First doctor to perform open heart surgery at Miami Valley Hospital dies

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First doctor to perform open heart surgery at Miami Valley Hospital dies

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Kenneth Oberheu.

The doctor who performed the first open heart surgery at Miami Valley Hospital has died.

Kenneth Oberheu, 82, spent 40 years at Miami Valley Hospital.

Oberheu spent months advocating for funding for an open heart surgery program and performed the first one at Miami Valley Hospital in November 1968. His work led the hospital to establish one of the top 50 open heart surgery programs in the country.

Oberheu was the youngest chief of staff to ever serve at MVH and in 2002 the hospital honored him with a plaque on the “surgery wall of honor.”

Oberheu also served as a clinical professor and director of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine’s division of cardiac and thoracic surgery from 1975 to 2001.

Oberheu graduated from Cedarburg High School in Cedarburg, Wisconsin before obtaining an undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of Wisconsin.

Visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. July 7 at Westbrock Funeral Home on Wayne Avenue in Dayton. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. July 8 at Holly Angels Catholic Church on Brown Street.

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