(2018) George A. Lopez, MD, an internist and a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has received the school’s Distinguished Achievement Award for work benefiting the community, the practice of medicine and the provision of health care, and the Alumni Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Lopez graduated from the CU School of Medicine in 1973.
Lopez is well known for inventing infusion therapy devices to enhance and save lives at the point of care. For example, the ClickLock device alleviates the risks related to IV needle dislodgment, which could affect not only patients but also the healthcare workers concerned with the transmission of diseases due to needle sticks. The innovation led Lopez to found and serve as CEO of ICU Medical, a leading manufacturer of safe medical connectors, custom medical products and critical care devices.
Other inventions include the Clave family of needle-free vascular access devices and the ChemoClave system, which allows pharmacists and nurses to safely mix and administer drugs used to treat cancer patients.
Within the infusion therapy marketplace, Lopez’s inventions are still considered “best in class” and his presence and legacy are still a force in the medical device industry. As he worked to create the standard of care in infusion therapy for patients and providers, Lopez also has been on a personal quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to his achievements in medicine, Lopez holds records in free immersion and variable ballast diving. An accomplished spear fisherman, in 2004 he held the world record for catching the largest black marlin ever caught: 269.4 pounds. (Lopez accomplished the feat without scuba gear.)
Lopez retired as CEO of ICU Medical in 2014 and still serves on its Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the company has broadened its footprint in hospitals with products designed for use in ORs and ICUs.