“The Pauley Heart Center is a true VCU treasure,” said President of VCU and VCU Health System Michael Rao, Ph.D., as he welcomed guests to the 2016 consortium. Approximately 75 faculty, administrators and donors attended the event, held April 12 at the John Marshall Ballroom.
Rao observed that the center is at the forefront of science. “But our mission is really about people … helping people live longer, happier lives.”
After dinner, Kenneth Ellenbogen, MD, chair of the Division of Cardiology, next shared some of the notable events of the year, including the completed renovation of the cardiac catheterization labs and the retirement of its innovative director George Vetrovec, MD after three decades. In his place, newly hired director, Luz Guzman, MD, “is doing a stellar job of carrying forward our tradition of excellence in cardiac catheterization.”
Chair of Surgery Vigneshwar Kasirajan, MD, then spoke about cardiac surgery and the increasing importance of collaboration between cardiac surgery, cardiology, and nursing teams. Additional efforts are forthcoming, he said, such as “bringing together pulmonary medicine and vascular surgery more closely to our work in the Pauley Heart Center.”
“Each year, consortium members and other guests gather to learn about recent advances in cardiovascular care stemming from research conducted at the Pauley Heart Center. Saving and improving lives of those with heart disease is one of our most important missions. It is a pleasure to work with so many donors and friends who share a passion for excellence in healthcare. They fuel discovery and its translation to the bedside.”
— Dr. Jerry Strauss,
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Kasirajan also participated in the next event, a conversation led by VCU School of Medicine Dean Jerry Strauss III, MD, PhD that included Fadi Salloum, PhD, and Michael Hess, MD, PhD. While Salloum talked about how VCU’s basic science lab is making discoveries in heart failure that may one day help patients, Hess fielded questions about the Cardio-Oncology program that he has initiated at VCU. Hess’s endeavor—the only one of its kind in Virginia—provides support to cancer patients, many of whom suffer cardiovascular damage as a result their chemotherapy and other treatments.
“These are the types of research and advances that we are so excited to share,” said Strauss at the program’s conclusion. “Without your advocacy and gifts, we would not be able to do all of the things you heard about tonight.”
“Thank you for your steadfast support.”