Your Crossroads Rockstar of the Week!
Once a week I will highlight and showcase someone local to be our Rockstar of the Week. They can’t just be anybody off the street, our Rockstars of the Week are community involved, dedicated volunteers who devote much of their time helping others and improving the lives of citizens in our community. If you would like to nominate someone, please send over their info to DaveFenix@townsquaremedia.com and let me know why they should be featured as our Rockstar of the Week!
This week’s Rockstar is Dr. Yusuke Yahagi. Dr. Yahagi is the cardiac and thoracic surgeon at Citizen’s Medical Center right here in Victoria….but he’s not just a heart surgeon…..far from it.
The good Doctor was born in Tokyo, Japan before moving to the U.S. as a teenager. He attended the University of Washington, graduated and became an investment banker. Impressive right? So, long story short, he decided he would rather help people in a different way so he did what anyone else would do. He went to medical school back in Japan at the age of 30 (I was kidding about the “everyone” part of course) and graduated in 1996. He has been practicing medicine here in Victoria since 2007 and has been heralded as one of THE best Doctors around. On top of working 12-14 hour days, he also has many hobbies including playing the guitar, singing, painting and martial arts. And that’s not even his accomplishments…..here is a list of those.
Release of a new CD “Heart Surgeon” by Dr. Yahagi & the Mended Hearts, 8/2013
Supported & performed at: “Victoria Nurses Association” to support R.N.’s in our community 9/2012
Winner of: “Best Couple” award for “Dancing with the Stars Victoria Style” and supported Billy T. Cattan Recovery Outreach (Rehabilitation facility), 8/2012
Produced & performed at: “Autism Benefit Concert” for supporting autistic kids in our community, 8/2012
Supported & performed at: “Sneaker for Kids” for supporting children with no shoes in our community, 5/2012
Supported & performed at: “Relay for Life” for helping cancer survivors in our community, 4/2012
Awarded for: the “Most Compassionate Doctor” award for 2011, top 3% of the physician in the nation
Awarded for: the “Patient’s Choice Doctor” award since 2010.
Produced & performed at: “Japan Tsunami Benefit Concert” to support Tsunami victims in Japan in 8/2011, followed by delivery of funds to Iwaki city council, Japan 8/2012.
Produced & performed at: “Kelly Drastata Benefit Concert” heart transplant patient, 2/2011
Appointment as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery from the Citizens Medical Center, 2010
Establishment of tertiary cardiothoracic & vascular surgery center in the Victoria, 2007-2010
Instructor for the Nursing School Program at the Victoria College since 2008
Victoria Economic Development: liaison for international corporate for the Mayor and V.E.D.C.
Assisted the district attorney to testify for a criminal case: Victoria County Courthouse, 2009
Won 10 medals from 5km and 10km races, 2006-2013
Champion, full contact Karate Tournament: Masters Division, 2005 in San Francisco, CA.
Top Doc awards, 2 years in a row, University of California, 2004, 2005
Chair, multi-discipline oncology meeting, University of California, 2004
Appointed as administrating chief, University of Kansas, 2003
Appointed as American College of Resident Surgeons meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2002
Life-saving flight: NW 008 flight to Tokyo, saved a life of a passenger, Captain’s Award, 2002
The best score for surgery exam, general surgery, University of Kansas, 2001
Graduated 2nd out of 120 students, medical school, 1996
Appointed to the British Medical Council, 1996
Elected as chief, heart surgery club, medical school, 1995
Appointed as chief, medical student representative, 1994
Received Black Belt in Karate: Shoto-kan Karate, Japan, 1994
Banker of the year: Wall Street Regional Banking Club, 1989
Most revenue produced: The Bank of Yokohama, International Finance Department, 1988
Service Employee of the Year: Pacific West, Vince Lombardi Award, 1985
Semi-professional football league: Bellevue, WA. 1983-1984
Won 11 Power lifting titles in Pacific Northwest: 1980-1984
Nationals Power lifting Championship: 1983 Virginia
On top of everything, Dr. Yahagi finds time for his beautiful wife April, 3 lovely daughters and 1 grandson. His band, Dr. Yahagi and the Mended Hearts plays around town from time to time and if you ever get a chance to see them, I highly recommend it…it’s a great show. Some proceeds of his CD sales go toward the Yahagi Heart Foundation which helps patients pay for live saving heart surgery they might not otherwise be able to afford.
Dr. Yahagi is certainly an example of an outstanding member of our community and trust me when I say finding selfless, caring people isn’t exactly easy these days. I’m also proud to call him my friend. So congrats Dr. Yahagi on being our Crossroads Rockstar of the Week!
You can catch Dr. Yahagi on The Morning Rehab the 2nd Friday of each month from 7-8am.