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New UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute Will Deliver World-Class Care, Promote Cardiovascular Innovations

PITTSBURGH, May 3, 2011 – UPMC has combined the operations of its departments of cardiac surgery, vascular surgery and cardiology to create the Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI), which will deliver world-class and compassionate care to patients while furthering the hospital system’s commitment to cardiovascular innovations.

The new HVI will be led by co-directors Victor Morell, M.D., chief, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC; Joon Lee, M.D., clinical director, UPMC Cardiovascular Institute; and Michel Makaroun, M.D., chief, UPMC division of vascular surgery.

UPMC is ranked among America’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for heart care and heart surgery, and has one of the largest cardiac catheterization programs in the country. Its physicians have been leaders in implanting ventricular-assist devices and in developing minimally invasive techniques for vascular procedures.

The HVI will consist of UPP physicians from the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) and from the Division of CT surgery. The areas will merge on July 1, after which the CVI will no longer exist. Mark Sevco, vice president of operations, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, and the designated president of UPMC East, will provide administrative direction for the HVI.

Dr. Morell, who will head cardiac surgery in the HVI, also will serve as vice-chair and director of cardiovascular services for the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Morell was chosen after a national search to fill the position. Dr. Morell has been chief of cardiothoracic surgery at CHP since 2004 and the associate program director of the thoracic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh since 2005.

Dr. Joon Lee, who will head cardiology at the HVI, had been with the UPP CVI since 1996. Dr. Lee has been the CVI’s clinical director since 2003.

Dr. Michel Makaroun will oversee vascular surgery at the HVI. He was appointed UPMC’s chief of vascular surgery in 1999. In addition to his new role at the HVI, Dr. Makaroun will continue to be the division chief of vascular surgery.

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