New Hires

Dr_Keyur_MavaniKeyur Mavani, M.D., an invasive cardiologist, joined the staff of the VCU Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill in July. An affiliated assistant professor in Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, he is board certified in echocardiography, vascular ultrasound and nuclear medicine.

He was drawn to VCU for its research and teaching opportunities. “It is among the best places to work in cardiology on the East Coast. The environment is collegial with a focus on quality and safety, along with innovation and research, to help our patients get the best care possible,” he says.

A native of Surat, India, he received his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), the equivalent of an M.D., from Baroda Medical College in Vadodara. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

His specializations include transesophageal echocardiography, cardioversions, stress testing, Holter/event monitoring and loop recorder placement. He also performs diagnostic cardiac catheterizations from the wrist, an approach performed by only 10-15 percent of American cardiologists.

“Dr. Mavani is the first cardiologist that we’ve hired to be full time at South Hill. He is an excellent clinical cardiologist,” says Kenneth Ellenbogen, M.D., chairman, Division of Cardiology.

Dr_Kris_RaoKris Rao, M.D., a heart failure and transplant cardiologist, began her work as an assistant professor in Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, in August. She specializes in advanced heart failure, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support (LVADs). She performs right heart catheterizations and heart biopsies and is board certified in internal medicine.

“Kris Rao is an incredible asset to our program; in addition to her training in adult heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support, she has a special interest in teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate level,” says Richard Cooke, M.D., associate professor and the medical director of the heart transplant program.

She holds a B.S. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.D. from Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine and her cardiology and advanced heart failure fellowships at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

According to Rao, “The advanced heart failure program at VCU Health is exceptional and is at the forefront of cutting- edge technology in its field. I like the team approach to patient care that is modeled here, and I feel privileged to be able to work with such a fantastic group of people.”

Dr_Deepak_ThomasDeepak Thomas, M.D., joined the Pauley Heart Center in August as an assistant professor, specializing in interventional cardiology. He will work downtown on the MCV Campus, as well as VCU Health’s offices in Petersburg, Hopewell and Colonial Heights, conducting peripheral vascular and percutaneous coronary interventions. He is board certified in cardiology, echocardiography, vascular interpretation (RPVI) and internal medicine.

“I came to VCU Health because as a Virginia-born native, I’ve always held high regard for the Richmond community — with both its history and medical tradition. The academic environment here is one of mutual respect between student and professor, between doctor and patient,” he says.

Born in Norfolk, he received his A.B. (Honors) in Literature & Cultures in English from Brown University and then was awarded a full scholarship to Cambridge University, in the United Kingdom, where he was only one of two Americans that year to receive a Master of Philosophy in 18th Century British Literature. He then went on to receive his M.D. from VCU School of Medicine and completed his residency at Yale University, where afterward he continued on as faculty at Yale as an assistant professor of medicine— practicing primary care as an attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He then completed a fellowship in cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and an advanced fellowship in interventional cardiology (Level III Peripheral Vascular and Coronary Intervention) at University of Virginia.

As a young doctor, “he brings the new generation of interventional cardiology to our group. He was just recently trained so was exposed to all of the latest procedures. He brings great energy and interest in learning new things and has special skill sets in coronary artery and peripheral vascular disease,” says Luis Guzman, M.D., the new director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.