UF Health MedMatters

Heart & Vascular: 2020 year in review

Although the year 2020 brought challenging shifts to our community and healthcare systems at UF Health, the divisions of cardiology, cardiovascular surgery and vascular surgery continued to provide excellent cardiovascular clinical care and develop new research initiatives.

As part of our commitment to quality patient care, we expanded our team to welcome 12 new faculty members for a total of 31 cardiovascular faculty; two new faculty members for a total of 18 vascular surgery faculty; and an additional faculty member for cardiovascular surgery. Throughout this difficult time, our researchers in cardiovascular medicine produced over 150 publications; those in vascular surgery produced over 75 publications; and 30 new publications were authored by our cardiovascular surgery faculty, including several invited reviews.

We are immensely proud of our new clinical initiatives in the areas of cardiac prevention, lipidology, infiltration, cardiomyopathy, and shock advanced heart failure support. These services are but a few additions to our growing clinical programs that include transcatheter valves, atrial fibrillation ablations, complex aortic surgery, electrophysiology devices and even a dedicated advanced heart failure program.

When it comes to aortic diseases, UF Health cardiac surgery program remains a leader across the Southeast. Our surgeons are a statewide resource for complex cardiac surgery cases, even receiving referrals from other surgeons. We offer minimally invasive and catheter-based solutions to make surgery safer and recovery easier for our patients. Our mechanical support program is now the busiest ventricular assist device in Florida by volume.

Our vascular surgeons continue to work in collaboration with multidisciplinary care teams, tackling complex cases including advanced aortic disease, end-stage renal disease, and limb salvage. Vascular surgery was also ranked ‘High Performing’ by US News & World Report for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery in 2020 and received the coveted 3-Star Award by the Society of Vascular Surgery’s Vascular Quality Initiative (VQI) in 2020. Throughout this time, vascular surgery faculty were appointed national leadership positions on the vascular surgery board of the American Board of Surgery.

In addition to our professional accomplishments, the structure of our clinical service lines facilitates team-based care with our cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons, ensuring that each patient who is referred to our cardiovascular service line receives a comprehensive clinical evaluation to develop a plan of action for their treatment and recovery.

As we move forward into the new year, we remain dedicated to providing education, clinical care, and research initiatives that move cardiovascular health forward in the state of Florida and the Southeast. We are in this together, and will continue making our patients’ safety and that of our fellow health care practitioners a priority during this unprecedented time.

Thomas M. Beaver, MD, MPH
Professor and Chief
Grant and Shirle Herron Chair
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery
University of Florida Department of Medicine

Thomas S. Huber, MD, PhD
Edward R. Woodward Professor and Chief
Division of Vascular Surgery & Endovascular Therapy
University of Florida Department of Surgery

Juan M. Aranda, Jr., MD, FACC, FHFSA
Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, Department of Medicine
Professor and Chief
AHA Suncoast Endowed Chair
Division of Cardiology
University of Florida Department of Medicine

About UF Health Shands Hospital

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University of Florida Health Shands Hospital has been recognized among the nation’s best hospitals in seven adult medical specialties. Overall, UF Health Shands Hospital was recognized as one of the best hospitals in Florida. In addition to being ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in seven specialties, UF Health Shands Hospital also was listed as “high performing” in seven specialties, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, COPD, heart failure, lung cancer surgery, neurology & neurosurgery and orthopaedics.