RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region appoints new chief of thoracic surgery

Dr. Richard Lazzaro, a board-certified thoracic surgeon with 25 years of specialized experience in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, has been named to the expanded position of chief of thoracic surgery for the RWJBarnabas Health Southern Region.

The region encompasses Monmouth Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus, Community Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, RWJUH Hamilton and RWJUH Somerset.

Lazzaro will continue to ensure the coordination and delivery of exceptional thoracic surgery and cancer care across the health system. This includes collaboration with colleagues at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, together with RWJBarnabas Health.

“Under Dr. Lazzaro’s strategic direction and extraordinary vision, he will ensure the continued growth of our robust thoracic surgery program, providing the most advanced treatment options, including clinical trials,” Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Dr. Steven Libutti, who is also the senior vice president of oncology services at RWJBarnabas Health, said. “The expanded leadership role of Dr. Lazzaro further strengthens a program that leads the state in innovation and excellence.”

A renowned national leader in the field, Lazzaro has pioneered many groundbreaking firsts in robotic thoracic surgery and has led one of the largest tracheobronchomalacia programs in the nation. Using minimally invasive robotic surgery, he specializes in precise surgical procedures that result in minimal scarring and faster recovery times for patients.

“Since joining RWJBarnabas Health in 2022, Dr. Lazzaro’s leadership and expertise have strengthened the advanced thoracic and lung cancer care available to patients throughout the region,” Bill Arnold, executive vice president, Southern Region, RWJBarnabas Health, and CEO and president of RWJUH, said. “Dr. Lazzaro offers minimally invasive thoracic surgery options that have improved health outcomes for our patients.”

Prior to joining RWJBarnabas Health, Lazzaro served as the director of thoracic robotic surgery and associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Northwell Health.

Lazzaro performs all types of adult thoracic surgery, with a particular clinical interest in lung cancer surgery, robotic minimally invasive VATS surgery, esophageal surgery, tracheal surgery, tracheobronchomalacia and tracheobronchoplasty.