Dr. Alfonso “Chico” Chiscano

Dr. Alfonso “Chico” Chiscano passed away on Aug. 27 in San Antonio. He was 81.

He was a native of Spain’s Canary Islands, the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Dr. Chiscano attended medical school in Barcelona, where he was awarded Most Outstanding Student. Following medical school, he completed General Surgery Residency at Wayne State University in Detroit. Dr. Chiscano was then awarded a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, working directly under the supervision of Dr. Denton Cooley, a world-renowned surgeon.

With his grand capacity to care for others, he quickly became a prominent cardiothoracic surgeon in San Antonio, ironically, a city founded in part by Canary Islanders. Dr. Chiscano operated and saved more than 6,000 lives. In addition, he was passionate about teaching the next generation of surgeons and was recently promoted to professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Chiscano worked steadfastly as a cultural ambassador, connecting San Antonio with his native Canary Islands and the country of Spain. His great civic spirit and relentless drive combined with his visions developed many business relations between the Canary Islands and San Antonio. He has been named “The Father of the Tricentennial” celebration of San Antonio as he tirelessly promoted the history of the Canary Islands and their connection with the Alamo City.

In terms of honors and awards, Dr. Chiscano received the Medal of Isabel the Catholic and the Medalla del Merito Civil, both presented by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. He was honored with the Medal of Gold from the Autonomic Government of the Canary Islands. In addition, Dr. Chiscano was an American Heart Association Honoree.

Dr. Chiscano created the Canary Islands Office in San Antonio which is coordinated by the Friends of the Canary Islands Foundation to foster the development of the Canary Islands and worked relentlessly to build bridges between the Islands and the American companies.

Dr. Chiscano leaves his best-friend and loving wife of 51 years, Mary-Alice; his daughters, Kristie and Carina; sons, Steve and Todd; and eight grandchildren: Niko, Caz, Lauren, Oliver, Kayla, Christian, Alexandra (Birdie) and Lindsey; and spouses Jeff, Jon, and Kimberly.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Cardiothoracic Research Professorship in Honor of Alfonso Chiscano, M.D. Checks made payable to: UT Health San Antonio.

Address: UT Health San Antonio
School of Medicine
Attn: Steven Reese, Administrator
7703 Floyd Curl, MC 7835
San Antonio, TX 78229

A funeral Mass was held Sept. 6 at San Fernando Cathedral, with Father David Garcia, former rector of the cathedral, presiding at the liturgy. Chiscano played a key role in the restoration of San Fernando Cathedral and helped raise money for a retablo in the church honoring Our Lady of Candelaria, patron saint of the Canary Islands. 

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