L. Michael Graver, MD, FICA February 5, 1953–September 15, 2018In Memoriam
20 December 2018 (eFirst)
L. Michael Graver, MD, FICA, passed away on September 15, 2018. He was a highly respected, prominent, and beloved cardiothoracic surgeon at Northwell Health. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Graver had currently served as Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York, during the past 3 years. He was Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, as well as Clinical Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His illustrious medical career spanned over three decades within Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System), including Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York, and North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York.
Dr. Graver received his medical degree from Albany Medical College as part of a 6 year combined Biomedical Program with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1977. He completed his General Surgery residency training at The Roosevelt Hospital, New York, New York in 1982 followed by a 1 year Research Fellowship in Cardiovascular Pharmacology at New York Hospital Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York and a 2-year Cardiothoracic Surgery residency training at New England Deaconess Hospital and Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Amongst his many professional society memberships were the International College of Angiology (and member of its Editorial Board), American College of Cardiology, and the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery. Dr. Graver was also an accomplished researcher, having been involved in awards of over $1 million in research funding throughout his career. He served as an ad hoc reviewer for various medical journals, published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals, coauthored book chapters, and was invited to present over 90 abstracts and lectures, including internationally. Earlier this year, Dr. Graver was recognized as one of four cardiothoracic surgeons statewide with the lowest mortality rates among his patients.
Dr. Graver was extremely professional and outstanding in his demeanor, believing in a multidisciplinary approach to challenging situations, going beyond his duties to make the lives of those around him better. He always demonstrated the highest level of work ethics, empathy, and respect to everyone he encountered. He maintained an unsurpassed reputation as an excellent leader, teacher, caring surgeon, and role model for attendees, fellows, residents, and medical students alike. He provided direct patient care and supervision for thousands of patients throughout his career and was recognized as the doctor's doctor in his attention to detail and compulsiveness in caring for all of his patients. He was highly regarded in his field as an expert.
Dr. Graver, an experienced pilot, and his wife, Jodi Cohen, a Certified Public Accountant and well regarded real estate professional on the North Shore of Long Island, New York, were tragically killed when the private small aircraft he was piloting crashed in Woburn, Massachusetts, only a few miles from their destination, Hanscom Field in Bedford. They were travelling to meet up with his son, also a surgeon, and his wife who were attending a conference in Boston at that time. A funeral service was held on September 18th at Temple Judea in Manhasset, New York, where family, friends, and colleagues gathered to remember the inseparable couple who were highly dedicated to their families, their careers, and to each other and were known as an adventurous and fun-loving pair. They would have celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary less than 2 weeks from the date of their accident. They are survived amongst many, by his son Dr. Adam Graver, an orthopedic surgeon, and his wife Puneet Bhullar of Olympia, Washington. He will truly be missed by his patients whom he impacted tremendously, as well as his colleagues, and will be truly remembered as an outstanding person, surgeon, mentor, and friend to all. Fly high Dr. and Mrs. Graver.