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Kenton J. Zehr, M.D.

Kenton J. Zehr, M.D.
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UPMC Media Relations

UPMC Recruits Renowned Mayo Clinic Cardiac Surgeon, Kenton J. Zehr, M.D.

Specialist in Cardiac Surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques

PITTSBURGH, August 15, 2006 — Kenton J. Zehr, M.D., an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon, has been appointed chief of the division of cardiac surgery and professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and associate director of the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Dr. Zehr specializes in mitral and aortic valve repair, aortic root reconstruction, thoracic aneurysm surgery and left ventricular assist device therapy for advanced heart failure. His research interests include development of cardiac surgical devices to improve minimally invasive techniques, and he has co-developed techniques for sutureless anastomoses and percutaneous mitral valve repair.

Prior to joining UPMC, Dr. Zehr was a cardiovascular surgeon on faculty at the Mayo Clinic and an associate professor at the Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn.

“Dr. Zehr is a cardiac surgeon and clinical scientist of extraordinary ability,” said James Luketich, M.D., professor of surgery, and director of the Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute. “We are fortunate to have access to his surgical skills which will benefit the health of the entire region. He is joining a prolific department which includes specialists in cardiothoracic surgery for advanced heart failure, organ transplantation and artificial heart implantation therapy.”

“As a western Pennsylvanian, I am pleased to return home and join this group of talented, energetic and highly experienced surgeons,” Dr. Zehr said. “UPMC is known for its patient care and innovation and I look forward to contributing my part.”

Dr. Zehr received his undergraduate education at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., and his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He did his surgical residency at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

His career contributions to the surgical literature include more than 230 peer-reviewed articles, publications, scientific presentations and lectures at numerous national and international symposia. He is a peer reviewer for numerous leading international journals including Circulation, the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, American Journal of Cardiology, European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, and the Asian Cardiovascular and Thoracic Annals.

Dr. Zehr is a member of numerous professional societies including the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Society for Heart Valve Disease. He is a past member of the editorial board of the scientific journal Chest.

UPMC is one of the leading academic medical centers in the United States. An integrated health care enterprise, it has the medical expertise, geographic reach and financial stability that allow it to develop models of excellence which are transforming health care nationally and internationally.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pa., UPMC is ranked 14th in the nation according to the 2006 U.S. News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals” survey, earning a place on the magazine’s prestigious Honor Roll.

UPMC is the country’s busiest organ transplantation center and has gained national and international acclaim for comprehensive treatment programs in such areas as cancer; neurosurgery; psychiatry; gynecology; rheumatology; urology; pulmonology; digestive disorders; orthopaedics and sports medicine; ear, nose and throat; kidney disease; neurology; pediatrics; and endocrinology.

It is closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, which attract more than $400 million annually in National Institutes of Health funding, ranking 7th in the nation. Together, their combined mission is to deliver outstanding patient care, train tomorrow’s health care specialists and biomedical scientists, and conduct groundbreaking research to advance the understanding of the causes and course of disease.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

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