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Dr. William E. Shiels | 1954-2015: Nationwide Children’s doctor pioneered techniques for treating cancer with ultrasound

Dr. William E. Shiels II, as chief of the Department of Radiology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, was known for innovations in using ultrasound to treat tumors and cysts.

Shiels, 61, died on Tuesday from pancreatic cancer, said hospital spokeswoman Pam Barber.

“He will be sorely missed, but his invaluable contributions to the field of radiology will benefit patients and colleagues far into the future,” the hospital said last night in a written statement.

Shiels joined the staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in 1996. He was the chief of the department of radiology at the hospital and also taught at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and the Medical University of Ohio at the University of Toledo.

During his time at Children’s, Shiels introduced groundbreaking procedures for treating children with bone cysts and bone tumors through ultrasound. He also was known for using the technique to treat abnormal clusters of blood vessels.

In addition, Shiels applied the same ultrasound techniques to treat children who had embedded items into their skin, allowing them to avoid surgery.

He was awarded grants by the U.S. military to study the use of ultrasound for treatment of shrapnel wounds and had worked for the Pentagon.

“A lot of what he did was teaching colleagues and future radiologists,” Barber said.

Shiels once said that the most important thing he could do as a teacher was to help young physicians appreciate the importance of a first encounter with patients.

“To wake up every day and be allowed to share generously my God-given gifts and talents as a healing physician for children around the world is an incredibly humbling and meaningful responsibility,” Shiels said.

Shiels won a number of awards for his work and appeared numerous times on the Best Doctors lists for central Ohio and in the United States.