T.S. Park, M.D., the Shi H. Hung Professor of Neurosurgery and neurosurgeon in chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, recently received the Korean Overseas Compatriots Award from the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) at a ceremony in Seoul.
The network presents the national award to people in the fields of natural science, societal service, the arts and business who enhance the image and reputation of the country while living abroad.
“I am so honored to receive this award because it is one of the most prestigious awards a Korean can receive,” said Park, who was born in Korea and returns frequently to visit family. “The award recognized that our team’s work at Washington University and the University of Virginia has enhanced the reputation of Korea around the world.”
Park was recognized for developing one of the world’s premier pediatric neurosurgery programs at the Medical Campus.
An integral part of that program is Park’s clinical and research activities in neurosurgery, particularly his work refining selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgical procedures for spastic cerebral palsy — a procedure he has performed on more than 1,300 patients from 47 states and 30 countries.
KBS — the leading broadcast network in Korea — produced a documentary of Park’s work at the Medical Campus, which aired several times on the network, reaching nearly 10 million Koreans.
“Our SDR surgery program is a world leader in the field, and we hope that recognition from this award and the airing of the documentary on KBS will help increase awareness about this procedure,” Park said.
His research on the outcomes of SDR surgery, including a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, has helped increase interest in the surgery across the globe and has stirred international media coverage from news organizations like CNN, KBS and Time magazine.
The Korean news agency also recognized Park for his 22 years of continuous NIH funding for his lab studies of cerebral microvascular physiology and his receiving of a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award.
Park has been a visiting professor at 16 universities and has authored 194 publications, including 159 peer-reviewed articles, and edited three books.
He also serves as an editorial board member of the Journal of Neurosurgery and Child’s Nervous System, and director/secretary of the American Board of Pediatric Neurosurgery.