Published on October 11, 2019

NMMC-West Point Hosts Candlelight Memorial for Beloved Surgeon

Dr. Hiroji Noguchi Family

Attending Dr. Noguchi’s memorial service Wednesday at NMMC-West Point are wife Vickie, children Matthew, Kenji and Maya, and mother-in-law Elaine Simon.


The local medical community paid tribute to Dr. Hiroji Noguchi during a candlelight service Wednesday at NMMC-West Point.

WEST POINT, Miss.—North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point held a candlelight memorial service Wednesday for general surgeon Hiroji Noguchi, M.D., FACS, who passed away Oct. 4. Dr. Noguchi joined the NMMC-West Point medical staff in June 2017 after moving to this area from Honolulu, Hawaii, where he practiced for 18 years.

He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He received his medical degree from the Creighton University School of Medicine in 1987. He completed an internship at New Britain General Hospital/University of Connecticut. Then he moved to a warmer climate in southern California, where he started a residency in general surgery and a clinical and research fellowship in liver transplantation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He completed a residency in general surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif., in 1996.

In 1998 he completed a clinical and research fellowship in hepatobiliary (liver, gallbladder and bile ducts) surgery and liver transplantation at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles. He also completed a vascular surgery preceptorship at Providence Seattle Medical Center in Washington. He was board certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Noguchi was practicing in Hawaii when tragedy struck: he was diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma, cancer of the bile duct, in August 2014. He was placed on a liver transplant list at the University of California at Los Angeles. Still practicing full time in Hawaii, for two years he received chemotherapy there while traveling every three months to UCLA for CT scans and doctors’ visits.

In June 2016, the cancer had progressed to the point where he could no longer practice. The Noguchis moved to Columbus so that his wife, the former Vickie Simon of Columbus, would have the support of family and friends after his imminent passing. But late on the evening of June 28, 2016, they finally got the long anticipated call about a donor liver. After his transplant and several months of recuperation, he joined the NMMC-West Point medical staff.

During the memorial service, Barry Keel, NMMC-West Point administrator, announced that a scholarship fund is being established in memory of Dr. Noguchi. “Though he won’t be physically with us going forward, he will be having an impact in our community for many years to come in another way,” Keel said. “NMMC-West Point and our medical staff are establishing the Dr. Hiroji Noguchi Endowed Scholarship, which will provide a $750 scholarship each year to a Clay County graduating senior who is pursuing a career in the medical field. This is one small way that we can carry on the strong legacy that Dr. Noguchi established during his time with us in West Point.”

The scholarship will be managed by the Health Care Foundation of North Mississippi. For more information, call (662) 377-3613.

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