Thomas is a cardiothoracic surgeon at the University of Toledo. He is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery and Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Toledo. He serves as the Chief of Staff at the University of Toledo Medical Center from 2014-2017.
Thomas was born in Poland in 1961 and came to the US in 1971. He grew up in New York City and Long Island, and attended high school with the Baldwin brothers, their father was his social studies teacher. He attended Columbia University where he received his BA degree, summa cum laude in 1982—parenthetically, the tuition was $4,000. He then attended the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons obtaining a MD degree in 1986. Tuition for his last year was $16,000….a 400% increase in 8 years. He did his General Surgery training and Cardiac Surgery training at Yale New Haven Medical Center.
After his internship year, Thomas married his wife, Traci Schwann, whom he met at Columbia Nursing School, and who was a Neurosurgical ICU nurse at Yale. She is currently involved in a number of philanthropic organizations, including the Toledo Opera and the Toledo Symphony.
After his training at Yale, they came to Toledo in 1994 with their 6 month old daughter, in an attempt to recover from the rigorous every other night on call training of his residency program. They chose Toledo over the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Yale in Connecticut, and other East Coast and West Coast opportunities due to the remarkably friendly welcome of the Toledo community, and the well organized cardiac program at St. Vincent Medical Center in the mid 1990’s. They thought that their stay in Toledo would be just a short respite, but as they got to know the community, friendships formed, kids were born and one year turned into 5. 5 years turned into 10 and so this is home now.
Over the past 25 years, Thomas has served as Chief of Cardiac Surgery at St. Vincent Medical Center and St. Luke Hospital. They have 3 children: Alexandra, who is a second year medical school student at UT, Olivia, who is a senior at the Fisher School of Business at OSU, looking for her first job, and James is a junior at Ottawa Hills High School and is trying to find himself. James is an avid tennis player and was fortunate to reach the State Finals with the OHHS the past two years. They also have 2 golden doodles….Bella and Stella.
They returned to Connecticut briefly in 2008 where he served as the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford. Subsequently, Dr. Jeff Gold, Dean of University of Toledo College of Medicine, recruited him back to UT as the Chief of Cardiac Surgery in 2010.
His professional interests are improving the current quality of cardiac surgical care by innovative approaches to coronary artery bypass surgery. They are working diligently with professional societies including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, and the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgeons, to fundamentally change how coronary artery bypass surgery is performed. In addition, their team at UT is studying the effects of blood transfusions, and attempting to develop guidelines to minimize the use of blood transfusions as it is a “liquid transplant” and result in increased mortality up to 5 years afterwards.
Their family loves to travel, ski and read. They have been truly blessed in their lives by the opportunities provided to them, and their lives have been enriched by the Toledo community. They look forward to contributing to the continued success of our community.