Past President of the Indian Association of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons (IACTS) and Recognised Cardiac Surgery Teacher for the longest time, Professor, Dr. Devendra Saksena was the first Board Certified Cardiac Surgeon in the 70s with 10 years of experience in the centre of USA to return and establish cardiac surgery in India. With great difficulty, he established Cardiac Surgery in India, starting at the Bombay Hospital, then at St. George Hospital which is part of the JJ group, then at SMS Medical College Jaipur and later on at Super Speciality Hospital Medical College Nagpur.
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam appointed Dr. Saksena to the Honorary rank of Surgeon Commodore in the Armed Forces Medical Services in 2003.
In recognition of his efforts for the people of Mauritius, the Prime Minister of Mauritius Sir Aneerood Jugnauth inaugurated the Devendra Saksena Health Centre in Camp De Masque, Mauritius in 1987. Dr. Saksena was also conferred with an Honorary DSc. Degree by the University of Mauritius in 1998. In 1997 the University of Mauritius had conferred the same Hon. D.Sc to Mr. Nelson Mandela and subsequently in 1999 the University awarded Hon. Doctorate to our then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
Dr. Saksena has been awarded with the Highest Civilian Award conferred by the Govt. Of Mauritius- The title of The Commander of the Order of Star and Key of the Indian Ocean.
He has been conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the IACTS in February 2010, at the annual combined conference of Associations of Cardiovascular Surgeons, the Asian Congress of Cardiac Surgeons and American Association of Thoracic Surgeons, by the Dr. Wankar’s lifetime achievement award in Nagpur in 2011, and by the Paediatric Cardiac Society of India in Mumbai in 2017 at their annual meeting.
Dr Saksena founded the Bombay Medical Aid Foundation which helps in raising funds and helping patients undergo cardiac surgery and other medical treatments by offering financial assistance to the indigent.
Dr Saksena has been invited to give numerous orations which include the L.R. Sarin Memorial oration at Jaipur in 2011, orations on Humanitarian Cardiac Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Boston in September 2014 and in Berlin in October 2014, which were very well received and a talk on his experience with over 2000 prosthetic heart valves in Vienna at the EACTS Meeting recently in October 2017.
He is famously listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the World since 1998.
In his late seventies, Dr. Saksena continues to practice at the Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai and continues to serve the community with unsurpassed passion.