality of life I could improve," Dr. Wilber said.

Dr. Wilber earned his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School and completed his internship and residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Wilber completed a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Wilber was named director of Loyola's division of cardiology in 2001. Under his leadership, Loyola's cardiology program was nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report 13 times.

"The division of cardiology has earned a national reputation for clinical excellence, patient-centered care, innovation and leading-edge research thanks in large part to Dr. Wilber,” said David W. Hecht, MD, MS, MBA, Loyola’s executive vice president, clinical affairs and regional chief medical officer.

Dr. Wilber stepped down as director of cardiology in 2017. He remains medical director of clinical electrophysiology.

More than 500 people attended the Stritch awards dinner – Chicago's longest-running black tie gala – which celebrated a theme of "Living a Life in Service to Others" and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical student scholarships.

During the dinner, Loyola University Chicago bestowed its highest honor, the Sword of Loyola, to Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago.