CLASS OF 1970
Christopher Larson is a 1970 graduate of Rice Avenue Union High School. He served as President of the National Honor Society and was a member of the basketball, track and field, and cross-country teams while in high school.
Chris attended college at Alfred University in western NY where he majored in biology and took numerous chemistry classes. He was a member of the AU track and field team.
After 3 years of college, he attended dental school at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation from dental school in 1977, Chris spent one year in a training program performing dental prosthetic repair of facial defects in patients with cancers or cleft palates. However, an interest in anesthesia that developed while in dental school resulted in switching to a training program in dental anesthesia at the University of Pittsburgh for the next 2-1/2 years.
A continued interest in the field of anesthesia wouldn’t go away and after a lot of soul-searching Chris decided to go to medical school at the University of Pittsburgh to become an anesthesiologist. When he started medical school, Chris was one of the oldest individuals in his class, was married and had a child. Following 4 years of medical school, 1 year as an intern and 3 years of residency training, he started his career as an anesthesiologist.
His first job was at Eye and Ear Hospital in Pittsburgh for a year. The next 9 years were spent at UPMC Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh where Chris supervised anesthesia for a variety of surgical cases with specialization in open heart and vascular anesthesia.
In 2000, Chris became the Chief of the Anesthesia Department at Windber (PA) Medical Center. A capacity in which he served for 2 years.
In 2002, Chris took a job at Hamot Medical Center in Erie. He has served as the Assistant Chairman of the Anesthesia Department, the departmental Quality Improvement director, and as an officer of the hospital’s Medical Staff Committee including 3 years as the Medical Staff President. His involvement with the Medical Staff Committee occurred during the crucial period when Hamot transitioned to become a UPMC hospital. Chris continued to provide his anesthesia expertise for open heart, vascular and lung procedures until his retirement in 2020. Over the course of the last 30 years, he estimates that he has provided anesthesia for approximately 2,000 open heart procedures. Chris also taught heart and circulation physiology at the Gannon-UPMC Hamot School of Nurse Anesthesia.
Chris has been happily married for the past 45 years to Patti Larson and has 3 sons, Kurt, Ryan and Craig, and 3 grandchildren. His free time is spent bicycling, kayaking, cross-country skiing and fly fishing. He is a board member of the Pennsylvania Steelhead Association.
Chris left Alfred University after 3 years but earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2002 receiving credit from courses he took in dental and medical school. Chris and his oldest son, Kurt, graduated from Alfred University on the same day.
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