For John Mikuta, service was a lifetime achievement.
Mikuta, 88, of Lumberton, formerly Moorestown, passed away on Jan. 25.
As professor emeritus, M.D., Mikuta epitomized what it is to take full advantage of the Penn University experience exploring all the university had to offer—as an undergraduate, a medical student, an intern, a resident, a practicing clinician and professor, and as a very loyal alumnus.
In recognition of his many contributions to the alumni community and his remarkable commitment to Penn Medicine, Mikuta received the inaugural Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Lifetime Achievement Award in May 2008 during Medical Alumni Weekend.
Though he had many memories involving Penn, he was particularly fond of his days as a medical student. He said, “There was a lot of pride in being at the oldest medical school in America and it was a great feeling to be a part of that community and to feel like I was a member of a larger family.”
After retiring, Mikuta became the Franklin Payne emeritus professor of gynecologic oncology. Additionally, he was the former president of the emeritus faculty committee and had been recognized by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology through the creation of the John J. Mikuta, M.D., Award for Professionalism in Women’s Health. Mikuta is recognized universally by his peers as the father of gynecologic oncology.
He was involved in numerous professional societies, and was a founding member of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, established in 1970. He went on to serve as the group’s president in 1973. Mikuta was also a devoted member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and was active in several other professional societies.
As one of Penn Medicine’s most dedicated and loyal alumni, he supported the Medical Class of 1948 Scholarship Fund and the John J. Mikuta, M.D., Endowed Scholarship Fund.
“When you look at the quality of education that you get at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, it’s amazing,” he said. “I want to do whatever I can to ensure that students have access to the same high caliber education that I received.”
A 1994 recipient of the Penn Medicine Alumni Service Award, his volunteer activities included serving on the Medical Alumni Advisory Council (MAAC) and on his 60th reunion committee. Mikuta was also a longtime class agent, and continually involved himself in alumni relations and calling programs. He regularly reached out to alumni from his class, as well as those from classes who did not have representatives, to try to increase their involvement with the school.
He said, “Alumni participation is so important because that connection can inspire today’s medical students. Alumni make a huge difference in the lives of students by serving as role models and mentors.”
Dr. Mikuta attributed his own involvement to fellow alumnus Harry Fields. He said Dr. Fields pioneered the idea of keeping alumni connected, and together they worked toward creating the kind of alumni program that exists today at Penn Medicine. Of the current alumni community, Mikuta said, “I think the heart and soul of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is the alumni.”
Mikuta was the husband of Margaret (nee Beauchamp); father of Ann M. Murray, of Wayland, MA; Mark P. Mikuta, of Richmond, VA; Paul P. Mikuta, of Lansdale, PA; and the late John J. Mikuta Jr., and the brother of Daniel Mikuta, of Allentown, PA. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 207 W. Main St., Moorestown. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to the John J. and Margaret Mikuta Scholarship Fund, c/o Penn Medicine, 3535 Market St., Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309.
Condolences may be left at www.lewisfuneralhomemoorestown.com.
Courtesy of Lewis Funeral Home
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